I, Diana Holland Faust, get almost as many inquiries about Hollands in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee who belong to a different Holland family from my own, as I do about my own Jimmie Holland family line.  Of course, those making the inquiries do not know which line they descend from -- that's why they inquire.  For that reason, and to help those who seek, I am publishing here all the information I have on the other major Holland family in the same region.  It is meticulously researched by Wiley Julian Holland and provided to this website for the purpose of disseminating actual, factual, researched genealogy, as opposed to making assumptions and guesses and propagating it online as truth.  


Michael Holland of Virginia

by Wiley Julian Holland153  wholland15@verizon.net
Copyright June 1, 2003 - published here June 6, 2012

There are over 50 RootsWeb and Ancestry postings showing Michael Holland as the son of John Holland, the progenitor of the Nansemond County Holland families. The posts show Michael's birth as 1666 in Nansemond County.

These postings are incorrect and are indicative of the manner in which two individuals took liberties with the truth even though they were aware all the Nansemond County public records were destroyed by fire on three occasions. There are no records in Nansemond County listing dates of birth.

In 1955 John Bennett Boddie wrote a chapter titled " Hollands of Nansemond" in his series on Historical Southern Families. Because the records were destroyed in Nansemond County, Boddie studied land transactions in Isle of Wight, an adjoining county. He concluded that "based on circumstantial evidence, it appears John Holland of Nansemond had four sons: HENRY, JAMES, JOSEPH, and JOHN HOLLAND Jr"

Kirk Davis Holland had access to Boddies's information dealing with the Hollands of Nansemond County. He authored a book titled "A History of the Virginia Holland Families 1622-1963", published in 1963. Kirk Holland did not say, " based on circumstantial evidence, it appears John Holland had four sons, Henry, James, Joseph and John Holland Jr".

He stated categorically they were John's sons. He then added Michael Holland to that list as the youngest son for what reason I have no knowledge. Kirk Holland gave no source information for that statement as was the case in most of the information attributed to him.

Jeanette Holland Austin in her internet publication, The Georgia Pioneers, also wrote Michael was the son of the Immigrant John Holland. As in most cases, Ms. Austin copied Kirk Holland's information but went further than Kirk on the Immigrant John's alleged children. She actually assigned years of birth for them: James, 1659, Henry, 1660, Joseph, 1661, John Jr., 1664 and Michael, 1666. The fires destroyed all birth records in Nansemond but that fact apparently meant little to Ms. Austin.

The immigrant John Holland was an indentured servant and the first record of him in Nansemond County was February 20, 1664. That was the date Colonel Edward Blake and Edward Isom were granted 2500 acres of land in Nansemond for transporting the 50 people which included included John Holland.

Thus the dates of birth for James, Henry, Joseph are incorrect because their alleged father was still in England. The 1664 date of birth for John Jr. and the 1666 date for Michael are also incorrect. During those periods the Immigrant John was serving his indenture period in Nansemond County and was not allowed to marry or have children. I agree with Boddie that the Immigrant John probably had four sons, excluding Michael, and their ages were estimated in my paper titled, "John Holland of Nansemond, a Burnt County".

Because of the absence of records Boddie only devoted 13 pages of his series on the "Hollands of Nansemond" John Holland's alleged four sons, Henry, James, Joseph and John Jr. were mentioned on numerous occasions in those thirteen pages. There is not a single instance of anyone with the name Michael Holland mentioned.

The first public record I located showing the name, M. Holland, was in the St. Paul's Parish Records, Hanover County, Virginia dated February 1, 1719. His land was included with other properties for the purpose of surveying and formalizing boundary lines. Eight years earlier, on October 19, 1711, the St. Paul Parish Records lists a Mr. Holland whose lands are listed for processing.

Again on March 1, 1715, he was listed as Holland on land partitions. I assume all three listings are Michael Holland because his lands were part of processing into precincts from then through November 12, 1771, 25 years after his death. There is not a single known verifiable record of his existence before October 19, 1711 that I could locate in my research.

Several people have posted that Michael married Judith Merryman. I have never seen any documentation that Judith's last name was Merryman.

Michael wrote his will in 1746 in Goochland County, Virginia and it is on file at the Courthouse and is included in Book Five. some. If he was born in 1666, as some say, he would have been eighty when he drafted his will. ,

In Michael's will he lists three daughters, Anne, Susanna and Marcy who are underage and he appoints guardians for them. Marcy married in 1759 and Susannah, in 1757. Using an average of twenty years for them at the time of their marriage, it would place their births around 1737. If Michael was born in 1666, that means he sired children at the age of about 71. My personal opinion is that Michael was born about 1681-1685 in England.

On several of his land patents, he was referred to as Captain Michael Holland. On others it was Michael Holland, "Gentleman".This term in the 18th centuries can best be described by the following excerpts from, "Was there an American Common Man", by Kevin Kelly, a Colonial Williamsburg publication.

"It will be useful to review what characterized a Gentleman in the 18th century because it sharply reveals what was thought to set the better sort apart from the rest of society, and it will remind us that these traits were presumably possessed only by an extremely small minority of the Virginia population.

A gentleman was expected to be educated, not just beyond basic literacy but to receive a "liberal" education grounded in Greek and Latin classics. And the knowledge gained was to be used in both private and public conversations. From tutors to classes at the College of William and Mary to studies in England, the sons of the Virginia gentry were exposed to the best in eighteenth century schooling."

