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Holland Pedigrees

Welsh & Lancashire Connections

The Holland Pedigrees that can be accessed from this page are, in the main, records for families which had prominence in specific areas of North Wales. The common factor with all of them is their link to Sir Thomas Holland of Berw (Anglesey). Sir Thomas Holland was knighted on 25th July 1622 in Whitehall (see "A Book of Knights" by Walter C Metcalfe published 1885) and was subsequently granted permission to bear arms by the Garter King of Arms, Sir John Borough, sometime between 1634 and 1643. Research at the College of Arms has provided information linking Sir Thomas Holland of Berw to Sir Adam Holland of Litherland, a fairly well documented Lancashire Holland family.

Information relating to this link between Sir Thomas Holland of Berw and Sir Adam Holland of Litherland is contained in the Protheroe Collection held in the College of Arms (College of Arms MS Protheroe VI). This shows that Sir Thomas Holland was the son of John de Holland son of Ingelham de Holland.

The transcript of the Protheroe Manuscripts held by the College of Arms shows the descendants of Sir Adam Holland and links to each each of the North Wales Holland Pedigrees compiled by J E Griffith. There is however one significant difference between the ancestors of Sir Thomas Holland of Berw as described by J E Griffith in that he shows the father of Sir Thomas as being John Holland Earl of Huntingdon & Duke of Exeter. In doing so Griffith cites Lewys Dwn in his earlier Pedigrees. It is noticeable that in the list of sources cited by J E Griffith that there is no mention of Protheroe.

Recent correspondence (2010) with the College of Arms throws considerable doubt on the link between Sir Thomas Holland of Berw and John Holland Duke of Exeter. The college of Arms cite "The Complete Peerage" by G E Cockayne (Vol vi pages 528-533) published in 1926. The earliest Holland mentioned by Cockayne is Sir Robert Holland of Upholland, Lancashire (died before 1311) who married Elizabeth de Salmesbury; their son Robert, the first Lord Holland, was probably born about 1270, and as mentioned below was executed in 1328. He was married about 1311 to Maud (who died 1349) second daughter and coheir of Lord Zouche, and their second son Sir Thomas Holland KG (died 1360) married Joan Plantagenet. It was their younger son, John de Holland, who was created Duke of Exeter, and in 1386 married Elizabeth, daughter of John of Gaunt and Granddaughter of King Edward III. Their son John (died in 1447) was 2nd Duke of Exeter who died without issue in 1475. On this basis the College confirm that no subsequent Holland family can claim a legitimate descent from the Dukes of Exeter.

Bernard Holland in his book "The Lancashire Hollands" published in 1917 gives a slightly different line of ascent from Alan Holland the 4th son of Adam Holland of Eakaston shown in Protheroe's pedigree. Bernard Holland has Alan descended from Robert Holland of Upholland the brother of Robert the first Lord Holland who was beheaded at Henley in 1328. Bernard Holland gives no sources for this assertion. In all other respects Bernard Holland's Pedigree agrees with Protheroe.

It seems there was an underlying and frequently repeated error in the assertions of of those who compiled pedigrees linking Sir Thomas Holland of Berw to John Duke of Exeter. The lack of a succession from John 2nd Duke of Exeter who died in 1447 gives more credence to the succession shown in Protheroe. The evidence is not conclusive and more work requires to be done, however the working assumption is now that Sir Thomas Holland Holland of Berw and his North Wales descendants detailed in the pedigrees linked here are descended from Sir Adam de Holland of Litherland.

A hand drawn pedigree by Brian Holland from a transcript of the original Protheroe manuscripts held by the College of Arms which illustrates the Lancashire and North Wales Holland relationships can be viewed by clicking here.

DNA Links to my Holland Family Tree

As stated elsewhere there is no conclusive evidence to date which can link my family tree to any of the pedigrees given here. Good circumstantial evidence is beginning to emerge which provide links to the Pennant and Llangelynin families. It is hoped that further research and collaboration with others can help in this regard. At least one positive DNA match has given a high degree of confidence to the accuracy of my family tree back to circa 1717. It would be fascinating to compare DNA results with other Holland family members who can prove Lancashire descent.

Use of Pedigrees

In researching UK family history back in time it soon becomes apparent that the information trail starts to fade as you approach the start of Parish Registers in the mid 16th Century. Some valuable sources of information, often overlooked, are the family pedigrees documented by various genealogists over time. Whilst often looking like a family tree in their own right these pedigrees must be used with caution and where ever possible verified with other information. Typical of the sources available to support information contained in a pedigree include;

Having consulted all of the above sources of information at one time or another in my research it is often the case that more questions arise than solutions are found. Typical of the anomalies which can arise between the sources above and any given pedigree are;

It is also true that pedigrees were often transcribed by one Genealogist from the work of another. J E Griffith, mentioned below, cites his use of other sources such as the work of Lewys Dwnn. It naturally follows that errors occurring in earlier material will just be perpetuated and Pedigrees should never be taken as definitive proof without the corroboration of sources such as those mentioned above.

