Show ContentsHoulbeart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Houlbeart is an ancient name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of emigration that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name comes from the Old English given name Holbert. Holbert is thought to be a corruption of the Old English personal name Holdbearht, which is composed of the elements hold, which means friendly, and berht, which means bright. [1]

The variant Holberton is by extension derived from "holbert" + "tun" and claims Holberton, (Holbeton) Devon as its founding. This parish dates back to 1229 when it was known as Holbouton and literally meant "farmstead in the hollow bend." [2]

Early Origins of the Houlbeart family

The surname Houlbeart was first found in Wiltshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. This distinguished family held estates at Corsham and Wooten Basset in Wiltshire. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066, these lands were held by Miles Crispin, a powerful tenant-in-chief. Conjecturally, the Hulberts were descended from a Norman noble who held his lands from Miles Crispin. Corsham was the King's Land, but St. Stephen of Caen held the Church.

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. By example, the Latin form, Holbertus, was listed in the Archaelogia Cantiana in 1168. William and John Holdebert were both listed in Warwickshire in the Pipe Rolls of 1205 and in the Assize Rolls of 1219 in Yorkshire. [3]

"The Hulberts of Malmesbury may be able to trace their pedigree back to Thomas Hulbert, the pious clothier of Corsham, who, as we learn from a brass in Corsham Church, 'Christianly finished his course with powerfull prayer to God upon Tuesday, being the 16 October, 1632.'" [4]

Early History of the Houlbeart family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Houlbeart research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1530, 1660, 1680, 1778, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1834, 1837, 1839, 1857, 1867 and 1888 are included under the topic Early Houlbeart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Houlbeart Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Hulbert, Hulbirt, Hulbat, Hulbart, Houlbert, Houlbart, Hullbert and many more.

Early Notables of the Houlbeart family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Charles Hulbert (1778-1857), English miscellaneous writer, son of Thomas Hulbert of Hulbert Green, near Cheadle, Cheshire, born at Manchester on 18 Feb. 1778, and educated at the grammar school of Halton, Cheshire. After learning cotton-weaving he became manager, at the age of twenty-two, of large print works at Middleton, near Manchester, and subsequently began business with his elder brother at Swinton, also near Manchester. In 1803 he removed to Shrewsbury, and in conjunction with others leased some...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Houlbeart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Houlbeart family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Houlbeart or a variant listed above: Edward Hulbert who settled in Virginia in 1680; Martha Hulbert settled in Virginia in 1660; H.M. Hulbert settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1850; followed by E.B. Hulbert in 1852.



  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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