This interesting English surname, with spelling forms Including Holdway, Holdaway, Hollaway, Hollway, Hollwey, Holoway, Holtaway, Holtway and Holtwey, is of West Country origins. More specifically it has 'roots' traceable back to pre Anglo-Saxon times, to the very dawn of history. It is either habitational from minor places called Holloway, or topographical for someone who lived by a sunken or hollow road, (holh weg) or 'at the old way'(atte auld weg). The elements are Olde English or possibly Olde British, predating the Romans, with "holh", translating as a hollow place, plus "weg", a roadway or path. The central 'road' of a pre medieval village was usually called 'Holloway', and was often a stream doubling as the 'way'. Where these were particularly deep they became the village name as well. The modern 'Holloway' in London was itself recorded as "Holwey" in the 'Place Names List' for Middlesex in 1480. The surname first appears in records in the early 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include John de la Holeweye, who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset, Johannes de Holewege, in the Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire in 1273, John del Hollewaye in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1308, and somewhat later Robert Holdway of Southwark, London, on September 26th 1664, and John Holtaway at St Andrews Holborn, on August 20th 1803. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Holeweia. This was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Henry 1st, known as "The Administrator", 1100 - 1135. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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