Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When We Were English, Part XXXIV

Have We Found the English Family of Christopher Holyman, Sr. of Virginia? by Glenn N. Holliman

Let’s play family history detective.  Here are the facts and what can be deduced.

1.     Christopher, according to family historian Peter Smith of Bedfordshire, was an uncommon first name in the 1500s and 1600s, so locating the name in 1589 is important.  In all my research, I have not found it ANY WHERE ELSE in England attached to the surname Holyman or one of its various spellings, except, of course, for the 1618 birth of Christopher Holyman in Bedford.
The parish church in Sherington, Buckinghamshire is named after St. Laud of France.  It is just possible that my generation's 9th great grandfather, Christopher Holyman's dust, may be embedded in the grounds surrounding this 19th Century restoration.

First names are often repeated from one generation to another.  Thomas of 1589 and 1595, is he the same Thomas Hollyman who marries in Bedford, Bedfordshire at St. Peter’s in 1609?

3.    And the Christopher Holyman born in Bedford in 1618 to Thomas, is he a grandson and named after the 1589 Christopher of Sherington, Buckinghamshire?

The Great River Ouse (yes, that is the name of this lazy 'river')  flows from Sherington to Bedford.  Here the stream meanders past Tyringham House, a great county estate a few miles west of Sherington.  Yes, the river flows west for a bit and then turns north and finally east, moving through Bedford and eventually to the North Sea.

4.    Sherington is upriver on the Great River Ouse which flows through Bedford, two blocks from St. Mary’s parish where Christopher Holyman, b. 1618, was baptized. Sherington is approximately 12 walking miles from Bedford.  Hmmmm.....

5.     We can find no records of Holymans in Sherington parish records after 1602 (and no records exist prior to 1603, except 1576 and no Hollymans that year).

6.     No records exist in Bedford, Bedfordshire prior to 1609 on Hollymans.

7.     No records exist in Bedford recording the death of Christopher Holyman, b. 1618, or his sister, Judith, b 1621, in Bedford.  (Of course not if they died in Virginia!)

The clues point to a connection....

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