Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Holland Name
Holland Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This last name has three origin theories or meanings. First, it is a locational name denoting a person from Holland (modern day Netherlands) who settled in England. The Dutch Holland means hollow or depressed land, from the Dutch word hol, meaning hollow or deep, referring to the low lying nature of the land. However, another author claims the Danes who conquered Holland name it from an island in the Baltic of the same name, which name named after a type of beer. Second, it is a locational name meaning “of Holland”, denoting a person from various places so called (ex. two locales named Holland in Lancashire, Down Holland a township in the parish of Halsall, Holland in Orkney, Houlland in Shetland, Hollandbush in Stirlingshire, and Holland-Hirst in Kirkintilloch, etc.). The name derives from the Old English words hoh (ridge) and land (land), or, as another source asserts, from the Old English word hough, meaning a small protected space. Third, in Ireland, it is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Ó hÓileáin, a variant of Ó hAoláin, from a form of Faolán, a personal (first) name that is a nickname of foal, meaning wolf., or a reduced form of Mulholland in county Limerick or a variant of Holohan in county Clare. Fourth, it may be a locational name for a person hollow land, deriving from the Old English and Old Norse hol, the hoe-land, or hoo, a projecting ridge or bluff. One source asserts the family first became established at in Thingwall, Lancashire, a hamlet in the township of Little Woolton in the Childwall, England, as well as Dalbury in Derbyshire. During the reign of King Edward II of England (1307-1327 AD), Sir Robert Holland owned the properties of Dalbury and Lees.
In his nineteenth century work, Patronymica Britanica, author Mark Antony Lower writes the following in regard to this surname: “It has been stated on the authority of George of Croyland, who wrote an account of the family in 1550, that the noble and knightly race of this name could trace themselves backwards thirteen generations beyond the Norman Conquest! For 13 we should probably read 3; and there is a more credible genealogy which makes the fundator gentis one Otho, whose son Stephen flourished under Edw. the Confessor, as lord of Stevington, co. Lincoln, and his son, Ralph de Holand, it is said, continued to hold his lands by the permission of William the Conqueror. These lands were in the district of Lincolnshire still known as Holland, but there is also a Holland in Lancashire which belonged to the family. They were ennobled by Edward I., and their blood mingled with that of royalty itself by the marriage of Thomas de Holland with the lovely Joane Plantagenet, the Fair Maid of Kent, and granddaughter of King Edward III”.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Hollande, Hollond, Holand, Holond, Hollands, Hollon, Hollander, Hollandt, Hollandy, Hoilland, and Hoolland.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Holland ranks 276th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following nine states: North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Montana.
The surname Holland frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (168th), Scotland (531st), Wales (202nd), Ireland (327th) and Northern Ireland (397th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Surrey and Nottinghamshire. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Orkney and Ayshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in Flintshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Cork and Queen’s County. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in county Armagh.
The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (653rd), New Zealand (206th), Australia (228th), and South Africa (1,246th).
The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy, states the following in regard to this surname: “Cheshire is the great home of the Hollands, who are especially numerous in the Northwich district. The name occurs in several parts of England, as in Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Notts, etc., and in all the east coast counties from Lincolnshire to Kent; in the last – named county it takes the form of Hollands. A gentle family of Holland that resided at Denton, Lancashire, in the 16th and 17th centuries, owned property in Cheshire, and some of them in the reign of Charles II. were buried at Nether Peover (O.). Holland is the name of parishes and districts in Lincolnshire and Essex, and Hoyland of parishes and townships in the West Riding. De Hoyland and De Hoylaund were common Lincolnshire surnames in the 13th century…The noble house of Holland was connected with Kent during the last two centuries. Long before this, however, in the reign of Richard II., the Holands were the lords of Kent”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists one bearer of this surname: William de Holond in Oxfordshire. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists one bearer of this last name: Ricardus de Holond and Johannes de Holand. The Wills at Chester recorded Thomas and Richard Holland in Downholland in 1592 and 1608, respectively. It also recorded John Holland of Upholland in Wigan in 1619, Henry Holland of Lancashire in 1600, and Richard Holland of county Lancashire in 1615 AD. Willelmus de Holland was a witness in the reign of King Alexander II of Scotland (1214-1249 AD). Richard Holande, vicar of Ronaldsay, living in 1467 AD, derived his surname from one of the three places so named in Orkney. Thomas de Holande was chaplain in Dundee, Scotland in 1452 AD.
