Family Surname - HOLLIDAY - History and Coat of Arms/Crest
StrathClyde Britons - Museum of Scotland
On our trip to Scotland in June of 2002, more research was conducted on the surname of Holliday and in particular the Strathclyde Britons who settled in the area of Annandale. The following information is directly from the Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh:
The StrathClyde Britons of Scotland
The family name Holliday originates from the current day Scottish-English border area. This is a region known for conflict and war beginning in the years before the birth of Christ and the roman occupation. The name holliday itself is derived from Halliday, which is originally from the Celtic/Gaelic/Welsh word Hali-deigh, or Holy Day. The town of Annan, in the area of Annandale, and furthermore the region of Galloway-Dumfries, is the town in which the name is first recorded. The HolyDay mountain in Annandale is named after this family.
The name is believed to be descended originally from the Strathclyde-Briton people. This ancient founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts whose original territories ranged from Lancashire in the South northward to the south bank of the River Clyde in Scotland. The modern day town of Dumbarton is the seat of the Strathclyde area, just south of Glasgow.
Strathclyde britons were Celtic people living in much of modern day Britain at the time of the Roman invasions in 1 AD. Romans, Angles, and Saxons pushed the Britons westward and northward into modern day Cornwall, Wales, Cumbria, and Southern Scotland. Their Scottish kingdom was known as Strathclyde, with Dumbarton as its capitol. Modern day Scots are a mixture of the races originally divided up among the Britons, Norse, the Picts or "painted peoples", and the Scoti (celts from northern ireland).
The language of the Britons was an early form of Welsh, which has survived in the heroic battle poem, the Goddodin. This poem was written in honor of a warband of 300 Britons destroyed in battle with the Angles at Catterick in 600 AD. The Goddodin not only preserves the language of the Britons, but brings us face to face with named individuals, and with the objects they used:
Wearing a brooch in the front rank, like a wolf in fury,
Receiving amber beads and spurs and torques at the dividing of the spoils,
Gwefrfawr was beyond price in return for wine from the drinking horn,
He drove back the assault with blood down his cheeks.
The modern city of Annan, in the wider areas of Annandale and Eskdale, was the seat of the Bruce clan, as in Robert the Bruce.
The Holliday family can be traced back to holdings all over Great Britain, including modern day Peckforton Castle, built in the late 1840's, in the medieval "renaissance" of the victorian age by Lord Tollemache, a Holliday family connection.
Follow this link for information on Peckforton Castle:
HOLLIDAY Surname - Other Sources
Other sources indicate that the surname HOLLIDAY was a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Halliday', a name given to a child born on a holy day. Early records of the name mention Reginald Halidei who was documented in the year 1177 in County Bedfordshire. Suein Halidai appears in County Northumberland in 1188, and Thomas Holidaie was recorded in County Suffolk in 1220. Richard Haliday was mentioned in 1273 in County Buckinghamshire. Willelmus Haliday of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Haliday was documented in County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327 - -1377). Later instances of the name include Thomas Wallys and Alice Hollidaye who were married in London in the year 1583. John Holyday and Alice Chase were married at Canterbury Cathedral in the year 1645. A John Holliday was recorded as the first Holliday to register in America in the year 1764.
The HOLLIDAY family's earliest origins are from the village of Annandale, Scotland, located in the Scottish English Border Ridings. The "Holliday" family traces their ancestral roots back to Strathclyde Briton origin. The origin of this Surname is a variant [Scottish] spelling of the word Holy Day. This was the war cry of the Annandale Warriors of Scotland in the Strathclyde Briton area. The name means Holy Day or Festival. It was given to a child born on a festival, thus it was called the Holy Day child. Their are many different spellings of the name applied like that of the 15th century, hallidaye. No matter how you spell it, it still means Holy Day.
HOLLIDAY Family Coat of Arms
The coat of arms is a black shield with a gold or yellow lining. The shield includes three silver knight's helmets, and the crest is a gold lion holding an anchor. Sources conflict on the lion (some indicate a boar's head) and what he holds (if anything), but a sample of the coat of arms is shown below. We are currently searching other sources for further images for comparison. Note the gold lion, and if you look closely, a small anchor between the paws.
Since Holliday is essentially a derivation of Halliday, this Coat of Arms was searched as well. It turns out the images are almost identical! See below for comparison:
One source indicates that the Holliday Family Coat of Arms and Motto descriptions are MUCH different, as follows:
ARMS: Argent a sword erected in pale proper hilted and pommelled or the pommel within a crescent in base gules a canton azure charged with a saltire of the first.
CREST: A boar's head couped argent armed
MOTTO: VIRTUTE PARTA - Acquired by virtue.
There is actually a science in describing crests and coats of arms. The scientific terms used above are defined in an e-book you can browse by downloading the following file:PimbleysDict.zip (just hit saveas on the file pulldown above and rename the extension to ".exe" on your local drive).
