Lytollis or Ward? That is the question

The ‘Lytollis – Ward’ confusion

The Lytollis/Ward confusion began after the death of Robert  Lightallers (c.1780-1807) who came to Carlisle and married local girl Jane Mason in 1803. It’s thought that Robert died in 1807 while serving in the Lancaster Militia. He left behind a wife and two children – John and Joseph. John Lightallers died in 1806 and Joseph Lightallers, who later married Elizabeth Irving, was left to carry forward the line of ‘Lytollis’ in it’s many forms.

After the death of her husband, Jane Mason re-married. She married Michael Ward (b.1783) in 1808 in Carlisle. There is a record of a Michael Ward from Carlisle who was a Merchant Seaman. Jane’s marriage to Michael Ward began a Ward/Lytollis confusion. Joseph Lightallers (b.1806 from her first marriage) was only two at the time of his mother’s second marriage.

His mother and Michael Ward went on to have at least three more children during the marriage – Mary, John and Margaret. John Ward (1810-1874) was the son who carried forward his fathers ‘Ward’ name.

So, we had one family with children bearing surnames of Lightallars (Lytollis) and also Ward. Later some of the ‘Lytollis’ families began using the ‘Ward’ surname at various times.


Irving Lytallous whose birth was registered Jan-Mar 1847 was baptised 26 Dec 1847 as Irving Litholis. He became well known to the Carlisle County Quarter sessions as Irving Ward. His death was registerd 18 Mar 1924 as Irving Lytollis.

Irving’s son was born 13 Aug 1870 and registered as Joseph Lytallows but was baptised 28 Sep 1873, at Houghton, as Joseph Ward. He kept the Ward surname when he married and until his death in 1939. He created a mini Ward offshoot from the Lytollis branch as all his 10 children bore the Ward surname too.

No wonder there was confusion…