Holt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Holt is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Holt family once lived near a grove or woods. The surname Holt originally derived from the Old English word holt which meant a "wood" or "grove." [1]

Early Origins of the Holt family

The surname Holt was first found in Lancashire at Ashworth, a parochial chapelry in the parish of Middleton, union of Bury, hundred of Salford. "A family named Ashworth was seated here as early as the 13th century, and appears to have been succeeded by the Holts: Richard Holt, an active supporter of the royal cause in the civil war, had his estate sequestrated in 1643, but it was afterwards restored." [2]

Hugo de Holte was a Knights Templar in Kent in 1185 and later Simon del Holt was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Warwickshire in 1230. Walter in the Holte was found in Somerset in 1260 and Hugh atte Holte was in Surrey in 1268. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Henry de la Holte, Worcestershire, and William del Holt, Yorkshire. [4]

In Somerset, William atte Holte and Walter atte Holte were both listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

"The Holts, of [Buckinghamshire], are, for the most part, gathered together in and around Aylesbury. The name occurred as Le Holt in the county six centuries ago, and also in the eastern counties of Norfolk, Essex, and Kent. Lancashire is also another great home of the name of Holt, which also extends into Cheshire." [6]

An important branch of the family was found at Aston in Warwickshire. "The manor was purchased in 1366 from the heiress of de Maidenhach by John atte Holt, of Birmingham, and remained for many generations in the possession of his lineal descendants, of whom several were distinguished for their talents and for the important stations they occupied in society. Edward Holt, sheriff of the county in 1574, resided in the adjoining manor of Duddeston, there being at that time in Aston only an ancient house, probably of timber, situated on the bank of the River Tame near the church, and the site of which, now overgrown with trees, is discoverable only by part of the moat by which it was surrounded. On the demise of Edward Holt in 1593, the estate descended to his son Thomas, the most distinguished member of the family, who is represented by Dugdale as eminent for his literary acquirements. He was sheriff in 1600: on the arrival of James VI of Scotland to assume the crown of England, he attended that monarch in his route from Yorkshire, where he received the honour of knighthood; and in 1612 he was created one of the order of baronets, then recently instituted. Sir Thomas Holt enclosed the park, and erected the present stately Hall of Aston, unrivalled in these parts for beauty and magnificence, which he commenced in 1618, and completed in 1635." [2]

Early History of the Holt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holt research. Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1597, 1640, 1713, 1387, 1418, 1578, 1624, 1578, 1545, 1599, 1545, 1642, 1710, 1689, 1642, 1571, 1654, 1679, 1649, 1722, 1682, 1729, 1616, 1686, 1654 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Holt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holt Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Holt family name include Holte, Holt and others.

Early Notables of the Holt family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Beauchamp de Holt, created Baron Kidderminster, by Richard III in 1387. John Holt (d. 1418), the English judge, "was a native and landowner of Northamptonshire, and his name occurs in the year-books from the fortieth year of Edward III onwards. In the last year of that reign he became a king's serjeant." [7] Thomas Holt (1578?-1624), was an architect, a native of York, born about 1578, is noteworthy for the important works in Renaissance architecture executed by him at Oxford. [7] William Holt (1545-1599), was a Jesuit, was born at Ashworth in Lancashire in 1545. [7] Sir John...
Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holt World Ranking

In the United States, the name Holt is the 291st most popular surname with an estimated 92,019 people with that name. [8] However, in Australia, the name Holt is ranked the 372nd most popular surname with an estimated 9,888 people with that name. [9] And in New Zealand, the name Holt is the 577th popular surname with an estimated 1,231 people with that name. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Holt as 283rd with 21,662 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Holt family to Ireland

Some of the Holt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Holt migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Holt surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Holt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Randall Holt, who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Randall Holt, who landed in Virginia in 1620 [12]
  • Randolph Holt, who arrived in Virginia in 1621 [12]
  • Nicholas Holt, who arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1635 [12]
  • William Holt, who settled in the Somers Island in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Holt Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Holt, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [12]
  • Ismaell Holt, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [12]
  • Mary Holt, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [12]
  • George Holt, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [12]
  • Ezekiel Holt, who settled in Georgia in 1741 with his wife and son
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Holt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Gerh Holt, who landed in America in 1836 [12]
  • Neil J Holt, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [12]
  • James Holt, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1850 [12]
  • Ole Holt, who landed in Texas in 1853 [12]
  • William Holt, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1864 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Holt migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Holt Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Benjamin Holt, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Berry Holt, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Moses Holt U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [13]
Holt Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Orrin Holt, who arrived in Canada in 1839
  • Valentine Holt, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Holt migration to Australia +

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

Holt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Holt, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. William Holt, (b. 1800), aged 20, English shoe maker who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 6th April 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. William Holt, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [16]
  • Mr. John Holt, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 8th April 1821, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [17]
  • Mrs. Mary Holt who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for life for uttering forged notes, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 20th November 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia and Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), listed as having 2 children with her [18]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Holt 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:

Holt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Holt, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Nourmahal" arriving in Dunedin, Otaga, South Island, New Zealand on 5th May 1858 [19]
  • Robert Holt, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Mr. Holt, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "William Watson" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1859 [20]
  • Mrs. M. Holt, British settler with 4 children travelling from London aboard the ship "William Watson" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1859 [20]
  • Mr. Robert Holt, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "William Watson" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1859 [20]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Holt migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [21]
Holt Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Humphrey Holt, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [22]
Holt Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Holt, who landed in Barbados in 1712-1713 [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Holt (post 1700) +

  • Marjorie Sewell Holt (1920-2018), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland (1973-1987)
  • Matthew Francis Holt (1977-2017), American heavy metal singer
  • Helen Louise Froelich Holt (1913-2015), American politician, Secretary of State of West Virginia (1957-1959)
  • Nancy Holt (1938-2014), American artist most known for her public sculpture, installation art and land art
  • Andrew David "Andy" Holt (1904-1987), American educator, 16th President of the University of Tennessee
  • Col. Thomas Michael Holt (1831-1896), American industrialist and politician, 47th Governor of North Carolina (1891 to 1893)
  • David Jack Holt (1927-2003), American child actor
  • Torrance "Torry" Jabar Holt (b. 1976), former American college and professional NFL football wide receiver
  • Henry E. Holt (b. 1929), American astronomer who has discovered almost 700 asteroids, co-discoverer of periodic comets 121P/Shoemaker-Holt, 127P/Holt-Olmstead and 128P/Shoemaker-Holt
  • Benjamin Leroy Holt (1849-1920), American inventor who patented and manufactured the first practical crawler-type tread tractor, founder of The Holt Manufacturing Company in 1892
  • ... (Another 17 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Robert Armor Holt, British Bedroom Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [23]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Ronald Holt, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [24]
  • Mr. John Edgar Holt, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [24]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Francis Holt, British Ordnance Artificer 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [25]
RMS Lusitania
  • Master William Robert Grattan Holt, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Montréal, Quebec, Canada going to Marlborough College in Wiltshire, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [26]


The Holt 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: Exaltavit humiles
Motto Translation: He hath exalted the humble.


Suggested Readings for the name Holt +

  • Ancestors and Descendants of John and Isabel Holt, Williamson County, Tennessee by Albert L. Cooper.
  • Ancestry of Albright and Holt Families of Clay County, Missouri by Claribel Albright McClain.

  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  14. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  19. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  20. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  21. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  22. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  23. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  24. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  25. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  26. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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