Holden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Holden name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in the county of Lancashire, where they held the estate of Holden in the parish of Haslingden.

Early Origins of the Holden family

The surname Holden was first found in Lancashire where "Holden was an estate in the parish of Haslingden. A family of that name early sprang from the place." [1].

" Lancashire is the great home of the Holdens. The ancient gentle family of the Holdens, of Holden, Haslingden, dates back to the 13th century; from it there branched off in the 16th century the Holdens of Todd Hall in the same parish. The Holdens of Ewood, Livesey, date back to the reign of Henry VIII. The Holdens of Aston, Derbyshire, who go back to the beginning of the 17th century, may hail from the Lancashire stock." [2]

Other early records include: Robert de Holden, Lancashire, listed there during the reign of Henry III; and Magota de Holdene who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls. The Wills at Chester list the following: Oliver Holden, of Haslingden, Lincolnshire in 1588; Adam Holden, of Spotland, Lancashire in 1596; and Catherine Holden, of Holden in 1685. The Preston Guild Rolls of 1642 list Ralph Holden de Holden. [1]

Early History of the Holden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holden research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1285, 1596, 1662, 1596, 1618, 1623, 1710, 1778, 1539, 1599, 1539, 1571, 1578, 1580, 1583 and are included under the topic Early Holden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holden 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 Holden has undergone many spelling variations, including Holden, Holdin, Holding, Houlden, Houldin, Howlin and many more.

Early Notables of the Holden family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Henry Holden (1596-1662), an English Roman Catholic priest and author. "He was the son of Richard Holden, owner of a small estate at Chaigley, near Clitheroe, on the northern slope of Longridge Fell. He was born in 1596, and on 18 Sept. 1618 he went to Douay, taking there the name of Johnson, and in 1623...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Holden family to Ireland

Some of the Holden family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 121 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Holden 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 Holden were among those contributors:

Holden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Randall Holden (c. 1612-1692), who settled in Rhode Island from Salisbury, England in 1630 to become one of the original founders of Portsmouth and co-founder of the town of Warwick
  • Justinian Holden, who settled in New England in 1634
  • John Holden, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
  • Randall Holden, who landed in Rhode Island in 1638 [3]
  • Richard Holden, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1642 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Holden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Holden, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [3]
  • Henry Holden, aged 27, who arrived in Missouri in 1840 [3]
  • James Holden, aged 42, who landed in Missouri in 1840 [3]
  • Jane Holden, aged 4, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [3]
  • Abraham Holden, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Holden migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Holden Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. David Holden U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Cape Ann Association [4]
Holden Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Holden, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1825
  • Joanna Holden, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • May Holden, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • Michael Holden, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1836
  • Charles Holden, who landed in Canada in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Holden migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Holden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Holden, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • James Holden, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Samuel Holden, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Richard Holden, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • James Holden, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Holden migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Holden Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jonathan Holden, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Sandford" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th July 1856 [9]
  • George Holden, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1863
  • Mr. Thomas Holden, (b. 1842), aged 23, British carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd July 1865 [10]
  • Mr. R. Holden, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "James Nicol Fleming" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 26th October 1870 [10]
  • Mr. W. Holden, American settler travelling from Honolulu aboard the ship "Dakota" arriving in Port Chalmers, South Island, New Zealand on 10th March 1873 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Holden (post 1700) +

  • Edward Singleton Holden (1846-1914), American astronomer, eponym of the Holden lunar crater
  • William Curry Holden (1896-1993), American historian and archaeologist, first director of the Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas
  • William Woods Holden (1818-1892), American politician, the 38th and 40th Governor of North Carolina
  • Jon Robert "J.R." Holden (b. 1976), retired American-born, Russian professional basketball player
  • Stuart Alistair Holden (b. 1985), Scottish-born American soccer player at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • Mari Holden (b. 1971), American Olympic silver medalist and World Champion and six time National Champion in cycling
  • Tim Holden (b. 1957), American Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • William Holden (1918-1981), born William Franklin Beedle Jr., American Oscar winning actor
  • Arthur Holden, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Vermont, 1936 [11]
  • Alice M. Holden, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1940 [11]
  • ... (Another 70 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. S. Holden, British Greaser from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [12]
HMS Cornwall
  • Basil Munroe Holden, British Lieutenant (S) aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. George Donald Holden, British Boy Telegraphist, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [14]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. M Holden, British Sub Lieutenant "A", who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [15]
  • Mr. James Holden, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Basil Munore Holden, British Lieutenant Instructor, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [15]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. James William Holden, English First Waiter from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [16]


The Holden Motto +

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: Nec temere nec timide
Motto Translation: Neither rashly nor timidly.


Suggested Readings for the name Holden +

  • 892 "John Holden of St. Armand, Quebec and Franklin, Vermont, The Family and Descendants" by Phyllis V. Owen, "Manuscript Genealogy of Holden Family" by F.A. Holden.

  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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1829 with 176 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1829
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  13. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  16. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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