And Furthermore...from the researchers at The Hall of Names
Few areas in Britain have produced as many notable families in world history such as the names Armstrong, Nixon, Graham, Bell, Carson, Hume, Irving, Lock, Rutherford, as the Border region of england and Scotland. The family name Holliday is included in this group.
Researchers have confirmed the first documented history of this name in lowland Scotland and northern England, tracing it through many ancient manuscripts, including private collections of historical and genealogical records, the Inquisitio, the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, the Ragman Rolls, The Hearth Rolls, the Domesday Book, parish cartularies, baptismals, and tax rolls. The first record of the name Holliday was found in Annandale where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Different spellings of the name were found in the archives researched, typically linking each alternate to the root source of the surname, The surname Holliday, occurred in many references, from time to time the surname was spelt Halliday, Haliday, and these changes in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes and church officials recorded the name from its sound.
The family name Holliday is believed to be descended originally from the Strathclyde Briton. This ancient founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts whose original territories ranged from Lancashire in the south, northward to the south bank of the River Clyde in Scotland.
Tracing its ancient development, the name Holliday was found in Annandale where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated with manor and estates in that shire. They are believed to be of Strathclyde race called Cruithene who named the mountain called Holy-Day in Annandale and from thence took their name. When King David introduced his Norman nobles into lowland Scotland in 1120, the Hallidays joined his cause. Later defeated by many battles the Hallidays became dispersed from their Hoddom Dumfriesshire home to many parts of England and Ireland. They acquired many manors and estates of junior nobility including Camberwell in Surrey, Rodborough in Gloucestershire, Yard House in Wiltshire, Chapel Cleeve in Somerset, Westcombe Park in Kent and many more. Sir Leonard Halliday was Lord Mayor of London in 1605, and Sir Andrew Halliday was Inspector of Army Hospitals. For those interested further in the surname we recommend the ancient Harleian Manuscripts which are in the archives of the British Museum. These Manuscripts are a catalogue of the Herald’s Visitations between 1510 and 1600 et. Seq. Some histories go back to the Magna Carta Barons and earlier to Hastings. This distinguished surname Hellyday of Bromley of London isrecorded in MS 1096 and others. Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Leonard Halliday.
By the year 1000 AD, border life was in turmoil. In 1246, 6 Chiefs from the Scottish side and 6 from the English side met at Carlisle and produced a set of laws governing all the border Clans. These were unlike any laws prevailing in England or Scotland or, for that matter, anywhere else in the world. For example, it was a far greater offence to refuse to help a neighbor recover his property, wife, sheep, cattle, or horses than it was to steal them in the first place. Hence the expression "Hot Trod", or, a hot pursuit, from which we get the modern "Hot to trot". For refusal of assistance during a "Hot Trod", a person could be hanged on the instant, without trial. Frequently, the descendants of these clans or families apologetically refer to themselves as being descended from "cattle or horse thieves" when, in fact, it was an accepted code of life on the border.
In 1603, the unified English and Scottish crowns under James 1st dispersed these "unruly border clans", clans which had served loyally in the defence of each side. The unification of the governmnents was threatened and it was imperative that the old "border code" should be broken up. Hence, the Border Clans were banished to England, Northern Scotland, and to Ireland. Some were outlawed directly to Ireland, the Colonies and the New World.
Many Border Clans settled in Northern ireland, transferred between 1650 and 1700 with frants of land provided they "undertook" to remain Protestant. Since they became known as the "undertakers". Many became proudly Irish. There is no evidence that the family name migrated to Ireland, but this does not preclude the possibility of their scattered migration to that country.
But life in Ireland was little more rewarding and they sought a more challenging life. They looked to the New World and sailed aboard the "White Sails" an armada of sailing ships such as the Hector, the Rambler, and the Dove, which struggled across the stormy Atlantic. Some ships lost 30 or 40% of their passenger list, migrants who were buried at sea having died from dysentery, cholera, small pox, and typhoid.
In North America, some of the first migrants which could be considereed knsmen of the family name Holliday and their spelling variants included Joseph Halliday settling in the Barbados in 1686; John Halliday settled in Maryland in 1775; James Halliday settled in Petersburg Virginia in 1822, along with his father David.
....from The Hall of Names.....
The following is a map of the ancient Clans of Scotland. Note how the southern and southwest region has very few clan names, possibly indicating the less tendency to hold allegiance to any one clan. This region is where the Hollidays can trace their roots. Annandale is just south of the Johnston clan name.
South of Scotland
The real Scotland starts right at the border. Different accents in the shops and different names for beer in pubs are just two of the ways in which Scotland stamps its own personality straight away. Even the scenery changes and the hazy blue peaks of the Cheviot and Eildon Hills running out to a wide horizon have lifted the hearts of generations of travellers at Carter Bar on the A68. Then there are the forests and wild moors of upland Galloway and the vivid greens of Ayrshire's rich pastures, with the steep mountainous profile of the island of Arran as a backdrop. Where ever you travel here, you can be sure of a real Scottish experience.