Monday, October 31, 2005

Virginia Holliers

Had an e-mail from Carolyn Cosgriff, who descends from 6 generations of the Virginia Holliers - a group of US Holliers that are separate from the Louisiana Holliers (of French descent). I hope to learn more about the many generations who favoured the first name Simon and who have been in VA since the 17th century.

Woodstock & Stepney Marriage Challenges

Denise Bright from the Guild sent through the results of the Woodstock Marriage Challenge - I had 3 entries though most of the details were already known from other sources. Also, while I was away, Howard Benbrook sent through the single entry from the Stepney Marriage Challenge (part 2) which did provide new information: Richard Benjamin Bruley married Elizabeth Hollier in 1895.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hollier's Farm, Mid Barton

Wendy Archer forwarded a query from Australia seeking information on Hollier's Farm at Mill Lane, Mid Barton, Oxon. This must be the farm of Joseph Hollier (1815-1891). Unfortunately, the landlord's rents were oppressive in those days and Joseph and his family emigrated to New Zealand around 1882.

More Watford Hollier births and deaths

Mark Sealey continues to send through copies of birth and death certificates that he's been buying for the Hollier family at Watford (see entry for 30th September).

Woodchurch marriage index

Gary Samson and Bob Chown have created a searchable database of marriages at Woodchurch, 1754-1945. I double checked this against my own records and found a few discrepancies, though every transcriber will face problems interpreting dates.

Death of Richard John Holyer

Tania Swift wrote back with the death certificate for Richard John Holyer and a press cutting relating to his death in 1956 (see previous entry). This seems to close off the long search for Richard John Holyer. It seems likely he never actually married his 3rd wife Ruby - but equally Richard was Ruby's 3rd partner as well.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More BDMs from New South Wales

David Evans tipped off the Guild Forum that NSW Death and Marriage records are now available to 1975 and 1955 respectively. This allowed me to locate the death of the mysterious Richard John Holyer in 1956. So despite disappearing during WW1, he didn't go that far.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

More pictures in the gallery

I have added more pictures in the Gallery, by Gregory, Eva and Maud Hollyer.

Friday, October 14, 2005

US records

Thanks to tip-offs on the Guild Forum, I was able to download a lot of US Hollier/Hollyer records, namely California Deaths 1940-1997 and Texas Births 1926-1995. There were 263 Hollier births in Texas during that period. Amongst the Californian records was one relating to Kenneth Hartley William Hollyer, born in England in 1929 whose family had lost track of him. He died in San Francisco in 1970.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Kent marriage indexes

David Hills wrote to me with the Hollyer and Holyer extracts from his growing marriage index for the Kent area around Ashford and Romney Marsh. This provided me with some new dates and places for the marriages, even a few new individuals.

The "Cambrian" newspaper index

Barbara Griffiths pointed out this newspaper index on the Guild Forum. I found 26 Holliers and 8 Hollyers mentioned. Very valuable, as it had the death date and place of Henry Hollier (snr) of Cardiff (1830 in Hagley, WOR) which provides further proof that he is connected with the Barton under Needwood Holliers from Staffs, who latterly moved to Hagley, WOR.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More in Art Gallery

Added another couple of images to the Art Gallery. A typical Scottish Cattle scene by William Perring Hollyer and an engraving of the Old Washington Manor House by Samuel Hollyer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Steve Holyer

Steve Holyer, who has been in touch before, wrote to provide me with details of his close family. His family traces back to a William Holyer who was born c1893 and had a father John Holyer. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a William Holyer born at that time, and no record of a William who was son of a John. Perhaps William was not born a Holyer but was adopted by a Holyer family - but which one?

Monday, October 10, 2005

John Willis md Elizabeth Hollyer, 1851

Shelia Windsor, from New Zealand, is one of my contacts made through the Woodchurch 14+ group, see . She wrote mentioning the above marriage, as John Willis was the brother of her great grandmother. All the Woodchurch folk seem to have connections with each other and this is not our first.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Breeda Morton

Breeda Morton (née Hollyer), sister of Pauline Dunham (see below) wrote telling me of the marriages of her two sons which took place in 2004 and 2005 that Pauline had mentioned. Breeda is a Registrar at Bristol, so knows all about keeping vitial records.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

1851 census

Yippee!! Ancestry have released their 1851 census index and images. Lots of new One-Name entries to check over. Initial scanning shows that most census entries are ones I already have, thanks to the many years of delving into the various families and their known locations. But I would never have found Thomas & Amelia Hollier from the Sydenham Holliers - who were in Lancashire! Watch this space for more news on 1851 finds.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Aubrey Davidson

