This Swedish and Dutch surname of HOLMBERG was a locational name meaning 'one who came from Holmberg de Beckfelt' in Holland, or it was a name which was applied to someone who lived on an island, in particular a piece of slightly raised land lying in a fen or partly surrounded by streams. The name is also spelt HOLMES, HOLME, HOLMEN, HOLMIN, HOLMER, HOLMSTEDT (island homestead) HOLMSTROM (island river) and HOLMQUIST (island twig). The name was in England at an early date and early records of the name mention Roger de Holm, who was documented in the year 1186, County Leicestershire. Goscelin de Holme, 1273 County Suffolk. William de Holmes of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Cooke married Johanna Holmes, in London in the year of 1574. Alice Holmes was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1615. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. There are lands named Holmes in the barony of Inchestuir, Scotland, and Johannes Holmys, who was a charter witness in Ayr in the year 1460, doubtless derived his name from the lands of Holmes near Dundonald, Kyle Stewart, Scotland. James Hoomes in 1668, was warned and cautioned not to harm the inhabitants of Inverness; presumably he was a difficult neighbour!. A notable member of the name was Arthur Holmes (1890-1965) the English geologist, born in Tyne. He was the Professor of geology at Durham from 1924 until 1943 and of Edinburgh from 1946-56. He determined the ages of rocks by measuring their radioactive constituents. He wrote 'The Age of Earth' (1913).
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