Hollister (surname)

For other uses, see Hollister (disambiguation).

Hollister is an English family name from the Gloucester region of England, now most numerous in the United States of America. In 1992, it was estimated there were 2204 households in the USA, 94 in Canada, 81 in Australia, 21 in New Zealand, 3 in Denmark and 371 in Great Britain.


One source suggests that the name Hollister is associated with Hollier, in the same way that Baxter is known to be a feminine form of Baker. The IGI suggests that the stronghold of the Hollister name is Wickwar in Gloucestershire, which happens also to be the stronghold of the Hallier surname, rather than Hollier.[1]

The surname dictionaries usually reference a link between Hollister and Hollier and variously describe its meaning as relating to Old English or Old French words meaning "Dweller by the holly tree" - hardly surprising - or "Whoremonger" which most of us would prefer to pass over quickly. Such dictionaries rarely give any proof of such assertions and so must be considered as speculative.[1]


There are two coats of arms often associated with the family name Hollister; however, it has not been shown that either have been officially linked to the name, since coats of arms are associated with individuals, not surnames. Coats of arms cannot automatically be claimed by any member of a family. The coat of arms is bestowed on an individual and is passed to the eldest child (usually son). Younger children officially have to use differencing when displaying arms.

Most often Burke's General Armoury is quoted as listing the following for the name Hollister:

Sable on a bend between a Greyhound Courant bendways in chief and a Dolphin Haurient in base argent three Torteaux, on a chief of the second three sprigs of Strawberry fructed proper.

This translates as:

A black field with a silver bend. On the bend 3 red circles. Above the bend a silver greyhound in line with the bend, and below the bend a silver dolphin erect with head upwards. At the top of the shield a silver field with 3 sprigs of strawberry with natural coloured fruit.

This is, however an erroneous link, even in terms of the surname. In fact this coat of arms is linked to the name Hollist. Commercial heraldry companies continue to link the name and the coat of arms.

Another coat of arms, a derivation of this, was published in an unknown US book. The differences include using strawberry fruit instead of the torteaux.


To Australia

The first recorded migration of a Hollister to Australia was with the First Fleet in 1788, Job Hollister, on the Convict Transport Alexander. Hollister was sentenced in Bristol, England to 7 years of penal servitude in New South Wales, for stealing tobacco. He apparently left the colony in July 1793 for Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island.[2]

In about 1855 Augustus Henry Hollister, of Frampton Cotterel, UK, migrated to Victoria to search for gold. Later his father, Levi Hollister, migrated to see the 3 sons who had migrated. This is the major Hollister line in Eastern Australia.

In 1866, James Hollister migrated to South Australia aboard the Prince of Wales from Somerset, England. This is the major Hollister line in South Australia

To the United States of America

Lieut. John Hollister went to America in 1642 and settled at Wethersfield, Connecticut; b. 1612; m. Joanna (d. 1694), daughter of Richard Treat, and died in April 1665. This is the major Hollister line in the USA.

To Denmark

The name in Denmark is founded by Gunnar Jensen who changed his name in the US and returned to Denmark in 1969. In 1979 Gunnar's grandson Daniel Hollister was born, and is the first in Denmark to have the name from birth.

List of notable persons with the surname

Fictional characters


  1. 1 2 http://www.hollyer.info/var.php
  2. Founders of Australia by Mollie Gillen
  3. "Brand History: get to know each brand's identity" (PDF). Abercrombie & Fitch. Retrieved 8 September 2009.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/17/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.