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The origins of the Holmes name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in an area that was referred to as a holme, a slightly raised islet in a fen or partially surrounded by a stream or river. The surname Holmes was originally derived from the Old English word Holen. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Another reference claims "A holme is defined by Halliwell as ' flat land; a small island; a deposit of soil at the confluence of two waters. Flat grounds near water are called holms.' " [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
While most references claim that the name was probably Anglo-Saxon, it could very well have been Norman in origin as William du Holme was listed in Normandy (1180-1195) and William de Homes was also listed there in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae in 1198. [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)


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The surname Holmes was first found in many counties throughout Britain. One of the earliest records of the name was Roger de Holm who was listed in 1186 in Leicestershire. A few years later, Urkel' de Holmes was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. John atte Holme was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1296 in Sussex. [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists: Goscelin de Holme in Suffolk; and John in le Holmp in Cambridgeshire. Over 100 years later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Thomas del Holme; Adam del Holme; and Johannes del Holme, 1379. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Hulam or Holom in Durham "anciently styled Holme, which is the term used to designate it in the Boldon book, formerly belonged to a family of the same name." [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Holmes were recorded, including Holme, Hulme, Holmes, Holms and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holmes research. Another 191 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1240, 1400, 1631, 1691, 1570, 1655, 1599, 1678, 1601, 1659, 1633, 1641, 1627, 1700, 1656, 1659, 1659, 1707, 1705, 1706, 1640, 1683, 1677, 1685, 1622, 1692, 1631, 1691, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Holmes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Distinguished members of the family include Randle Holme I (1570-1655), first to bear the name, main duty was arranging funerals of those entitled to bear arms; Nathaniel Holmes or Homes (1599-1678), an English Independent theologian and preacher; Randle Holme II (c1601-1659), Chester city treasurer in 1633 and clerk to the Stationers'...

Another 97 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holmes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Holmes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Holmes family emigrate to North America:

Holmes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Alice Holmes, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Richard Holmes, aged 24, arrived in Barbados in 1634
  • Joe Holmes settled in New England in 1635
  • Jo Holmes, aged 22, arrived in St Christopher in 1635
  • Mathew Holmes, aged 21, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • ...

Holmes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Grace Holmes, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Susannah Holmes, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Anne Holmes, who arrived in Virginia in 1711
  • Avis Holmes, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Eliza Holmes, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • ...

Holmes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Holmes, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1804
  • Joseph Holmes, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Thomas Holmes, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Nathaniel Holmes, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Robert Holmes, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • ...

Holmes Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Sevald Holmes, who landed in Alaska in 1900

Holmes Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Bacon Holmes, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Absalom Holmes U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Mr. Asa Holmes U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. Daniel Holmes U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. Elias Holmes U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
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Holmes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • George Holmes, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Chandler Holmes, who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Thomas Holmes, aged 50, a mariner, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Baltimore, Ireland
  • Georgina Holmes, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • Helen Holmes, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Holmes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Holmes, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Holmes, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Henry Holmes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839
  • Mary Ann Holmes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839
  • Richard Holmes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839
  • ...

Holmes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Holmes landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Holmes landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Holmes landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Holmes, aged 26, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Ann Holmes, aged 24, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
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  • Brigadier-General Julius Cecil Holmes (1899-1968), American Assistant Secretary for Staff for Administration & Personnel (1944-1945)
  • Brigadier-General Henry Benjamin Jr. Holmes (1892-1976), American Commanding Officer 46th Coast Artillery Brigade (1942-1943)
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935), justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • Angela Ramirez Holmes, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2008
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894), American physician, essayist and poet
  • Philip Holmes (b. 1945), Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University
  • Larry Holmes (b. 1949), American former world WBC and IBF heavyweight boxing champion
  • Michael James "Mike" Holmes (b. 1963), Canadian professional contractor, television host of Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection
  • Private William Edgar Holmes VC (1895-1918), British soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Raymond Towers "Ray" Holmes (1914-2005), British fighter pilot credited with saving Buckingham Palace from being severely damaged by German bombing during the Battle of Britain
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Holmes Historic Events



HMS Hood

  • Mr. Harold Holmes (b. 1920), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. George Holmes (b. 1907), English Leading Stoker serving for the Royal Navy from Drury Lane, London, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Edward J Holmes (b. 1923), Scottish Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Stanley Holmes (b. 1915), English Able Seaman from England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. John William Holmes (b. 1920), English Able Seaman from England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking
  • Mr. George Stephen Holmes, DCS, English Ordinary Seaman from England, who sailed on the HMS Prince of Wales prior to its sinking
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  • Falling Leaves: A History of the Holmes Family and Allied Lines by Marjorie J. Caskey.
  • Holmes Genealogy: A Compilation of Genealogical History About Adams Holmes (1720-1789) of New Braintree, Massachusetts by John Albert Holmes.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide sed cui vide
Motto Translation: Trust, but in whom take care.

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Citations



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Holmes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Holmes Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 22 June 2016 at 11:54.

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