Show ContentsHolm History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Holm comes from the family having resided in an area that was referred to as a holme, a slightly raised islet in a fen or partially surrounded by a stream or river. The surname Holm was originally derived from the Old English word Holen. [1] Another reference claims "A holme is defined by Halliwell as ' flat land; a small island; a deposit of soil at the confluence of two waters. Flat grounds near water are called holms.' " [2]

While most references claim that the name was probably Anglo-Saxon, it could very well have been Norman in origin, as William du Holme was listed in Normandy (1180-1195) and William de Homes was also listed there in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae in 1198. [3]

Early Origins of the Holm family

The surname Holm was first found in many counties throughout Britain. One of the earliest records of the name was Roger de Holm who was listed in 1186 in Leicestershire. A few years later, Urkel' de Holmes was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. John atte Holme was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1296 in Sussex. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists: Goscelin de Holme in Suffolk, and John in le Holme in Cambridgeshire. Over 100 years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Thomas del Holme; Adam del Holme; and Johannes del Holme, 1379. [1]

Hulam or Holom in Durham "anciently styled Holme, which is the term used to designate it in the Boldon book, formerly belonged to a family of the same name." [5]

Early History of the Holm family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holm research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1240, 1400, 1631, 1691, 1570, 1655, 1599, 1678, 1601, 1659, 1633, 1641, 1627, 1700, 1656, 1659, 1659, 1707, 1705, 1706, 1640, 1683, 1677, 1685, 1622, 1692, 1631, 1691, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Holm History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holm Spelling Variations

Holm has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Holme, Hulme, Holmes, Holms and others.

Early Notables of the Holm family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Randle Holme I (1570-1655), first to bear the name, main duty was arranging funerals of those entitled to bear arms; Nathaniel Holmes or Homes (1599-1678), an English Independent theologian and preacher; Randle Holme II (c1601-1659), Chester city treasurer in 1633 and clerk to the Stationers' Company of Chester in 1641; Randle Holme III (1627-1700), steward to the Stationers' Company of Chester in 1656 and an alderman from 1659...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holm Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holm Ranking

In the United States, the name Holm is the 2,587th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Holm family to Ireland

Some of the Holm family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Holm migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Holms to arrive on North American shores:

Holm Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Campanius Holm, who landed in Delaware in 1643 [7]
Holm Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Benjamin Holm, who arrived in America in 1716 [7]
  • Anna Maria Holm, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1786-1808 [7]
  • Christian Holm, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1798 [7]
Holm Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Gustaf Holm, aged 47, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1826 [7]
  • Gustavus Holm, aged 45, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1826 [7]
  • Curstine Holm, aged 14, who arrived in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1840 [7]
  • Mathilda Holm, aged 18, who landed in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1840 [7]
  • Corl Holm, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Holm Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Oscar Holm, who arrived in Alabama in 1913 [7]
  • Klaus Holm, who arrived in Alabama in 1925 [7]

Australia Holm migration to Australia +

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

Holm Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Donald Holm, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"
  • Isabella Holm, aged 23, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"

Contemporary Notables of the name Holm (post 1700) +

  • Sir Ian Holm Cuthbert CBE (1931-2020), English Tony award winning, Laurence Olivier Award winning and BAFTA Award winning stage and screen actor made a CBE in 1990 and a Knight Bachelor in 1998
  • Elisabeth Holm, American film producer and screenwriter. She produced the 2014 film Obvious Child and was formerly the film program director at Kickstarter. In 2022, she co-wrote the story of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 95th Academy Awards
  • Richard Hadley Holm (1933-2021), also known as R. H. Holm, an American inorganic chemist from Boston, Massachusetts
  • Eleanor G. Holm (1913-2004), American Olympic champion swimmer [8]
  • Celeste Holm (b. 1917), Oscar winning American stage, film, and television actress [9]
  • Renate Holm (1931-2022), German-Austrian film actress and operatic soprano from Berlin, Germany
  • Mogens Winkel Holm (1936-1999), Danish composer born in Copenhagen
  • Stefan Christian Holm (b. 1976), retired Swedish Olympic gold medal high jumper
  • Sonia Holm (b. 1920), British film actress
  • Richard Holm (1912-1988), German operatic tenor

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Clarence Kenneth Asby Holm (1920-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Footscray, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [10]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Johan Fredrik Alexander Holm (d. 1912), aged 43, Swedish Third Class passenger from Karlshamn, Blekinge who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [11]

The Holm 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: Fide sed cui vide
Motto Translation: Trust, but in whom take care.

  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)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. 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)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. Eleanor Holm. (Retrieved 2011, February 7) Eleanor Holm. Retrieved from
  9. Celeste Holm. (Retrieved 2011, February 7) Celeste Holm. Retrieved from
  10. HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from
  11. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook