The Holliday Family Tree Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 1 - December 2007
Welcome and Introduction
As many of you know, I have been interested in the Holliday family ancestry for many years now.
I remember the very first time I discovered what a family tree was. It was the summer of 1976, when I was 11 years old and John and Vera Holliday had invited the family to their house in Derby for a Holliday family reunion. I recall crowding around a bound book that John had opened out on the dining room table, whilst everyone updated it with names and dates of new family members. I wrote to John a few days later asking if I could have photo-copies of the family trees, which he sent me and I have been hooked on this hobby ever since!
It has taken me 30 years, in between having our children, to gather together all the information, documents, letters and photos that I have acquired and I thought it was time that I share it with the descendants of the family that I have been researching.
There is so much to cover, that I decided some time ago to produce a newsletter, which will include family trees, biographical notes on family members and information about their lives and the villages they grew up in, along with numerous photos.
I have used many sources to obtain this data, searching at the Berkshire Record Office, visiting villages and churches that were prominent in our ancestors' lives', visiting libraries and trawling through websites, and through this latter resource I am now in contact with people who we all share common ancestors with; these people live as near as Berkshire and London, but also from Canada, United States and New Zealand.
This first issue will illustrate how we all fit into the Holliday family tree. The Holliday family are directly related to the Lousley, Loder, and Caudwell surnames. However, these are just a few names and these and many more will be covered in detail in future newsletters.
The Village of East Hagbourne
These are the words of a traveller visiting East Hagbourne in the early part of the last century:
"The beauty of this sequestered village as you come down into it is almost bewildering... Out of the houses clustering round you might almost expect to see folk in ancient costume issue forth, move up and down the little street, and form themselves into picturesque groups, because it is more like a village on the stage than anything else..."
East Hagbourne Village
The village of East Hagbourne, now in the County of Oxfordshire, but prior to local government reorganisation in 1974 fell within Berkshire, is really where it all began for the Holliday family. The earliest Holliday, as yet, that I can record as being born in the village was a Richard Holliday, born about 1720. According to an old family document, his grandson Thomas, when sitting in the chair one night, remarked that his grandfather's nose was 'all on one side', to which Richard replied "Go to bed boy, that will be alright in the morning". The next morning, he was found dead in his chair. Richard Holliday died about 1770.
The Holliday family remained in the village for nearly 200 years continuing to farm and to be very well respected members of the community. The name village derives from Hacca, a chief of one of the West Saxon tribes who settled in Britain following the departure of the Romans. He settled in this area besides a stream that still bears his name Hacca's Brook or Hacca's Burn. The stream is mentioned in a 9th Century charter as Hacceburna, which later become Hagburne/Hagbourne. The stream still flows in a moat around the Manor House, through several domestic gardens before disappearing underground.
St Andrew's Church
St Andrew's is a church with a fascinating history. There is a large perpendicular window, which fills the entire east wall of the chancel.
There are also perpendicular roofs to the chancel, carved with shields and devices believed to represent the various degrees of men: a double eagle for an emperor, mitre and crozier for a bishop and abbot, callipers for a mason, square for a carpenter, a pruned tree for a gardener etc.
The medieval pulpit is regarded as one of the finest in the area. The medieval font features beautiful carvings of donors' coats of arms, some of whose brasses can also be seen in the church.
Upper and Lower Crosses
It is thought that there were three crosses marking an area of refuge within the village.