Monday, March 27, 2017

The Hollyman Ancestry.Com Tree

by Glenn N. Holliman

Jeanette Holiman Stewart - Builder and Keeper of the Tree

She began THE Tree in 2012, and almost daily Jeanette adds names and dates, focused on filling out the many, many branches of the Hollyman (various spellings) lineage.  This very determined cousin of mine will soon add the 40,000th name!  In addition at Hollyman one will find 176,000 records, and 16,000 photographs and 1,400 stories.  There are 21,000 people with hints and 91,000 hints to review!

A retired cancer nurse, her lineage goes back to the Hollymans of England and her American experience to Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691).  Her ancestors followed the southwestern migration to the Carolinas, Alabama and eventually Texas from where she hails, the daughter of a Texas sheriff.  She now lives in Florida with husband Jim Stewart, (below) a retired engineer and CEO of numerous corporations.

Jeanette has developed some definite procedures for maintaining the scholarly integrity of the Tree. She only adds names when there is a citation or legal record such as a census, will or tax statement that such a person is a 'blood kin' or a partner/spouse of a Hollyman. Due to the size and complexity of the effort, she does not add allied families.

"Persons have to establish their own trees for non-DNA or step-children allied with Hollymans.  If I included them, I would never be able to get around to the direct descendants!"

What has she learned from inputting these tens of thousands of Holliman ancestors?

- "I can see the family moving through the narrative of American history.  For example during the Great Depression of the 1930s, families consolidated and moved west for jobs. There was lots of mobility during and after World War II. Many Rosie the Riveters and female nurses. Many sacrifices.  We have a lot of people buried at Arlington."

- "Up until World War II, we were largely a southern USA family although some Hollomans were living in the mid-west - Indiana, Illinois and Missouri."

- "Families are changing.  The word 'partner' shows up more and more in the late 20th century.  Logging families is more challenging as divorce and multiple marriages or no marriages but children are appearing often complicating the recording of relationships."

- "The longest name I have recorded is a Native American who married a Hollyman descendant - Mary 'Mollie' Pinal Insedesealth Tashkachin Clan, a member of the Navajo peoples.  We have a slew of Native Americans mainly in Oklahoma but also Tennessee."

- "Due to forced servitude prior to the Civil War, we have numerous African-American Hollimans/Hollemans, many congregated still in Virginia, the colony where Christopher Hollyman landed in 1650."

- "Ninety-five percent of our ancestors were 'normal', although my husband reminds me there is no 'normal' regarding human behavior or families.  About 5% seem to be rogues, misfits, criminals, mentally ill, alcoholics or abusers.  This is probably the national average for these categories.  It does concern me that we seem to have a large number of suicides in the Tree.  I don't know why."

- "I learn about dying reading the death certificates.  For example, in South Carolina many worked in textile mills and a number succumbed to tuberculosis.  The Civil War led to the premature deaths of many of our male ancestors."

- "I realize how important the family of origin is.  Some families have remained in a region for generations moving through the decades from farming to factory workers, nurses, teachers, merchants - the fabric of local communities.  Other families have clusters of professionals - physicians, researchers, managers, college professors and so forth.  There are bursts of creativity in some families and others that move quietly through life."

- "The name is spelled many ways - Holyman, Hollyman, Holleman, Holloman, Holliman, Holiman, Hollaman, etc.  The spelling often depended on how the census taker or county clerk 'heard' it in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The English spelling in the 1500s was generally spelled Holyman or Hollyman according to legal documents." 

Will Jeanette ever stop her 40 hour a week avocation?  Will she ever finish?  

"I think when I reach 80,000 or so names, I will call a halt, temporarily at least and 'publish' the Tree although it is available to all now via  One does not have to be a member to view the Tree and discover ancestors.  Just write me at and I will send a 'guest' invitation.  Of course members can view the public tree any time. Many people contact me asking or additional information or providing new names and branches.  I meet the nicest cousins."

Greatest frustration?  "Not having the time or information to add our English and Australian branches.  Some Hollymans are 'dangling' out there when we are not able to connect persons to a branch of the tree.  When someone writes me, we often can connect, but sometimes we cannot.  At least a few Hollymans in America arrived after Christopher Hollyman whom we cannot place.  There are Hollymans in England for whom we do not have DNA tests or documents to show where they fit in the Tree.  That frustrates me and the persons who contact us."

The future of the Tree?

"None of us ever gets younger, so working with a leadership group, we have other administrators such as you (Glenn) who have the password and occasionally enter names.
We have others who assist now and can succeed me such as Denise Goff, Glenda Norris, Lynn Holliman, Allen Holleman, Sue Jones and Tina Peddie.  

Below, Glenn N. Holliman, left, with Jim and 
Jeanette in their Florida home by the Gulf
of Mexico.

Your son, Christopher, has agreed to 'officially' take over at some time when our generation is no longer around.  And Christopher has promised you his son, Derek, age 2 1/2, will be there for us hopefully in future generations! 

We don't want to lose this work, so it is important to have a cadre of administrators as the decades slip by. We need to keep working on a formal hierarchy to maintain this platform and others such as your virtual archives at" 

For additional information on Holliman families (Hollyman spelled numerous ways), these platforms are available.

Hollyman - managed by Jeanette Holiman Stewart at 

Hollyman Facebook - managed by Tina Peddie at - a virtual archives of Hollyman and allied families managed by Glenn N. Holliman - managed by Glenn N. Holliman

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