Show ContentsHolladay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, Holladay was a Strathclyde-Briton name for someone who lived near the mountain called, Holy Day, in the county of Annandale. However, some sources claim the "name is derived from the slogan or war cry of the family 'a holy day, a holy day.' " [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Holladay family

The surname Holladay was first found in Annandale. "The Hallidays of Hoddom, Dumfriesshire, were an old family there, and probably gave their name to Halliday Hill in the parish of Dalton." [3]

One of the first records of the family was found in 1303, when Adam de Halide was a juror on inquest at St. Andrews. A few years later, John Halyday was an archer of the East March in 1404 and Ambrose Halyday and David Halyday were merchants in Edinburgh in 1479. [3]

Despite the general understanding that the family was Scottish in origin, early records in England, specifically the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, list Richard Haliday in Buckinghamshire and Gerard Haliday in Suffolk. Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Willelmus Haliday, Johannes Halyday, and Adam Halyday. [4] The reader should be reminded that Yorkshire's proximity to the Scottish border probably points to the aforementioned Scottish origin as the borders were extremely mercurial.

One romantic source notes: "A well-known Scottish Border Clan, who from their great animosity against the Southron are said to have adopted the war-cry or slogan of A Holy Day, (Scottice, 'a Haly Day'), because the chiefs and people of Annandale, whenever they made a raid or foray upon the Saxon border, accounted the day spent in rapine and slaughter a holy one." [5]

Early History of the Holladay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holladay research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1605, 1415, 1593, 1661, 1626, 1550, 1612, 1605, 1606, 1697, 1697, 1516, 1576, 1576, 1570, 1685, 1739, 1637, 1724, 1664, 1688, 1692, 1685, 1728, 1802, 1728, 1788, 1812, 1788, 1789, 1866, 1789, 1812, 1832, 1833 and 1866 are included under the topic Early Holladay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holladay Spelling Variations

In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Holladay has been spelled Halliday, Haliday, Holyday, Holiday, Holliday, Halidays and many more.

Early Notables of the Holladay family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Walter Halliday (also spelled Haliday, Halyday, and Holliday), Scottish royal minstrel at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, thought to be son of the chieftain of Annandale in Dumfries, founding member of a minstrels' guild, now known as the Worshipful Company of Musicians; Barten Holyday or Holiday (1593-1661), a clergyman, author and poet, appointed Archdeacon of Oxford by King Charles I in 1626; Sir Leonard Holliday (Hollyday or Halliday) (c. 1550-1612) founder of the East India Company, and a Lord Mayor...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holladay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holladay Ranking

In the United States, the name Holladay is the 8,731st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Holladay family to Ireland

Some of the Holladay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 451 words (32 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Holladay migration to the United States +

Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. Among them:

Holladay Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Eliz Holladay, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [7]
  • Walter Holladay, who landed in Virginia in 1666 [7]
Holladay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Holladay, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [7]
  • Simeon Holladay, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [7]
Holladay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Holladay, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Ben Holladay, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
Holladay Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Adele Holladay, aged 37, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Alexander R. Holladay, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Richard Holladay, aged 28, who immigrated to America, in 1918
  • J.S. Holladay, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1920
  • James Holladay, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States, in 1920
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Holladay (post 1700) +

  • Wilhelmina "Billie" Cole Holladay (1922-2021), American art collector and patron, and co-founder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts
  • John Holladay (1798-1861), American pioneer, founder and namesake of the settlement of Holladay's Burg, Utah which became Holladay, Utah
  • Terry Holladay (b. 1955), American former professional tennis player
  • Benjamin "Ben" Holladay (1819-1887), American transportation businessman known as the "Stagecoach King", responsible for creating the Overland Stage to California during the California Gold Rush
  • Jesse Holladay, American politician, Postmaster at St. Joseph, Missouri, 1849-52 [8]
  • James Gustavus Holladay (b. 1819), American politician, Delegate to Virginia secession convention, 1861 [8]
  • George Holladay, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Texas State House of Representatives 64th District, 1996 [8]
  • Alexander Richmond Holladay (1811-1877), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Virginia State Legislature; U.S. Representative from Virginia 8th District, 1849-53 [8]

The Holladay 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: Quarta saluti
Motto Translation: The fourth to health.

  1. Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  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. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook