Show ContentsHolcombe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Holcombe begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in Holcombe, in Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Oxfordshire, and Somerset. The place-name is derived from the Old English elements hol, which means "deep" or "hollow," and cumb, which means "valley." The place-name taken as a whole means "deep hollow valley." [1]

Early Origins of the Holcombe family

The surname Holcombe was first found in Devon where Holcombe Rogus is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2] Rogo held the manor in 1086.

From this earliest reference, the Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I. listed Henry de Holecoumbe, Devon, Henry III-Edward I. [3] Later the Hundrodorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John de Holecumbe, Somerset, Geoffrey de Holecumb, Oxfordshire, and Simon de Holecumb, Oxfordshire. [4]

The source Old English Bynames listed Brihtmer at Holacumbe c.1100-30 and Adam de Holecumb was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1256. [5]

Early History of the Holcombe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holcombe research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1301, 1525, 1690, 1750, 1690, 1706, 1708, 1707 and 1750 are included under the topic Early Holcombe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holcombe Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Holcombe has undergone many spelling variations, including Holcombe, Holcomb and others.

Early Notables of the Holcombe family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Henry Holcombe (1690?-1750?), English musical composer, born about 1690, probably at Shrewsbury, and was a chorister there. " While still a boy, he came to London, and took part in the ‘Anglo-Italian’ operatic performances at Drury Lane. His...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holcombe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holcombe Ranking

In the United States, the name Holcombe is the 4,051st most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [6]

United States Holcombe migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Holcombe were among those contributors:

Holcombe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Holcombe, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630 [7]
  • John Holcombe, who arrived in Virginia in 1670 [7]

West Indies Holcombe 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]
Holcombe Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Andrew and Thomas Holcombe, who settled in Barbados in 1663
  • Sarah Holcombe, who settled in Jamaica in 1664

Contemporary Notables of the name Holcombe (post 1700) +

  • Oscar Fitzallen Holcombe, American politician, Mayor of Houston, Texas for 22 years
  • Brigadier-General William Henry Holcombe (1891-1980), American Assistant Commandant of the Engineer School (1940-1942) [9]
  • Alex O Holcombe Ph.D., (b. 1973), American Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney
  • Richard Randall G Holcombe, American Professor of Economics
  • Malcolm Holcombe, American musician
  • Ernest Selah Holcombe, American electrical engineer
  • Chester Holcombe, American diplomat and author
  • H. Starr Holcombe, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Granby, 1908 [10]
  • George Holcombe (1786-1828), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New Jersey State Legislature; U.S. Representative from New Jersey, 1821-28 [10]
  • Andrew Holcombe, American politician, Mayor of Chico, California, 2006-08 [10]
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Miss Florence Holcombe (1877-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Calgary, Alberta, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [11]

Suggested Readings for the name Holcombe +

  • Holcombe-Doane-Henke Family History 1812-1983 by Mary Alice Henke.
  • Holcombe Ancestral Lineage by Mabel Thacher Rosemary Washburn.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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)
  9. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) William Holcombe. Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 8) . Retrieved from
  11. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook