- Written by Randy Hollingsworth
In the next few days, we will be upgrading Doug's Hollingsworth Ancestry site to version 3.6 of the Joomla "content management system" that the site runs on. There are two main reasons for this upgrade. The first is security, as the 2.5 version of Joomla that this site is built on is no longer receiving security updates and is no longer supported by its developer. Switching to the new 3.6 vesion will keep the site safer from potential hackers. Second, the new version allows us to use a "reponsive" template, the software which controls the look and feel of the site. While we are still using the same basic template (called Vintage), the new responsive version will automatically adapt the site to fit the size of the screen you are using. So, viewing the site on your tablet or cell phone should be much easier and the site will also be able to take advantage of the larger screen sizes available to those viewing the site on a desktop or laptop.
Otherwise, the site will continue as before, bringing you content focused on Hollingsworth genealogy and constantly adding new material to assist those researching their Hollingsworth roots. The upgrade is nearly ready for release and we hope you will enjoy the new version. We anticipate that there will be very minimal downtime when we release the upgraded site, but if there are any difficulties we will keep you informed of progress in getting the upgraded site online.
Hollingsworth Ancestry Webmaster
- Written by Douglas Hollingsworth
The Hollingsworth surname can be found in written records for the past 800 years. According to the late Harry Hollingsworth, one of the family’s most prominentgenealogists, the first written mention of our clan was of one Tomas de Holinewurth, of Cheshire, who signed the Burgh charter some time between 1211 and 1225.
By 1298, the family begins to appear in the Lancashire records as well, when a land grant to Matthew de Hollinworth was recorded. And in 1339, Johannes de Holynworth and Rogerus de Holymworth are recorded in a poll tax in Yorkshire. By the early fifteenth century, the surname begins to appear in the records for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire as well.
Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire are adjacent counties in the north and northwest of England, and it is conceivable that all of these entries refer to descendants of a common ancestor. However, in 1487, John Holyngworth wrote his will in the southeastern English shire of Suffolk. It is possible that this John was also a descendant of the Cheshire family, but it is also quite possible that John represents an unrelated family who adopted the same surname.
Recent DNA testing has added more confusion to our understanding of the origins of our family. We have tested the DNA of a proven descendant of the Hollingworth family of Hollingworth Hall, Mottram, Cheshire, and find that he matches very few other bearers of the surname. Those that are genetic matches have been found in Derbyshire and halfway across the globe in Australia.
Most of the Hollingworths in England share a very different pattern of DNA, one that is also found in males with other surnames, such as FitzRandolph, Davenport, Roper, and Crook. Additional research is needed to unravel this tangled genetic puzzle.
Besides these families, there was another Hollingsworth family that was in Lincolnshire at least as early as the early 1600s. DNA testing shows that this family is not related to either the ones in the northwest of England or the southeast of that country. However, they are genetic kin to the Hollingsworth clan who settled in Cambridge in the middle of the seventeenth century.
In addition, there was another Hollingsworth family who homesteaded in fens of Lincolnshire in the 1600s. Little is known of the origins of this branch of the family, who may or may not be an offshoot of one of the branches mentioned above.