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

hptt:// - managed by Glenn N. Holliman

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ronald R. Holliman - A Major Family Historian of Alabama Hollimans

by Glenn N. Holliman

In the early 1990s, after years of study in Alabama and Georgia libraries and numerous interviews with aging distant cousins, Ronald Robert Holliman, a descendant of Christopher Hollyman, 1618-1691, penned a 200-plus page magnificent volume of research.  His well-organized work tells the story of his Alabama and North Carolina ancestors. Masterfully detailed with priceless stories and lineages, he produced a ground-breaking work in the pre-Internet age.

Left, Ron and a copy of his research.

A native of Pell City, Alabama, Ron and I share as great grand parents John Thomas, 1844-1930, and Martha Jane Walker Holliman, 1846-1931, of Fayette County, Alabama.

Whereas I am descended from Ulyss S, Holliman, 1884-1965, Ron is the grandson of Silas Green Holliman, 1876-1943, and Carrie Bell Geer, 1876-1965. His parents are Robert S. Holliman, 1916-2007, and Winnie Helen Wilson, 1917-1989.

Right, Confederate Civil War veteran John Thomas Holliman ca 1900. His father and two of his brothers died in the War.  He was a veteran of seven major battles and later raised a family on a small, struggling farm.

Above, Silas Green and Carrie Holliman with four of their eventual eight children, ca 1907

Below in 1935, left to right the five surviving sons of John Thomas Holliman - Bill, Silas Green, James Monroe, Leland, missing is Eck (d 1928) and finally Ulyss.  Picture made at Caine's Ridge Baptist Church in Fayette County, Alabama.

For the past quarter century, Ron has had to lay aside his genealogical research to raise a family and direct the Southeast Alabama Regional Development and Planning Commission.  He took retirement from managing this large private-public enterprise late last year.  

With his permission, I have placed his work on the virtual archives web site - . Go to Research page, find the - Search bar and type in 'Ron Holliman' and one will be directed to his multi-chapter work.

Below, Rebecca Anne Kirkley, Ron and Anne Holliman Phillips. Becky and Ron have been married since 1967 and have numerous grandchildren.  Anne is a daughter of Euhal and Edna Westbrook Holliman, and this writer's first cousin.  Anne, a long time resident of Dothan, Alabama, joined me in visiting Ron and Becky in February 2017.

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

hptt:// - managed by Glenn N. Holliman

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Maxine Wright, Holliman Genealogist

by Glenn N. Holliman

Maxine Wright, 1926-2017, a friend and fellow genealogist of the Holliman families, passed away last month. Thanks to the late Rhodes B. Holliman, I met Maxine over the internet in 2010.  Within a few months she was kindly sharing pictures and information on her family tree, which like mine emerged from west Alabama in the early 19th century.  As with many of you reading this posting, she descends from immigrant Christopher Hollyman, 1618-1691, first of Bedford, Bedfordshire and later from Isle of Wight, Virginia.

Her 17th, 18th and 19th great grandparents were the same as mine, immigrating from Virginia to North Carolina and by 1836 to Fayette County, Alabama near the Mississippi line.  Her ancestors later moved into west Tennessee and she to Arkansas, while mine stayed in Alabama.

Until her health failed, she wrote me often, both by email and surface. Photographs, old letters and records cascaded into my mail box (which I returned to her after scanning).  She was one of several who had questions about family trees on the internet that seemed to have errors on our common 18th century paternal ancestors.  She forwarded records from North Carolina for me to review.  With these clues and others from Joe Parker, Ron Holliman and Jeanette Holiman Stewart, we were able to rewrite our common lineage.

It goes as follows - Christopher Hollyman, d 1691 to Richard, d 1711, to Samuel, d 1787, to James Grantson, d 1836 and then to the three brothers - Warren, Charles and Cornelius who immigrated from the North Carolina/South Carolina border to Alabama the year their father died in 1836.  She descends from Charles Holliman.

Maxine's full family tree can be found in the Hollyman tree and her work saved at, a virtual archive for a growing number of Holliman (various spellings) and associated families.  Go to the Records page, find the search box and enter Maxine Wright and her work will be made available.  We are grateful to her for her work, her sharing and her kindness. Below is the obituary as released on this good lady by the funeral home in Arkansas last month.