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Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Hollister one name study commenced in 1985 and is virtually complete for the United Kingdom. In the early years records were maintained on paper and later computerised using an Excel Spreadsheet. Wherever possible each name is associated with a particular family tree.

The finished product consist of

  1. A Birth Index showing Child'€™s Name, Date of Birth or Christening, Fathers Name, Mothers Name, Parish, County, Country, Sources of Information and Notes on the child, Family Tree Chart No, Chart Page No, and date of death or burial.
  2. A Marriage Index showing Christian Name of the Hollister bride or groom, Date of marriage, Christian Name of Spouse, Surname of Spouse, Parish, County, Country, Sources of Information and Notes on the spouse, Family Tree Chart No, Chart Page No, and date of death or burial of female spouse. (Male spouses usually result in a change in Surname and once married no longer part of the study).
  3. Hand written Family Tree Charts haves been produced recording the basic information and relationships for the persons mentioned in the two indexes.

The indexes and charts will be updated if further information comes to light meanwhile it is the intention to prove the family trees and to find possible links through the Hollister DNA Project.

Variant names

The study includes Hollester, Holester and Holister as well as the double-barrelled names Hollister- Short and Hollister- Shepherd.

Name origin

At the beginning of the 17th Century, Hollisters were well established in the parishes of Henbury, Almondsbury, Olveston, Marshfield and Westerleigh all of which are near Bristol. There were individual families established in Stinchcombe including Alderley to the North of Bristol, the Marshfield Hollisters had established themselves in London, the Olveston Hollisters in Publow Somerset and there was a family in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. It is almost certain that we have a common ancestor at sometime in the distant past.


The sources of information covered include: -

The Parish Church Registers held at the Bristol Record Office, the registers of the Northern Parishes of Somerset, and the transcripts of registers compiled by the Wiltshire Family History Society covering the period from 1538 to 1837.

The International Genealogical Index as at Jul 1984 and since updated to 2007.

The Census Returns 1841 to 1901

All known Hollister wills held at the PCC and record offices of Bristol, Gloucester, Somerset and Wiltshire for pre 1858 wills and all wills and administrations post 1858 for those born pre 1901.

The surviving Court Rolls for the manor of Westerleigh commencing 1625.

The Births Marriages and Deaths civil registration from Jul 1837 to 1901


There is a DNA project in existence and the results so far link the Westerleigh family with the descendants of John Hollister who left Bristol in the early 17th Century for New England and the Wiltshire Family. We have been determined as being of the R1a1a Haplogroup (CTS1211) a relatively rare group in the UK and of Eastern Europe origin.

'The Hollister DNA Project is offering free Y-DNA 37-Marker tests for men with the Surname Hollister, Holister or Hollester and associated double barrelled names Hollister-Short and Hollister-Shepherd. The offer is open to men with documented lineages from Any Country. The offer will be subject to the approval of the Administrators' assessment that the outcome is likely to benefit the project. Details of the project can be found on :-