Sunday, May 25, 2014

When We Were English, Part 59

by Glenn N. Holliman

New Research Confirms Holliman English Lineage....

It has been a year since I have used this space to write of recent research delving into the roots of the American Hollimans (and assorted spellings) in England.  In my last writings, with the help of English genealogists Peter Smith and Anne Holmes, the Holyman lineage from England to the Virginia colony appeared (and continues to appear) to be as follows:

John Holyman of Cuddington, Buckinghamshire (d 1521), father of
John Holyman of Cuddington (d 1533), father of
Thomas Holyman (d 1558) of Cuddington and Dorothy Clark, daughter of Christopher Clark, parents of
Christopher Holyman, orginally of Cuddington (d 1588) and Margaret Lee, orginally of Dinton, later both of Sherington, Buckinghamshire, parents of
Thomas Holyman (d ca 1650) and Helena Poynard of Bedford, Bedfordshire, parents of Christopher Holyman of Isle of Wight, Virginia (1618-1691)

This research into wills, baptism and marriage records, time, place and commonality of first names, especially the name of Christopher, all seemed to have fallen into a convincing thesis.

What was lacking was a DNA test with an Englishman who believed himself a descendant of the same Holymans of Cuddington, Buckinghamshire. (It is the male DNA that provides the continuity of lineage.)  Thanks to Bob Hollyman-Mawson of Wales of whom I have written earlier in this space, I began an email exchange with Lindsay Holliman of Braybrook, near Market Harborough in the midlands of England. 

 Below, two cousins, Glenn Holliman on the left and Lindsay Holliman, right, study mutual lineages in Lindsay's home, January 2014.

We arranged to meet last winter in his home and village.  Thanks to genealogist cousin Tina Peddie, I had a DNA kit, and Lindsay kindly took the test.  Months later, the results were in, and as Tina wrote from California "BINGO!".   Lindsay tested positively to American Holliman DNA tests, mine included, that we Americans and Lindsay all share a common ancestor, one somewhat deep in time, but a same grandfather in our English past.    Below, Lindsay in his office nook surrounded by photos of his Holliman family.

Below is the lineage that Lindsay has traced to date of his family.  Note please the commonality of our mutual Buckinghamshire roots.  The English saying is "Bob's your uncle!" or there it is - strong evidence of science and saved records that both Lindsay and Holliman Americans share that common ancestry.

Robert Holliman (1599-1638) of Cuddington, Buckinghamshire, father of
Robert Holliman (1620-1667) of Cuddington and Mary, parents of
Brightwell Holliman (1650-1711) and Mary Wheeler, both of Cuddington, parents of 
Brightwell Holliman (1694-1761) of Cuddington and Mary Gibbs, parents of
John Holliman (1725 ca - ?) of Cuddington and Sarah Steel of Waddeston, Buckinghamshire, parents of
James Holliman of Cuddington (1767-1853) and Elizabeth Cook of Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, parents of
James Holliman of Long Crendon (1797-1866) and Sarah Hendry of Haily, Oxfordshire, parents of
 John Holliman (1831-1907) of Long Crendon and Lillah/Zillah Sheriff of Winchendon, Buckinghamshire, parents of
James Holliman (1859-1932) of Long Crendon and Louise Atkins of Towcester, Northamptonshire, parents of
George James Holliman (1889-1950) of Chelsea, London nd Florence Howlett of Littleport, Cambridgeshire, parents of
Frederick George Holliman (1920-2001) of Cambridge and Dora Circuit of Bedford, Bedfordshire, parents of

Lindsay Holliman (1946) of Cambridge, now Braybrook

Lindsay observes from his research: "Generally the early surname spelling was Holyman, but this changed increasingly to Holliman as the 19th century progressed.  The English census returns show the usual variations in spelling - no doubt a combination of the illiterate householder's accent and the spelling ability of the enumerator.

Long Crendon is a village 3 miles from Cuddington, home of the still named Holyman Farm.  During the Medieval and Tudor periods the Holymans were a noted family in the Cuddington/Haddenham area of Buckinghamshire and appear to have had some considerable influence. 

By the 19th century however, those that remained in the Cuddington area, were largely employed on the land as labourers.  By the early 20th century there were no Hollimans living in the Cuddington area, including Haddenham, Long Crendon, Chearsley and Winchendon." - Lindsay Holliman

There is more work to be done and more to be said in forthcoming posts....but this is a major confirmation of the English Holliman heritage!

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!).

Join your many cousins at and view an expanded Holliman family tree and many files on the history of the family.  Just write to for an invitation. Or go to the HOLLYMAN GENEALOGY MyFamily site at Then click on "Request to Join" in upper righthand corner!

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