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for “a place where holly abounds,” would be compounded of the roots holegn (holly) and land (land), or card, eorth, or yrth (earth); and a fourteenth-century writer translating such a name into the Latin* of his time, would have called it Ilexterra or Terra ilicia, not Holly terra or Hollister.
In this connection, we do not think the word Holy (Sax. halig) should be overlooked, especially when it is remembered that our family name was frequently written "Holester”+ in the early records, or the word Star (Sax. steorra), or the common affix-ster. The latter (seen in minister, spinster, etc.) is the Saxon stcora, a director, from the verb stcoran, to steer, guide, chide, discipline,German, steuern. If Holy star (halig-stcorra) be rejected, we have Holy guide (halig-stcora) and Master of the Holly (hologn-steora).
It may be added that the English word Holster (Sax. heolster, a hiding-place or recess) most nearly corresponds to Hollister (Holester). Whether we take this word in its English or its Saxon meaning, instances are found of surnames of similar derivation, viz.: Burnet and Burrell (burnette and borel, kinds of cloth), Blanchet, Plunket, and Blanket (the same), Mantel, Gauntlett, Pike, and Stirrup, on the one hand, and Brook, Ogden (a secluded place for hogs), Leigh and Hartley, Clive and Clough (a canyon), on the other. John de Holester may have been John of the hiding-place, or John of the cavern.
We may note here the derivation that has been assigned to names of apparently similar root, viz.:
Holland (country) is Holtland, i. c., woodland.
Hollier and Holleyman, a dweller near or among holly trees.
* It is probable that by ilex the Romans meant the holm oak (quercus ilex), not the holly. See Pliny's N. H. passim, Martial 14, 70, Virgil, Ec. 7, 1, and Aen. passim.
+ Also Hollester and Hollistor. In the parish register of Stinchcombe it was always Hollistor.
Holman and Holmes, from "holm.”
Hole, Holliday (Halyday, a place in Normandy), Hollebone (alias Allebone), Hollings, Hollis, Hollot (alias Halot), Holley (alias Olley, alias Olie), Hollyer (alias Huielor or Hoielor), Holman and Hollyman (alias Allemagne), Holmes and Holm (though not exclusively), Holsey (alias Halsey, alias Alsey) have all been claimed* as of Norman origin.
But as stated above, we leave it to others to trace the origin of the name, merely entering our protest against jumping at conclusions.
HOMES OF ENGLISH HOLLISTERS.
John Hollister, the emigrant to America, is known to have been an Englishman,t and the Hollisters, if indeed they are not of Anglo-Saxon stock, were long settled in England. We do not know that they were confined to any particular part of the kingdom, but most of the English Hollisters of whom we have any knowledge lived in Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, or Wiltshire.
The earliest mention we have found of the name is in
By the anonymous author of “The Norman People and their Descend
(London, 1874), a plausible writer, but one whom we frequently hesitate to follow.
+ The late Hon. Gideon H. Hollister of Litchfield, Conn., collected a number of very valuable manuscript accounts of the English Hollisters. In 1880 he permitted Wm. H. Upton to take a copy of his papers. From these MSS. and Mr. Upton's own collections most of the following account of the English Hollisters is taken.
We have been told, by a Dutch gentleman, that the name is not uncommon in Holland. If this be so, it proves nothing. The Pilgrim fathers were not the only Englishmen who found refuge in Holland. If one English Hollister found his way thither in the sixteenth or seventeenth century as many of his descendants may be living there as there are Hollisters in America.
§ John Hollister of Chicago, the only Englishman of the name I have found in America, says his ancestors have been landholders in Hampshire,.. England, for many generations. —L. W. C.
the sixth year of Queen Elizabeth (i. e. between Nov. 17, 1563, and Nov. 17, 1564), when Henry, Lord Berkeley, sold the fourth part of his manor of Almondsbury, Gloucestershire, to John Hollister and others.* The earliest Hollister will of which we have an abstract is that of John “of Bristol, merchant,” dated July 29, 1575. The parish register of Stinchcombe, Glou., begins in 1583, and in 1584 it records the marriage of one Hollistor and the burial of another.
We have some account of Hollistors living at the following places in the years mentioned, vis.:
Almondsbury Parish, Gloucestershire, 1563 to 1774. Alveston,
1575 to 1695. Barton Regis,
1690. Compton (in Almondsbury Parish), Glou., 1741, 1743. Compton Greenfield, Gloucestershire,
before 1685. Dodington,
1637 to 1660. Little Sodbury,
1625. Stinchcombe Parish.
1584 to 1693. Thornbury,
1775. Toddington (?),
1575 to 1659. Yeate,
before 1690. Upton-Cheney,
1716. Burrington, Somersetshire,
1659. Portsmouth, Hants,
1663 to 1671. Caldecot, Monmouth,
1622. Stepney, Middlesex,
* Rudder's "History of Gloucestershire," I., p. 224.
1622. Wooton Basset,
"Temp. Car. I." to 1677. At many of these places there were persons bearing the name John Hollister, contemporaneous with our enrigrant of that name.
The late Hon. Gideon H. Hollister told the writer that he once possessed a pedigree which traced the ancestry of John the Emigrant back several generations. The pedigree had been lost, and he could not remember where he got it. He always disclaimed the possession of sufficient genealogical training to enable him to speak authoritatively on such subjects, but he was satisfied that the pedigree was genuine. He firmly believed that he was descended from John Hollister who purchased the manor of Stinchcombe, * Glou., April 24, 1608, and we therefore think it well to give some account of that family.
HOLLISTERS OF STINCHCOMBE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE.
In order to make clear our account of these Hollisters, the following items from various sources must be noted, vis.:
d. "Sir Robert Lovett, by deed dated 24. April, 5
d James,+ sold the manors of Stinchcombe and Bradstone to John Hollister, who died seized, inter alia, of the manor of Stinchcombe, held of Lord Berkeley as of his manor of Berkeley, two s. rent, suit of court, &c. Roger Hollister's son and heir John, son of this Roger, resold to Samuel
* Besides Stinchcombe, other places have been named as the English home of our emigrant ancestor, viz. : “ Bristol,” “Glastonbury, Somersetshire,” “ Somersetshire,” and “Braintree, Essex." The latter merely because Rev. T. Hooker's Hartford Colony was from that place.
† 1608. James II. came to the throne March 24, 1603. The year 1604 (0. S.) began the next day. The first April of his reign was therefore
• The writer, not having access to Fosbrooke, has had this passage copied twice in a vain attempt to understand this phrase. Was the purchaser a son of Roger, or was the manor held by three successive Hollisters, viz.: John, Roger, and John?
who in 1649 conveyed to John Pinfold.”—Fosbrooke's “History of Gloucester," 1807, Vol. I., p. 446.
B. Letters of administration of the estate of Roger Hollister of Stinchcombe were granted his widow Mary, Sept. 2, 1616.
C. The will of Agnes Hollister of Stinchcombe, widow, dated Jan. 24, 1621, proved May 16, 1622, mentions a son Nich. Workman and his children, Ni., Rob., and Eliz., and her own daughters, Winifred Trotman, Margaret Parnell
, Elizabeth Trotman, Joan Prichard, and Ann Thomas. [That her husband's name was John we know from the fact that Elizabeth, who married John Trotman, is elsewhere called "daughter of John Hollister of Stinchcombe, Esq.”] ·
D. Parish Register of Stinchcombe:
May 3, 1584. William Smith married Dalgoniur Hollistor. (Elsewhere we learn that she was "daughter of Roger Hollister of Stinchcombe, Esq.”]
Dec. 28, 1607. William Trottman married Winifred Hollistor.
Dec. 26, 1614. John Trottman married Elizabeth Hollistor.
Dec. 2, 1658. Richard Atwood and Marian, daughter of Roger Hollistor, were married.
Oct. 29, 1609. John, the sonne of Roger Hollistor, was baptized.
July 20, 1616. Maryan, daughter of Roger Hollistor, was baptized.
Feb. 23, 1584. Joane, daughter of Roger Hollistor, was burried.
Aug. 5, 1585. Maryan, the wife of John Hollistor, was burried.
> 1590. Elizabeth, daughter of (illegible] Hollistor, was baptized.
Dec. 10, 1586. Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Hollistor, was buried.
Mch. 4, 1642. John Hollistor buried.
There are some other entries on the register which our purpose does not require us to quote.