Holland Surname Genealogy

The origin of the surname
England is from an early place-name (of which there were many in
England) and
has nothing really to do with the country of Holland.
The root seems to have been the Old English hoh meaning
“ridge” and land meaning “land.”
The place-name of Up Holland in west
Lancashire, which appeared in the 1086 Domesday Book, gave rise to the
Holland family of medieval times.

Holland Resources on

Holland Ancestry

England. The Holland name has
been primarily a Lancashire
name. although it has spread to other parts of the country.

Lancashire The
progenitor of the medieval Holland family appears to have been Matthew
Holande, recorded as having acquired the Holland manor in Up Holland,
present-day Wigan, in 1202. Holande or
Holand was the spelling used by this family until the 14th century. The township of Up Holland was at that time
numbered among the market towns of Lancashire.
A castle and a priory adorned the place when the de Holandes
were its

These Holands rose to local and national importance in the 14th
, first
their association with Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and second through
exploits in the wars against the French. Thomas and John Holland
were half-brothers
to King Richard II, although here it was said “he had companions of the
sort – violent, dissipated, and cruel.”
Both Hollands perished after Richard II was overthrown in 1399.

Hollands survived these catastrophes and remained a force during the
Wars of
the Roses. But Henry Tudor’s victory at
Bosworth Field in 1485 ended their time of prominence.
The family history was recounted in Bernard
Holland’s 1917 book The Lancashire

were subsidiary Holland lines – at Denton and Sutton in Lancashire, at
Mobberley in Cheshire, and in north Wales.
Thomas Holland of Sutton was a Jesuit priest who was martyred
for his
beliefs in 1642.

the Mobberley Hollands came:

  • the
    18th century surgeon and doctor Peter Holland
    of Knutsford in Cheshire
  • his
    son Sir Henry Holland, a royal physician and later
    a travel writer
  • and
    his son Henry
    Holland, known as Lord Knutsford, a British Colonial Secretary in the

Norfolk Hollands claimed descent from the Lancashire Hollands, but this
is questionable. They held Wortwell
House in Redenhall in the early 1500’s and later established themselves
Quiddenham. Philemon Holland, the noted
classicist, was a prominent member of this family.

Holland from an Essex family allegedly drew up the death warrant for
Charles I
in 1649. With the restoration of the
monarchy and facing death by hanging, drawing and quartering, he
escaped the
country and lived in exile in Switzerland as John Ralfeson for the
remainder of
his life.

Holland was the title given in 1763 to Henry Fox, an influential
politician of his time. Holland House
and Holland Park in Kensington, London take their name from him.
Meanwhile Jools
Holland’s ancestry has been traced back to delivery men and hawkers in
Marylebone area of London in the mid-19th century.

. Holland is also an Irish name.
Its principal Irish origin
is one of the anglicizations of the Gaelic O’hOileian name. This was a sept first
found in Connacht but which later dispersed.

The 1890 census showed some Hollands
in Galway. Larger numbers were in the
Beara peninsula in county Cork. A number
of the Hollands from Bantry in Cork emigrated to America and Canada in
mid-19th century. John Holland,
considered the inventor of the modern submarine, departed for America
with his
parents from Liscannor in county Clare in 1872. There
are plaques honoring him in the town
today. His father John was originally
from Cork.

America. There
were early Hollands recorded in Virginia in the 1620’s, but none of
them seem
to have survived. Captain John Holland
came to Massachusetts around the year 1630.
As a ship captain he travelled frequently to Virginia and died
at sea
near there in 1652. John Holland,
possibly his son (but probably not), established himself in Nansemond
county in
the 1660’s and his family name became the name of the town where he
lived. In 1860 the Holland city commission
was made
up of 12 members, 10 of whom were named Holland.

A line from here is thought to
have run to Edgecombe county, North Carolina and thence to Georgia
where Wiley
born in 1804. He was a plantation owner
and civic leader
for many years in Wilkinson county, surviving the Civil War and
Sherman’s march
through Georgia.

Two Holland notables in Texas were:

  • Spearman Holland
    who, according
    to the family Bible, was born in Virginia in 1801 and died in Texas in
    1872. He had moved to the Piney Woods
    section of east Texas in 1842 where he established his plantation. He was a Confederate Major during the Civil
    War. Afterwards he gave over his
    plantation to his former slaves and it became known as Holland
  • and
    Rube Holland from Tennessee who came to Bell county, Texas in 1874 with
    wagon and horses, his wife and four children, and six dollars in cash.” Five years later, the town of Holland was
    named after him, apparently without his knowledge.

Canada. An early Holland in
Canada was from
Samuel Holland had joined
the British
army in 1756 and eight years later was appointed Surveyor General of
America. He is remembered in Prince
Edward Island as a founder of the colony.
Holland College there was named after him and there is a Parc
Holland in Quebec City.

Australia. Many early arrivals were
convicts, such as
Richard Holland from Liverpool, convicted in 1806 for theft. After serving out his sentence he farmed at
Windsor, NSW until his death there at 84 in 1867. His
son Thomas farmed there for a further
fifty years before his death at 88 in 1913.

The Hollands were a pioneering
family in Australia’s Northern Territories.
Cyril Holland took over the Lockerbie homestead in Cape York,
Australia’s northernmost cattle station, in 1913. He
and his family were to spend thirty years
there. Their story was recounted in Ann
Hall’s 1990 book The Holland Family.

New Zealand.
Holland came to New Zealand with his parents
from a small farming village in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1863. He settled in Christchurch SI and served as
its mayor and MP in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
His son Sidney followed him into politics. He
became leader of the National Party in
1940 and Prime Minister ten years later

Holland Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Holland Names

created Duke of Exeter,
was a half-brother to King Richard II and a power behind the throne. But he lost his position and his head after
Richard was overthrown in 1399.
Sir Henry Holland
was physician to the young Queen
Victoria and also a noted travel writer.
is considered the father of the modern submarine, selling
the first
prototype to the US Navy in 1900.
was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1950 to 1957.

Select Hollands Today

  • 41,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in East Midlands)
  • 40,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 22,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia



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