Robert Loy (to America from England 1856)

Robert Loy (2 March 1834, christened 25 May 1834 Morland, Westmorland Co., ENGLAND, U.K.— in evening, 7 June 1901 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS)
md. (#1) 23 September 1859 (Shelby Co., IL)
Alice Foster (10 September 1833 Howgill, York Co., ENGLAND, U.K. —
9 December 1897 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS)
md. (#2) 2 May 1901 (Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS)
Sarepta E. (“Sadie”) (Carter) Drake (ca. 1845 Hendricks Co., IN — 20 September 1909 Tuscola, Douglas Co., IL), widow of Franklin P. Drake, whom she had married 31 December 1885 (Chautauqua Co., KS)

Some online trees and the Foster Family History and Genealogy, by Elmer Thomas Randle, have Robert’s death as 8 June 1901, but his gravestone gives 7 June and obituaries give Friday evening, 7 June. Randle transcribed an undated obituary for Robert in his book, said to be from a Shelbyville, IL newspaper. Despite his book giving an 8 June death for Robert, this obituary transcription also gives Robert’s death as 7 June. The (both weekly) Eureka, KS newspapers that covered his death were the 13 June 1901 editions of The Democratic Messenger (pg. 3) and The Eureka Herald/Greenwood County Republican (pg. 4). The papers state Robert died just before 11 o’clock that night from an “attack of heart trouble,” after he and his wife [Sadie] returned from a benefit opera, the Cantata of Esther. He was “apparently in the best of health and spirits” that evening, but when the program ended and they were leaving the opera house, it was storming. Robert and Sadie hurried to their home but just as they were almost home, Robert weakened and fell dead on the porch near the door of their house.

Robert was son of James and Barbara (Langhorn) Loy.

During the late 1600s and early 1700s persecution of Huguenots along the modern France-Germany border, many Huguenot families would have found refuge in Great Britain. Thus, there were Loy families in what then consisted of Great Britain, including Ireland and Scotland, that likely had origins in modern France and Germany.

Brothers Thomas, John, and Robert Loy migrated to America about 1856. Through census, church, and other records found at, I was able to trace the three Loy brothers’ ancestry. Thus far, I have found no immigration records on these brothers. As Robert’s obituary and the 1900 census both give his year of immigration as 1856, I am listing all three with an 1856 arrival until I find definite sources for Thomas and John.

Thomas died before the June 1900 census, which would have listed his year of arrival to the U.S. His 1900 obituary states he arrived in America “nearly 40 years ago,” but this may have been off, just as Thomas’ birth year was. John’s 1900 census gives his own arrival in 1855, while the 1910 census gives year as 1854. It is possible, Thomas and John could have arrived in America a year or two before or after Robert did, or they may have all come together. Robert’s family tree at gives the following source: Foster Family History, page 17 – “Robert Loy, and brothers John and Thomas Loy came over together to Illinois, from near Shap and Maulds Meaburn, near Appleby, Westmoreland Co., Eng.” This book’s complete title is Foster Family History and Genealogy, by Elmer Thomas Randle (born 1888), published 1955, and is available for free download at Although page 31 was cited as being the source of mentioning the three brothers’ immigration, the only LOY mention on that page was that of death of Robert and Alice’s son James. This online book from link above has a search function, which will result in numerous pages for a LOY search, including transcripts of the obituaries of Robert, Alice, their children, and Robert’s brother Thomas Loy.

