Show ContentsHolbird History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Holbird is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Holbird is a name that comes from the Old English given name Holbert. Holbert is thought to be a corruption of the Old English personal name Holdbearht, which is composed of the elements hold, which means friendly, and berht, which means bright. [1]

The variant Holberton is by extension derived from "holbert" + "tun" and claims Holberton, (Holbeton) Devon as its founding. This parish dates back to 1229 when it was known as Holbouton and literally meant "farmstead in the hollow bend." [2]

Early Origins of the Holbird family

The surname Holbird was first found in Wiltshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. This distinguished family held estates at Corsham and Wooten Basset in Wiltshire. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066, these lands were held by Miles Crispin, a powerful tenant-in-chief. Conjecturally, the Hulberts were descended from a Norman noble who held his lands from Miles Crispin. Corsham was the King's Land, but St. Stephen of Caen held the Church.

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. By example, the Latin form, Holbertus, was listed in the Archaelogia Cantiana in 1168. William and John Holdebert were both listed in Warwickshire in the Pipe Rolls of 1205 and in the Assize Rolls of 1219 in Yorkshire. [3]

"The Hulberts of Malmesbury may be able to trace their pedigree back to Thomas Hulbert, the pious clothier of Corsham, who, as we learn from a brass in Corsham Church, 'Christianly finished his course with powerfull prayer to God upon Tuesday, being the 16 October, 1632.'" [4]

Early History of the Holbird family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holbird research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1530, 1660, 1680, 1778, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1834, 1837, 1839, 1857, 1867 and 1888 are included under the topic Early Holbird History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holbird Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Hulbert, Hulbirt, Hulbat, Hulbart, Houlbert, Houlbart, Hullbert and many more.

Early Notables of the Holbird family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Charles Hulbert (1778-1857), English miscellaneous writer, son of Thomas Hulbert of Hulbert Green, near Cheadle, Cheshire, born at Manchester on 18 Feb. 1778, and educated at the grammar school of Halton, Cheshire. After learning cotton-weaving he became manager, at the age of twenty-two, of large print works at Middleton, near Manchester, and subsequently began business with his elder brother at Swinton, also near Manchester. In 1803 he removed to Shrewsbury, and in conjunction with others leased some...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holbird Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Holbird family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Holbird or a variant listed above were: Edward Hulbert who settled in Virginia in 1680; Martha Hulbert settled in Virginia in 1660; H.M. Hulbert settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1850; followed by E.B. Hulbert in 1852.



  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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