Show ContentsOlham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Olham comes from a name for a holy man, typically a priest or friar. 1

The surname Olham originally derived from the Old English word Hol or Hool. Another reference claims the name was derived from the Old English words "holh" + "mann" and literally meant "dweller by a hollow." 2

And another source claims the name was "a contraction of Holyman; but is more likely to be "whole man," a man of sterling mettle. It must be recollected that in medieval English whole was spelt without the w, and the commonest form of this name in the XIV. and XV. cent. is Holeman." 3

Early Origins of the Olham family

The surname Olham was first found in Essex, where one of the first records of the name was John Holman, Holeman who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. 2

A search through the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 proved to be fruitful: Walter Halloman, Lincolnshire; and William Holyman, Lincolnshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included entries for Adam Holman, marchautit; and Thomas Halman. 1

The source, Feodarium Prioratus Dunelmensis (Surtees Society included an entry for Robert Halyman, Yorkshire, but no date was provided. And the Calendar of Proceedings in Chancery, temp. Elizabeth I., included an entry for Digorie Holman, temp. Elizabeth. 1 All of the aforementioned held lands in their respective shires.

Early History of the Olham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olham research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1307, 1531, 1582, 1593, 1628, 1633, 1638, 1659, 1661, 1669, 1685, 1700 and 1730 are included under the topic Early Olham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Olham Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Olham include Holman, Hollman, Holeman and others.

Early Notables of the Olham family

Notables of the family at this time include Philip Holman (c. 1593-1669), an English merchant and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1659, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1638; Philip Holman, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1633; and Sir...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Olham family to Ireland

Some of the Olham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Olham family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Olham or a variant listed above: John Holman, who settled in Nantasket, Massachusetts in 1630; William Holman settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1630; Edward Holman settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. on Facebook