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The Holladay Family of Orange

I have been enjoying reading about the Holladay's of "merrie England". While the earliest history is not included, only alluded, the book begins with the family roots and the role played in the emergence of England as a nation. All of my information comes from Alvis Milton Holladay, Sr.'s book "The Holladay Family", published in 1994.

Prior to the 1100's a good deal of the family involvement in major events is "deduced" as record keeping was not as accurate and/or detailed. Preserved records from the 1100's make identification of individuals possible. For the Holladay's the changes in spelling of the family name from Robert Holdeys (1142) to the 1150 land grant to Richard of Aquila for a church and monks at Lewes, a piece of land called "Haldelleya". In 1168 a phonetic name, "Haleuhyda" is believed to be the antecedent of "Holladay". Haleuhyda was found in the "Pipe Rolls" of Staffordshire during the reign of Henry II. The same name appears again in 1171. (Pipe Rolls were records, in Latin and "old" Latin, rolled on large pipes from roughly 1158 - 1220.) The first unmistakable link to the name is found in a record dated 1177 for Richardus (Richard) Halidai (written in Latin). "Halidai" translates to "Haliday". The earlist court record linked to the family was on October 13, 1194 when Phillip Halidai of Bedfordshire filed suit against Robert de Holecubes at Westminster in London. It was interesting to learn that the family name actually traces its roots to two Scandinavian words: "haly" and "dai"; meaning "half day" - it is not traced into their Scottish heritage where it meant "holyday".

Like many other families, the 1200's saw the growth of the Holladay family as well as its geographic expansion. At this point in the book, Alvis writes about numerous family members and their trials and tribulations in various areas throughout England. The name continued to have variations such as "Holiday" (Notton, England), "Hollyday" (Thornton, England). It appears that much of the family history is recorded in churches and courts of law. Alvis points out that "man is given to maintaining better records for war than for peace, and as a consequence several Hollidays are known through their war records who might otherwise have been hidden from view." (Holladay, Pg. 9) Alvis presents numerous histories of various family members military exploits throughout the 1400's along with another variation to the spelling - "Holliday" and "Hallidaie". Thus, family history continues through the 1600's.

In the 1700's we find that the name, in various English directories as "Halliday, Holliday, Holladay, Holyday - even into the 1970's! I thought that I would reach the Orange family history, but - no! Chapter 2 is "In Bonnie Scotland" beginning with pre-Roman history. "Halliday" seems to be the prominent spelling with a long history; considered one of "the earliest British surnames upon record..." (Holladay, Pg. 29) There is a very detailed genealogical diagram titled "Pedigree of the Tulliebole Hallidays" on page 39 that begins with "Nicolas Halyday, Bailie (an alderman or magistrate) from 1445. However, Matthew Halliday of Lochbrow line moved to England and Wales sometime in the late 17the century.

So, I have a lot of reading left to do before I get to Dr. Lewis Holladay of Holladay House.


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