View all the Losty Family
members and their in-laws on our Quick
Special Thanks to our research
Joan Losty Ellis - AR
James M. Losty - MA
Losty - IE
L. Ellis - AR
Losty - Belfast IE
Thomas R. Losty MA
Theresa Losty Chagnon - MA
Shelley Losty Gingras - MA
Florence LaPierre Losty -
Mary Losty Burgess - MA
Irene Losty Arnold - MA
Susanne Noland Kelley - MA
Michelle Rainville - MA
Pete Benoit - MA
Laura Zulli Losty - MA
John McDermot - IE
Marcel Benoit - CAN
Ed Eagan - MA
Kathleen Carrigan - NY
Jean Losty Vogt - NC
Ladeau Jr. - MA
Sharon L. Ellis - AR
The Losty Family
1700's to Present Illustrated Narrative
Our story begins
in the rolling farmlands of Kildare County Ireland.
Throughout Kildare today, ruined
monasteries, Round Towers, ancient villages and the magnificent
CastleTown House of Celbridge remind the visitor of the area's rich
During the Late
family of Mr. Losty was living in Kildare County Ireland.
is located in Leinster,
part of the Great Central Plain, a region of rolling farmland on a
limestone base, dominated by the 22 square miles of the Curagh Plain.
Southwest Kildare is bound by the Wicklow mountains and two major
rivers cut through Kildare soil. The river Liffey flows into Dublin,
and the Barrow flows through Athy in the southern tip of the county.
On or about the
turn of the Century Mr.
Losty, now married, welcomed the birth of his son Matthew J. Losty.
unknown, at this time, the names of Matthew J. Losty's siblings; however, there
is a possibility John Losty of Kildare Ireland, whose children immigrated
to the state of Connecticut and who frequently
visited the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, is a brother to Matthew. As we continue to gather clues
and evidence, we will incorporate our findings into our story. Matthew's bride to be, Mary Jane (Unknown), was born in 1780
and it is the lives of her two boys, John & Patrick which is
told in the following narrative.
Ireland 1739 - 1843
famine that took the lives of so many Irish people began in 1739 and
peaked in 1843. It is
important to note there were many other issues the Irish were dealing
with that influenced their decisions to leave but lack of food was at
the top of the list.
use of the potato, in 1725, was so general in Ireland (at least in parts of the country)
it served as the staple food poor families relied on for nearly the
entire winter. The first
great destruction of the potato crop occurred in the winter of 1739.
It was said the potato crop was destroyed in one night and 300,000
people perished of famine. The
people of Ireland were cautioned the following year against eating potatoes, which were believed to be
diseased and likely to produce disease in them if they ingested it.
This rhetoric caused fights to break out among Potato Farmers and the
Market Gardeners. The Market Gardeners were glorifying the
destruction of the "foreign root" which had been brought into Ireland in 1600 by Sir Walter Raleigh.
the years, 1765 and 1880, Mr. & Mrs. Losty, welcomed
the birth of their son Matthew J. Losty. During this
time, the quantity of rain and excessive droughts during the summer months contributed to the curl and black
rot diseases that were impacting the potato crops producing small
potatoes in scarce numbers and in several years complete failures of
the crops of potatoes and cabbages, specifically during the years 1765,
1770, 1795 and 1800.
We do not have a date of birth or death on Matthew J. Losty, however, Matthew's
wife, Mary Jane, was born in 1780 and we estimate Matthew's date
of birth to be near that time.
1800, disease appeared in the potato stalks and the harvests were
generally bad. Great scarcity and distress succeeded. The
potato also failed in England that year and for some years afterward
the curl injured many of the best varieties. In 1807 nearly
one-half of the potato crops were destroyed by frost adding to the
death toll among the poor. Matthew & Mary were about
twenty seven years old during this year and most likely already
married and welcoming the births of their children.
Between 1809 and 1812,
the curl disease reappeared causing partial failure to the crops. Then
in 1816 the spring, summer and autumn seasons were late coming
combined with the above average recorded rain fall resulted in a
general failure of the potato crops in Ireland and England; the
stalk being chiefly affected. An account
of this epidemic in England was given as follows:
"...early in September, the potatoes were
'blackened and spoiled; they smell at a distance the same as after a frosty
night late in October."
years later, in 1820, a great quantity of snow fell during the end of
the year. This accumulation produced remarkable terrestrial phenomena
during the early months the following year; for instance, the 'moving bog'.
During May and June, of that year , the rain
accumulated upon the surface of the land. Rivers and lakes swelled
causing wide spread flooding over the face of the land and the rain
continued to pour in torrents during November, December and
January the following year. The potato crop soured and rotted in the
ground; and although a sufficiency was obtained in the dry and upland
districts to support human life for some months, the potato reserves were
exhausted early in the
ensuing spring. Fortunately, these effects were not general throughout the
kingdom, but occupied a district which might be defined by a line drawn from
the the counties of
Sligo and Leitrim, to the counties of Cork and
Waterford including the whole western seaboard of Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry, and Cork; all
of which were exposed to the full
force of the Atlantic, the influence of which, though mild, is a constant
source of moisture. It was during these years that Matthew J.
Losty and Mary Jane Losty welcomed the birth of their son John.
In 1825, although the seasons were
mild, the preceding years had saturated the earth so much there was a
partial failure of crops resulting in the
rise of the price of potatoes.It
was during this year that Matthew J. Losty and his wife Mary J.
(unknown) welcomed the birth of their son Patrick Losty.
Their elder son John Losty was born prior to Patrick's birth but the
exact year is unknown. The
names of Matthew & Mary's other children are unknown at this time.
the month of August 1829, Patrick and John were young boys,
Patick was only four. The potato crops were beaten down
that year by the heavy rains and severe storms. All the potatoes
in the low grounds were covered in water, and remained under water for many
weeks resulting in the lose of a great quantity of the potatoes.
"Violent storms and heavy rains brought upon another failure of the
potato in 1830, with its usual accompaniment of famine and
pestilence: but was principally confined to the coasts of Mayo, Galway, and
Donegal on the west coast. This blight was common to parts of America and to Germany, where it
continued for two years. Then in the spring season of 1832, and for several
seasons following in succession, an unmistakable
epidemic attacked the potato throughout Ireland, and also extended
to other parts of Europe and to America. The potato disease presented not only the appearance of the
curl, but likewise attacked the tubers in the pits. The failure was chiefly observed in the early-planted potatoes,
but having been discovered in spring; was, to a certain extent, remedied.
In 1836, which had been wet, and July and August unusually so; the
price of food rose to an almost unparalleled height.
1839 was distinguished by an amount of moisture unparalleled
to that of modern observations. Part of 1840 was likewise
characterized by excessive moisture, although there was less rain
in 1840 than in the
previous year, it came down at an unpropitious period resulting in the failure
of the potato crop in Leinster and
Munster two years in a row. Upon both occasions great distress
followed. As mentioned earlier, Kildare County is located in
The potato disease prevailed to such a degree in Germany
during this time as to threaten
the total extinction of that esculent; and in the following year the crop was
extensively affected there with a disease called 'dry gangrene.' That
same year in Ireland, excessive rains in August caused a partial
destruction of crops that was widespread, especially in the south of Ireland.
The year was cold
and frosty although not specially characterized for its wetness, the
number of days upon which rain
fell was very great. As a result, the potato harvest of 1842 was injured by the
inundation of the land. By 1843 there were more
fatalities to animal life than vegetable life and it is during this year
Matthew J. Losty's wife (now widowed) and her son Patrick, now age 18, arrived in the United States.