Show ContentsHolgate History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Holgate name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Holgate was originally derived from a family having 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 Holgate family

The surname Holgate 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 Holgate family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holgate 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 Holgate History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holgate Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Holgate include Holgate, Holdgate, Howgate, Hogate and others.

Early Notables of the Holgate 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 Holgate Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holgate Ranking

In the United States, the name Holgate is the 16,133rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8]

United States Holgate migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Holgate Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Martha Holgate, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [9]
  • James Holgate, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1685 [9]
Holgate Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Holgate, who settled in New England in 1748
Holgate Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ann Holgate, aged 15, who arrived in New York in 1864 [9]
  • John Holgate, aged 7, who arrived in New York in 1864 [9]
  • Mary Holgate, aged 13, who arrived in New York in 1864 [9]
  • Seth Holgate, who landed in New York in 1864 [9]
  • William Holgate, aged 47, who landed in New York in 1864 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Holgate migration to Australia +

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

Holgate Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Holgate, English convict who was convicted in Essex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. James Holgate, (b. 1807), aged 28, English farm servant who was convicted in London, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "England" on 6th June 1835, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1886 [11]
  • Mr. John Holgate, (b. 1803), aged 32, British convict who was convicted in London, England for life for theft, transported aboard the "England" on 6th June 1835, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. James Holgate, English convict who was convicted in Preston, Lancashire, England for 7 years transported aboard the "Forfarshire" on 24th June 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Holgate (post 1700) +

  • James Holgate, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Philadelphia County, 1868-69, 1879-80 [13]
  • Stephen Holgate (1971-2021), English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s for England and Cumbria
  • Sidney Holgate (1918-2003), English mathematician at the University of Durham
  • Sharon Ann Holgate Ph.D., English Freelance Science Writer and Broadcaster and Visiting Fellow in Physics and Astronomy at Sussex University
  • Sir Stephen T. Holgate CBE (b. 1947), British physician who specializes in immunopharmacology, respiratory medicine and allergies, and asthma and air pollution, based at the University of Southampton
  • Harold Norman "Harry" Holgate AO (1933-1997), Australian Labor Party politician, 36th Premier of Tasmania (1981-1982), Speaker of the Tasmanian House of Assembly (1975-1976)
  • Stephen Holgate (b. 1953), Australian composer
  • Edwin Headley Holgate (1892-1977), Canadian painter, who was briefly a member of the "Group of Seven" in 1931

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. 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)
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022).
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th April 2022).
  12. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2022).
  13. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook