Home > Hollyer Families
The Hollyer name variant has several origins. Most of the families in the heartland of Warwickshire adopted the Hollier spelling once spellings stabilised, but one particular family from Coventry adopted the spelling Hollyer. Elsewhere, several lines of the Kent Holyer family adopted the Hollyer spelling during the 19th century. In other parts of the country, such as in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, there is apparently movement between the spellings, though in some cases it is unclear what spelling the individuals (where literate) might have used, as opposed to how officialdom recorded them.
This is the line descending from Joseph Hollyer who married Barbara Brown at Brinklow, Warks in 1687. The Coventry families were tailors and ribbon makers. Several branches came to London and from there to the USA. Several were engravers and photographers.
Another of these branches became Glaziers, Plumbers, Builders and Painters in the City of London (the ‘City of London Hollyers’) and two of these became Master of the Company of Glaziers. Here are some pictures from this family.
Richard Hollyer 1728-1778, Master of the Company of Glaziers in 1775. He and his son Matthew helped repair St Paul's Cathedral.
Matthew Hartley Hollyer 1780-1856, Builder and Glazier of Warwick Lane, Newgate Street, London, grandson of Richard shown left.
Samuel Hollyer 1797-1883, Engraver, Publisher and, until 1853, the Deputy Sealer at the Court of Chancery. He was father to 3 sons who emigrated to the USA (Samuel, James and Alexander) and also Frederick Hollyer, the famous art photographer. Many descendants of Samuel still live in the USA.
These Hollyers were Lock-Keepers and Toll Collectors associated with the Grand Junction Canal, in particular Foxton, Braunston, Long Buckby, Linslade, Brentford and Hayes. From an assessment of all the available evidence, it seems fairly conclusive that this family directly descend from the Hollyer family above, as described here.
Frederick Henry Hollyer 1825-1895, Lock-Keeper at Braunston Lock, Northants and later Brentford Lock, Middx. His illustrated notebook dating from 1845 survives. He kept this to record the lock tolls for various kinds of goods, but it contains many sketches and embellishments. I have put some of these in the Hollyer Art Gallery.
The Stop-House at Braunston where Frederick Hollyer collected the lock tolls.
Linslade Lock, where Frederick's brother, John Samuel Hollyer worked for many years.
John Samuel Hollyer's grave at Linslade, which records that he worked for the Grand Junction Canal Co for 61 years.
Joseph Hollyer, the Herald Painter and Artist on Glass, with his son George, who also become an Artist on Glass.
There are several Hollyer families that originate from Kent and at various times changed their name from Holyer to Hollyer. In my family's case, it was Joseph's father John that seemed to change his name. Other families did not adopt the double L spelling until the late 19th century, while other Holyers remained faithful to the single L spelling. Go to the Holyer page.
My Hollyer line is notable for its Artists on Glass and Signwriters. William Perring Hollyer and six of his children became artists. Two sons, Gregory and William Stanley, went to the USA. Most North American Hollyers descend either from Samuel Hollyer, mentioned above, or from Gregory Hollyer.
William Perring Hollyer's 7 daughters
Top Row: Maud and Edith
Middle Row: Grace, Eva and Hilda
Bottom Row: Olive and Verna
With some places the use of the Hollyer and Hollier spelling is finely balanced and sometimes not clear which was the spelling that the individuals actually used. For example, the Binfield, Berks family always seemed to use the Hollyer spelling, whereas in nearby Shinfield Hollier is used. I have therefore included the Hollyers of Berkshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on the Hollier pages.
Strictly speaking, in a worldwide One-Name Study I shouldn't use the term 'overseas', but this is still a convenient term to describe the non-UK Hollyers most of whom are descended from emigrants from England. Details of known emigrants can be found here and other information on Hollyer families abroad is here.Back to top