Home > US Hollyers in the 1880 census
Just as the 1881 census for the UK has been fully indexed and published on CDs, so too has the even larger 1880 census for the USA. It is interesting to see what Hollyer, Holyer and Hollier families can be found.
As expected there are many Holliers in Louisiana and other southern states that connect to the French Hollier family from Opelousas and originally Nantes in France. Some of their black servants also took the Hollier name. I have found 17 families or individuals in the Opelousas/St Martin area of Louisiana and some I have been able to identify with Holliers on the Opelousas 'tree' that I have been able to construct.
What of Hollyer and Holyer?
As expected, the first three Hollyer families are the three sons of Samuel Hollyer the Engraver, who all emigrated to the USA in the 1850s.
In Boston, MA we find Alexander (Picture Frame Maker) and Maria, with their surviving children Samuel and Minnie (Mary). In Ridgefield, NJ are Samuel (Artist) and his second wife Madeline. At North Bergen, NJ are James (Cashier) and Frances with their 6 surviving children.
At Newark, Ohio are James and Ruth Hollyer, who are at present unknown. He was a 33 year old Machine Agent, born Ohio, but his father was born in Rhode Island.
At Green, IL, Louisa Hollyer was a 23 year old servant on a farm. While she was born in Illinois, her parents were both German.
Another farm servant was Rose Hollyer, 24, at Greene, NY. She was born in New York State but there is no record of her parents' origins.
Rochester, NY was the home of Thomas & Jennie Holyer, their family of 7 and Thomas's father George. Both Thomas and George were British born butchers and it is quickly evident that George & Mary Holyer of Woodchurch must have emigrated to the USA with their family sometime after 1849. It is not clear what happened to the other children. I wonder if any present day US Holyers descend from this Woodchurch family.
Acting as a House Keeper for a German farmer at Warren, Hermiker, NY was Hannah Holyer, 30, who was born, along with her parents, in Ireland. This is the first record I have found of the name Holyer from Ireland. One other servant in this household was Irish, but the rest were German.
At Troy, NY can be found Bessie Holyer, a 23 year old teacher living other teachers in the house of a minister. While she was born in NY State, her parents were both Canadian.
In Brooklyn, NY was the German widow Elizebeth Holyer and her 3 children. She and two of her children were tailors.
Also in Brooklyn was the 25 year old machinist Oscar Holyer from Prussia. Perhaps part of the same family?
In Valdosta, Georgia was Hanah Holyer, 57, a nurse living with the family of a Commercial Traveller. She had been born in Georgia, as had her father.
There were two Holyer families living in Elizabeth City, Virginia. The first was William (a Store-Clerk), his wife Susan and his parents Robert and Jane, all born in VA. The second family was Robert Holyer (Farmer), his wife Harriet and their 3 children. There was also a 75 year old Abram Hollier elsewhere in Elizabeth City. I'm fairly sure that these are all descendants of an early Hollier family in Elizabeth City VA. The earliest records are of a Simon Hollier, or more likely two Simon Holliers, father and son, who held a number of important posts in Elizabeth City County. There was a Simon Hollier, overseer, who was a beneficiary in the Will of Edmund Sweeney of 1697. A Simon Hollier was made a Justice of the Peace in 1714 and Sheriff in 1715. He was a Burgess 1727-1784. A Simon Hollier was Captain of the Militia in Elizabeth City and fought in the Revolution of 1776. Simon Hollier was noted as owning 200 acres in the County. More on the Virginia Holliers can be found here.
But back to 1880. At Snohomish City, Washington State we find a widow S.E. Holyer and her daughter Josie Holyer. While the 11 year Josie is shown as being born in Colorado, I believe she may actually be the Josie Holyer who I found was born 20th Mar 1869 in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Watson Holyer and his wife Sidney née Wall. (An odd name for a woman!). They were married around 1868 in PA and Watson is said to have been born in Grampian, Clearfield Co, PA around 1834.
As with the 1881 UK index, there are probably other Hollyers waiting to be found whose names were mis-transcribed. For example, where was the other Watson Holyer who at 65 committed suicide in Salida, Colorado in 1893? With a wife called Missouri, they ought to be easy to find! With more and more of the US censuses becoming available online (but at a price), there is scope for a lot more research on the US families.
2020 update: I now know that there was only one Watson Holyer, who married three times and likely to have been a serial bigamist. You can read his story here: Watson HolyerBack to top