Pedigrees Consulted

The two most significant Pedigrees used initially for my own North Wales research into the Holland family were those by J.E Griffith and Lewys Dwnn referred to below. It eventually became clear that the Holland family of North Wales, and its most likely progenitor the Holland family of Lancashire, were also described in Pedigrees by a variety of other genealogists. The following notes provide brief information on the more significant Pedigrees and Pedigree Collections relating to the Holland family that have been consulted. The Holland pedigrees linked from this page have specific references to the relevant pedigrees referred to below.

Griffith's Pedigrees

John Edwards Griffith's Pedigrees of Anglesey and Caernarvonshire families were published in 1914 and, as might be imagined by the title, contain a series of pedigree (family tree) charts for important or wealthy families in North Wales. There are 5 separate Holland pedigrees included for those families listed on the right.

The historic locations of these families is shown on the map below (roll mouse over the red circle to reveal location).

Sources of information consulted by John Griffith and the various abbreviations to be found in the pedigree charts can be viewed here.


Plas Berw Conway Pennant Hendrefawr & Kinmel Teirdan Newmarket Flintshire

About John Edward Griffith


Born on 18th June 1843 he was a naturalist and antiquary. He had a prosperous pharmacy at Bangor in North Wales and took an early interest in archaeology and natural history writing accounts on the Flora of Anglesey and Caernarvonshire, published in 1894, and a Portfolio of Photographs of Cromlechs in the same two counties, published in 1900.

At his death he was one of the oldest members of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, having joined in 1888 and a prominent member of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society. Griffith was apparently painstaking in all he did and therefore well suited for pedigree making. He studied the Dwnn pedigrees, with genealogies collected by Bishop Humphrey Humphreys  and also the pedigree collections of John Ellis of Tai Croesion in Llechylched, a noted antiquary and genealogist, who brought his researches down to 1721.

In his time at Bangor he used records of the diocesan registry and probate office subsequently confirmed by examination of numerous parish registers. His most prominent work was the Pedigrees of Caernarvonshire and Anglesey Families, with their branches in other counties of North Wales, published in 1914. The work is not perfect. The appearances of family papers in library repositories after his death have exposed many errors both of error and omission. He died on 4 July 1933, at Bryn Dinas, Bangor.

Lewys Dwnn Pedigrees

DWNN, LEWYS (c. 1550-c. 1616)

Lewys Dwnn was an eminent sixteenth/seventeenth century genealogist, descended from David Dwnn of Kidwelly. In 1585 he was appointed deputy to both the Clarencieux king-at-arms and Norroy king-at-arms and worked as the deputy herald-at-arms for the three provinces of Wales until the deaths of his superiors in 1588 and 1592. Despite this, Dwnn continued to work on his collection of pedigrees until 1614, two years before his death. Some of his pedigrees and papers are now held by the British Museum and the National Library of Wales.

Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick was born in London in 1783 and devoted much of his final years to the transcription and editing of Lewys Dwnn's Welsh genealogical manuscripts which were published in 1846.

J.E Griffith cites Lewys Dwnn as a source in many of his pedigrees.

Where available a links to the pedigrees produced by Lewys Dwyn will be found on the various Holland family pedigrees accessible from this page (click on the relevant button top right)

Golden Grove MS (Castell Gorfod MS)

Pedigrees for a number of Welsh Counties which document Welsh and some incoming English families believed to have been been initiated by genealogist William Lewes who died in 1722. The collection of Manuscripts containing the pedigrees was subsequently copied by John Vaughan in about 1765 and eventually bequeathed to the Cawdor Estate. A copy of the Manuscripts is available in the Carmarthenshire Archives.

They can also be viewed online from the National Library of Wales Web Site as a series of twenty-one volumes, c 1910, containing transcripts from the Cawdor Estate Papers at the Carmarthenshire Archives.

For additional background I suggest Archaeologia Cambrensis, vol. III, sixth series (1903), 154-69, and Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1948), 412-14, 456-66.

Volume X of the Golden Grove MS contains the genealogies of Denbigh(shire) (ff. 4-46), and Caernarfon(shire) in which two Holland pedigrees appear.

The Manuscripts prepared by John Vaughan eventually found their way to the College of Arms where they currently reside (see Protheroe Collection below).

Protheroe Collection

This collection of Manuscripts which contains many Welsh Pedigrees is held in the College of Arms. Edward Protheroe was an early 19th C genealogist who studied Welsh pedigrees from a variety of sources. The earliest sources which came into his collection go back as far as genealogist George Owen of Henllys, Pembrokeshire who died in 1613. The sections of the Protheroe Collection relating to the Holland family are in College of Arms Protheroe Vol VI pages 162, 164 & 165 and Protheroe Vol III pages 69. A detailed description of the source material acquired by Edward Protheroe is detailed in "Welsh Manuscripts in the College of Arms" published in 1957 by the Harleian Society.

Welsh genealogies, AD 1400-1500 / Peter C. Bartrum.

