Ollis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Ollis dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It 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 Ollis family

The surname Ollis 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 Ollis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ollis 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 Ollis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ollis Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Ollis have been found, including Hollis, Holles, Hollys, Hollyes, Holleis, Hollies and others.

Early Notables of the Ollis 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 Ollis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ollis Ranking

In the United States, the name Ollis is the 8,622nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]


United States Ollis migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Ollis, or a variant listed above:

Ollis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Peter Ollis, who arrived in Arkansas in 1902 [6]
  • Mary Ann Ollis, aged 52, originally from Bristol, England, who arrived in New York in 1904 aboard the ship "Oceanic" from Liverpool, England [7]
  • Bertha Ollis, aged 30, originally from Mardle, Kent, England, who arrived in New York, New York, New York in 1910 aboard the ship "Philadelphia" from Southampton, England [8]
  • Frederik William Ollis, aged 42, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "President Wilson" from Marseilles, France [9]
  • Eva Ollis, aged 27, originally from Birmingham, England, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Kaiserin Augusta Victoria" from Liverpool, England [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ollis (post 1700) +

  • John Ollis (1839-1913), American farmer, lawyer, and politician, Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1878
  • J. A. Ollis Jr., American politician, Member of Nebraska State House of Representatives, 1901, 1917; Member of Nebraska State Senate, 1909-13 [11]
  • Bernard Ollis, English former Director of the National Art School, Sydney
  • Richard Leslie Ollis (b. 1961), English first-class and List A cricketer for Somerset (1981-1985)
  • William Ollis (1871-1940), English professional footballer who played from 1891-1899
  • Ian Ollis (b. 1970), South African politician, Shadow Minister of Labour (2014-)


  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.
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JF1X-5MH : 6 December 2014), Mary Ann Ollis, 28 Apr 1904; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Oceanic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJDN-9MW : 6 December 2014), Bertha Ollis, 15 Oct 1910; citing departure port Southampton, England, arrival port New York, New York, New York, ship name Philadelphia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J64J-42D : 6 December 2014), Frederik Wm. Ollis, 17 Jul 1919; citing departure port Marseilles, France, arrival port New York, ship name President Wilson, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  10. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6ZJ-F3B : 6 December 2014), Eva Ollis, 05 Jun 1920; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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