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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Holcroft, co. Lancaster). (Vale Royal, co. Chester). Ar. a cross and bordure engr. sa., quartering Culcheth. Crest—A raven, wings elevated, holding in the dexter claw a sword all ppr.
2) (alias Henley) Ar. a cross within a bordure engr. sa. Crest—An eagle, wings expanded sa. holding in the dexter claw a sword ar. hilt and pommel or.
3) (Balkerton, co. Nottingham). Ar. on a cross engr. sa. a fleur de-lis or, a bordure engr. of the second. Crest—An eagle gu. holding in the dexter claw a sword in pale ar. hilt and pommel or, charged on the breast with a fleur-de-lis of the last.
4) Sa. four quatrefoils ar.
5) Ar. a cross engr. sa. a bordure of the last.
6) Ar. a fesse and a bordure engr. sa.
7) Ar. a cross and bordure gu.

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

Holcroft Origin:


Origins of Holcroft:

According to the early recordings of the spelling of the name, this interesting and unique name was listed with many spellings such as Allcraft, Holdcraft, Holdcroft, Holcroft, Holecroft and possibly others; this is an English surname. It is locational either from what would seem to be a 'lost' old hamlet called Holcroft, is the first noted spelling of the surname, or geographical for a person who resided at a small farm (Croft) in a hollow or Dale (hol). Surnames from 'lost' hamlets are a feature of the surnames lists of the British Islands. It was thought that at least three thousand surnames do acquire from such places, of which the only public remembrance of the earlier existence in the 21st century, is the surname itself. As to why these places passed has been the subject of many books but basically, it was by changes in agricultural practices, and such natural catastrophes as the famous diseases of the 13th to the 17th century. Examples of records contain as Johannes de Holcroft in the Poll Tax Record from Yorkshire in 1379 and George Holdcroft who married Elizabeth Courtney at St James Clerkenwell in the city of London, in 1668.


More common variations are: Houlcroft, Holecroft, Hollcroft, Holcrofft, Howlecroft, Halcroft, Holcraft, Holcorft, Hallcroft, Hollcraft.


The origins of the surname Holcroft appeared in Lancashire where one of the first recordings of the name was Robert de Holecroft who noted in the Assize Rolls in 1246. A few years later, John Holecroft noted in the Premium Rolls of 1327. Lytham [a church in Lancashire] considered in the Domesday Survey under the name of Lidun. It was earlier associated, by the gift of Richard Fitz-Roger, to the priests of Durham, and after the Reformation given to Sir Thomas Holcroft, whose descendant, Sir John, is said to have sold the property in 1606 to Sir Cuthbert Clifton, ancestor of the present king of the palace.


Many of the people with surname Holcroft had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Holcroft landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Holcroft who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included George Holcroft, who came to Virginia in 1666.

Individuals with the surname Holcroft who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Thomas Holcroft, who landed in Virginia in 1702.

The following century saw more Holcroft surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Holcroft who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included William Holcroft settled in Philadelphia in 1828. Thomas Holcroft settled in Philadelphia in 1835. Holcroft came in San Francisco in 1850. Frances Holcroft, aged 9, landed in New York, NY in 1851.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Holcroft: England 995; South Africa 384; Australia 264; United States 227; New Zealand 125; Canada 59; Wales 56; Scotland 39; Ireland 38; United Arab Emirates 23.

Notable People:

Thomas Holcroft (1745–1809) was an English author.

Harold Holcroft (1882–1973) was an English railway engineer.

Holcroft Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Holcroft blazon are the border engrailed, raven, quatrefoil and cross. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 6. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). A common form of this patterning, engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 7. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 8. The raven is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 9. Like its close heraldic relative the cinquefoil, the quatrefoil is a rather sytlised flower showing four rounded petals, usually pierced by a circle at the centre.

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  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 3 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164
  • 9 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262