Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Tale of the Hollymans, Somerset, United Kingdom, Part 1

by Glenn N. Holliman


Along the north-west Welsh coast of Great Britain lies the historic Royal Town of Caernarvon, where successive English and British monarchs have crowned each of their eldest sons 'Prince of Wales' at the impressive Norman castle since the time of King Edward I in the 13th century.

Until recently, Hollyman family researcher and writer Bob Hollyman-Mawson lived on a hillside adjacent to the ancient Roman fort of Segontium which overlooks the town. He now lives in the nearby city of Bangor, where its magnificent cathedral founded in 525 AD contains the revered remains of the Welsh King Gruffudd ap Cynan and various national princes. 

What follows is a fascinating story prepared by Bob of English criminal justice in the early 19th century.  While not directly involved in this misguided piece of jurisprudence, Hollymans lived in this area of Somerset and must have witnessed this horrific scene. 

Our author used as his sources, 'The Ken Hangings' by Derek B. Lilly (1993) from the book Clevedon Past by the Clevedon Civic Society, Somerset, England.  In addition information from Jane Lilly of Clevedon, Fred Cooper of Bristol, the Bristol Mirror and the Western Flying Post. 

For more information on this talented Hollyman genealogist and Somerset Hollymans, please refer to previous articles dated April 7 and 14, May 20, August 8 and September 10, 2012 .  I am grateful for Bob sharing this piece of history, a reminder to Americans of our English roots. - GNH

THE HANGINGS AT KEN, SOMERSET: 1830

AN ENTHRALLING TALE OF SPITE, MALICE, REVENGE AND RETRIBUTION WHICH RESULTED IN THE LAST CRIMINALS TO BE PUBLICLY HANGED IN GREAT BRITAIN AT THE EXACT PLACE OF THEIR CRIME
by Bob Hollyman-Mawson, Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales



THE HOLLYMAN CONNECTION

"John Holman/Hollyman, c1638-c1689, Yeoman of Abbots Leigh, Bourton; Flax Bourton and Clapton-in-Gordano, Somerset, was my earliest known direct Hollyman ancestor.  John was probably also called John after his father, and the different spellings of their names were dependent upon the writing abilities and dialectical interpretations of contemporary scribes.

John had issue of John Hollyman/Holyman, c1662-1727/28, Yeoman of Westbury-on-Trym and Clevedon, Somerset. John had issue of John Hollyman, 1698-1737, Assessor and Collector of Land Tax.

John had issue of John Hollyman/Hollowman of Ken,1734-1766.  John had issue of John Hollyman/Holliman, c1760-1828, farmer and butcher of Abbots Leigh.  John had issue of John Hollyman, c1786-1857, another farmer and butcher of Abbots Leigh.  

John had a sister called Hannah, 1783-?, who married Benjamin Poole, c1780-?, at Bristol in 1804.They were both farmers of Laurel Farm, Ken, otherwise called Kenn. In 1830 Hannah was about 47 and Benjamin 50.  Hannah Hollyman and I, therefore, share the same ancestry.

                     The Historical Geography

 The village of Abbots Leigh is situated some four miles from Bristol.  It was at one time a thriving seaport city from which countless ships made their way along the Severn River into the Bristol Channel and from there sailed across the seas to West Africa, the West Indies and Colonial Virgina.

 These voyages resulted in many Bristol merchants becoming extremely wealthy due to the lucarative imports of slaves, tobacco and sugar.  Amongst these enterprising entrepreneurs were the Elton Baronet Lords of the Manor of Clevedon.  It was at Clevedon Court where my Hollyman ancestors were employed as successive Stewards.

Below the home of the Eltons at Clevedon


The Elton Galley was one of their slave-ships, and it was in some of these that they exported their manufactured shackling-irons to slave-masters. As many Hollymans were seafarers during those times it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they participated in these acts, as well as being involved in the transportation of passengers overseas. Also, it is known that a number of them were passengers themselves.  Bristol, historically within and now on the borders of Gloucestershire and the County of Somerset, was constructed from the proceeds of considerable human suffering.

 Below, Sir Abraham Elton and his wife, Abigail Bayly, an 18th Century couple of Clevedon



It was here in Bristol that John Holyman, a Benedictine Monk and Doctor of Divinity born at Cuddington, Buckinghamshire in 1495, served as the second and only Catholic Bishop of Bristol between 1554 and 1558. Before he died as a classified Popish Recusant, John requested in his will that he be buried in the Chancel of Long Hanborough Church, Oxfordshire.

