Holtam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins of the Holtam name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in Oldham, in Lancashire. This was a town near the city of Manchester; it has since been absorbed by that city. The place-name Oldham is derived from the Old English elements old, which means old, and ham, which means farm. The place-name therefore translates as "the old farm." Alternatively, Oldham could have meant "dweller by the long-cultivate river flat." 
Early Origins of the Holtam family
The surname Holtam was first found in Lancashire at Oldham, an enfranchised borough, a parochial chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Prestwich, hundred of Salford. Now part of Greater Manchester, the first record of the placename was found in 1226-1228 when it was listed as Aldholm.  "Oldham was for a long period celebrated for the manufacture of hats, which was established so early as the fifteenth century." 
Another possible origin of the name was found. "This place [(Werneth, Lancashire) which adjoins to the town of Oldham], anciently Fernet, was held in the reign of Henry III. by Alwardus de Aldholme, founder of the family of Oldham. His daughter and co-heiress conveyed the manor to the Cudworths, a branch of a Yorkshire family; and from them the estate passed by sale to Sir Ralph Assheton, of Middleton." 
We can only assume that both sources are referring to that same family at different times. Early rolls list the first record of the name not in Lancashire but as Achard de Aldeham in the Feet of Fines for Kent. Richard de Oldham was listed in Lancashire in 1384.  The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Agnes de Oldom and Robertus de Oldom. 
Further to the north, Hoddam is parish in the county of Dumfries, Scotland. "This parish comprehends the ancient parishes of Hoddam, Luce, and Ecclesfechan, which were united in 1609. Hoddam, in ancient charters, is spelt Hodholm and Hodolm, signifying 'the head of the holm,' and is supposed to have derived that appellation from its situation on the bank of the river Annan, where the ground is flat and rich, and what is usually called holm land." 
Early History of the Holtam family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holtam research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1486, 1480, 1505, 1486, 1480, 1452, 1519, 1653 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Holtam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Holtam Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Holtam were recorded, including Oldham, Oldum, Oldan, Oldhams and others.
Early Notables of the Holtam family (pre 1700)
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holtam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Holtam family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Holtam family emigrate to North America: John Oldham (c.1600-1636) who emigrated to Plymouth in 1623, was involved in establishing the unsuccessful settlement on Cape Ann (1626), and was murdered by the Pequot in an event leading to the Pequot War (1637). Thomas Oldham settled in New England in 1635.
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.