What's  In A Name? Hollingsworth

In the years  following the ascent of William of Normandy to the throne of England  in 1066, census enumerators scoured the country-side of the British  kingdom in an effort to compile the first of many censuses in order  to document the population of that country. In every village they  encountered any number of Johns, Williams, Roberts, etc., all  bearing a single given name. The enumerators began to make notations  next to the name to denote a specific individual as a means of  avoiding confusion. This was the origin of most of our surnames.  John who lived on a brook ultimately became John Brook, John who  was the son of Robert became known as John Robertson, and John who  herded sheep might have became known either as John Shepherd.

Near the town of  Mottram was an unusual group of farmers. They built fences and  enclosures, not from felled timber or split logs, but from living  trees in this case holly trees. One of the first of these farmers to  be identified in the records was John dhollywarth with holly  representing the tree and warth meaning wall, division, or  sub-division, the modern form of the word being ward.

Modern English hedge planted with holly trees

With many centuries  of alteration and change, the name now appears in standard form most  commonly as Hollingworth, Hollingsworth, Hollandsworth, and  Hollinsworth.


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