John appears to have been a silent Judge at the trials of the “Oxford Martyrs”, for I have not located any evidence of his words; so they must have only been uttered between himself and his fellow bishops behind closed doors. Due to the importance of his position, John would have been expected to witness their martyrdom whilst they were burned at the stake for heresy, one being Henry VIII's famous Archbishop Thomas Cramner.

The coastal town of Clevedon lies some sixteen miles to the west of Bristol, and it is here that many of my Hollyman ancestors have been baptised, married and buried for over the last three hundred and fifty years. Furthermore, there are Hollyman connections with numerous villages and hamlets within the entire region of North Somerset.
It was at Ken, about two miles from Clevedon, where some dastardly deeds took place. It resulted in rough justice at the end of a rope and transportation to the other end of the world! " - Bob Hollyman-Mawson

And in our next post, we shall explore the nefarious deeds that led to executions and exile to Australia.
                    
For information on Hollimans and allied families, please refer to the 28 March 2015 blog for an inventory of available manuscripts and data on Hollimans and allied families.

Have questions about Holliman family history? You are invited to join the Hollyman Email List at Hollyman-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com and the Hollyman Family Facebook Page located on Facebook at "Hollyman Family". Post your questions and perhaps one of the dozens Holyman cousins on the list will have an answer. For more information contact Tina Peddie at desabla1@yahoo.com, the list and Facebook manager for Hollyman (and all our various spellings!).

We are all on a journey.  Through genealogy we can discover how families better themselves generation to generation.  When we understand the past, we know ourselves more fully and are more generously equipped to travel through our own time and place in the Cosmos. - GNH
 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Hollimans of England, Part 7

 by Glenn N. Holliman

With this post, we conclude an exploration into the lineage of Lindsay Holliman of England, a distant cousin of most American Hollimans (various spellings) who shares our same ancestor, Thomas Hollyman of Cuddington, Buckinghamshire, England (d 1558).  Whereas my Hollyman forebearers left for Virginia in 1650, Lindsay's remained in England.  

In the 1500s, Hollymans were a prominent family.  One of Thomas's son, Christopher (d 1588 and my 9th great grandfather) married into the distinguished Lee family of Denton, Buckinghamshire, a family that acquired Hartwell House, now a National Trust property near Aylesbury.  However, whereas first born sons inherited real property, second and third born sons did not, so after several generations, these offspring became members of the commercial and laboring classes. 

Both Lindsay's and my paternal ancestors were those second and third sons for several generations in a row.  My 7th great grandfather, Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691) sought his fortune in Isle of Wight, Virginia.  If one will review the previous blog posts, one can read of the economic development of Lindsay's branch, moving from farm workers to commerce to academic endeavors over a period of several centuries.

With Lindsay's father, Frederick George Holliman,  a Cambridge University graduate, the family achieved the apex of academic learning in the United Kingdom.  George's  achievements and contributions to his country and the British Commonwealth are described below by Lindsay, his son.


Frederick George Holliman (1920 – 2001)  
by Lindsay Holliman



Frederick George Holliman in 1940


 Lindsay writes: 

"My father was born on 9 January 1920 in Cambridge and went to school and university there. A scholarship to Trinity College in 1938 launched him on his academic career and set its form. 

An attempt during World War II to join the Royal Fleet Air Arm was deflected into wartime research. That research mixed unconventional and dangerous work on flames and poisons and resulted in PhD in stereochemistry. He was elected to a fellowship at Trinity in 1943 and to a university demonstratorship in 1945. 


Below, Dora Circuit Holliman, Lindsay's mother.

He married Dora Circuit at the Bedford Salvation Army Citadel on 12 July 1945. They had two children - Lindsay in 1946 and Philip in 1950. In 1947 he left to teach at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (UCT) and was made professor of organic chemistry 1950, aged 30. Later in 1955, he became head of the chemistry department and, a few years later, Dean of the Faculty of Science. 


During this time apartheid was being developed and Fred, along with others, was very active in trying to keep South African universities open to all – at Cape Town University he was chairman of a committee fighting the changes. 

 Right, Dora and young Lindsay, 1949.


Left, Dora and Fred in the late 1960s, back in England.



 In 1962 the family returned to England, living in Harrogate in Yorkshire where Fred was a professor at Leeds University. He retired in the early 1980s and eventually lived in Market Harborough, Leicestershire where he died on 13 November 2001, two months after my mother Dora." - Lindsay Holliman



Below, Lindsay and wife, Magdeleine, outside their home near Market Harborough, England.  Retired from a career in human resources, Lindsay is an avid golfer, playing as often as three times a week.  Will there be other generations of Hollimans in England?  Yes, Lindsay has two sons!


If an American Holliman has ever wondered what happened to those left in England by those who migrated to the New World, well, now we have one story of just such a branch of our family! 

My thanks to Lindsay for sharing his ancestral story and for his friendship across the Atlantic. - GNH


For information on Hollimans and allied families, please refer to the 28 March 2015 blog for an inventory of available manuscripts and data on Hollimans and allied families.

Have questions about Holliman family history? You are invited to join the Hollyman Email List at Hollyman-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com and the Hollyman Family Facebook Page located on Facebook at "Hollyman Family". Post your questions and perhaps one of the dozens Holyman cousins on the list will have an answer. For more information contact Tina Peddie at desabla1@yahoo.com, the list and Facebook manager for Hollyman (and all our various spellings!).

We are all on a journey.  Through genealogy we can discover how families better themselves generation to generation.  When we understand the past, we know ourselves more fully and are more generously equipped to travel through our own time and place in the Cosmos. - GNH




Monday, June 8, 2015

The Hollimans of England Part 6

by Glenn N. Holliman

We continue the biographies of the ancestors of Lindsay Holliman, who shares with this writer a multi-great grandfather, Thomas Hollyman (b 1558) of Cuddington, Buckinghamshire, England.  In 2014, DNA testing revealed our paper trails were correct thus tying the American Hollimans to Cuddington in the 15th Century and to Linday's English lineage!

Lindsay's family story is similar to the Holliman families in the United States in the 20th Century.  More and more persons in industrialized countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States left occupations in rural areas and migrated to the growing cities to take advantage of job opportunities.  Their children in turn acquired excellent educations and entered service professions. And alas, both nations and families would participate in two World Wars in the that century. - GNH

Below Lindsay and his wife, Madeleine, in their North Midlands home in England, 2014.

Lindsay Holliman writes:   

"My grandfather, George James Holliman (1889-1950) was born in Chelsea, London, England on 2 March 1889 and was christened there on 31 March that year. He was the eldest of four children, the others being, in order of age: Ada Eleanor Mildred Holliman (1890), William Thomas Holliman (1894) and John Alfred Holliman (1900). 

On 28 October 1908 he married Florence Howlett in the Registry Office at Littleport, where the family were staying at the time, she being a native of that town. By the 1911 census they had moved to Cambridge, the great university city.  George had the the splendid job title “horse keeper for job master” – i.e. he looked after the horses for someone who hired out horse-drawn carriages for domestic use. George was an accomplished cornet player in the Cambridge Salvation Army Band and by 1914 he had become bandmaster. 

George is front row, left in this 1910s band. 

 
 And then World War I happened.




By 1916, he was in Bologne, France driving Salvation Army ambulances, and he did this until his service was terminated on 28 January 1919.  

After the War, he and his brothers helped their father, James, in the family hardware business as it was at the time. The brothers worked in the business all their working life (photograph below ca 1928). The business  eventually wound up in about 1970 when John Alfred Holliman retired.

  George and Florence with Emma, Florence's mother in the 1930s in Cambridge.



George and Florence had two children – Irene Mildred and Frederick George Holliman. Florence lost two brothers in WWI – Frederick (after whom my father was named) at Rouen and William at Flanders.  George died suddenly during the night of 3 December 1950 and was buried on 7th December.  - Lindsay Holliman

In a future post, the conclusion on this English Holliman family, cousins of almost all Hollimans (various spellings) who live in the United States. One Christopher Hollyman migrated to Virginia in 1650; other Hollymans remained in England.

For information on Hollimans and allied families, please refer to the 28 March 2015 blog for an inventory of available manuscripts and data on Hollimans and allied families, please refer to the 28th March 2015.

Have questions about Holliman family history? You are invited to join the Hollyman Email List at Hollyman-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com and the Hollyman Family Facebook Page located on Facebook at "Hollyman Family". Post your questions and perhaps one of the dozens Holyman cousins on the list will have an answer. For more information contact Tina Peddie at desabla1@yahoo.com, the list and Facebook manager for Hollyman (and all our various spellings!).