Thursday, October 14, 2010

When We Were English, Part XXII

by Glenn N. Holliman

Are the Holymans from Bedford, rather than Tring?

On the map below, one can see Bedford within the red circle almost due north of London. Tring (unnamed) is located at the red dot just northeast of London. Click on map to enlarge.

As readers of this blog know, I have spent the past four months expounding on research of our Holyman (Holliman, Holleman, Holloman, etc.) origins conducted earlier this year in England. In the late 1990s, a Holyman family tree was posted on the Internet, and many of us took it as gospel. This site, still posted, lists one John Holyman (1572 - 1650) of Tring, Hertfordshire as the English father of our Holliman families in America. A John Holyman really did die in 1650 in Virginia, as recorded by Virginia records.

However, a continuing search of Internet archives, family trees, research by others, and my own exploration in the Hertfordshire Archives has failed to turn up this elusive character in Tring or surrounding villages, although we have found an abundance of Holymans with some fascinating biographies. I trust they are our relations in some form or fashion.

However, this begs the question concerning John Holyman - have we been looking in the wrong places?

Alas, thanks to research by cousins Maxine Wright, Joe Parker and others, an interesting parish register has turned up in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. The parish is St. Mary's, now a redundant facility administered by a trust. Bedford is located approximately 50 miles north of London, and about 25 miles or so from Tring. (See map above) The following information is taken directly from the parish register, and can be found in RootsWeb and LDS internet files.

St. Mary's parish church, although closed, still stands just south of the River Ouse in Bedford. A few blocks away is the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives.

For those of you cognizant of the names of early Virginia Hollimans, these Bedford names are nothing less than amazing. Remember our Christopher Holyman, Sr. arrived 1650 (the same year John died) along with a woman named Judith, believed to be his mother or sister. Another Christopher Holliman and another Judith arrived in 1653. Our Christopher Sr. was first married to a woman (our great grandmother!) named Mary.

Be aware, according to colonial records, a Thomas was already in Virginia at Martin's Hundred, one of America's first real estate developments (so to speak).

Now look at these names from the St. Mary's parish register of Bedford!

1576 - Thomas Holman baptised March 4 in Bedford.

1609 - This Thomas married Helena Poynard on Oct. 23. Their children are listed below.

1610 - September 16, one John Holliman baptised. BINGO! Is this our elusive John, the reputed American founder of our family who died in South Hampton, Virginia in 1650? John married a Mary Parrell on July 25, 1641.

1612 - On September 13, Ellenora Holliman baptised.

1613 - On November 14, Joan Holliman baptised.

1616 - Thomas Holloman baptised on March 20. Is this the Thomas of Martin's Hundred near Jamestown who took land in the 1630s?

1618 - Christopher Hollaman baptisted on September 2. Is this our Christopher Holyman Senior who immigrates to Jamestown in 1650, raises a large family, makes his earthly fortune and dies 1691?! Is this my generation's 8th or 9th great grandfather?

1621 - Judith Holliman baptised on February 11. Is this the Judith who arrives in Jamestown with Christopher in 1650 or later in 1653?!

1623 - On May 14, Eleanor Hollyman baptised at St. Mary's.

1625 - Stephen Holloman baptised on December 24.

1628 - Mary Holiman baptised on September 13.

So the question is begged - have we found the Holyman family that settled in Isle of Wight, Virginia in the early 1650s?

If we have, then Thomas and Helena Poynard of Bedford, Bedfordshire are our English fore parents, and not John Holyman of Tring!

I will leave you here to ponder on the above, and to allow me time to gather further notes 'to push this envelope'. Again, this research belongs to Maxine, Joe and someone who entered the above in LDS records. My continuing thanks to them. If I have omitted others, please allow me to correct the record and give credit where credit is due.

This Holyman history gets more and more interesting....(if you are addicted to family history!)

No comments:

Post a Comment