Sunday, April 16, 2017

Betty Fritch's Conundrum

A Riddle – Who were those 18th Century Holloman Ancestors?
By Glenn N. Holliman

She was born Betty Jean Holloman in Johnson County, Illinois, as was her brother Jack, a Viet Nam veteran.  Jack has taken a DNA test, and yes, he and Betty are descended from Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691), the Virginia founder of most persons in America who spell their name similar to the native of Bedfordshire, England.

Betty married the late Robert Fritch, and lived for decades outside of Chicago before moving to Florida over 20 years ago. She kindly shared lunch with me on a Sunday last month in Mt. Dora.  Perky, sharp as a tack and with a wry sense of humor, she told me her genealogical story and a puzzle.

Betty’s parents Otis (1912-1990) and Freda Sharp Holloman (1914-1991), were also of Johnson County, Illinois, a southern country not far from the Ohio River bordering Kentucky.  Her grandparents were Charles (1884-1965) and Bertha Ashford Holloman.

Going further back in time were Edward (1858-1929), Jesse (1832-1922) and James Holloman (1800 ca – 1850), some living in Pope County and others Johnson County.  

And there lies the riddle.  James shows up in the 1820 Johnston County census, but nowhere earlier.  He did marry Larenda Davis in 1829, a native of Washington County, Ohio.

Betty does not know among Christopher Hollyman’s four male children from whom she descends, nor the names and locations of her 18th century ancestors!  To her the 1700s are mystery, a blank in her family tree.

Betty, with her easy smile, and the author,
Glenn N. Holliman, also a descendant from
Christopher Hollyman, 1618-1691).

Most likely her 4rd and 5th great grandparents traveled from Virginia to Kentucky and then across the river to Illinois, roughly the same route as President Abraham Lincoln’s ancestors.  His grandfather, from Pennsylvania, crossed with one of Daniel Boone’s parties into Kentucky where Old Abe was born in 1809.  

Perhaps Betty’s ancestors moved to North Carolina (as did many other Hollomans from Virginia) and by the 1780s and 90s were on the move through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky?

Does anyone reading this have any suggestions or advice to solve this problem?  Betty, an ardent genealogist, would welcome information.  If you have something pertinent, she might name one of her cats after you!

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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