Recorded as Hollow, Hollows and the dialectal Holah, this is an English surname of great antiquity. It is residential and describes either a person who lived in a small valley, or came from a place called Hollow. There are three examples of the place name in England, being Hollow Hill near Diss in Norfolk, Hollow Meadows near Sheffield in Yorkshire, Hollow Moor near Chester, and in Scotland, the village of Hollows, near Canonbie in Dumfriesshire, and a locality called Hollow Wood in Renfrewshire, probably the site of a now lost village. Any, all, or even none of these places could have provided the modern name holders. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. In so doing they took, or were given, as their surname, the name of their former homes. Spelling being at best indifferent often lead to the creation of "sounds like" forms. In this case we have very early recordings such as Peter in le Holwe in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Cambridgeshire, in 1279, and Thomas de Hollowe of Worcestershire, in the Subsidy Tax rolls of that county in 1327.
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