John T Loftus and Mary Sullivan

John T. Loftus and Mary Sullivan were my 3rd Great grandparents. They were Irish and had a large and colorful family. Below are pictures of them along with a story submitted by a cousin Marilyn Glazier

Mary Sullivan from County Kerry

John T Loftus from County Galway


  My Great Great Grandfather John T. Loftus, we believe the T. stands for Thomas, would sail from Ireland about 1854 - 1855. We base his sailing date on his Naturalization papers. Per John's obituary he was born in County Galway. John was a devout Catholic and went to church every chance he could. John was always reading the newspapers and we have a picture of him in his late years reading a newspaper. A story passed down was that John was reading the newspaper and he asked his wife Mary Sullivan Loftus how she would say that in her tongue. Mary Sullivan Loftus was born in County Kerry.

  John was not a heavy drinker as far as we know. A cousin has a flute that John brought with him from Ireland. My mother was nine years old when John died and she said he would say "aye faith and be glory". The daughters of John Loftus would sing about the moon over Galway Bay.

  John would settle in the Fulton, Illinois, USA area and in the 1860 USA census he is a farm hand. In 1868 John would buy farm land in the Meredosia area of Albany, Illinois, USA. We believe John was born March 15, 1842 and John died October 10, 1924 of Influenza. John would marry Mary Sullivan November 27, 1862 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Fulton, Illinois.Parents: Per the death certificates of John Loftus and his brother James their parents were John Loftus and Bridget Kelly Loftus. Naturalization date of October 15, 1868 and John was able to sign his name. John became a citizen on the same day as his brother-in laws, Jeremiah and Edward Sullivan and they were only able to make an "X" for their signature.

  In John's Naturalization papers it states he has been a resident of the USA for 13 years.Children of John T. Loftus: Katherine 1865, John T. Loftus Junior 1868, Delia Amanda 1871, Mary E. 1873 and Edward James 1878. I believe there were four children that died early in infancy. I have no names for these children.Known siblings of John Loftus: John had a brother James with him in the Fulton, Illinois, USA area. In the 1860 census James is listed as a servant and is 14 years of age, making his birth year 1846. James, per death certificate, dies January 20, 1922 of Influenza and his age is listed as 73 years and five months with his birth month as September. Seems to be a difference in James exact birth year.

   James was also a devout Catholic, James never married and James liked to drink. James smoked a pipe and James had his pipe in his mouth when they waked him. My mother was then seven years old and tried to pull the pipe from the mouth of James.Per the probate papers of James Loftus I would read that there were two nephews ( Michael Loftus and Harry Loftus ) in St. Louis and a niece and nephew( Mary Amanda O'Rourke Parmelee Husted and John O'Rourke ) in Sioux City, Iowa. Notice the additional use of Amanda as a middle name ( Delia Amanda Loftus ). Thus additional siblings of John Loftus were brother Michael Loftus born in Ireland in 1850 and died in St. Louis, Missouri February 26, 1902 of pneumonia. Also, sister Mary Loftus O'Rourke of Sioux City, Iowa, birth year unknown, died Sioux City, Iowa January 31, 1894 of consumption. Mary Loftus O'Rourke, wife of Henry O'Rourke, worked as a laundress in what was known as the South Bottoms of Sioux City, Iowa.

  An area of single family homes where immigrants settled.The son of John T. Loftus, John T. Loftus Junior was so talented at dancing that he entertained locally and had a chance to dance in Chicago professionally. Also, the great granddaughter, Ginger Parmelee, of Mary Loftus O'Rourke was very talented at dancing and gymnastics and entertained locally and won many competitions. I have a picture of John T. Loftus senior with his wife and children taken on Thursday, October 2, 1891. John T. Loftus senior would have been about 49 years of age. John appears slight in build and his hair appears to be white as does his beard. My mother said he was small and had reddish/blond hair with blue eyes. John does indeed appear to be fair in the picture. I notice his hands are broad with short fingers, full lips, broad nose, somewhat curly hair, broad forehead.

  I come away with the conclusion that my Great Great Grandfather John T. Loftus born of County Galway, Ireland 1842 had an upbringing that included devout worship in the Catholic Church, had some education of some sort, there had to be family gatherings that would include dancing, singing and flute playing. The family was probably of simple means and common laborers of the time and the area.

Delia Amanda Loftus my 2nd Great Grandmother Daughter of John and Mary

Another picture of Mary Sullivan

1 comment:

Terrence Garnett said...

That's some pretty interesting information on your third great-grandfather.