There appear, actually, to be two or three ethnic origins for the surname. You've discovered an italian origin. There is another entire Spanish/Mexican contingency. The N.Y. clan appears to have been French-Canadian, and the variations in the name pan out to French origin, such as Loyer, Loyre, Loyie. "Loya" with this NY crew is just a phonetic derivative of the other variations. I am descended from Thomas, Sr. and the documentations for my branch are more often spelled with the 'er' at the end and hardly ever with the 'a' at the end. The French-Canadian based documents that I've found here and there are also with the 'er'. There are actually a number of 'er' families along the border of Canada and U.S.
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