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Origins of Holston Surname

Replies: 10

Re: Origins of Holston Surname

Posted: 1060762679000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1136384105000
Surnames: Holston, Ogden, Breeze, Foster, Pool, Stanley, Bailey, Gentry

I have not been active in researching this family in over a year, but have come across your post and am intrigued by the information you have, particularly about your statement regarding the Holstons (Houlstons), "They were Quakers and came to this country circa 1682. They attended Chester Monthly Meeting, PA where they bought land."

This is a long post for which I apologize in advance. However, it reflects the research that I have been doing in attempting to find the birth location of John Holston and thereby, hoping to find some distant relatives from that location. Maybe some of the facts may ring a bell with you and I can connect with your John Holston.

My John Holston is documented in an old family letter dated 7 January 1900 in which the author, Bert Holston (John Holston's great grandson) states "John Holston, our great grandfather was born in Delaware, he was a Baptist preacher and traveled from town to town doing evangelistic work -- he traveled on horse-back most of the time from town to town. He was of Scotch parentage."

Since I have found no further information about his parents, I decided to look at the history of this part of the country in the 17th and early 18th centuries to see if there were some clues I could match with Bert's statements.

The boundaries of Delaware did not reach their present configuration until 1760, due primarily to the long battle over control of much of this territory waged by the Penn family of Pennsylvania and the Calvert family of Maryland. However, there were many people who lived in this area who did not know to what state they belonged up until the end of the century. Delaware County, PA was created on September 26, 1789 from part of Chester County and named for the Delaware River, which in turn had been named for Lord de la Warr, Governor of Virginia. Media, the county seat since 1850, was incorporated as a borough on March 11, 1850, and named for its central location in the county. Chester, its original county seat, was the county seat of Chester County before 1788, and the temporary capital of Pennsylvania, 1681-1682, before Philadelphia was laid out.

So in reading this brief, albeit incomplete snippet of history, John Holston could have been born in Delaware County, PA rather than the state of Delaware, as is stated in Bert's letter. In fact, even today, Delaware County, PA and the state of Delaware do border each other. In reading the History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania by Henry Graham Ashmead, Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co. 1884, he indicates that Edgmont Township was part of Delaware County PA., the first record of which dates from 1686. In his book there is a Holdston listed as a taxable in 1715 in Edgmont Township and 3 Holstons, Benjamin, John, and Joseph listed as taxables in 1799. If this is the John Holston I am looking for, he would have been 11 years old at the time of the taxable lists was prepared. I have deduced this fact from the evidence that my John Holston married Nancy Bailey on 24 Nov 1811 in Albermarle, Virginia and we believe he was born about 1788. Therefore, he would have been about 23 when he was married.

In this same southeast corner of Pennsylvania, a man by the name of Leonhardt Holsteiner settled in the Tulpehocken Valley (near today's Lancaster) in the spring of 1723 with his family. This man and his family were from the Zweibruchen region of Germany. His descendants changed the name to Holstein, Holston, Stoner over the years. The John Holdston listed in the 1715 taxables list of Edgmont Township predates the arrival of Leonhardt Holsteiner in 1723 so they may not be related. But, the John Holston listed in the 1799 taxables list could be either from John Holdston's family or from Leonhardt Holsteiner's line or neither. Tulpehocken Valley is close to Edgmont township in Delaware County, PA, but are the families connected?

Further complicating this history is the fact that the Swedish Colony was established in the Delaware bay area in the year 1638. It encompassed all of today's Delaware, part of Pennsylvania, and the shoreline of New Jersey. Later in the century, this piece of Pennsylvania was deeded to William Penn. Ashmead's history also states "In 1644 the present site of Chester, east of the creek of that name, was a tobacco plantation, occupied by farm servants in the employment of the Swedish company. From the research done by Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig about the Swedish Colony we know that one of the original forefathers of that colony was Matthias Claesson. He was from from Dithmarschen in Holstein which then, as now, lies east of the Netherlands on the North Sea. Matthias Claesson was one of several Holsteiners who ended up as husbands of Swedish wives. He later was known as Matthias Holstein and it is documented that he was born in 1642. He died in 1708 as documented by Pastor Andreas Sandel when he wrote in his list of burials at Gloria Dei Church the following entry (as translated from the original Swedish): "9 April. Buried old Matths Hollsten, born in Dithmarschen in Holstein." This was the man who was the founder of the Swedish Holstein family, which left an enduring mark among the Swedish churches at Wicaco, Upper Merion and Swedesboro and gave its name to the Holsten River in Tennessee, whose first inhabitant was Stephen Holstein. This is a well documented family with many branches today, but something tells me that my John Holston was not part of this family, but I can't be sure.

The only other information I have is from several lookups:

- There is a John Holston b. 1807 in Delaware with father Elisha Holston entered in the LDS church records after 1991 by an LDS member. No other family information.

- Robert Holston in Baltimore county in 1790 census, with 2 males under 16. Robert married in 1785 and appears on the 1783 tax lists. Most of the Maryland Holstons resided in Worchester Co, however in the 1800 census none of them have a child ages l0-16.

As you can probably tell, I am as interested in the times and places that my ancestors lived as I am in connecting one person with another. To me, names on a genealogy chart don't mean much unless I can understand a bit about how these people lived and died. Maybe this is a dead-in or a brick wall, but something tells me that there could be a connection with your John Holston and mine, but maybe not.

Regards, Paul

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Paul Puente 1010850083000 
Tonilyn 1018727013000 
Tonilyn 1018727157000 
rochelleleste... 1030926281000 
JoyceThorton 1060700895000 
paulbasel 1060754063000 
JoyceThorton 1060785411000 
paulbasel 1060762679000 
JoyceThorton 1060784994000 
paulbasel 1060844545000 
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