Saturday, March 2, 2013

When We Were English, Part LIII

by Glenn N. Holliman

Continuing the Will of Thomas Holyman, 1558....

Above the altar in the sanctuary of St. Nicolas Church,
Cuddington, Buckinghamshire, England.

We continue our study of the Will for which accumulated evidence indicates was prepared by my 10th great grandfather - Thomas Holyman, yeoman farmer of Cuddington, Buckinghamshire.  The Will continues beginning on line nine. Click on Will and it will enlarge.

 Lines 9 - 13 - Thomas announces that after his wife Dorothy dies, his first born son Richard is to inherit a considerable portion of the estate.  This is called by the legal term 'primogeniture' in which the estate is handed down to the eldest son, generation after generation.  According to Anne Holmes, professional genealogist who has explored the Holyman family and Cuddington, Richard died in October 1603 and is buried at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London.
One can presume that this great Uncle Richard Holyman had wealth enough to enjoy the countryside at Cuddington and a house in London.  The year 1603 was not just any year in English history.  The historic reign of Elizabeth I ended and James VI of Scotland became James I of England and began the ill-fated Stuart dynasty.  And there was a writer named Shakespeare on the south side of the Thames writing some timeless plays.
Lines 22-26 - Christopher Holyman, my 9th great grandfather and his siblings received a year's crop from the said yard (acreage).   He received a modest inheritance as did his brothers other than the first born, Richard.  Christopher had to make his way in the world without significant inherited resources.  As we shall see later, a good marriage would help.
Information on what had become a prominent family increased during the time of Thomas (d 1558). There were numerous children: Francis who married a person named Mary, died in Cuddington about 1603.  Next a John Holyman (no doubt named after his grandfather) died about 1578 in London, and then Christopher, Bartholomew and George Holyman.
Dorothy Holyman, a sibling named after her mother, married John Clark 6 November 1582 in nearby Hughenden, Buckinghamshire.  John may have been a cousin on his mother-in-law's side of the family.
Then follow Elizabeth, Frances, Katherine and Margaret. 
Below yours truly stands November 2012 on the site of the Holyman manor house of the 16th Century.  In the background are the Holyman farm fields and barns, hundreds of years old.
Next post, we finish studying the Will of a Roman Catholic family about to become Anglican as a Queen dies and Elizabeth I comes to the throne of an island nation - England!
Have questions about Holliman family history? You are invited to join the Hollyman Email List at 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, the list and Facebook manager for Hollyman (and all our various spellings!).

 Since early 2010, I have been publishing research and stories on the broad spectrum of Holliman (Holyman) family history at . For stories on my more immediate family since the early 20th Century, I have been posting articles since early 2011 at .
Let's save the past for the future! If you have photographs, letters, memorabilia or research you wish to share, please contact me directly at Several of us have an on-going program of scanning and preserving Holyman and related family records. Don't just let your aunt or uncle's genealogical work languish unread and deteriorating in an attic. Write us please and tell us of your items. Thanks to the Internet, we are able to scan, upload to the web (with your permission) and return the materials to you. - GNH

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