Show ContentsHollowell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hollowell family

The surname Hollowell was first found in Northamptonshire at Hollowell, a village and civil parish in the Daventry district of the county which dates back to at least the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Holewelle. [1] At that time, it was held by the Bishop of Lincoln. The place name literally means "spring or stream in a hollow," having derived from the Old English words hol + wella. [2]

The first record of the family was actually in Suffolk where Osbert de Haliwell was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1200. Later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275 listed Rober Halwewoll in Dorset and Martin de Halgewelle in Devon. Editha atte Holywell was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327. [3]

Another source notes more records in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Adam de Holewell, Norfolk; Simon de Holewell, Bedfordshire; John de Holowell, Buckinghamshire; Godfrey de Haliwell, London; and Richard de Holewell, Huntingdonshire. [4]

Again in Somerset, we found: John de Holewell; and Edith atte Holywelle, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [5] This last entry is presumably the same person as the aforementioned Editha atte Holywell but with slightly different spelling.

The Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I [6] includes and entry for "William de Halegewelle, Devon, Henry III-Edward I," and the noted author notes: "Probably this last entry represents the Anglo-Saxon halig, holy, pure; later on found as halt or holi. Pure and healthy springs would, no doubt, all over the country take a name after the character of the water, being whole or whole-some, not necessarily sacred or holy, as the word is now understood." [4]

Early History of the Hollowell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hollowell research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 120 and 1200 are included under the topic Early Hollowell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hollowell Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Hollowell include Halliwell, Halligwell, Haliwell, Hollowell and others.

Early Notables of the Hollowell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Hollowell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hollowell Ranking

In the United States, the name Hollowell is the 6,176th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [7]

United States Hollowell migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Hollowell or a variant listed above:

Hollowell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Hollowell, who landed in Virginia in 1649 [8]
  • Edward Hollowell, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [8]
  • Rebecca Hollowell, who received a land grant for Virginia in 1688
  • Mary Hollowell, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1690
Hollowell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ann Hollowell, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [8]

Canada Hollowell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hollowell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mary Hollowell, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

New Zealand Hollowell 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:

Hollowell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Hollowell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Hollowell (post 1700) +

  • Terri Hollowell (b. 1956), American singer
  • Buddy Ryan Hollowell (b. 1943), American baseball catcher, College World Series Most Outstanding Player (1963)
  • Alicia Kay Hollowell (b. 1984), American right-handed softball pitcher
  • George L. Hollowell, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Marine Corps, during World War II, credited with 8 aerial victories
  • James Hollowell VC (1823-1876), English recipient of the Victoria Cross

USS Arizona
  • Mr. George Sanford Hollowell, American Coxswain from Arizona, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [9]

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. 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.
  6. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook