A Special Note from Doug:


Is Valentine Kin to the Family at Hollingworth Hall?

by: Douglas R. Hollingsworth


For most of the past 150 years, most Hollingsworth researchers throughout the world have assumed that they were descendants of the family that lived at Hollingworth Hall for almost a millennium. New evidence has come to light which prompts a new look at the possible origins of the Hollingworth family


According to the late Harry Hollingsworth, the first mention of the Hollingworth name appears to be that of “Tomas de Holinwurthe” on a charter that was executed in the period from 1211-1225 A.D. It appears that the same Hollingworth family remained in residence at the Old Hall at Mottram in Longendale, with an occasional hiatus, until it was sold in the 1860s after the death of Robert de Hollyngworth.


The Hollingsworth DNA group was fortunate to find a male descendant of the family at the Old Hall at Mottram and secure his participation in our DNA project. Unfortunately, the Mottram descendant was not a genetic match for the descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth or any other major family grouping. In fact, the only genetic match to the clan at the Old Hall is a descendant of the Hollingworth family who lived in Spondon, Derbyshire.


There seems to be more to the story. An Australian, Simon Hollingworth, probably has studied the family at Hollingworth Hall in more depth than any other living family member. In a recent e mail to me, Simon wrote “(I) have evidence that proves that until 1440, the Hollingworths of Old Hall, the Hollingworths of Nearer Mottram Hall and the Hollingworths of Manchester were all the same bloodline.


HOWEVER, I believe that 'Old' Hugh de Holynworth of the Nearer Hall left the estate to a possible nephew (or surrogate son) called Alexander Hepworth de Holynworth, who upon inheriting the estate took the family name:  Alexander de Holynworth de Hollingworth, son in-law to Sir John Radcliffe of Ordsall Hall.”


It is possible, even probable, that the Hollingworths of the Nearer Hall are of a completely different genetic strain than the ones included in our DNA survey.


Simon and others have tried to trace the line of descent of Alexander Hepworth de Holynworth with some success, finding members of this family who lived in Mottram into the early 1700s. However, in each of the three generations after Alexander (roughly from 1440 to the late 1500s), we only have the name of the Hollingworth who lived at the Nearer Hall in Mottram. Any younger brothers born to this family from 1440 until after 1550 are currently unknown. It is quite possible that a younger son born in that era sought his fortune elsewhere, and that his sons or grandsons later ended up in Ireland in the 1600s.


And the Mottram Hollingworths did travel elsewhere. To cite to a well-documented example, in 1634 Daniel Hollingworth, a merchant tailor in London published a family tree showing that he was the son of Thomas Hollingworth of Darby, and the grandson of “John Hollingworth of Hollingworth Hall in com. Chester gent.” Similarly, a pedigree drawn for one of the Hollingworths of Leicester in 1623 shows that their family came from Bilsthorpe, Lincolnshire, and that they had originated at Mottram.


The connection to Lincolnshire may be particularly important. The late Harry Hollingsworth speculated that Ralph Hollingsworth, the Dean of the Irish Diocese at Tuam c1660 was from the family who lived in Lincoln, as was his son Anthony, who apparently was a church official in Dublin in the 1660s. Ralph and Hugh, the name of another Hollingworth who appears in the Irish records of the 1630s and 1640s, are given names found frequently among the Mottram and Lincoln branches of the family and rarely elsewhere among the English Hollingworths.


I recommend that the Board of the DVHS initiate a research project to study the family who lived at the Nearer Hall at Mottram in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to try to find a logical link to our branch of the family.


July 14, 2007