Bartrum was the author of the 26-volume Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400 and Welsh Genealogies AD 1400-1500, published by the University of Wales Press and the National Library of Wales in 1974 and 1983 respectively. It is these two works, together with Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts (1966), which form the basis of the archive that Bartrum presented to the Welsh Department at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 2006. The work, which is now being put into an electronic database with the help of a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will be, when completed, an important source for genealogists engaged in the study of medieval period. Hard and micro fiche copies of the 26 volume work can be viewed at both the National Library for Wales, local Welsh Archives and some libraries. Those seeking to make use of Bartrum's pedigree charts will need to study the Introduction to Volume 1 of his work to make sense of the numerous abbreviations and annotations he uses.

Research still outstanding

To try and paint the fullest picture available I have started a process of adding to the information provided by the Pedigrees mentioned above using the sources cited below. Special mention should be made of Y Cwtta Cyfarwdd, a publication that provides a unique source of BMD data in the Abergele and Rhyl areas covering the years between 1595 and 1607 then 1646 t0 1653.

The work to expand the Pedigree data by using the sources mentioned above is ongoing and tantalisingly holds the potential for making a link to my own Holland descendants.

For those who also have an interest in the Holland family in this area I have listed in the table below some of the reference sources found with, where possible, a link giving access to them. Note that for Ancestry you will need a subscription unless you access the site from a library or research facility with an Ancestry subscription.

Guidance on use

I should make it clear that the inclusion of other Holland family pedigrees here is simply to assist other Holland family researchers and as mentioned previously does not imply, at least at this stage, any link to my own Holland family tree.

It is probably helpful to point out that Pedigrees, in the main, focus on one notable individual and show his or her descendants. This is the reverse of most personal family trees which usually start with a living person and work back through his or her ancestors.

The effect of this, as you start to navigate backwards from the home person, is that initially there is little or no birth/marriage/death data, or more than one descendant. As you work forwards in time towards the 19th Century more detail is included.

Where you see a Note Symbol symbol in the "html family tree" you can click to see any notes I added to the original Family Tree Maker entry for an individual.

Where you see a Source Symbol symbol in the html family tree you can click to see any sources I used to complete the original Family Tree Maker entry for an individual.

I should also add a slight health warning when consulting historic pedigrees.You should expect to find both inaccuracies and omissions. Those putting these pedigrees together would have suffered, as we do, from the lack of a formal civil or ecclesiastical record system covering the earliest years. It would appear also that some families were happy to have recorded those families members which reflected well on them and in contrast were happy to see "black sheep" and less successful family members consigned to the waste bin of history.

See also my statement on Standards and Good Practice.

Important Note

Unless otherwise stated the pedigrees to be viewed by clicking on the buttons to the right are a transcription by me of the respective Griffiths Pedigree for that family.

Update December 2010

In collaboration with my first cousin Brian Holland we have started to develop the information provided by Griffith/Dwnn in their pedigrees using the various sources of information listed below. The first family for which this has now been completed is the Holland family of Pennant in Eglwysbach, Denbighshire.

These more detailed pedigrees will be added onto their respective pages as they are completed.

Some Sources Used

In the table below are listed some of the references and sources used in my research. For both my own family tree and the pedigrees which can accessed by using the navigation buttons on the right I refer, where ever possible, to the sources of information used.

The table simply lists the sources used in researching the various Holland pedigrees. More specific lists will be created for specific Holland Pedigrees as the research progresses.

Parish Records & Bishops Transcripts Relevant Churches NLW
Various Estate Papers including;Coed Coch, Nanhoran, Pennant, Carreglwyd, Baron Hill (material includes Wills, Deeds, Indentures, Bonds etc) Denbighshire, Flintshire, Carnarfonshire, & Conwy Archives NLW
The Protheroe Manuscripts Edward Protheroe College of Arms
Golden Grove Manuscripts John Vaughan Carmarthenshire Record Office
Welsh Genealogies A.D. 300-1400 Peter C Bartrum NLW
Wales Annals & Antiquities Vol I & II Not known
Archaeologia_Cambrensis Vol's xii,xiii,xiv, xlv, xlix 3rd Series J Russell Smith 1867 Google Books
Welsh MSS in the College of Arms Major Francis Jones The Harleian Society
The Medieval History of Denbighshire George Bailey 1890 Google Books
The Royal Tribes of Wales Philip Yorke 1799 Google Books
Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd. Peter Roberts 1902
The Holland's of Lancashire Bernard Holland 1917 Google Books
Heraldic Visitations of Wales and part of the Marches

Lewys Dwnn. Samuel Rush Meyrick.Welsh MSS Society 1846

Brigham Young University
Conway Parish Registers 1541-1793 St Mary's Church, Conway S& N Genealogy
The History, The Princes, The Lords Marcher & The Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog J.Y.W Lloyd of Clochfaen, Whiting & Co 1887 Brigham Young University
Ancient & Modern Denbigh John Williams 1856 Google Books