Holbrooke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Holbrooke date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Holbrooke family lived in the region of Holbrook in Suffolk. The surname Holbrooke originally referred to a "sunken stream"or "hollow brook", "brook in a hollow" in Old English. [1]

"Holbrook is an ancient surname in the east of England. As Holebrok, we found it six centuries ago in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk, and also in Northamptonshire. There are parishes, etc., named Holbrook in the counties of Derby, Warwick, Gloucester, Dorset, and Sussex." [2]

Early Origins of the Holbrooke family

The surname Holbrooke was first found in Suffolk at Holbrook, a parish, in the incorporation and hundred of Samford or at Holbrook in Derbyshire, a chapelry, in the parish of Duffield, union of Belper, hundred of Appletree. Both locations are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Holebroc. [3] Literally, the place name means "hollow brook", "brook in a hollow," from the Old English words "hol" + "broc." [1]

"Holbrook Hall is a fine old mansion, surrounded with 300 acres of land" [4] built in the 17th century. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include some of the first entries for the family: William de Holebrok, Lincolnshire; Richard de Holebrokke, Suffolk; and Roger de Holebrokke, Nottinghamshire. [5] Kirby's Quest listed Isota Holebrok, in Somerset, temp. 1 Edward III. [6] Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed William Holbroke. [5]

Early History of the Holbrooke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holbrooke research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1189, 1622, 1635, 1437, 1412, 1413, 1418 and 1421 are included under the topic Early Holbrooke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holbrooke Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Holbrooke are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Holbrooke include: Holbrook, Holbrow, Holbrooks, Holbroake and many more.

Early Notables of the Holbrooke family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Holbrook (d. 1437), Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, a native of Suffolk. He was educated at Peterhouse, of which he became a fellow in 1412; during the same year took holy orders, receiving...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holbrooke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Holbrooke migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Holbrooke or a variant listed above:

Holbrooke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Holbrooke, who settled in Massachusetts in 1635 with his wife Jane, two sons and two daughters
  • Thomas Holbrooke, aged 34, who landed in New England in 1635 [7]
  • Ann Holbrooke, who landed in America in 1654-1679 [7]
  • Mary Holbrooke, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 [7]

West Indies Holbrooke migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Holbrooke Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Anne Holbrooke, who settled in Barbados in 1654

Contemporary Notables of the name Holbrooke (post 1700) +

  • Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (1941-2010), top-ranking American diplomat, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps official, and investment banker
  • Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (1941-2010), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1993-94; U.S. Representative to United Nations, 1998-2001 [9]
  • Joseph Charles Holbrooke (1878-1958), English composer, conductor, and pianist


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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