Friday, April 21, 2017

Hollomans of Illinois

by Glenn N. Holliman

On the Trail of the Illinois Hollomans!

In my last post, we shared the story of Betty Holloman Fritch  (left) and her missing 18th Century ancestors.  Betty's great, great grandfather, James Holloman, shows up in the 1820 Census in Johnson County in the southern part of Illinois.  Betty is a native of that area with ancestors in both Johnson and Polk Counties. As her brother, Jack Holloman, is a DNA match with yours truly, both of us descended from Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691) and his English fore bearers, Betty is puzzled she cannot locate her great grandfathers between Virginia in the 1690s and Illinois in 1820.

Below, Joseph Parker of Texas, and soon-to-be-Florida, offers some important clues that may answer Betty's mystery.  Joe is no stranger to those who follow Hollyman genealogy. His mind is filled with decades of research and reasoning on Hollemans, Hollimans, Holimans, Hollomans and all the various American spellings.  In short, he is the go-to-person, a living encyclopedia of stories and lineages.  Our thanks to Joe for once again helping to fill-in-the-blanks of a cousin's genealogy! - GNH

A Possible Answer to Betty's Riddle
by Joseph Parker

In my notes, someplace, you will find many of the Hollemans/Hollomans/Hollomons that moved into the lower three or four counties of Illinois - some prior to Statehood of Illinois in 1818.  I don't have all the information before my eyes at this time, but three of those counties were Pope, Union, Randolph, and another that I can't name at this time.

 Right, Joe Parker, Hollyman Genealogist Extraordinaire!

When Wilson Holleman and his two sons, Moody Holleman and Josiah John Holleman, left Surry County, Virginia between early 1796 and before 1800, they moved over to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky (western Kentucky south of Illinois and the Ohio River) where they were in 1803 (from records).  Along the way, I believe that they stopped in eastern Tennessee where many of the Hollemans were then located, and then moved on to western Tennessee and then Kentucky.

In doing so, I believe that this family took some of the Hollemans/Hollomans with them; and most probably, Hickman Holloman, William Holloman, and a James Holliman (spelling derived from local records of the times).  Also traveling was a younger son of Wilson's, Edmund Holleman

Records of Edmund indicate he served in Indian Wars around 1812 with Zachary Taylor. He then moved over to Union County, Illinois, where he met and married Martha Thornton (citation from the William Thornton Bible).  

In 1818, Edmund and Josiah John then moved down the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and thence over to Lawrence County, Mississippi, where Moody married and settled down. But Josiah John and Edmund with their families then proceeded to move back to Tennessee. 

However, Edmund went back to Union County, Illinois.  When he died about 1828, Martha then proceeded to move on south to Clark County, Arkansas where she married again and lived out her life there. 

My records of southern Illinois were hard to come by, and very few and far between.  I believe that those Hollemans located in southern Illinois are from the same family of Wilson Holleman - hence, my own family (which arrived later in Texas). - Joseph Parker

So Betty, perhaps Edmund of Union County, Illinois, a county in the southern part of the state adjacent to Johnson and Polk Counties, may be the missing link to your great great grandfather, James Holloman? And you may be rather closely related to Joe! 

Our Hollyman administrator, Jeanette Holiman Stewart, has responded to Joe's insightful words above with additional information and questions. Her comments are below followed by Joe's affirmation of her insights. It is grand to have these two fantastic chroniclers of our family's history share their knowledge and continue to 'fill in the blanks' on this American story. - GNH

From Jeanette Holiman Stewart - 

This is very exciting! Joe, I have a question though. Wasn't Edmund Peyton Holleman Sr. the son of Joseph Holleman Jr and Elizabeth Wilson? If so, he would be the brother of Wilson Holleman. I may be confused here, but just wanted to clarify. Also, any records you may have about Martha Thornton Holleman, I need desperately. All I have is her marriage to Edmund in Johnson, Union, Illinois. Also, Joseph Holleman Jr and Elizabeth Wilson had a son named James, a brother of Edmund and Wilson (if I have Edmund correct).

Below, Jeanette in her office keeping the Hollyman tree intact and accurate.  She has 
close to 40,000 names now in the database!

In the tree we have this James Holleman b abt 1770 in Surry County, Virginia. Betty's James Holloman that married Lorinda Davis was b abt 1803 in Virginia. The birth dates for both of those James are not arbitrary, I may have them off a bit, but thirty years or so is a leap.

Many people have attempted to tie the James that married Lorinda Davis to William Holleman (the s/o Arthur Holleman Sr). This William Holleman died in Southampton, Virginia in 1803. Now we know that Arthur and Joseph were brothers, so their kids may have been close and some may have done this migration together. Just things to ponder, but I really need Joe and Betty's wisdom to untangle this a bit. - Jeanette Holiman Stewart

From Joe Parker - 

Jeanette, you are absolutely correct. As to the notes on Martha Thornton, those are with the notes that I passed on to Glenn, or, those notes that I have lent to Lynn Holliman.

