Hollingworth One Name Study

My grateful thanks to those of you who have sent material for the website.  It can only grow if I receive such information as it is impossible for me to visit every record office in the UK let alone other countries. If you have any original source material on HOLLIN(G)(S)WORTHS please contact me but remove the 8 from the email address.

The copyright of all information on this website rests with the contributors & should not be used without permission except for private use.

I began to develop a study of the HOLLINGWORTH surname about ten years ago because I could find neither a baptism nor a burial for my GGGGrandparents William HOLLINGWORTH & Esther MOORHOUSE.  I decided if I looked in enough places they must turn up.  Having recently found the couple in 1841 I have been able to take Esther`s ancestry back a couple of generations but I still have no baptism, and therefore parents, for William.  

First I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Marjorie Ward and my maiden name was Hollingworth.  I was born and brought up in Disley, Cheshire which is only a few miles from where I now live.  In 1996 I retired as Head of Humanities at Hope Valley College and decided to look into the family history of my husband and myself.

I had thought that the number of people bearing the Hollingworth surname was quite small.  We were the only Hollingworth family in our village and as I grew up the only other Hollingworths that I knew were relatives.  Early in 1998 I changed my computer for one that could access the Internet.  As I joined mailing lists and put the Hollingworth name onto County surname lists, I found, to my surprise, Hollingworths living in all parts of the world.  By the end of 1998, following discussions with many Hollingworth descendants, certain key questions were emerging.

1. Did all Hollingworths; Hollingsworths; Hollinsworths come from the village of that name in Cheshire?

2. Was there originally just one family from which all Hollin(g)(s)worths descend?

3. How useful are the published Hollingworth genealogical tables and are we all connected to them?

4. Where did my own family come from and who were they?

To answer these and other questions I decided to try to collect as much Hollingworth data as possible.  However many of the sources which are easily available are derivative and sometimes, upon investigation, inaccurate.

Queston 1. Did all people with the surname Hollingworth come from the village of Hollingworth in Cheshire?

I had rather taken this for granted - but the Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames states:

Hollingsworth, Hollingworth, Hollinsworth, Hollinworth from Hollingworth - Cheshire and Lancashire

Whilst the Hollingworths in Cheshire are obviously from the village of that name,  I was surprised by the Lancashire connection.  The only Lancashire place that I knew of was Hollingworth Lake. 

 A query on the Manchester & Lancashire FHS mail page asking about the lake revealed the following:

"The area on the north side of the Lake is "Hollingworth"  and the B6225 which runs down from Littleborough (Lancashire) is Hollingworth Rd. Presumably the Lake gets its name simply from its location!"  from Ken Knott of Manchester

"Hollingworth - from Hollen or Holen which in OE meant Holly.  Worth came from OE 'weorth', an enclosed homestead. 'ing' came from NOR a meadow in swampy ground, so Hollingworth is enclosures or homesteads near swampy ground where the holly tree grows."Quoted from The Weighver's Seaport, The story of Hollingworth Lake, (ISBN 09505577 0 6)    from Brenda Triggerson of Canada.

............So it seems likely that some Hollingworth families come from Lancashire and possibly other areas where there was holly growing.

(Addition of 4th May 2004 I have just been searching the A2A website for the Hollingworth name & have found a place called Hollingworth near Upper Batley in Yorkshire.  Further addition - I now know that there were HOLLINGWORTHS in Yorkshire as early as the 14th century.)

Question 2. Was there originally just one family from which all Hollingworths descend?

The above information suggests that this was not so.  Also the DNA project currently ongoing in the U.S. confirm this.

 George Ormerod in his History of Cheshire comments:

"Sir Peter Leycester supposes this township to be the `Holisurde` of Domesday, which is included in the description of the wasted lands then held by the earl, but previously held by eight free men as manors.  It had been rated at one virgate."

It seems very possible that all these eight free men would describe themselves as `de` or `of` Hollingworth and that therefore there could be eight Hollingworth `trees` from this village.

Question 3 How useful are the published genealogical tables and are we all connected to them?

As a historian, I am reluctant to accept information not backed up with source details.  Ormerod`s book of Cheshire history, which gives a genealogical table, is impressive in showing where he got his information from.  Apparently though, even this tome was in error on occasion and the copy I have is a re-issue of the 1882 version containing additions by Thomas Helsby.  I understand that some of the genealogical information in Burke`s Peerage and like works is more wishful thinking than fact, although I am taking someone else`s word for this.  For my own satisfaction then, I would need to go back to primary sources to see what the connections are.

4. Where do my own family come from and who were they?

Despite going back to the seventeenth century on some family lines, I have a HOLLINGWORTH brick wall and cannot therefore get back further than 1801 when the William & Esther mentioned above married at Glossop church in Derbyshire. William was probably from the Chisworth/Ludworth/Mellor area and his son John, my ancestor was born in Ludworth but lived in Mellor.

To help us all discover as much as possible about our ancestors, and maybe eventually to knock down my wall, I have collated all Hollingworth information I have come across.  Thank you all for sharing your ancestoral names and sources with me. A particular thank you to the late Fred Hollingsworth who was good enough to send me a copy of his database.