The name HOLLEMAN was a nickname 'the holy man', the priest, the friar, derived from the Middle English HOOL of HOL. The name was also locational 'the dweller by the holly-bushes' from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention Walter Halloman of the County of Lincolnshire in 1273. Johannes Halman of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Lionel Holyman of London, was at Magdelen Hall, Oxford University in 1582. Anthony Allin and Mary Holliman were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1628. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. There are many variant spellings of the name which include Holman, Holleyman, Holeyman, and Holloman. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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