The Names of my LOMAS Ancestors
Separately, we have discussed the origins of the place Lumhalghs and how people from there eventually adopted the name Lomas. We also identified its origins as being near Bury, Lancashire, around 1200, with a major migration to Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire in 1432.
So what of "my" Lomas family that appeared in Hellidon, Northants in 1644? We have no solid connection between the Northants family and those in Chapel-en-le-Frith or Lumhalghs, except for the name (variously Lummas and Lomas). We know, however, that before 1500, there were no Lomas names anywhere in England except for Lancashire and Derbyshire. So it is entirely feasible that the Northants branch originated in either Lancashire or Derbyshire.
Let's look at the Northants branch, which first appears in Hellidon around 1644. At that time, Thomas Lummas and Anne started having children in Hellidon, and I am descended from them. Previously, I explained how this branch gradually moved from Hellidon to Brington to Staverton (all Northants), then to Grandborough (Warwicks), before finally arriving in (or returning to!) Derby around 1877.
I have no idea where Thomas and Anne originated from. They could indeed have started out in Chapel-en-le-Frith and followed the Old Drovers Road which went through Derbyshire and perhaps also passed through Northants. Who knows?
Concerning my direct ancestors, who were nearly all illiterate until modern times, the spelling that was recorded depended completely on the clerk or priest who registered any births, marriages and burials. This has caused no end of problems for me on "how" to record a name in Family Tree Maker. To start with I always used the name registered at baptism and so if someone was born John Lumas he stayed John Lumas all his life, even if he married as John Lomas and was buried as John Lomax. In one case I had the first 4 children of one of my ancestors all having their last names written differently!
This approach of mine caused many searches to fail. I would go into the "ancestry" search and look for John Lomas and my tree's version would not come up. So I had to rationalise and this is what I did.
Any family names after 1823 are all registered as "Lomas", irrespective of what the priest wrote or even what the GRO registered after 1837. Why 1823? Because on 9 July 1823, a certain John Lummas got married and the priest, in his wisdom, wrote the name as "Lomas", despite there being a lot of documentary evidence that he was in reality John Lummas. John the young rascal had got a young lady called Elizabeth Malam pregnant and had been sued in the bastardy courts. Incredibly, all the documentation has survived and it describes where John Lummas came from, what he did etc. Nearly all of this documentation specifies his name as "Lummas". Then, he decides to do the right thing and marries Elizabeth Malam, and his name is changed to "Lomas". From that day forth the name never (or hardly ever) had any variants. So John Lummas became John Lomas.
I am descended from one of the two bastard twins that were born in 1823, and John and Elizabeth are my 3rd great grandparents. By the way, they then decided to have some real fun and had another 10 children, all christened Lomas. Thus we can see that my Lomas name consolidated and became permanent in 1823. So what happened before?
Well, the recorded names were Lummas, Lumas, Lomas, Lommas, Lomes and Lummos, all the way back to 1644. The majority of the variations was definitely Lummas, so I took a unilateral decision and rewrote my tree with everyone before 1823 being called Lummas. I then included the baptism name (if it was different) as an "aka" ("also known as") in Family Tree Maker.
By way of example, let's look at the parents of the above-mentioned John Lummas (1799-1868). His father was Thomas Lummas (1768-1822), aka Thomas Lommas, Thomas Lumas and Thomas Lamas. His father was Thomas Lummas (1724-1793), aka Thomas Lomos, Thomas Lomas. His father was John Lummas (1702-1789), aka John Lomos, John Lommas, John Lumos.
Interestingly, John Lummas (1702-1789) was not illiterate, and had a marriage licence which he signed. Just to confuse things, the notary wrote his name on the licence as John Lomos but John signed his name as John Lumas! The priest also wrote John Lomos on the marriage certificate. So what was his real name? You pays your money you takes your pick! There is quite a subtle difference between what the notary wrote (Lomos) and what John himself wrote (Lumas). Just to complete the mess, John's father was John Lummas (1675-1705) and the priest wrote his name as John Lommas!
I believe that the original Lomas name referred to Lumhalghs (Lum'ash), and that this was a place in Lancashire just east of Bury. The first major successful migration from Lancashire was in 1432 to Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire. Apart from these, there were no other Lomas families in England before 1496 that did not come from either Lancashire or Derbyshire. So I would suggest that "my" Lomas strain that was first identified in Hellidon, Northants in 1644 originally came from either Derbyshire or Lancashire.
10 September 2022