Recorded in over forty spelling forms including Holt, Hoult (England), Holte, Holtzer, Holzer, Holzmann, Holtmann, Holting (Germany), Holdt and Holten (Danish and Norwegian, Hult (Swedish) and various compounds such as Holeberg (German) and Hultberg (Swedish) both meaning Wood Hill, the origin is probably either pre 7th century English or German or perhaps both. It can be either topographical or locational. As the former, the name was given to someone who lived in or by a wood or copse, derived from the word "holt", meaning wood. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. As a locational surname Holt may come from any of the numerous places named 'Holt, found throughout the English countryside and in Northern Europe. The surname was an early introduction into America, with Randall Holt being recorded as being a resident at James City, Virginia, in 1623. He arrived on the ship "George" in 1620, the same year as the famous Pilgrim Fathers. The first known recording of the family name anywhere in the world is shown to be that of Hugo de Holte. This was dated 1185, in the records of the Knight Templars of England, Kent, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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