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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. Cambridge). Az. a fesse dancettee betw. three griffins pass, wings endorsed or. Crest—On a ducal coronet gu. a lion sejant or.
2) (South Wheatly, co. Notts). Sa. a chev. betw. three anchors ar.
3) Az. three griffins segreant or. Crest—Out of a five-leaved ducal coronet gu. a lion sejant or.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Holder Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Holder Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
The last name Holder has two primary origins. First, it is an English name, primarily in the western part of the country, that developed as an occupational surname for a person who earned a living in medieval times and the Middle Ages by tending animals, from the Old English word healdan  (or Old Norse holldr) and Middle English word hold(en), meaning “to guard or keep”. In this origin theory, it is also possible the name referred to a person who was a holder in a wider sense, meaning a holder of land in the feudal system. Lastly, some people believe the name developed as an occupational name for an auctioneer (once called upholsters or upholders), one who held up goods for sale.

Second, is a German topographic name denoting a person who lived near an elder tree, derived from the Middle High German world holder, or from a house named for its sign being an elder tree. A house sign was a means of personalizing and identifying one’s home at a time when many people were illiterate and could not read, and hence could only identify houses by images.

Spelling or names with similar etymologies include Holdere, Hledere, Holdar, and Houlder.

Early Bearers of the Holder Surname
The first known bearer of this surname was Geoffrey le Holder who was documented in Hertsfordshire in 1262 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists three bearers of this surname: Robert le Holdere (Gloucestershire), Robert Holdere (Norfolk), and Robert le Holdere (Cambridgeshire). Paetro Holdar was documented in Gloucester in 1381 AD. Henricus Heldere was documented in a Poll Tax in Abbess Roding, Essex, England in 1381. William Holder was recorded in the Feet Fines in 1405 AD in Yardley, Worcestershire, England.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Holder ranks 978th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states:

The surname Holder frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (885th), Scotland (4,468th), Wales (705th), Ireland (10,956th) and Northern Ireland (3,590th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Orkney. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Connaught. In Wales, it ranks highest in Cardiganshire.

The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world:  Canada (2,406th), New Zealand (), Australia (1,755th), and South Africa (2,946th).

Holder Family Tree & Holder Genealogy

Baronet Holder
The lineage of genealogy of this family traces back to Charles Holder of Bishop’s Cleeve, county Gloucester, who in 1810, married Martha Hone, and had issue with her including a son named Henry. Henry Holder of Lansdowne House, Malvern, was born in 1811. In 1837, he married Maria Purser and had an only son with her named John. This son, Sir John Charles Holder, 1st Baronet, was a Deputy Lieutenant, Justice of the Peace, and High Sheriff who was born in 1838. In 1872, he married Geraldine Augusta Baynton, daughter of John Williams Knipe, or Worcester, and had issue with her as follows: 1) Sir Henry Charles (2nd Baronet), 2) John Alexander (Captain of the M.V.C, married Isa Muriel Sybill Forrest, had issue named John Terence and Muriel Lettice), 3) Alfred Ernest (of Hood Manor, Totnes, S. Devon, married Gwendoline Louisa Ryland, and had issue with her named Charles Frederick Chavasse, Arthur Thomas Chavase, Richard John Chavase, Gwendoline Mary Chavasse, Phyllis Margaret Chavasse), 4) Norman Francis (Lieutenant of the Warwickshire Regiment, married Georgette Sara), 5) Geraldine Mabel (married Reverend John St. Clair Maybe), 6) Flora Constance Maria, 7) Edith Mary (married Captain Charles Henry Hirst Walker Border Regiment), 8) Kathleen Isabel (married Major William Henry Booth), 9) Isabella Dorothea (married Robert Newall Mayne), and 10) Gladys Evelyn Austin (married Philippe Cosmo Henri de Satge, had issue). Sir John Charles Holder was created a Baronet in 1898. He died in 1923 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Henry Charles Holder, 2nd Baronet, who was an M.A. of Brasenose College Oxford and Justice of the Peace born in 1874. In 1898, he married Evelyn, daughter of Colonel Sir Robert Ropner, 1st Baronet of Preston Hall, and had issue with her as follows: 1) John Eric Duncan (3rd Baronet), 2) Kathleen Joyce (married Frank Osborne Cooke), 3) Geraldine Evelyn Marjorie, and 4) Nancy Lilian. Sir John Eric Duncan Holder, 3rd Baronet, of Pitmaston, county Worcester, was born in 1899. He earned an M.A. and served in World War II as a Lieutenant of the Royal Air Force. In 1927, he married Evelyn Josephine, daughter of William J.F. Blain of The Old Manor House, and had issue with her as follows: John Henry, Anthea Josephine (1930), and Meryl Evelyn. The 4th Baronet, Sir John Henry Holder, was born in 1928. His eldest son and heir apparent to the baronetcy is Nigel John Charles Holder, born in 1962. The Holder coat of arm or Holder family crest is blazoned in the medieval European art of heraldry as follows: Per pale dancette or and gules, three chevronels ermine in chief two trefoils slipped counterchanged. Crest: Upon the battlements of a tower, per pale or and argent, charged with a cross couped gules, a lion sejant per pale dancette azure and gules resting the dexter forepaw on an anchor argent. They resided at Racketts, Croxley Green, county Hertford, England.

