Sunday, March 26, 2006

Vanessa Glowacka

Vanessa Glowacka (née Hollier) asked me what I knew of her Hollier ancestors from Birmingham. This is one of those cases where I can trace her back to her Grandfather Percy Hollier born in 1906 in Warwick, but with no known Hollier family at that time in Warwick, I can't say who the parents were. This is often the case in the gap between the 1901 census and 1911 when births mention the mother's maiden name.

Richard Hollier of Greenwich 1791-1852

Jack French wrote to me as follows:-

I have an extensive collection of Victorian stamps, particularly Line Engraved issues, including the 1d Black. In my collection I have a 1d Black entire written from Frith Street London addressed to Mrs Hollier, Maze Hill, Greenwich, Kent dated 3rd December 1840.

It is a fascinating letter on gold-edged paper from Richard Hollier to his wife "Letty" in which he emotionally describes his desperate situation "as a fugitive from his home".

Jack has since sent a photo of this letter. Evidently Richard was in some sort of legal problem. Until now, I'd known Richard as a wealthy descendant of the Isle of Wight Holliers, who lived the life of a Landowner, Gentleman and Scholar. In my reply I said:

Richard Hollier was born on 12th Jan 1791 in the City of London and was baptised on 4th Feb at St Stephen, Coleman Street. He married Laetitia Phillips (daughter of William Phillips and Ann Gresham) on 11th April 1812 at St Lawrence Pountney. They had no children. They lived much of their lives in Greenwich at Maze Hill and later Park Terrace. Richard died 22nd Jan 1852 in Greenwich and was buried in Nunhead Cemetery. In his will, he left his wife Laetitia well provided for and made some other personal gifts, but the residue of his estate was given to University College London to set up the Hollier Scholarship in Greek and Hebrew, which is still given to this day.

When his wife Laetitia died on 5th Aug 1871, the will was worth nearly £25000 and she gave a major bequest to Gresham College of some 1200 books as well as paintings, prints, music. It was so large that a book was published as a catalogue of the bequest. Laetitia's family was quite well off and she had been left £1500 in her father's will, but there's little doubt that it was the Hollier family that was wealthy. Richard's grandfather, another Richard (c1720s -1802) had been a gold refiner in the City and was evidently quite rich. I sense all the Holliers in the City were well-connected, as Richard's nephew (yet another Richard) was elected City Marshall in 1799. Richard's will of 1801 gave money to many of his Hollier relations and suggests that his son William was to take over the refining business in Love Lane and indeed when William died in 1828 he mentions that property but otherwise lists many properties he owned in Kent, Essex and Middlesex so he seems to have invested his wealth in property. All this land passed to his sole son Richard. In the 1851 census, Richard describes himself as a Landed Proprietor, so it seems that he was able to live the life of a Gentleman and Scholar. After he died, Laetitia describes herself in similar terms in the 1861 and 1871 censuses. The 1839 Pigot's Directory for Kent lists Richard under "Gentry" living at Maize Place, Greenwich.

This family seems to have done well by their move into London from their original roots in the Isle of Wight.

The John Evans mentioned in the letter is almost certainly a solicitor as Laetitia's will was made by John Evans, a solicitor, perhaps the same or a son?


This still leaves us with the puzzle about what sort of difficulties Richard was having in 1840.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Godefroy Hollier of Opelousas, Louisiana

The Ancestry Hollier Message Board came up with a new reference to the sale of land by Godefroy Hollier after his wife Azelie died and indeed just before his own death. Both this reference and an Obit for Godefroy from 1860 appeared in a web transcript of the Opelousas Courier. Apart from the land being sold, the auction was to sell off all the contents of the plot, including:

"An American horse; a Creole horse; a Creole mare; a lot of about 15 head of horned cattle; a lot of about 30 head of hogs; 3000 three feet boards; a lot of posts and laths; 2 cross-cut saws; a horse cart; 2 beds and bedding; about 50 barrels of corn in the shuck; a double barreled shot gun; a lot of spokes and telloes; a lot of household and kitchen furniture, and some other articles too tedious to enumerate."

Godefroy (1810-1860) and his wife Azelie were both Holliers, being second cousins, great grandchildren of Luc Hollier from Nantes, France, where the Louisiana Holliers all originate from.

Willis and Hol(l)yer at Woodchurch

Corresponded with Tony Powell to confirm that his Great Grandfather William Manse Willis (born 1852) really was the son of John Willis and Elizabeth Hollyer, daughter of James Holyer and Hannah (née Morris). Elizabeth died soon after William's birth but the chain of evidence is strong. Another example of how the Woodchurch family started to adopt the double L Hollyer spelling instead of the original Holyer variant.

Oxfordshire Holliers again

Got into correspondence with another Guild member, Sue Hedges, initially prompted by another 'Marriage Challenge' for Headington District. She has already provided a number of useful snippets from records she has or was able to look up at Oxford Record Office. A settlement certificate of 1709 shows a Richard & Frances Hollier moving from Sparsholt in Berks to Oxford where they had family, although transcribed as Holler and Holer. A bastardy case of 1872 leads to Arthur Ernest Hollier being the son (short-lived) of Charlotte Hollier, a servant living in Oxford but from the family in Great Milton. Sue helpfully also had the transcript of Great Milton registers on fiche.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Emigrants to Australia 1849

Michael Hollier, whose connection to the Lewknor Holliers is described below, came back to say he has researched the other Hollier couple, John & Mary, that he had noted as arriving in Australia in 1849. He said:

"I have done some more work on the John and Mary Hollier who arrived in 1849
on the 'Francis Ridley' which arrived in Melbourne on 12/2/1849.

He is recorded as a labourer aged 34 who was to be employed by an Edward Wood of Ravensdale Creek for 12 months at 20 pounds per annum. His passage was with rations. Mary was noted as wife 25 yrs old."

So now he know their ages, but so far it doesn't tie up to any obvious 'lost' John Hollier.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hollier's Farm, Middle Barton, Oxfordshire

Wendy Archer, another dedicated Guild member, sent through some photographs of Hollier's Farm in Middle Barton, Oxfordshire. This would have been named after Joseph Hollier 1815-1891. But life as a tenant farmer was not easy with the landlords imposing oppressive rents. This caused Joseph and his family to emigrate to New Zealand around 1882, where the family farmed through to the 1930s.

Camberwell Marriage Challenge

Marion Harper Hopkins sent through the balance of Hollier entries for Camberwell; two entries for 1902 and 1908. James Henry Hollier who married in 1902 is a person I can't find in the 1901 census. Some of his age might have been abroad in the Boer War.