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The Holyer family are associated with the village of Woodchurch in Kent.
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The spelling Holyer turns up from time to time in the study of Hollyer and Hollier families. But these are almost always spelling or transcription errors or what we call name 'deviants'. Even in Kent, there are different spellings in early times but the main line using the Holyer name starts with John Holyer, a butcher at Woodchurch, Kent born around 1714 and who married Elizabeth Gregory in Canterbury Cathedral in 1737. He may have been the John Hollier who was baptised aged 8 at Egerton in 1822, which suggests he may have been an orphan, as no parents are mentioned in the baptism record. It is possible that the Holyer family were previously at Appledore, but the early parish registers have not survived.
Many of the Holyer families were farmers or farm labourers. The first John Holyer was a butcher, farming his own beef and this profession can be found down some 230 years and 7 generations. One prominent family moved to Tunbridge Wells and had a butcher's shop in what is now the very fashionable Pantiles. But many other Holyers just worked on the land. Indeed, by 1870, only one Holyer is shown as owning their own land - Elizabeth Holyer, widow of Richard Holyer, the miller from Brenzett whose grave at Woodchurch is still visible. Another branch of the family were publicans at Ramsgate and Margate.
This is thought to be 4 generations of one of the families who were publicans at Ramsgate. In the middle is Nicholas Collis Holyer (1835-1912), top right is Charles Holyer (1862-1947), top left Nicholas Charles Holyer (1886-1918), bottom is one of the latter's children.
Nicholas Collis Holyer outside his pub in Ramsgate. Note the sign ‘HOLYER’ above the door.
More information on the Holyer families can be read in the feature article Some Holyer families of note. Information on overseas Holyers can be found here.