Holder of Pasadena
Charles Frederick Holder, LL.D., of Pasadena, California, son of Joseph Bassett Holder, descendant of Christopher Holder, a Quaker missionary, who came to the US in the early seventeenth century, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1851. He entered the US Naval Academy in 1869. He was the Assistant Curator of Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1879, he married Sarrah E. Ufford of Brooklyn, a descendant of William Provost of Paris (Huguenot, 1534 AD), and had a daughter with her named Emily Eaton. The family resided on Bellefontaine Street. The Holder coat of arms in blazoned in heraldry as follows: Sable, a chevron between three anchors argent. Crest: Out of a five-leaved ducal coronet gules a lion sejant or.

Holder from Winterbourne to Massachusetts
Christopher Holder Sr. was born in Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire, England c. 1594 AD. He married Mary, daughter of Richard Scott, and had issue with her as follows: Elizabeth and Christopher. His son, Christopher Holder, was born in Winterbourne, England in 1631. He married Hope Clifton. He was the father of the following issue: Mary, Elizabeth, Henry, Christopher, Hope, Patience, John, Content, and Ann. He was a Quaker minister, missionary, and author. His son, Henry Holder, was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1635. He married Nancy Wiblin and had a son with her named Martin. Martin Jefferson Holder was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts in colonial America in 1659. He married Sarah Huggins and had a son with her named William. William was born in Middlesex, MA in 1687. He had a son named John. This son, John Bunch Holder, was born in Middlesex in 1716. He had a son named Jesse.

Marriages of Holders
1) Elizabeth Holder married John Powall at Coventry, Warwickshire, England in 1739
2) Thomas Holder married Eliz Hodson at Aldridge, St. Mary the Virgin, Staffordshire, England in 1758
3) John Holder married Sarah Devey in Stafford, England in April 1782
4) John Holder married Sarah Hampson in Cheshire, England in July 1791
5) Jeremiah Holder married Mary Burroughs in Edmond, Shropshire, England in 1707
6) Richard Holder married Elizabeth Gravise in Little Hough, Rochdale, Lancaster in 1738
7) Mark Holder married Sarah Matilda Cox in St. Bartholomew’s, Norwood, South Australia in 1878
8) Benjamin Holder married Catharine Elizabeth Harris in Tasmania, Australia in 1856
9) William Purdy Holder, age 24, married Mary Cochrane McRobbie in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada in 1895
10) Isaac Holder married Maxey Badcock in Darthmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts in 1779
11) Harris Eleanor Holder married Reginal Stewart Elliot in Au Sable, Alcona, Michigan in 1914
12) Fred M. Holder married Katie Dieterle in Hamilton, Ohio in 1884

Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest settlers in colonial America bearing this name include:
1) Richard Holder came to Massachusetts in 1634
2) Justinian Holder came to Massachusetts in 1635
3) John Holder came to Maryland in 1633
4) John Holder came to Virginia in 1638
5) Elizabeth Holder came to Virginia in 1638
6) Mary Holder came to Virginia in 1652
7) Christopher Holder came to Boston in 1656
8) Thomas Holder came to Virginia in 1657
9) John Holder came to Maryland in 1660
10) Arthur Holder came to Virginia
11) Thomas Holder came to Virginia in 1663
12) Clement Holder came to Virginia in 1670
13) Mary Holder came to Virginia in 1675
14) Joyce Holder came to Virginia in 1677
15) Thomas Holder came to Virginia in 1683
16) Anthony Holder came to Virginia in 1688
17) Abraham Holder came to Maryland in 1695
18) John Holder came to Maryland in 1695
19) Casparus Holder came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1710
20) Hans Marthel Holder to Pennsylvania in 1738

Several thousand members of the Holder family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) John Holder came from Ireland aboard the City of New York in 1872
2) John and Ellen Holder came from Ireland aboard the City of Berlin in 1880
3) Harriet Holder came from England aboard the Bothnia in 1880
4) Harry Holder came from England aboard the Cornwall in 1874
5) Wilhelm Holder came from Germany aboard the Eider in 1891
6) Susan Holder came from England aboard the Scythia in 1877
7) Michael Holder came from Ireland aboard the Nevada in 1881
8) Thomas Holder came from England aboard the Wisconsin in 1881
9) Candina Anna Holder came from Skapling, Germany aboard the La Lorraine in 1907
10) James Holder came to England aboard the Russia in 1876
11) Josephine Holder came from Barbados aboard the Korona in 1906
12) William Irving Holder came from London, England aboard the Eyruria in 1907