Holland Family Tree & Holland Genealogy
Sir Alfred Reginald Sothern Holland, Baronet, of Westwell Manor, Oxford, England was born in 1876, Knighted in 1912, and created a Baronet in 1917. He was a Justice of the Peace for Cape Province, South Africa. He served in the Captain C.S. from 1894-1908. He held numerous other positions including Rhodes Trustee and also was Chev. Order of Leopold of Belgium. He also a High Sheriff in Oxford in 1943. In 1910, he married Stretta Aimee, daughter of Edward George Price of Broadwater, and had three issue with her: Jim Sothern (M.A. Trinity College, Captain in the R.A., served in World War II, married Ellsabeth Hilida Margaret, daughter of T.F. Vaughan Prickhard of Dderw, had two daughters named Jennifer Lisabeth Gwynllyn and Claerwen Belinda), and Guy Hope (educated at Oxford, Captain of The Royal Scots Greys, served in World War II, married Joan Marian, daughter of Captain Herbert Edmund Street of the 20th Hussars, had daughter named Davina Huntly who was born in 1946). The lineage of this branch of the Holland family tree traces back to Ben Herbert Holland of Worsley, Kenilworth, Capetown, South Africa who was born in 1842. In 1872, he married Agnes Hope third daughter of Charles Hugh Huntly of Grahamstown, South Africa, and had the following issue with her: Arthur Herbert (born 1873, married Madeleine Elsie Emily, daughter of Joseph Millerd Orpen of Avoca, had son named Douglas Orpen Huntly) and Alfred Reginald (mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph). The Holland Coat of Arms (erroneously called the Holland Family Crest) is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Azure, a lion rampant guardant within an orle surrounded by four mullets and as mant fleur-de-lys alternately all argent. Crest: A fox sejant gules collared argent supporting with the dexter forepaw an anchor or. Motto: Faire devoir en bonne esperance. They were seated at Westwell Manor, Burford, county Oxford, England.
Other Holland Pedigree & Family Trees
Robert Holland was born in Georgia in 1813. He married Cynthia Cena Hudson and had the following issue with her: William Samuel, David A., Eutja J.,Patience Catherine Owen, Sara Louiza Tuck, Benjamin F., John D., and Cyntha Caroline. His son William Samuel was born in Blount, Alabama in 1845. He married Rhoda Manerva Westbrook and had the issue with her, including the following, prior to his death in 1908: Sarah Ellen, Robert Melton, George Farris, Mary Jane, James Asbury Frasier Jenkins, Nathaniel Jackson, Manurvia Belle Zora Catherine, and William Joseph Franklin Holland.
Adgillis (born in 725 AD, married Cynthia Corbic)
Gerolf I (Redbad) van Friesland II (born around 815 AD)
Gerulf II, Gerolf, Graaf van Friesland aka Van Holland (born in Friesland, 845 AD)
Dirk “Thidericus Fresonie, Diederic, graaf van Friesland” van Holland (Noordwijk-Binnen, Zuid-Holland about 875 AD)
Diederic (Dirc II) “Dirk, Graaf van Holland en Westfriesland” van Holland (938 ad, Egmond Ninne, Noord Holland)
Arnold Count of Holland and Frisia aka Arnulf II (Ghent, East Flanders, Flemish, Belgium, 951)
Count of Holland, Dietrich, Hierosolomyta de Holland, Dirk III (Gand, Fladre Orientale, Belgium, 982)
Floris I, Count of Holland, Florent (Vlaardingen, Zuid-Holland around 1016 AD)
Theodore (Dirk V) Count of West-Frisia, Count of Holland (born in Netherlands around 1055 AD)
Floris II, “de Vette, the Fat” van Holland (born in Vlaardingen in 1080 AD)
Dirk VI, Count of Holland (born 1114 AD in Netherlands)
Floris III, Count of Holland, The Crusader (Gravenhage, 1141 AD)
Willem “William” Holland I (born around 1167 AD)
Early American and New World Settlers
Gabriell Holland, came aboard the John & Francis to Virginia around 1620.
John and Robert Holland, age 15 and 19, respectively, came to St. Christopher’s & Barbados in January 1634.
Thomas Holland, age 34, came to Virginia aboard the America in June 1635.
Martha Holland, age 24, came to Virginia aboard the Paule of London in July 1635.
William Holland, age 35, came to Virginia aboard the Assurance in July 1635.
Ann Holland, age 19, came to Virginia aboard the Safety in August 1635.
Abram Holland, age 19, came to Barbados aboard the Expedition in November 1635.
The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions six bearers of this last name:
1) Christopher Holland (or Hollon?) of Boston, Massachusetts, 1652, married Anne and had issue named John (1648), Bridget (1650), Joanna (1652), Joanna (1653), Elizabeth (1655), Hannah (1658), Deborah (1661), and Mary (1663). He died in 1794 at the age of 91.