Robert is listed in the 1841 and 1851 Westmorland Co., ENGLAND census with parents, where in 1851 Robert is the eldest son to still live in parents’ household. I could find neither Thomas nor John in England or U.S. records for that time period, until Thomas shows up in the 1865 Shelby Co., IL state census and John shows up in 1860 St. Louis [no county], MO census. As Robert had already married in Shelby Co., IL and should have been in 1860 census there, at first I was perplexed as to why I could not locate his household that year. After some research, I discovered he must be the “Robert Welton” in the 1860 Shelby Co., IL census, with wife Alice and four-month-old daughter Wellen. Both Robert and Alice are age 35, born England. “Wellen” is same age as their eldest child Eleanor Loy. Robert Loy’s household is listed in the 1865 Shelby Co., IL state census, in the town of Pickaway, which shows categories for Robert, Alice, and their three daughters. Two households away is that of his single brother, Thomas Loy. The census for 1870 (federal), 1875 (state), 1880 (federal), 1895 (state), and 1900 (federal) shows Robert’s household in Greenwood Co., KS.

Besides E.T. Randle’s book that gives mention of Robert’s brother Thomas making at least one trip back to visit England, Robert also made at least one trip back to “the old country” to visit.

The Thursday, 5 August 1880 The Eureka Herald/Greenwood County Republican (pg. 4) relates:

Robert Loy started last Monday morning on his trip to England. He expects to leave New York by the last of this week.

Despite Randle’s book error in giving Robert and Alice’s year of marriage as 1858 instead of 1859, there are some sections of his book I have been able to verify.

[Thomas, John, and Robert Loy] had a relative James Robinson, teaching in 1911 at Fitzroy College, 689 Finchley Rd., Child’s Hill, London, probably thru a sister’s marriage, as Jas. Robinson and Minnie Loy called each other “cousin” when she visited there in 1911.

I found 1855 marriage record of Robert’s sister Isabella to John Robinson. So James was likely their son.

* There have been discrepancies regarding dates of Robert and Alice’s son James Foster Loy, the son that died in infancy. Robert’s family bio at gives James Foster Loy with April 1865 birth and 15 August 1866 death. This seems to have been based on E.T. Randle’s book, where on page 31, it lists the infant as dying 15 August 1866, at age 1 year, 4 months. This might have been a typewritten error in this book, as the next line, of a Foster-descent infant, gives that infant’s death at age 1 year, 4 months, 18 days. The 3 July 1865 IL state census for Robert Loy’s household only gives Robert and Alice with three female children in household, indicating their son would have been born after that date. Considering all this, I tend to believe the dates from James Foster Loy’s memorial at Find a Grave, which states he died 18 February 1866 at age 6 months, giving a different death date and birth than Randle’s book. (At this time there is no photo posted of gravestone, if there were a gravestone.) However, this infant may or may not have died exactly on his six-month birth anniversary. As a result, I am only listing his calculated birth month.

Their children:


Born Where Died Where
#1 Eleanor (“Ellen”) Loy 31 March 1860 Prairie Home, Shelby Co., IL 29 August 1943 Reece, Greenwood Co., KS
md. 10 June 1883 (Greenwood Co., KS) Joseph Lorenzo Barrier 23 October 1854 Lexington, Davidson Co., NC 17 January 1943 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS
#2 Anna Elizabeth Loy 10 February 1862 Shelby Co., IL 10 May 1896
md. Claude Highbargain ? ? ? ?
#3 Mary Belle (“Minnie”) Loy 18 December 1864 Prairie Home, Shelby Co., IL 16 April 1944 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS [never married]
#4 James Foster
February 1866/see note in Robert’s bio above* Pickaway, Shelby Co., IL 18 August 1866/see note in Robert’s bio above* Pickaway, Shelby Co., IL
#5 John Grant Loy 5 December 1868 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS 16 September 1895 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS [never married]
#6 Alice Jane Loy 6 March 1871 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS 3 July 1928 ?
md. 18 May 1910 Albert Klein 17 February 1856 ? 16 July 1935 Reece, Greenwood Co., KS
#7 Amelia Foster Loy 14 May 1874 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS 3 July 1928 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS
md. 31 March 1913 (Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS) Elbert Loyal Barrier 21 March 1879 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS 7 May 1943 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS
#8 Myrtle Loy 27 March 1879 Eureka, Greenwood Co., KS 1956 ?
md. 23 February 1903 Elmer Gray 6 June 1873 ? 1937 ?