Holdgate History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Holdgate has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in Holdgate, a parish, in the union of Ludlow, hundred of Munslow, in Shropshire. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have originated in Holgate, a township, in the parish of St. MaryBishopshill-Junior, union of York, E. division of the Ainsty wapentake, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Holdgate family

The surname Holdgate was first found in Shropshire at Holdgate, Stanton Holdgate or Castle Holdgate, collectively a small village which dates back to 1185 when it was listed as Castellum Hologoti and literally meant "castle of a man called Helgot," from an Old French personal name + the Latin castellum. [3]

Alternatively, the place name could have come from the Old English word "hol" meaning "hollow" or "sunken" and the Old Norse "gata" or "road." [2]

Holdgate (Holgate) Castle situated in the village of Holdgate, Shropshire was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. It was an 11th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress founded by Helgot de Reisolent. Ruins of the castle are still found there today. [4]

Another source sums up the Shropshire versus Yorkshire question thusly: "the name of Holgate probably has its home in the West Biding, where it is now also established, and where the township of Holgate occurs. There is also a Shropshire parish of the name." [5]

The first record of the family was found in Yorkshire where John de Holegate was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1200. Again in Yorkshire, Gommer de Holgate was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1343. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William de Holgate, or Holdegate, or Holegale, Lincolnshire; and Walter de Hollegate, Lincolnshire. [6]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Alicia Haldegate; Nicholaus Holgate; and 'Willelmus Holgate' resident in 'Acorn cum Holgate.' [6]

Thomas atte Halle-yat, was listed in the Freemen of York, 11 Edward III (during the eleventh year of King Edward III's reign.)

In Somerset, Nicholas atte Halleghet was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [7]

Early History of the Holdgate family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holdgate research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1525, 1481, 1555, 1545, 1554, 1481, 1549, 1524 and 1537 are included under the topic Early Holdgate History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holdgate Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Holdgate have been found, including Holgate, Holdgate, Howgate, Hogate and others.

Early Notables of the Holdgate family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Robert Holgate or Holdegate (c. 1481-1555), English Bishop of Llandaff and then Archbishop of York (1545-1554.) He recognized Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. "He was the youngest son of Thomas Holgate and Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Champernowne, came of a Yorkshire family entitled to armorial bearings, and was born probably at Hemsworth, near Pontefract, in or about 1481, being, according to his own statement, sixty-eight years old in 1549.. He was a canon of the order of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, and was probably educated in the house belonging...
Another 106 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holdgate Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Holdgate migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Holdgate, or a variant listed above:

Holdgate Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mathew Holdgate settled with his daughter Mary in Philadelphia in 1685
  • Matthew Holdgate, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1685 [8]
Holdgate Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Holdgate, who settled in New York in 1823

New Zealand Holdgate 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:

Holdgate Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Holdgate, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Holdgate (post 1700) +

  • Sir Martin Wyatt Holdgate CB (b. 1931), English biologist and environmental scientist
  • Martin W. Holdgate, British senior scientist of the survey of the South Sandwich Islands from HMS Protector in 1964, eponym of Mount Holdgate, Antarctica


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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