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Origins of the Holmes surname

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What does the name Holmes mean?

There are a number of possible origins of the Holmes surname. Firstly and most commonly it is English, deriving from the Middle English 'holm' (holly tree) or the Old English 'holme' (flat island). Holmes would have been given as a geographic surname, to someone who lived near or next to these features. The surname Holmes can less commonly be Scottish, referring to those who came from a number of places called Holm.

Alternative variations of the name Holmes

Holmes, Holme, Holms, Hulmes, Holm, Hulme, Hulmes

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Holmeses live?

In 1921, most Holmeses lived in Yorkshire.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Holmeses

How common is your surname?

78th most common surname in the UK

We have 382,000 records for the Holmes surname. The oldest one dates back to 1300.

Who were Holmeses most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Holmeses.

What are the most common Holmes first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Holmes family members

Common jobs for Holmeses

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Holmeses in 1921


Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic




Cotton Weaver


Common Male occupations for Holmeses in 1921
Coal Miner


Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer




Farm Labourer


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Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 360,000 family trees with the Holmes surname

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