In late 1832, early 1833, Martha Thornton Holleman married again to Peter Lettherhead and moved on to Clark Co., AR -  or - moved on down to Clark Co., AR where her parents were then living, and then married there.  The settlement folder where the estate of Edmund Holleman was decided in Illinois, is empty, with no known disposition of any goods noted.  Martha Thornton was the daughter of William Thornton, and the Bible Record of William Thornton is on record some place.  William Thornton died someplace in Texas after 1840.

I have a feeling that that the birth of James Holleman/Holloman(?) is in Tennessee - but, where, and whose parents are his, is still a mystery to me, at this time.  I was never able to find enough records of Tennessee to clarify much of my information.  There is always that possibility that he was a brother to Hickman Holliman.

The Census Records of Lawrence Co., MS, taken in 1818 for application to Statehood purposes by Mississippi, does show Josiah John Holleman and his family in that area, beside Edmond Hollomon, wife, and female child - as best I remember.  (Those records copies are in my notes, which are now in the hands of Glenn Holliman in that large black loose leaf binder that I gave in Virginia - possibly marked "Book 2".)  In January, 1820, the US Census taken in a county of TN at that time, does show Josiah John Holleman and family there at that time (it also gives a definite possibility that the son of Josiah John and wife, could have been born in MS rather than all the following statements that William Arthur Holleman was born in TN.)  It also shows an Edmund Holliman, with wife, but not child, in that TN county.  Edmund was known, by records, of having returned to Illinois not later than 1825, when he was then a militia man at that time there.

Jeanette, this has some good thoughts about it.  There is a "time-frame" that would allow such a son to join Wilson and family in KY in the years just after 1803.  It IS an intriguing possibility that such is feasible - but, that paperwork is missing.  I have found no official paperwork for southern Illinois prior to Statehood in 1818, other than a few land grants by the Federal Government.  Further research is required. - Joe Parker

The above is an excellent example of how knowledgeable genealogists using research and citations work through the often complicated detective work to ascertain our ancestors.  We of the Hollyman families are so fortunate to have Joe and Jeanette dedicated to accurately sharing their abundant knowledge. - GNH

For additional information on Holliman families (Hollyman spelled numerous ways), these platforms are available.

Hollyman - managed by Jeanette Holiman Stewart at 

Hollyman Facebook - managed by Tina Peddie at - a virtual archives of Hollyman and allied families managed by Glenn N. Holliman - managed by Glenn N. Holliman

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Betty Fritch's Conundrum

A Riddle – Who were those 18th Century Holloman Ancestors?
By Glenn N. Holliman

She was born Betty Jean Holloman in Johnson County, Illinois, as was her brother Jack, a Viet Nam veteran.  Jack has taken a DNA test, and yes, he and Betty are descended from Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691), the Virginia founder of most persons in America who spell their name similar to the native of Bedfordshire, England.

Betty married the late Robert Fritch, and lived for decades outside of Chicago before moving to Florida over 20 years ago. She kindly shared lunch with me on a Sunday last month in Mt. Dora.  Perky, sharp as a tack and with a wry sense of humor, she told me her genealogical story and a puzzle.

Betty’s parents Otis (1912-1990) and Freda Sharp Holloman (1914-1991), were also of Johnson County, Illinois, a southern country not far from the Ohio River bordering Kentucky.  Her grandparents were Charles (1884-1965) and Bertha Ashford Holloman.

Going further back in time were Edward (1858-1929), Jesse (1832-1922) and James Holloman (1800 ca – 1850), some living in Pope County and others Johnson County.  

And there lies the riddle.  James shows up in the 1820 Johnston County census, but nowhere earlier.  He did marry Larenda Davis in 1829, a native of Washington County, Ohio.

Betty does not know among Christopher Hollyman’s four male children from whom she descends, nor the names and locations of her 18th century ancestors!  To her the 1700s are mystery, a blank in her family tree.

Betty, with her easy smile, and the author,
Glenn N. Holliman, also a descendant from
Christopher Hollyman, 1618-1691).

Most likely her 4rd and 5th great grandparents traveled from Virginia to Kentucky and then across the river to Illinois, roughly the same route as President Abraham Lincoln’s ancestors.  His grandfather, from Pennsylvania, crossed with one of Daniel Boone’s parties into Kentucky where Old Abe was born in 1809.  

Perhaps Betty’s ancestors moved to North Carolina (as did many other Hollomans from Virginia) and by the 1780s and 90s were on the move through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky?

Does anyone reading this have any suggestions or advice to solve this problem?  Betty, an ardent genealogist, would welcome information.  If you have something pertinent, she might name one of her cats after you!

For additional information on Holliman families (Hollyman spelled numerous ways), these platforms are available.

Hollyman - managed by Jeanette Holiman Stewart at 

Hollyman Facebook - managed by Tina Peddie at - a virtual archives of Hollyman and allied families managed by Glenn N. Holliman - managed by Glenn N. Holliman

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Hollyman Ancestry.Com Tree

by Glenn N. Holliman

Jeanette Holiman Stewart - Builder and Keeper of the Tree

She began THE Tree in 2012, and almost daily Jeanette adds names and dates, focused on filling out the many, many branches of the Hollyman (various spellings) lineage.  This very determined cousin of mine will soon add the 40,000th name!  In addition at Hollyman one will find 176,000 records, and 16,000 photographs and 1,400 stories.  There are 21,000 people with hints and 91,000 hints to review!

