Manx Genealogy Archive 1

Re: IOM and USA Looneys fact or fiction

Hi Averil,
This topic has been brought up several times on this board and the FHS one since at least 2000.
There is no evidence in the Maughold parish registers that Robert Looney or the Lowny family (as Looney was spelt at the time) was from Ballagilley, or that Robert was from Maughold. There was a Looney recorded in Ballagilley in the late 1800s which would have been about 6 generations later.
Land records have a sale of the Corony by a Christopher Lowny in the mid-1600s, but nothing about Lowny/Looney in Ballagilley pre-1700 that I have seen, which could have applied to Robert's family.

The best listings of actual records (as opposed to rumour) that I have seen are at:
I suggest that you and Leith look at this website.

They write:
"The objective of this search is to locate information about Robert (1) Looney, who traditionally married Elizabet Llewellyn. It is claimed that Robert's family came from the Isle of Man. Robert probably was born between 1692-1702 and possibly married about 1715.
Traditionally, it is said that Robert (1) Looney come from Ballagilley, Maughold Parish. The questions that will be addressed are:
1) What records are available
2) Who were some of the Lowneys/Looneys mentioned in the records
3) Were there any Looneys at Ballagilley?
4) Can it be determined if Robert (1) Looney was from Maughold Parish?

This is followed by numerous transcripts, including Clive's, and the answer to 4) is no.
They write "Thousands of hours have been spent by researchers trying to locate Robert's date of birth/baptism and marriage, all without success".

However they don't appear to have looked at the two Maughold John Looney wills at that time:
LOONY, John 1699 Mau A w 0106207
LOONEY, John 1728-1 Mau E w 0106372

The USA Robert Looney details are at: http://www.looneybook.com/id20.htm
and at http://home.flash.net/~johnsonl/p7_1_5.htm.
The 'Looney of Ballagilley' appears to have originated in an article of that name, by Ed Sayle, in the Spring 1974 magazine of the North American Manx Association, and has since been stated as fact in numerous USA online trees, histories, and genealogies.
Typical is "The Seven branches of the Looney family founded by the sons of Robert Looney of Ballagilley, now extend to fifteen of the United States..."
"Little did Robert Looney, a Manx farmer from Ballagilley, Maughold, Ireland realize when he arrived in the New World about 1731, that he and his descendants ..." [!]

As someone wrote on Rootsweb "The early writers on the Looneys seem to be careful NOT to state that Robert Looney was born at Ballagilley (or even on the Isle of Man)".