2) Jeremiah Holland, attended Harvard, 1645, went home and became a minister in Northamptonshire, England. He died in 1698. Not much else is known about this man.
3) John Holland, 1634, a freeman two years later, was a prominent merchant who married Judith. He had the following children: John, Thomas, Nathaniel (born 1638), Obedience, and three other daughters.
4) Josiah Holland of Roxbury, MA, a freeman in 1690
5) Nathaniel Holland of Roxbury, MA for was a freeman in 1663, he was of Watertown and may be the son of John. He married a woman named Mary, and had issue with her named Joseph (1659), and then married wife Sarah (maybe the daughter of Samuel Hosier), and had issue with her as well as follows: Sarah (1662), Ruth (1666), Nathaniel (1668), John (1674), Elizabeth (1676), and Mary (1678).
6) Thomas Holland of Yarmouth, had a son named Thomas who was baptized at Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1641.
Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname who came in the eighteenth century include: Peter Holland (Virginia 1701), Symond Holland (Virginia 1705), Richard Holland (Virginia 1717), Johannes Holland (1723), and Johan Ernst Holland (Pennsylvania 1752).
In Canada, one of the first settlers bearing this last name was James Holland who came to the province of Nova Scotia in 1750. In Australia, one of the earliest bearers was William Holland, a convict from Lincoln, England who came to New South Wales (then a penal colony) aboard the Asia in September 1820. In New Zealand, Charles Holland came to the city of Wellington aboard the Arab in 1841.
Early Americans Bearing the Holland Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927), Crozier’s General Armory (1904), and Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) do not contain any entries for this last name. This is fairly odd for a name like Hollands that ranks in the top 250 most popular surnames in the United States. It may suggest that more Hollands came in the nineteenth century, when heraldry was less popular, as opposed to the eighteenth century, but this is conjecture on my part.
I have identified five Holland family mottoes:
1) Fiat pax, florent Justitia (Let peace be made, justice be done)
2) Vincit qui se vincit (He conquers who conquers himself)
3) Et vitam impendere vero (To sacrifice even life to truth)
4) Fuimus et sub Deo erimus (We have been, and we shall be under God)
5) Faire devoir en bonne esperance (Doing good in hope?)
We have 42 coats of arms for the Holland surname depicted here. These 42 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Holland Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Family Crest)
1) George Holland of West Angmering, Sussex, England, 11 June 1581 by G. Dethick
2) John Holland, Arms: Azure, semee-de-lis a lion rampant guardant argent, 1583, by R. Glover, Somerset, 18 May 1601 by Camden, 19 May 1601 by Segar
3) Joseph Holland, 28 December 1588, by Cooke or W. Dethick, Arms: Azure, a lyon rampant guardant argent
4) Thomas Holland, major (or mayor?) of Dartmouth, Devon, England, gentleman, son of Robert, grandson of William, grant 20 June 1599, by W. Dethick
There are hundreds of notable people with the Holland surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Clifford Milburn Holland (1883-1924) who was born in Somerset, Massachusetts, a Harvard graduate and civil engineer known for designing the Holland Tunnel, 2) Sir John Holland (1914-2009) who was an Australian engineer and construction magnate born in Mornington, Peninsula, Melbourne who founded John Holland Construction Group, which was later purchased by Heytesbury Pty Ltd and later China Communications Construction, 3) Bryan Keith “Dexter” Holland (1965) who is the singer and guitarist for the famous band The Offspring, born in Garden Grove, CA, 4) John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter and 1st Earl of Huntingdon (1352-1400) who was an English nobleman who was a half-brother of King Richard II, 5) Elmer Joseph Holland (1894-1968) who was a Democrat member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 20th district from 1963-1968 who was born in Pittsburgh, 6) James Holland (1754-1823) who was a congressman from North Carolina in the late 1700s and early 1800s, born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, 7) Sir Sidney George Holland (1893-1961) who was the 25th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1949-1957, 8) Spessard Lindsey Holland (1892-1971) who was the 28th Governor of Florida from 1941-1945 and later a United States Senator from the same state between 1946-1971, born in Bartow, and although a Democrat, he was part of the conservative coalition in the legislature, 9) Mark Holland (1974) who is a Canadian politician born in Pickering, Ontario who was a Member of Parliament for Ajax and Pickering who became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness starting in 2017, and 10) Cedric Swinton Holland (1889-1950) who was an officer in the British Royal Navy who serves in both World Wars, having attained the rank of Vice-Admiral, born in Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire, England.