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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Although the Scottish Holyfield surname is known to derive from the Medieval Latin word "olifantus," meaning "elephant," its origins as a surname are quite uncertain. David de Olifard is the progenitor of the House of Oliphant. He was one of the many Anglo-Norman nobles that were invited northward by the early Norman kings of Scotland. He settled in Northamptonshire, but when he saved King David I during the siege of Winchester Castle, he received a small grant of lands in Roxburghshire. Under later rulers, the Oliphant lands were significantly extended as King Malcolm granted the family Bothwell in Lanarkshire and King William I granted them Arbuthnott in Mearns.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Oliphant, Olifant, Olifard and others.

First found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland. "The first of the descendants of this Norman, occurring in the public records, was David Olifard, who served in the army of King Stephen in 1141. A conspiracy was formed against the Empress Maud, who escaped from Winchester, attended by David I. Surrounded by the enemy, the Scottish King owed his safety to the exertions of his godson Olifard, who, although in the adverse party, aided his Royal opponent. In recompense, the rescued Monarch gave to his preserver, who settled in North Britain, the Lands of Crailing and Smallham in Roxburghshire, and conferred on him the dignified office of Justiciary. Thus was established the famous family of Oliphant, so distinguished in the annals of Scotland. " [1] Sir William Oliphant, of Aberdalgy gallantly defended Stirling Castle again Edward I's invasion. The Castle was the last stronghold that remained in he hands of the Scots. The battle for the Castle began April 22nd and was finally over July 20th with Sir William taken prisoner. He was then forced to swear allegiance to King Edward I of England under penalty of death. However, eight years later, he was appointed Warden of Stirling Castle by Robert the Bruce of Scotland to whom he had willingly pledged allegiance. And yet again, Edward I of England again took him prisoner.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holyfield research. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1456, 1498, 1583, 1631, 1631, 1680, 1715, 1748, 1715, 1725, 1780, 1691, 1767, 1715, 1792 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Holyfield History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 147 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holyfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: William Oliphant who was banished to New Jersey in 1685; James Oliphant arrived in Georgia in 1775; Lawrence Oliphant arrived in St. Christopher in 1716..

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  • Wayland D. Holyfield (b. 1942), American songwriter
  • Evander Holyfield (b. 1962), American professional boxer, winner of the bronze medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics


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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: Tout pour voir
Motto Translation: Provide for all

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  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  2. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  7. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  11. ...

The Holyfield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Holyfield Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 January 2016 at 15:29.

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