Holys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Holys family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Holys comes from when the family lived near a field of holly having derived from the word for holly in the language of the time. In Old English the word for holly is holegn, or possibly holen, or even holen. The original bearer of the name lived near a patch of holly noted for its fecundity. (Bardsely)

While the name is generally accepted to be Anglo-Saxon, one source claims that it originated in Normandy as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae records Robert de Holis, Normandy, 1198. [1]

Adding the "n" as in Hollins, was quite common as both refer to the "holly" origin. [2]

Early Origins of the Holys family

The surname Holys was first found in Worcester, where Adam atte Holies, atte Holye was listed in the Subsidy Rolls in 1275 and 1327. A few years later, Robert del Holins was found in Yorkshire in 1297 and Nicholas del Holyn was listed in the Subsidy Rolls there in 1301. John in the Holls was in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327 and Richard del Holyes was in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1332. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Willelmus del Holyns; Alicia del Holyns; Johannes Holyn; Johannes Holvns; and Johannes del Holyns. [3]

"Hollins was the name of a firm of potters a century ago in Stoke-on-Trent, [Staffordshire] where the name still remains." [4]

Early History of the Holys family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holys research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1711, 1694, 1534, 1535, 1577, 1619, 1471, 1542, 1595, 1666, 1633, 1689, 1564, 1637, 1599, 1680, 1642, 1607, 1675, 1640, 1642, 1627 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Holys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Holys Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Holys has appeared include Hollis, Holles, Hollys, Hollyes, Holleis, Hollies and others.

Early Notables of the Holys family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir William Holles (or Hollyes) (1471-1542), Lord Mayor of London; John Holles, 2nd Earl of Clare (1595-1666), an English nobleman; Gilbert Holles, 3rd Earl of Clare (1633-1689); John Holles, 1st Earl of Clare (1564-1637), an English nobleman; Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles PC (1599-1680), an English statesman and writer, best known as...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Holys family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Holys arrived in North America very early: Henry Holles settled in New England in 1709 with his wife; John Hollis settled in Maryland in 1654; John and Edith Hollis settled in Virginia in 1623.



  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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