The surname of HOLMEN was a locational name 'the dweller at the holme' an islet on flat land beside a river. The name was derived from the Old English word HOLEN. 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. Baptised. Alice Holmes, St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1615. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France 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).
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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