Hollys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Hollys family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living near a field of holly having derived from the word for holly in the language of the time. In Old English the word for holly is holegn, or possibly holen, or even holen. The original bearer of the name lived near a patch of holly noted for its fecundity. (Bardsely)

While the name is generally accepted to be Anglo-Saxon, one source claims that it originated in Normandy as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae records Robert de Holis, Normandy, 1198. [1]

Adding the "n" as in Hollins, was quite common as both refer to the "holly" origin. [2]

Early Origins of the Hollys family

The surname Hollys was first found in Worcester, where Adam atte Holies, atte Holye was listed in the Subsidy Rolls in 1275 and 1327. A few years later, Robert del Holins was found in Yorkshire in 1297 and Nicholas del Holyn was listed in the Subsidy Rolls there in 1301. John in the Holls was in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327 and Richard del Holyes was in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1332. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Willelmus del Holyns; Alicia del Holyns; Johannes Holyn; Johannes Holvns; and Johannes del Holyns. [3]

"Hollins was the name of a firm of potters a century ago in Stoke-on-Trent, [Staffordshire] where the name still remains." [4]

Early History of the Hollys family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hollys research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1711, 1694, 1534, 1535, 1577, 1619, 1471, 1542, 1595, 1666, 1633, 1689, 1564, 1637, 1599, 1680, 1642, 1607, 1675, 1640, 1642, 1627 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Hollys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hollys 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 Hollys include Hollis, Holles, Hollys, Hollyes, Holleis, Hollies and others.

Early Notables of the Hollys family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir William Holles (or Hollyes) (1471-1542), Lord Mayor of London; John Holles, 2nd Earl of Clare (1595-1666), an English nobleman; Gilbert Holles, 3rd Earl of Clare (1633-1689); John Holles, 1st Earl of Clare (1564-1637), an English nobleman; Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles PC (1599-1680), an English statesman and writer, best known as...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hollys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hollys family

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 Hollys or a variant listed above: Henry Holles settled in New England in 1709 with his wife; John Hollis settled in Maryland in 1654; John and Edith Hollis settled in Virginia in 1623.



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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