The Origins of the LOMAS Family in Northamptonshire
Documenting a family back in the 1600s is not straightforward. Many records are missing, and some are not completely legible. The spelling of names was generally at the discretion of the priest, and many different versions could be seen. When a man married, it was often in the village of his wife, so finding the details of this marriage could be difficult. Suddenly children started appearing with no reference to where the wife had come from nor her maiden name.
Documenting the origins of this branch of the LOMAS / LUMMAS family has proved quite complex, and in the end a number of assumptions have been made.
What we do know
We know for a fact that John Lummas, my sixth great-grandfather, was born in Brington, Northants in 1702, and his parents were John Lummas and Mary Goude, who married 10 Apr 1699 at Paulerspury, Northants, some 15 miles south of Brington. This would seem to indicate that Mary came from Paulerspury, and by inference that John senior was from Brington.
Unfortunately, there is no trace of the birth of John Lummas in Brington, nor, for that matter, of Mary Goude in Paulerspury! John senior and Mary had two children: their first child was called Mary, born 28 Apr 1700, their second child was called John, born 18 May 1702, both in Brington. No more children as both died soon afterwards, John on 30 May 1705, and Mary on 16 May 1706.
When did the Lummas Family Arrive in Brington
The earliest trace of a Lummas in Brington was in 1676, with the birth of Edward Lummas to parents Thomas Lummas and his wife Dinah. Subsequently, Thomas and Dinah had other children, Richard born in 1678 and Dinah born in 1686. We have the baptism records of these 3 children.
Back in 2005, when this research started, looking through very bad copies of microfilms of parish registers in Salt Lake City, I looked all around to try and find the origins of John and Mary in particular, and the Lummas family in general. My hypothesis was that just one Lummas family arrived in Brington around 1676, just before the birth of Edward Lummas to parents Thomas and Dinah.
Now let us look at the "missing" births in this family. First, there is no trace of the birth in Brington of a John Lummas who could have been the father of "my" John Lummas in 1702. So he must have been born elsewhere, and before 1676. Secondly, there is no trace of the birth of a Thomas Lummas, who is needed for two reasons:
- it was normal for children to be named after parents, so Thomas and Dinah should logically have had a son called Thomas;
- there was a Thomas Lummas in Brington married to an Elizabeth, who had a son named John Lummas in 1696. Following his wife's death in 1700, Thomas married another Elizabeth (Eliza Meacock) in 1712 and had a whole raft of Lummas's between 1713 and 1725, before Thomas died in 1731.
Interestingly, Thomas was accompanied at his second wedding by his brother Richard (born 1678), which proves that the parents of this Thomas were indeed Thomas and Dinah. Even more interestingly, his will was proven by his second wife Eliza Meacock and his first son John born in 1696 by the other Elizabeth!! So this proves that it was the same Thomas in both marriages. Concerning his date of birth, the latest he could have been born was around 1674 (he had two brothers born in 1676 and 1678, and with any later date he would have been too young to marry the first Elizabeth). As will be seen later, in the end I proposed the earlier date of 1672 for his birth.
So the only missing link was to prove that Thomas, Edward, Richard and Dinah also had a brother called John, father to "my" John Lummas born in 1702. There is some slight circumstantial evidence. For example, when Thomas (born before 1674) married the first Elizabeth, he named his firstborn "John", most likely named after his "brother" John. Similarly, the first child of "my" John Lummas was also named "Thomas", perhaps after his uncle.
Another of my original assertions back in 2005 concerned the date of birth of "John", which I proposed to be around 1674, due to the following reasoning. In 1693, there was the birth of an Elizabeth Lummas in Brington, parents John and Dorothy. I proposed that this was a first marriage for the missing John Lummas, and that Dorothy died before 1699, so that John could then marry Mary Goude in 1699 and have "my" John Lummas in 1702. Elizabeth was born in 1693, so I reasoned that John married Dorothy around 1692, which would make 1674 the latest birthdate possible for John. To fit in Thomas, I then proposed that he was the elder brother, born slightly earlier in 1672.
It is interesting to note that all ancestry trees that include John Lummas and Thomas Lummas have all adopted these dates! Unfortunately, the data on which I based my calculations for the birthdate of John have now proved to be false! Recent analysis of her baptism record indicates that the Elizabeth born in 1693 was in reality Elizabeth "Lucas", not "Lumas". Furthermore, I found an earlier child, a Thomas Lucas born in 1686 at Whilton (2 miles from Brington). The final nails in this coffin were the deaths of Dorothy Lucas in 1710, and the death of John Lucas in 1700. Furthermore, I was unable to find the marriage of John Lucas to Dorothy. The nearest was a John Lote of Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire to Dorothy Higgons, who married 6 Nov 1681 at Guilsborough, about 7 miles from Brington.
Revised Reasoning in 2021
So, we need to reset, as John Lummas senior did not have a previous marriage to a Dorothy, and the Lucas's are nothing to do with the Lummas's, even if they lived 2 miles apart. If there was no previous marriage and so no child, then this means that John Lummas could have been born as late as 1681. There is in fact a nice gap in the births of the children of Thomas and Dinah between Richard in 1678 and Dinah in 1686. Pity that there is no trace of the birth of a John in this period!
If we look in more detail at Thomas Lummas and Dinah, it is strange to note that searches of ancestry and findmypast can find no obvious trace of their marriage anywhere. They must have married before coming to Brington in 1676, and we know for certain that they had a child called Thomas before 1674. The question is, where? Normally marriages took place where the bride was from. Analysing all the Dinahs in Northamptonshire and surrounding counties at the appropriate time leads to no conclusive evidence, except for new research in January 2021 that turned up an interesting marriage on 23 Sep 1664 of a Thomas "Danner" to a Dinah Wells at Sudborough, Northants, some 28m NE of Brington. If you look at the original parish record, the surname "Danner" could easily be interpreted as "Lamas". Could this be the marriage of Thomas Lummas to Dinah?
Interestingly, this Thomas and Dinah did have a child called Thomas, born 1 Jun 1673 at Sudborough. Earlier, they also had a daughter Diana, baptised 28 Oct 1670 at Sudborough. Annoyingly, there is no record of a child called John, at least not at Sudborough. However, this Thomas born in 1673 would fit very well into the Brington hierarchy. Unfortunately the online Sudborough archives only start in 1661, so it was not possible to find data on the birth of Dinah Wells nor on her family.
Another interesting birth is that on 20 Jun 1675 at Stanion, Northants, just 5 miles from Sudborough. If you examine the parish record carefully, the name of the child could be interpreted as John Lomis. His father is given as Thomas, the name of the mother was not specified. Could this be the John Lummas we are looking for?
This would mean that Thomas and Dinah had two children, Thomas born 1673 and John born 1675 before moving to Brington in 1676 and having Edward (born in September 1676), then Richard 1678. These dates are not so far from my original assertions of 1672 and 1674!
They are certainly a possibility, but can we say that they are really probable? Well, I quite like the marriage in 1664, so Thomas born in 1673 is a possibility. The John baptism is perhaps pushing it a bit, but I do like the dates.
Next, we need to look at the town of Hellidon, it is about 10 miles west of Brington, and is of great interest to the Lummas / Lomas family history, because the descendants of John Lummas born in 1702 in Brington settled there. They lived at Staverton (a couple of miles from Hellidon) or Hellidon itself for the next hundred years or so, until a certain John Lummas married Elizabeth Malam in 1823 and settled in Grandborough, Warwickshire.
Now why is Hellidon of interest? Because there were no Lummas families there during the Brington period, but, interestingly, there was a family of Lummas's living there earlier, in the 1640s, namely:
John Lumas b 1 May 1644 at Hellidon, parents Thomas and Anne
Thomas Lumas b 11 Sep 1646 at Hellidon, parents Thomas and Anne
Margaret Lumas b 26 Feb 1649 at Hellidon, parents Thomas and Anne
Anne Lumas b 8 Mar 1651 at Hellidon, parents Thomas and Anne
William Lummas b 25 Oct 1653 at Hellidon, parents Thomas and Anne
New Hypotheses 2021
What if the Thomas Lumas born in 1646 at Hellidon met a girl called Dinah Wells from Sudborough and moved there to marry in 1664? There is no way to prove this, because their marriage record does not say "Thomas Lumas of Hellidon". Suppose they had the children Thomas and John in 1673 and 1675 (good family names also present in Hellidon), and then moved back towards Hellidon in 1676, settling in nearby Brington, because of finding work at Althorp. We know for a fact that their son Thomas (born 1673) was a brewer working on the Spencer estates at Althorp.
So it could be quite logical for the descendants of "my" John Lummas (born 1702) to move back to where the family originated from, that is Hellidon! It is a strange coincidence that there was a Lummas family in Hellidon in the 1640s that disappeared, and then one hundred years later there are again Lummas's in Hellidon.
Although the full above hypothesis is not strong, it does have some good points:
- Hellidon is certainly a Lummas place
- the names Thomas and John crop up every generation
- Thomas and Dinah certainly had a son called Thomas, and there is circumstantial evidence that he had a brother called John
- the name Dinah only occurs in this one case married to a Thomas
What is weak is the proof of the birth of John Lummas in 1675. However, even if the birth in Stanion wasn't him, this John was certainly born between 1670 and 1675.
I have decided, after looking in great detail at all this data, to propose that the origins of the Lummas family of Brington were in effect at Hellidon. So, with all the provisos of the case, I suspect that Thomas Lummas of Hellidon, born in 1646, moved to Sudborough to marry Dinah Wells in 1664, that subsequently they were the parents of Thomas Lummas born in 1673 at Sudborough, who became the brewer on the Spencer estates at Althorp, and also that Thomas and Dinah were the parents of John Lummas, born in 1675 at Stanion. Thomas, Dinah with their children Thomas and John then moved to Brington in 1676, and were the parents of Edward, Richard and Dinah. Thomas Lummas married the two Elizabeths, while John Lummas married Mary Goude and their eldest son John Lummas b1702 became my 6th great-grandfather.
10 September 2022