Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Family's Colonial Era, Part XIII

by Glenn N. Holliman

A Holyman Family from Isle of Wight, Virginia to North Alabama
A Closing Observations as the Old Year Slips Away....

1650 - 2010: 360 Years of American History in one Family

Christopher Holyman, Sr. arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1650. He and his immediate descendants lived approximately a century in Isle of Wight County and adjacent counties. However, around 1740, my direct Holliman descendants from this multiple great grandfather began moving south and west searching for land and increased fortune.

For my line of Hollimans, the chronology is approximately this, and of course, sons and daughters were always splitting off and moving to other parts of what is the United States. Many in the late 1700s and early 1800s would move to Tennessee and Kentucky. For the most part, my branch of this colonial family would migrate to the southern states, although there are exceptions.

Prior to 1650 - Origin of American family is England, with Christopher Holliman, Sr. born 1618 in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England with possible other relatives in Tring, Hertfordshire, England.
Research to date does not support the reported John Holyman (d 1650) of Tring, England and Southampton, Virginia as the father of Christopher Sr. The parents of Christopher Sr. appear to be Thomas (b 1576) and Helene Poynard of Bedford.

The map below traces my Holyman family migrations from Isle of Wight, Virginia to Birmingham, Alabama. Numerals are printed adjacent to each 'stop' . Below the map, the numerals are next to copy about each family historic home. As the map is copied from a history book on the westward movement, no part of this map may be used for commercial purposes. Click on the map twice to enlarge. The large red arrows indicate the forced migration of Native Americans from their tribal lands as European - Americans and African -Americans advanced westwardly.

1. 1650 to 1740s - Most of my direct descendants lived in Isle of Wight County and adjoining counties in Virginia. Naturally, many descendants under the names of Holleman, Hollomon, etc. reside in southern Virginia to this day.

2. 1740s to 1790s - Through the parents and relatives of James Grantson Holliman, the Johnston County, North Carolina area became home for my branch of the family.

3. 1790s to 1836 - In the 1790s Anson County, North Carolina and Lancaster County, South Carolina (border counties) became the location of this James Grantson Holliman family.

4. 1836 - 1918 - In 1836, three sons of James Grantson Holliman moved their families to Fayette County, Alabama. The families of Charles and Cornelius Holliman stayed in Alabama and descendants live in the area to this day. Warren Holliman moved with others to Arkansas, and there remain many Hollimans. Others of these extended families moved to Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and other parts of the southwest and middle Great Plains.

5. 1918 - 1960s - My generation's grandfather, Ulyss S. Holliman (1884 - 1965), a son of John Thomas, grandson of Uriah and great grandson of Cornelius, moved his family from Fayetteville, Alabama to Irondale, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. Several other families migrated to the economic attractions of the 'Magic City' also, including James Monroe Holliman, a brother of Ulyss, and his children. Others of Ulyss' brothers scattered throughout North Alabama; one Bill Holliman, remained in Fayette County, dieing there in 1940.

1960s to the present - While many of my first cousins remain in the Birmingham and North Alabama region, and 2nd and 3rd cousins in Fayette Country area, many grand and great grand children of Ulyss and Pearl Caine Holliman, have relocated across the country living in Chicago, Boston, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska, Arizona and other states. As with many families, advances in education, transportation and career opportunities have led to the dispersion of formally regionally located kinfolk to every part of the country.

Next Posting, a close examination of life in Isle of Wight County in the 17th Century, and its influence on our family today....

1 comment:

  1. Interesting how our families took slightly different paths from Isle of Wight/North Carolina. Yours stayed there until 1836 or so, then went to the richest "black belt" cotton lands of Alabama? Mine left earlier, before those cotton lands were available, to middle Tennessee and on to the Ozarks, thus ending up smack in the middle of the Civil War borderlands--total brother vs. brother, or at least cousin vs. cousin. This is the main thing that makes me wonder, and which I'll probably never be able to answer--how and why people like your and my ancestors picked up and moved west when and where they did. In my case, the only evidence I've uncovered is that those who moved to Tennessee seem to have bought land from a speculator named Murfree, who was based out of Murfreesboro, NC. So maybe it was just random chance. The earliest well-documented ancestor had a wife from a family who mainly moved to southern Alabama and became die-hard Confederates, while my branch of Flys seem to have been mainly Unionists. Random chance? Seems mostly like it.