- Written by Douglas Hollingsworth
The Hollingsworth surname can be found in written records for the past 800 years. According to the late Harry Hollingsworth, one of the family’s most prominentgenealogists, the first written mention of our clan was of one Tomas de Holinewurth, of Cheshire, who signed the Burgh charter some time between 1211 and 1225.
By 1298, the family begins to appear in the Lancashire records as well, when a land grant to Matthew de Hollinworth was recorded. And in 1339, Johannes de Holynworth and Rogerus de Holymworth are recorded in a poll tax in Yorkshire. By the early fifteenth century, the surname begins to appear in the records for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire as well.
Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire are adjacent counties in the north and northwest of England, and it is conceivable that all of these entries refer to descendants of a common ancestor. However, in 1487, John Holyngworth wrote his will in the southeastern English shire of Suffolk. It is possible that this John was also a descendant of the Cheshire family, but it is also quite possible that John represents an unrelated family who adopted the same surname.
Recent DNA testing has added more confusion to our understanding of the origins of our family. We have tested the DNA of a proven descendant of the Hollingworth family of Hollingworth Hall, Mottram, Cheshire, and find that he matches very few other bearers of the surname. Those that are genetic matches have been found in Derbyshire and halfway across the globe in Australia.
Most of the Hollingworths in England share a very different pattern of DNA, one that is also found in males with other surnames, such as FitzRandolph, Davenport, Roper, and Crook. Additional research is needed to unravel this tangled genetic puzzle.
Besides these families, there was another Hollingsworth family that was in Lincolnshire at least as early as the early 1600s. DNA testing shows that this family is not related to either the ones in the northwest of England or the southeast of that country. However, they are genetic kin to the Hollingsworth clan who settled in Cambridge in the middle of the seventeenth century.
In addition, there was another Hollingsworth family who homesteaded in fens of Lincolnshire in the 1600s. Little is known of the origins of this branch of the family, who may or may not be an offshoot of one of the branches mentioned above.
- Written by Randy Hollingsworth
You may have noticed a few changes in the Hollingsworth Ancestry web site. That is because the site is now operating on Joomla 2.5, the current stable version of the underlying "content management system" that powers this site. This upgrade was conducted for a number of reasons. First, it was needed to keep the site secure, as the old 1.5 version of Joomla is no longer supported and could have been open to security issues. Second, the new Joomla version provides more flexibility, allowing us to restructure our menus in a way that makes it much easier for our users to navigate to the information they are looking for. This will be most noticeable in the obituaries section, where those searching for Hollingsworth or Hollandsworth obituaries often had to wade through numerous pages before reaching the one they were looking for. With the new multilevel menus in the new version, access to the desired article will be much faster for those surnames. The new version also provides us more flexibility in adding graphical content to the site, which we hope will enhance the value of the articles.