Holdsworth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Holdsworth comes from when the family resided in the historic county of Yorkshire, where they held a manor at Holdsworth. Actually, "there are two Holdsworths in the West Riding [of Yorkshire]." [1] The family is "from either Holdsworth in Eckington or Holdsworth in Ovenden." [2] Today we cannot locate the place in Eckington, but Holdsworth House is in Ovenden, just outside of Halifax. Holdsworth House was built c. 1598, but was not held by the family.

Early Origins of the Holdsworth family

The surname Holdsworth was first found in Yorkshire where John de Haldeworth, was the first listed of the family in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The family had many name changes "from Haldeworth or Haldsworth in the 13th century, to Holdsworth or Houldsworth in the 19th [century]." [3]

As one might suspect the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 including some of the early spellings: Johannes Haldeworthe, of Leathley; Ricardus de Haldeworthe, of Southowrara; and Johannes de Haleworth, sittor. All held land there at that time. [3]

"Holsworthy, [ Devon has a] market which is one of great antiquity ; and the chief fair was recorded in the time of Edward I. as having belonged to the ancestors of William Martyn from time immemorial." [4]

Early History of the Holdsworth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holdsworth research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1374, 1495, 1613, 1593, 1595, 1596, 1602, 1590, 1649, 1590, 1596, 1558, 1595, 1558, 1583, 1595, 1684, 1746 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Holdsworth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holdsworth Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Holdsworth has been recorded under many different variations, including Holdsworth, Holesworth, Houlsworth, Holdworth, Houldworth and many more.

Early Notables of the Holdsworth family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649), English theologian, the youngest son of the Reverend Richard Holdsworth, vicar of Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he was born in 1590. "His father died in 1596, leaving his child to the care of a son-in-law, the Rev. William Pearson or Pierson, who was curate and lecturer in the parish church of Newcastle." [5] Daniel Halsworth or Holdsworth (1558?-1595?)...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holdsworth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holdsworth Ranking

In the United States, the name Holdsworth is the 15,179th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]


United States Holdsworth migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Holdsworth or a variant listed above:

Holdsworth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Holdsworth, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [7]
Holdsworth Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Holdsworth, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [7]
  • Andrew Holdsworth, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1861 [7]
  • William Holdsworth, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1861 [7]
  • Dorothy Holdsworth, aged 35, who arrived in New York in 1862 [7]
  • Elizabeth Holdsworth, aged 2, who landed in New York in 1862 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Holdsworth migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Holdsworth Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Holdsworth, who landed in Canada in 1815

Australia Holdsworth migration to Australia +

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

Holdsworth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Holdsworth, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 6th April 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Robert Holdsworth, aged 35, a bricklayer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Indian" [9]
  • Emma Holdsworth, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]
  • Mr. William Holdsworth who was convicted in Winchester, Hampshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Clara" on 19th March 1857, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [11]

New Zealand Holdsworth 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:

Holdsworth Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Holdsworth, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [12]
  • Mrs. Mary Holdsworth, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [12]
  • Mr. Holdsworth, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Tornado" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [12]
  • Mrs. Holdsworth, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Tornado" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [12]
  • Duke Holdsworth, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865

West Indies Holdsworth 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. [13]
Holdsworth Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Gilbert Holdsworth, aged 30, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [7]
  • Mr. Gilbert Holdsworth, (b. 1605), aged 30, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [14]
  • Seth Holdsworth, who settled in Barbados in 1675

Contemporary Notables of the name Holdsworth (post 1700) +

  • Frederick William "Fred" Holdsworth (b. 1952), American former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who played from 1972 to 1980
  • Walter Holdsworth, American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Monongalia County; Elected 1954 [15]
  • Fred Holdsworth, American politician, First Selectman of Stonington, Connecticut, 1920 [15]
  • Fred Holdsworth, American politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Norwich, 1912, 1920 [15]
  • Allan Holdsworth (1946-2017), English jazz/rock guitarist and composer
  • William Holdsworth (1875-1937), English-born, Australian politician, Member for Sydney NSW (1925-1927)
  • Andrew "Andy" Holdsworth (b. 1984), English professional footballer
  • David Gary Holdsworth (b. 1968), English former footballer currently manager of Goole
  • Dean Christopher Holdsworth (b. 1968), English former professional football player and manager
  • William Frank Holdsworth, British founder of Holdsworth Bicycles, London (1926-1987)
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The INDIAN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Indian.htm
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anna Maria voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1851 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anna-maria/1851
  11. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 11th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clara)
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  14. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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