Holinshed History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Holinshed is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Holinshed family once lived in the region of Hollingside or Holmside in Durham. Hollin Old Hall is a house in Bollington, Cheshire, England with parts that date back to the 17th century and Hollin Hall is a country house in Crook in Cumbria that dates back to the 14th century.

Literally, the name originated from the expression 'of the hollins head,' as in "one who dwelt at the head of the hollin-bushes." [1]

Early Origins of the Holinshed family

The surname Holinshed was first found in East Cheshire where the area has "given birth to a large number of Hollingsheads from some immediate locality of that name." [1]

By example, some of the early records include: John del Holynshede, 1408: East Cheshire; and Hugh Hollinshead, of Bosley, Yeoman, 1541, both recorded there. [1]

Early History of the Holinshed family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holinshed research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1561, 1644, 1550, 1550, 1554, 1546, 1529, 1580, 1577, 1587, 1587, 1541, 1577, 1635, 1556, 1612, 1556, 1573, 1574, 1575, 1683, 1739 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Holinshed History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holinshed Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Holinshed family name include Hollinshed, Holinshed, Hollinshead, Holinshead, Hollingshead, Holingshead, Hollins, Holins, Hollings and many more.

Early Notables of the Holinshed family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Hugh Hollinshed and his son, Ottiwell Hollinshed MA (fl. 1550s), English prelate, Canon of Windsor from 1550 to 1554. He was one of the original Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge in 1546. Raphael Holinshed (1529-1580) was an English chronicler, best known for his Holinshed's Chronicles, first published in 1577, and later in a second edition in 1587. It is generally thought that Shakespeare used the revised second edition of the Chronicles (1587) as the source for most of his history plays. He "is said to have been son of Ralph Holinshed or Hollingshed...
Another 153 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holinshed Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Holinshed family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Holinshed surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John and Grace Hollinshead, who came to West Jersey, from London, in circa 1678; Joseph Hollingshead who settled in Maryland in 1684; Clayton Hollingshead, who settled in Philadelphia in 1820.



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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