A retired cancer nurse, her lineage goes back to the Hollymans of England and her American experience to Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691).  Her ancestors followed the southwestern migration to the Carolinas, Alabama and eventually Texas from where she hails, the daughter of a Texas sheriff.  She now lives in Florida with husband Jim Stewart, (below) a retired engineer and CEO of numerous corporations.

Jeanette has developed some definite procedures for maintaining the scholarly integrity of the Tree. She only adds names when there is a citation or legal record such as a census, will or tax statement that such a person is a 'blood kin' or a partner/spouse of a Hollyman. Due to the size and complexity of the effort, she does not add allied families.

"Persons have to establish their own trees for non-DNA or step-children allied with Hollymans.  If I included them, I would never be able to get around to the direct descendants!"

What has she learned from inputting these tens of thousands of Holliman ancestors?

- "I can see the family moving through the narrative of American history.  For example during the Great Depression of the 1930s, families consolidated and moved west for jobs. There was lots of mobility during and after World War II. Many Rosie the Riveters and female nurses. Many sacrifices.  We have a lot of people buried at Arlington."

- "Up until World War II, we were largely a southern USA family although some Hollomans were living in the mid-west - Indiana, Illinois and Missouri."

- "Families are changing.  The word 'partner' shows up more and more in the late 20th century.  Logging families is more challenging as divorce and multiple marriages or no marriages but children are appearing often complicating the recording of relationships."

- "The longest name I have recorded is a Native American who married a Hollyman descendant - Mary 'Mollie' Pinal Insedesealth Tashkachin Clan, a member of the Navajo peoples.  We have a slew of Native Americans mainly in Oklahoma but also Tennessee."

- "Due to forced servitude prior to the Civil War, we have numerous African-American Hollimans/Hollemans, many congregated still in Virginia, the colony where Christopher Hollyman landed in 1650."

- "Ninety-five percent of our ancestors were 'normal', although my husband reminds me there is no 'normal' regarding human behavior or families.  About 5% seem to be rogues, misfits, criminals, mentally ill, alcoholics or abusers.  This is probably the national average for these categories.  It does concern me that we seem to have a large number of suicides in the Tree.  I don't know why."

- "I learn about dying reading the death certificates.  For example, in South Carolina many worked in textile mills and a number succumbed to tuberculosis.  The Civil War led to the premature deaths of many of our male ancestors."

- "I realize how important the family of origin is.  Some families have remained in a region for generations moving through the decades from farming to factory workers, nurses, teachers, merchants - the fabric of local communities.  Other families have clusters of professionals - physicians, researchers, managers, college professors and so forth.  There are bursts of creativity in some families and others that move quietly through life."

- "The name is spelled many ways - Holyman, Hollyman, Holleman, Holloman, Holliman, Holiman, Hollaman, etc.  The spelling often depended on how the census taker or county clerk 'heard' it in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The English spelling in the 1500s was generally spelled Holyman or Hollyman according to legal documents." 

Will Jeanette ever stop her 40 hour a week avocation?  Will she ever finish?  

"I think when I reach 80,000 or so names, I will call a halt, temporarily at least and 'publish' the Tree although it is available to all now via  One does not have to be a member to view the Tree and discover ancestors.  Just write me at and I will send a 'guest' invitation.  Of course members can view the public tree any time. Many people contact me asking or additional information or providing new names and branches.  I meet the nicest cousins."

Greatest frustration?  "Not having the time or information to add our English and Australian branches.  Some Hollymans are 'dangling' out there when we are not able to connect persons to a branch of the tree.  When someone writes me, we often can connect, but sometimes we cannot.  At least a few Hollymans in America arrived after Christopher Hollyman whom we cannot place.  There are Hollymans in England for whom we do not have DNA tests or documents to show where they fit in the Tree.  That frustrates me and the persons who contact us."

The future of the Tree?

"None of us ever gets younger, so working with a leadership group, we have other administrators such as you (Glenn) who have the password and occasionally enter names.
We have others who assist now and can succeed me such as Denise Goff, Glenda Norris, Lynn Holliman, Allen Holleman, Sue Jones and Tina Peddie.  

Below, Glenn N. Holliman, left, with Jim and 
Jeanette in their Florida home by the Gulf
of Mexico.

Your son, Christopher, has agreed to 'officially' take over at some time when our generation is no longer around.  And Christopher has promised you his son, Derek, age 2 1/2, will be there for us hopefully in future generations! 

We don't want to lose this work, so it is important to have a cadre of administrators as the decades slip by. We need to keep working on a formal hierarchy to maintain this platform and others such as your virtual archives at" 

For additional information on Holliman families (Hollyman spelled numerous ways), these platforms are available.

Hollyman - managed by Jeanette Holiman Stewart at 

Hollyman Facebook - managed by Tina Peddie at - a virtual archives of Hollyman and allied families managed by Glenn N. Holliman - managed by Glenn N. Holliman