Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Hollingby, Hollingsby, Hollingsbeen, Hollansbe, Hollansby, and even Olensby, this is an English locational surname with a pre 8th century Viking suffix. It is apparently from a now 'lost' medieval village probably in the region known as East Anglia, a Viking stronghold, although no such place has been positively identiified. This is not in itself unusual. It is known that at least three thousand surviving modern surnames derive their existentence from former places, of which usually the only surviving public record in the late 20th century is the surname itself. However there are a number of places existant with the prefix 'Hollin' meaning the holly tree, or sometimes a hollow or valley, such as Hollingbourne in Kent, or Hollington in Derbyshire, and it is just possible that this surname could be a transposition of one of these. The place name would seem to mean 'Holly tree farm' with -by' being the Old Norse for a farm. The surname is quite well recorded in the diocese of Greater London, probably because the original nameholders in the 17th century or thereabouts, would have gone there after being (usually) dispossessed from the their original homes. An early example is that of John Hollansbe and his wife Sarah, who were christening witnesses at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on July 18th 1680.
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