Some of the earliest settlers in Australia bearing this name include:
1) Daniel Holder of Gloucester, England came to New South Wales in 1791
2) William Holder of Middlesex, England came to New South Wales aboard the Glory in 1818
3) William Holder of Somerset, England came to Tasmania aboard the Lord Hungerford in 1821
4) Joseph Holder of Gloucester, England came to Tasmania aboard the Caledonia in 1822
5) Charles Holder of Sussex, England came to New South Wales aboard the Marquess of Hastings in 1825
6) Elizabeth Holder of Gloucester, England came to New South Wales aboard the Grenada in 1826
7) Mary Holder of Middlesex, England came to Tasmania aboard the Mary Anne in 1821
8) Frederick Holder of Gloucester, England came to New South Wales aboard the Vittoria in 1828
9) Charles Holder, age 39, of England, came to Victoria aboard the Ward Chipman in 1841, along with Ellen and Anne Holder
10) Harris Holder came from London, England to Tasmania aboard the Ellen in 1833
11) Henry Holder, age 31, and Mary Holder, came from London, England to Queensland aboard the Montmorency in 1834

Some of the earliest settlers in New Zealand bearing this name include:
1) William John Holder, age 25, came aboard the Katherine Stewart Forbes in 1841
2) Horace, Emily, Walter, Henry, and Frank Holder, of Sussex, England came to Hawke’s Bay aboard the Inverness in 1876
3) John Holder, of Kent, England came to Otago aboard the Carnatic in 1873
4) Martha Holder, age 36, came aboard the London in 1842

Grantees of Arms
1) John Chares Holder, Baronet, of Pitmaston, Moxley, county Worcestershire, England, 1898

Notables
There are hundreds of notable people with the Holder surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include:
1) Joseph Bassett Holder (1824-1888) was an American zoologist and doctor, born in Lynn, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard Medical school who helped found the American Museum of Natural History
2) Livingstone L. Holder Jr. (1956) was an American astronaut from Detroit, MI who was a Titan III launch crew member at Vandenberg Air Force Base
3) Christopher Holder (1631-1688) was a Quaker evangelist, born in Alveston, Gloucester, England, who was beaten and imprisoned for his religious activism in both England and the Massachusetts Bay Colony
4) Nancy Holder (1953) is an American author of several novels related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville, born in Los Altos, California
5) Janice M. Holder (1949) was an American judge who was the Chief Justice of Tennessee from 2008-2010 and served on the Tennessee Supreme Court as a justice from 1996-2014
6) John Wakefield Holder (1945) is a former English cricketer and umpire who actives from the late 1960s through the 1980s
7) Joseph William Holder (1764-1832) was an English composer and organist born in Clerkenwell, London and educated in the Chapel Royal
8) Sir Paul Davie Holder (1911-2011) was an Air Marshal in the Royal Airforce who served in World War II and became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the RAF Coastal Command
9) Sir Frederick William Holder (1850-1909) was the 19th Premier of South Australia in 1892
10) Edward Catchpole Holder (1908-1974) was a New Zealand rugby union and rugby league player who plated from 1935-1939 for Streatham and Mitcham and Wiggins, born in Seddonville

Holder America Civil War Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Holder who served in the American Civil War, including the following:
1) John I. Holder of the 3rd Regiment Kentucky Cavalry (Union)
2) Francis E. Holder of the 3rd Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry(Union)
3) Marion Holder of the 6th Regiment Illinois Cavalry (Union)
4) George W. Holder of the 33rd Regiment Indiana Infantry (Union)
5) Daniel Holder of the 10th Regiment Ohio Cavalry (Union)
6) Charles Holder of the 28th Regiment Michigan Infantry (Union)
7) John B. Holder of the 6th Regiment Missouri State Militia (Union)
8) William F. Holder of the 3rd Regiment Arkansas Infantry (Confederate)
9) James A. Holder of the 24th Regiment Tennessee Infantry (Confederate)
10) Israel Holder of the Avis Company Virginia Provost Guard (Confederate)
11) Dawson D. Holder of the 22nd Regiment Texas Cavalry (Confederate)
12) John B. Holder of the 14th Regiment Georgia Infantry (Confederate)
13) Henry L. Holder of the 8th Regiment Mississippi Infantry (Confederate)
14) Irvin Holder of the 2nd Regiment Florida Cavalry (Confederate)

Holder America Revolution Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Holder who served in the Revolutionary War, including the following:
1) Private William Holder of Massachusetts
2) Private Benjamin Holder of Virginia
3) John Holder of Maryland
4) John Holder of Rhode Island
5) John Holder of Virginia
6) Private John Holder of New Hampshire
7) Private Charles Holder of Pennsylvania
8) Private Kemp Holder of Maryland
9) Private Samuel Holder of Massachusetts

Holder Coat of Arms Meaning

See glossary for symbol meaning.

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