Holds History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Holds family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found near a grove or woods. The surname Holds originally derived from the Old English word holt which meant a "wood" or "grove." [1]

Early Origins of the Holds family

The surname Holds was first found in Lancashire at Ashworth, a parochial chapelry in the parish of Middleton, union of Bury, hundred of Salford. "A family named Ashworth was seated here as early as the 13th century, and appears to have been succeeded by the Holts: Richard Holt, an active supporter of the royal cause in the civil war, had his estate sequestrated in 1643, but it was afterwards restored." [2]

Hugo de Holte was a Knights Templar in Kent in 1185 and later Simon del Holt was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Warwickshire in 1230. Walter in the Holte was found in Somerset in 1260 and Hugh atte Holte was in Surrey in 1268. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Henry de la Holte, Worcestershire, and William del Holt, Yorkshire. [4]

In Somerset, William atte Holte and Walter atte Holte were both listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

"The Holts, of [Buckinghamshire], are, for the most part, gathered together in and around Aylesbury. The name occurred as Le Holt in the county six centuries ago, and also in the eastern counties of Norfolk, Essex, and Kent. Lancashire is also another great home of the name of Holt, which also extends into Cheshire." [6]

An important branch of the family was found at Aston in Warwickshire. "The manor was purchased in 1366 from the heiress of de Maidenhach by John atte Holt, of Birmingham, and remained for many generations in the possession of his lineal descendants, of whom several were distinguished for their talents and for the important stations they occupied in society. Edward Holt, sheriff of the county in 1574, resided in the adjoining manor of Duddeston, there being at that time in Aston only an ancient house, probably of timber, situated on the bank of the River Tame near the church, and the site of which, now overgrown with trees, is discoverable only by part of the moat by which it was surrounded. On the demise of Edward Holt in 1593, the estate descended to his son Thomas, the most distinguished member of the family, who is represented by Dugdale as eminent for his literary acquirements. He was sheriff in 1600: on the arrival of James VI of Scotland to assume the crown of England, he attended that monarch in his route from Yorkshire, where he received the honour of knighthood; and in 1612 he was created one of the order of baronets, then recently instituted. Sir Thomas Holt enclosed the park, and erected the present stately Hall of Aston, unrivalled in these parts for beauty and magnificence, which he commenced in 1618, and completed in 1635." [2]

Early History of the Holds family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holds research. Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1597, 1640, 1713, 1387, 1418, 1578, 1624, 1578, 1545, 1599, 1545, 1642, 1710, 1689, 1642, 1571, 1654, 1679, 1649, 1722, 1682, 1729, 1616, 1686, 1654 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Holds History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holds Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Holds include Holte, Holt and others.

Early Notables of the Holds family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Beauchamp de Holt, created Baron Kidderminster, by Richard III in 1387. John Holt (d. 1418), the English judge, "was a native and landowner of Northamptonshire, and his name occurs in the year-books from the fortieth year of Edward III onwards. In the last year of that reign he became a king's serjeant." [7] Thomas Holt (1578?-1624), was an architect, a native of York, born about 1578, is noteworthy for the important works in Renaissance architecture executed by him at Oxford. [7] William Holt (1545-1599), was a Jesuit, was born at Ashworth in Lancashire in 1545. [7] Sir John...
Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Holds family to Ireland

Some of the Holds family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Holds family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Holds or a variant listed above: Edward Holt, who settled in Virginia in 1651; Ezekiel Holt settled in Georgia in 1741 with his wife and son; Mathew Holt settled in Virginia in 1645; Randall Holt settled in Virginia in 1620.



The Holds 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: Exaltavit humiles
Motto Translation: He hath exalted the humble.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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