Holtray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Holtray is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Holtray family lived in Sussex at Moor House, Petworth, not far from Battle Abbey.  Hawtrie is an adaptation of Hauterive, Normandy, the name of which literally means high river.
"In recording the foundation of Heryngham Priory by William Dawtree, the Monasticon thus speaks: 'The latin word 'Ripa,' was in Norman writings generally meant for a river, without relation to 'Ripa' a bank. The Romans called it 'Haultrey.' There was an ancient family of knights, owners of much lands in these parts, and of fair possessions, even in the very bosom of the 'high stream' from which they took their name, and were called 'De Haul-trey.' "The ancient house" here alluded to was the stem of many important branches, the most flourishing of which was that planted in the county of Sussex, at Moor House in Petworth, not very far from Battle Abbey itself. It produced a series of knightly generations, which held the highest rank in their country, and intermarried with its noblest families. " 
Early Origins of the Holtray family
The surname Holtray was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Heringham. Soon after the Domesday Book survey, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066 A.D., the family built Heringham Priory.  The first Norman noble to settle was from Hauterive, probably assuming the cognate 'de Hauterive'. He came from the arrondisement of Alencon in Normandy. It is most likely a corruption of the Norman Hauterive which produced the family name but, strangely, Dawtry and Dealtry have also been attributed to the same source, this from a Latinization of the location of their estates in Sussex, i.e., De Alta Ripa, a high bank or cliff. The Dawtries, the main house of which is in Petworth parish, are one and the same as the Hawtries.
Early History of the Holtray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holtray research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1659, 1758 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Holtray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Holtray Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Hawtre, Hawtree, Hawtrie, Dawtre, Dawtree, Dawtrie, Hawtrey, Haultrey, Dealtre, Dealtrie, Dawtrey, Dawtry, Daltry, Haltry, Haltrie and many more.
Early Notables of the Holtray family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Dawtrey, Esq. of Moor House, Doddinghurst, died s. p. in 1758, having bequeated his estates to (the son of his sister Sarah) his nephew, and heir, Richard Luther,, Esq. of Myles's, in Essex, who m. Charlotte, daughter of Dr. Hugh Chamberlen, the famous Court Physician, temp. Queen Anne, and-died at Vicars Hill, Hants, in 1767...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holtray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Holtray family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Holtray or a variant listed above: John Dawtres who settled in Virginia in 1636; William Dawtrey settled in Barbados in 1683.
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- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.