Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hollyer Knol

I have published an article about the Hollyer name in Google's new 'Knol' facility. It can be found here. This is based on my article in the January 2007 issue of the Journal of One-Name Studies.

John Holyer 1377

A colleague from the Guild, Andrew Millard, kindly pointed out a very early Holyer reference he found in the 1377 poll-tax records for Northampton. This lists "Johannes Holyer ux" [John Holyer and his wife]. There are not many 14th century records I have come across, the other important ones being in Warwickshire (1325, 1373) and Kent (1399). Other early records, with spellings such as '[de] Holiere' do exist from Essex and Bedfordshire, but I have tended to view these as not being connected with the main groups of hereditary Hollyers etc that we see in later centuries. The very earliest record I have also falls into that category: Robert and Adam le Holier in the Hertfordshire Lay Subsidy of 1307. But even in the 1520s, when surnames were fully established in England, the Suffolk Lay Subsidy lists a John Holyer and Andrew Holyar, but there are no known Holyer families that originate from this area.

So this leaves the question: is this Northamptonshire record a significant pointer to the origin of the name, or one of several records which are not associated with known hereditary lines. But all the same, all records are filed away for future study...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Woodchurch 1871 Exhibition

I attended the 1871 exhibition at Woodchurch last Saturday, presented by the Woodchurch Ancestry Group. I had a display of Holyer items, trees etc and was very pleased to meet several members of the Holyer family who came to visit.