Holliday History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Holliday as a surname were the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name 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 Holliday family

The surname Holliday 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 Holliday family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holliday 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 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Holliday History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holliday Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Holliday has been spelled Halliday, Haliday, Holyday, Holiday, Holliday, Halidays and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Holliday family to Ireland

Some of the Holliday family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 198 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Holliday migration to the United States +

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Holliday Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Georg Holliday, who arrived in Virginia in 1639 [6]
  • Geo Holliday, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [6]
  • Eliz Holliday, who landed in Virginia in 1655 [6]
  • Robert Holliday, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [6]
  • Walter Holliday, who landed in Virginia in 1666 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Holliday Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anthony Holliday, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [6]
  • Hannah Holliday, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [6]
  • Elizabeth Holliday, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1714 [6]
  • Gilbert Holliday, who landed in Virginia in 1724 [6]
Holliday Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Holliday, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1810 [6]
  • Thomas Holliday, aged 40, who arrived in New York in 1812 [6]
  • William Holliday, who arrived in New York in 1819 [6]
  • James Holliday, who arrived in South Carolina in 1822 [6]
  • Henry Holliday, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Holliday migration to Australia +

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

Holliday Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Holliday, English convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for life, transported aboard the "Bardaster" on 7th September 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • John Holliday, aged 21, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [8]
  • Thomas Holliday, aged 27, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [8]
  • George Holliday, aged 24, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"

New Zealand Holliday 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:

Holliday Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Amy Holliday, aged 23, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Holliday (post 1700) +

  • Robert Kelvin "Bob" Holliday (1933-2014), American politician
  • Kenneth Earl "Kene" Holliday (b. 1949), American character actor of stage, film, and television, best known for his role as Ben Matlock's original private investigator, Tyler Hudson, on Matlock
  • James Wear "Bug" Holliday (1867-1910), American Major League Baseball center fielder in the late 1800s
  • Dimetry Giovonni "Vonnie" Holliday (b. 1975), American NFL football defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals
  • Matt Thomas Holliday (b. 1980), American Major League Baseball left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, runner-up in the National League MVP (2007)
  • Jennifer-Yvette Holliday (b. 1960), American two-time Grammy Award, Golden Globe and Tony Award winning singer and actress
  • John Henry "Doc" Holliday (1851-1887), American dentist, gambler and legendary gunfighter, best known for his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  • Judy Holliday (1921-1965), American Academy and Tony Award winning actress
  • John Holliday (1730-1801), English author who was admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn on 5 May 1759 and was called to the bar on 23 April 1771 [9]
  • Thomas Edward "Tom" Holliday (1898-1969), English rugby union and professional rugby league footballer of the 1920s
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Holliday 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Holliday +

  • 1559 "The Holladay (also Holliday) Family" by Alvis Milton Holladay Sr., "In Search of the Hollidays; the Story of Doc Holliday and His Holliday and McKey Families" by Albert S. Pendelton Jr.

  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. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bardaster
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Duke%20of%20Wellington.htm
  9. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 4 August 2020


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