Recorded in several spelling forms including: Holborn, Holburn, and Holburne, this is an English surname. It originates from the former village of Holborn, now part of the city of London, a place anciently recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Holeburna'. This is from the Olde English pre 7th century words 'hol' and 'burna' and describes a stream running in a hollow or ravine. A stream does still run through Holborn, but it is now many feet underground and encased in a pipe! Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people who moved elsewhere. In the past when people left their original villages they tended to move to London, and then as easy identification, be called by the name of the place from whence they came. Curiously the same principle seems to have applied with this name, and there are numerous examples of the nameholders moving from say Holburn across the river to Southwark, and even though they were in sight of their old home, they still adopted its name as their surname. Examples taken from the very earliest surviving church registers of London include: William Holburne, at the church of St Peter's Eastcheap, when he married Alice Bordall on November 16th 1545, and George Holborn, who married Dorothy Powell at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on August 19th 1550.
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