Another contact made through GenesReunited. Aubrey's connections are with the 'Lock-keeper Hollyers', but it turns out that his data originally comes from me! He's going to try contacting present day descendants of this family. This family were lock-keepers and toll collectors on the Grand Junction Canal.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Andrew Rose again

Andrew made contact to give me his information on the descendants of Agnes Martha Holyer (see below). Another branch tidied up.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Michael Canty

Michael Canty was the other new correspondent found through GenesReunited (see below). He replied today. His connection is through the Pickford family, one of whom married Elizabeth Susan Hollyer (née Welsh), widow of Ernest Wilson Hollyer, in 1922. Elizabeth was unfortunate in that neither of her husbands lived very long and I think TB was the cause in both cases. Ernest Wilson Hollyer was a Sign & Glass Writer, like so many in my branch of the Hollyer family.


Genesreunited sent one of its update e-mails indicating two more people have registered with the Hollyer name in their trees. Contacted them both and had a quick reply from Paul Barton whose German Fritz family married into the Hollyer family, specifically Benjamin Basil Hollyer (1877-1951) from the 'City Hollyers'. Their descendants are still going strong in the Lewisham area.


Alison McKay (née Hellyer) wrote to say hello and comment on the similarities in the names Hellyer/Hellier and Hollyer/Hollier. She has a website which I must add to my own links. Like almost all Hellyers, her family is from Devon, where Holliers are virtually unknown.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Andrew Rose

Andrew Rose has just joined the Woodchurch list and he's the first on there that also descends from the Holyer family of Woodchurch. Interesting that he found that list before discovering my website. I've sent him a tree showing how his ancestor Agnes Martha Holyer (b 1876) descends from John Holyer (1714-1772), the head of the Woodchurch Holyer family. I hope he'll be able to tell me more about Agnes and her line.

Surname Dictionaries

I must have read all the surname dictionaries over the years, looking at their entries for Hollier/Hollyer, but somehow never wrote down specifically what each one said. As I had some spare time in London today, I popped into the Society of Genealogists to go through their collection systematically. No great revelations. Apart from those that get the name completely wrong or don't feature it at all, most opt for 'dweller by the holly tree' or 'whoremonger', though why anyone would voluntarily adopt that as a hereditary surname beggers belief. Finally found the dictionary that makes the incorrect link between the Huguenot D'Oyler and Hollier and the one that thinks it's just a mistake for Hellier. We know so much more now.

Monday, October 03, 2005

More on the Watford Holliers

Mark Sealey sent through yet more scanned certificates of his Watford Hollier family and the chidren of Harriet Hollier and Thomas Wright. As mentioned before, this is a descendant line from the Alcester Hollier family, not to be confused with the other Hollier family in the Watford area, that of Zachariah and Elizabeth Hollier, whose ancestry was from Burnham Abbey in Bucks and Over Worton in Oxfordshire. They lived in Bushey, just outside Watford, but in the same Registration District.

Kelly Knowles

Kelly Knowles from Canada responded to my HOLLYER-L list message (which was informing the list of this Blog). She'd managed to lose the family tree I sent her in 2003 and wanted another copy. No problem! Kelly is from a line descending from Walter Hollyer (1853-1924), who served in the British Army in India and the UK. When he retired from the Army he became Private Secretary to Colonel Hay Drommond at Cromlix, Dunblane, in Scotland. He and his wife Rose Ann had 15 children and in many ways he was the epitomy of Victorian respectability. However, my researches have shown that he was born illegitimately (with a false birth certificate) and was himself a bigamist. Colourful people like this add to the interest of the One-Name Study! Walter himself came from the same Kent Hollyer family as my own ancestry.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A marriage in the family

Pauline Dunham (née Hollyer) wrote to say that her daughter Maria Heather married on the 24th September to Michael Steven Sampson. Another twig on the tree. Of course, there's always a debate in the one-name world about how far you track descendants on the female lines that no longer hold the surname in question. I do like to track the children of all women born as Hollyer etc, but usually go no further, unless a particular non-Hollyer researcher wants to see a tree of their connection with the name, in which case I'll add the people to the tree for this purpose.

Pauline's line of Hollyers is from what I call the "City Hollyers" who in the 18th/19th century were Painters and Glaziers in the City of London. They originally track back to the Hollyers from the Coventry area, in particular a marriage at Brinklow in 1687.