Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Hollimans of England, Part 5

by Glenn N. Holliman

For the past few months, I have been alternating ancestral stories of distant cousins - one branch that immigrated to the New World and by the late 1700s had arrived in the Piedmont area of North Carolina.  Other distant cousins remained in England.  

With this posting we return to the middle 1800s following an English Holliman family on the rise economically.  As did tens of thousands, the immediate ancestors of Lindsay Holliman left the farm and moved to London, the world's largest city in the 19th Century, seeking economic opportunity in the new industrial age.

Above, Glenn Holliman and Lindsay Holliman, both descended from Thomas Hollyman (d 1558) of Buckinghamshire, England, compare notes at Lindsay's kitchen table, January 2014.

From the Farm to the Cities by Lindsay Holliman

"My 2nd great grandfather, John Holliman (11 September 1831 – 1907), spent his early years as a farm labourer in Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, about forty-five miles west of London.  His home was in Frog Lane in the shadow of the Long Crenton Manor.  In 1851, he actually was resident at the Manor House.

Below Frog Lane in Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire in the 19th Century.

Below the maginificent Long Crendon Manor House with Tudor framing

At some point in the 1870s, John moved his wife, Lillah/Zillah Sherriff, and family to the Chelsea district of London.  The couple had married in 1855 and had one son, James Holliman.  Lillah had been a lace maker before and after the marriage.  In the booming metropolis of London, John found work first as a labourer and then as a furniture dealer.  At the death of Lillah, John moved back to Long Crendon before joining his son in Littleport, Cambridgeshire in 1902 and dying in 1907.

The life of James Holliman (1859-1932) completes the family's move from farm to city, from an agricultural labour to businessman.  By age 12, James worked in Long Crendon as a farm labourer, but by the 1881 census, he is living with his parents in London.  December 14, 1885, he married Louisa Pettifer Atkins at St. Luke's Church, Chelsea.  The censuses of 1891 lists James as a fishmonger and in 1901, a green grocer.

Louisa Atkins Holliman was born in Towcester (pronounced toaster), Northamptonshire in 1862, the eldest of eight children of Thomas Atkins/Adkins and Elizabeth Coleman.  Thomas was a coachman who lived at Babraham just outside of Cambridge with his family by 1871, and had moved to London by 1881.  There Louisa met and married James Holliman.  Louisa's mother died when Louisa was only 15, so I dare say she had a difficult time helping her father with her young siblings, five of whom were under ten.

Below, this London photograph taken 1898 shows James Holliman with his forceful wife, Louisa and their three children.  Lindsay Holliman's grandfather is George Holliman on the left, with Ada and William on the right.  Their fourth child, John, was born n 1900.

The upward climb up the economic ladder of Edwardian England continued with James moving his family to Littleport after 1901 and by 1911 to the city of Cambridge, the famous university city.  James is first described as a 'hawker', - a seller of inexpensive items, handicrafts or foods, often from a barrow or cart.  He became a hardware dealer on Mill Road.  In the meantime, entrepreneurship blossomed in the family - his wife, Louisa, opened a servant's registry, going into business herself.

Below, James and Louisa ca 1930 and right, Louisa with her latest high-tech piece of equipment, ca 1920.

Around 1922, working together, the couple had established a house furnishing business on premises eventually along King Street in the middle of Cambridge. Louisa, the dynamic force in the family, had joined the Salvation Army, a relatively new religious and social force in British life in the early part of the 20th Century.  The Army was dedicated to saving the souls of the poor and improving their lives.

Louise passed away 20 July 1931 and James on 2 August 1932.  They are both buried at Mill Road Cemetery in Cambridge.  The generational journey from farm to city is evident in the lives of this hard working and enterprising couple." by Lindsay Holliman, great grandson of James and Louisa Holliman

Next a 20th Century English family during two world wars....

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!).

There is also a massive Hollyman and Associated Families Tree available for review.  For an invitation to this collection of over 20,000 individuals, please write

I also have a collection of associated family manuscripts and research collected by the late Walt Holliman, Cecil Holliman and Rhodes Holliman.  Happy to send these materials by email and to insure their research is available.  The surnames: Alexander, Baldwin, Barham, Bass, Beall, Blakeney,  Baker, Bond, Bostick, Brewer, Bryan, Bryant, Bullock, Calvert, Carter, Champion, Chew,Cofer, Cole, Crafford, Crockett, Curtis, Dale, Daniel, Davidson, Davies, De Mallpas, Douglas, Duckett, Edwards, Edgerton, Emerson, Fitzhugh, Fowlehurst, Fox, Gains, Garrison, Gonson, Graves, Gray, Guyton, Guins, Hall, Hamby, Hawkins,Hendrix, Hill, Hogg, Holliman, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Jones, Judkins, Love, Lucas, Maget, Mansfield, Manwaring, McBee, McComas, McCurdy, McNewsome, Nicholson, Norsworthy, Noyall, O'dell, Oliver, Pearce, Peerce, Pettigrew, Petway, Pitman, Plow, Plyler, Porten, Prather, Petite, Ridgely, Riggan, Roberts, Smith, Spencer, Sprigg, Standley, Stanyard, Swan, Strother, Thompson, Thornton, Thrope, Trelawney, Turpin, Underhill, Underwood, Wallace, Walters, Weedon, Whitherspoon, Whitten,Williams,Wilmot,Wilson, Whitaker and Yerby.  These are mainly of Alabama families and their ancestors from the Carolinas and Virginia. Materials vary from one page to 200. - GNH at

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