Holdham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Holdham date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Holdham family lived in Oldham, in Lancashire. This was a town near the city of Manchester; it has since been absorbed by that city. The place-name Oldham is derived from the Old English elements old, which means old, and ham, which means farm. The place-name therefore translates as "the old farm." Alternatively, Oldham could have meant "dweller by the long-cultivate river flat." [1]

Early Origins of the Holdham family

The surname Holdham was first found in Lancashire at Oldham, an enfranchised borough, a parochial chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Prestwich, hundred of Salford. Now part of Greater Manchester, the first record of the placename was found in 1226-1228 when it was listed as Aldholm. [2] "Oldham was for a long period celebrated for the manufacture of hats, which was established so early as the fifteenth century." [3]

Another possible origin of the name was found. "This place [(Werneth, Lancashire) which adjoins to the town of Oldham], anciently Fernet, was held in the reign of Henry III. by Alwardus de Aldholme, founder of the family of Oldham. His daughter and co-heiress conveyed the manor to the Cudworths, a branch of a Yorkshire family; and from them the estate passed by sale to Sir Ralph Assheton, of Middleton." [3]

We can only assume that both sources are referring to that same family at different times. Early rolls list the first record of the name not in Lancashire but as Achard de Aldeham in the Feet of Fines for Kent. Richard de Oldham was listed in Lancashire in 1384. [1] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Agnes de Oldom and Robertus de Oldom. [4]

Further to the north, Hoddam is parish in the county of Dumfries, Scotland. "This parish comprehends the ancient parishes of Hoddam, Luce, and Ecclesfechan, which were united in 1609. Hoddam, in ancient charters, is spelt Hodholm and Hodolm, signifying 'the head of the holm,' and is supposed to have derived that appellation from its situation on the bank of the river Annan, where the ground is flat and rich, and what is usually called holm land." [5]

Early History of the Holdham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holdham research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1486, 1480, 1505, 1486, 1480, 1452, 1519, 1653 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Holdham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holdham 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 Holdham 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 Holdham include: Oldham, Oldum, Oldan, Oldhams and others.

Early Notables of the Holdham family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holdham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Holdham migration to Australia +

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

Holdham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Holdham, (Knapp, William), British convict who was convicted in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Matthew Holdham, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Canton" on 20th September 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canton


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