Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When We Were English, Part XVIIL

by Glenn N. Holliman 


 On two occasions in 2012, I had the opportunity to travel to England to research further my Holyman family roots.  During this time I was assisted by family historian Peter Smith of Bedfordshire and professional genealogist Anne Holmes of Buckinghamshire.

Their research and my own examinations of original source materials continue to deepen my understanding of my ancestral families before the immigration of Christopher Holyman and his sister to Virginia in 1650.

 In this space for several years, I have been writing of my findings, inviting the reader into my search to discover the roots of the Hollimans.  Many of you have been 'walking' with me.  If one desires to review earlier writings, please go to the 'Archives' section of this home page or just click over the name of a person or location in "Labels' portion of the home page.
Above, Glenn Holliman, left, and right, genealogist Anne Holmes of Buckinghamshire, England examine Holyman records of the 16th Century in the archives in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom in November 2012. 

Briefly what new findings do I have to report.

1. Thanks to the research of Anne Holmes, the scenario of the Holyman family from John Holyman, d 1521 in Cuddington, Buckinghamshire to his great grandson, Christopher Holyman, d 1588 in Sherington, Buckinghamshire appears solid.  This thesis is backed up by translated wills and parish records which will be examined in future articles.

 2. The thesis that I have been promoting that Christopher Holyman of Sherington (d 1588) is the father of Thomas Holyman of Bedford and the grandfather of our Christopher Holyman (d 1691) in Ile of Wight, Virginia is not disproved and continues to be a very plausible explanation of lineage. 

 3. Thanks to Anne Holmes we know Thomas of Bedford lived near St. Mary's Parish on Caldwell Street, which even today runs in front of the church.  His wife, Eleanor Holyman, died in 1553 and is buried in that churchyard cemetery.

 4. A fascinating piece of information is that Thomas Holyman was a shoemaker, a cordwainer if you will!  While an honorable profession, this seems a comedown on the social ladder for the Holymans of Cuddington who were substantial landowners just a half century earlier.  However, he did own the Blue Boar Inn lease which he sold for 40 pds in 1640, a tidy sum in that era.  Let's call him a craftsman and a businessman.

Below, the bridge connects then north side of the Great River Ouse in Bedford to the south side.  Behind the high rise hotel on the left stands St. Mary's parish church and Caldwell Street, the lane (then) that housed the residence and business (es) of Thomas Holyman (b bef. 1587 - d bet. 1646-1652).

 5. Anne will continue to investigate the Bedford records to add context to our family story.  As yet, we have not found burial records for Thomas and Eleanor's children named Christopher and Judith (we have of their other children) thus strengthening the argument that the Christopher who arrived in Virginia in 1650 and died there in 1691 is indeed from Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.

We will follow the story wherever additional research may lead!

Much more in the next postings...


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