The article continues, "A gentleman was of good family background. Certainly one's immediate forefathers should be one of a gentle status. Ideally one was born into the elite. A gentleman was to be wealthy enough to bear the cost of living the genteel life without visible strain. He was expected to command. It was his right and his duty. But most important was to be free from the necessity to work, especially if that work involved physical or manual labor."

There is no doubt Michael was a man of considerable means for that period in Virginia as noted in both his and his wife's will. I suspect he might have been born into a wealthy family in England. Virginia historians have stated there were many upper class Englishman who moved to Virginia in the late 17th and early 18th century. At this time, the threat of Indian massacres had subsided and a basic infrastructure and changes in the manner in which land could be granted made Virginia attractive for large investments in property.

Throughout most of the seventeenth century land was granted almost exclusively on the headright system whereas 50 acres of land was granted to an individual for each person whose transportation to Virginia from England was paid by the grantee

With the Virginia population increasing and labor more plentiful, there arose a demand to permit the granting of undeveloped land, particularly land adjacent to developed tracts without having to pay for the transportation of additional headrights. Accordingly by the late seventeenth century, customs and laws were modified to permit land grants based upon the payment of a fee in the Secretary's office , usually at a rate of five shillings for each fifty acres granted. This appears to be the manner in which Michael Holland accumulated his thousands of acres of property.

The 1704 Virginia quit rent tax schedule required each landowner to pay one shilling in taxes for every 50 acres owned. The tax was paid in tobacco at a penny per pound. The 1704 Virginia tax list lists four Hollands: Henry Holland, Nansemond County, 400 acres, John Holland, Nansemond County, 700 acres, Joseph Holland, Nansemond County, 100 acres and William Holland, 300 acres in Gloucester County. No Michael Holland is listed on the 1704 tax roll.

If Michael was living in Virginia prior to the imposition of the 1704 Quit Rent, in my opinion, he would have been listed as a landowner. I am of the opinion that Michael migrated to Virginia between 1704 and October 10, 1711 when he is first listed as owning property in the part of New Kent County which became Hanover County in 1720

Michael was granted three patents of land in Henrico County, July 20, 1724 totaling 1200 acres. On June 11, June 16, and October 13, 1727 he received six patents totaling 2346 acres in Henrico County. September 28, 1730, he received four patents totaling 4961 acres in Henrico County. On May 5 and August 25, 1731 he was granted 3 more land patents totaling 7150 acres in Goochland and Hanover Counties. April 11, and April 15, 1732, he was granted 3 land patents in Goochland and Hanover Counties totaling 3840 acres.

On June 20, 1733, he received one land patent in Goochland totaling 3450 acres. On September 10, 1735 he received one patent of 4365 acres in Goochland. April 22, 1736 he received one 400 acre patent in Hanover County. On July 20 and September 12, 1738 he received three patents in Amelia and Hanover Counties totaling 4360 acres. August 20 and December 1, 1740 he received three land patents in Hanover County for 1200 acres.

On March 30, 1743, he was granted two land patents in Hanover and Amelia Counties totaling 700 acres. His last known land patent was granted March 15, 1744 in Goochland County totaling 4753 acres. I believe that is a total of 38,725 acres. A separate patent of 400 acres on September 28, 1730 was made jointly by Michael and William Ford, the father of Michael's future daughter in law, Sarah. I am sure Michael owned more property but the land patents listed above are the only ones I could verify.

Not only was Michael referred to as "Gentleman" and Captain he was also designated as the attorney for the estate of Thomas Darsie in Hanover County September 11, 1735. In 1731 he was appointed to survey the location of a road in Hanover County, so we know he was also a surveyor. He must have been a Member of St. Paul's Parish Church in Hanover County because on February 19, 1734 his Church tithes were used to maintain a local road. In 1734 he was appointed the administrator of the estate of Robert Houett, deceased. Michael was appointed Sheriff in Hanover County 1740 to assure Quit Rent taxes were paid, in tobacco prior to June 1st and cash money after that date.

Michael died in 1746. There seems to be some controversy about his date of death as compared to the date of his will. The posts show the will as being written 10 October, 1746. It shows the will being proved upon the death of Michael, March 17, 1746. I believe those dates were reversed in somebody's transcriptions because Michael was still alive on August 27, 1746. On that day, he was a witness to his son, George's marriage to Sarah Ford. Michael had arranged dowry provisions before their marriage in his will. His wife, Judith's will was dated 1751 and it is also on file in Goochland.

Cavaliers and Pioneers- Nell Marion Nugent, 1934
Virginia Wills and Administrations, 1632-1800, Clayton Torrance, 1930
The Hollands, a Fluvanna Family, McGehee, 1991
Historic Southern Families, Boddie, 1956
Twelve Virginia Counties, John Gwathmey, 1937
Louisa County deed books
Albemarle County deed books
Henrico County Estate Records
Goochland county deed books
The Douglas Register, W. Mac Jones, 1928


Other articles you may be interested in:

The spread of misinformation on the internet
The Truth About Gabriel Holland of Virginia by Wiley Julian Holland
Gabriel, John and Richard Holland of Virginia
Virginia Hollands by Wiley Julian Holland
Michael Holland of Virginia
Wiley Julian Holland on Jasper Land Holland formerly known as Gabe Holland and also known as Jasper Holland
Wiley Julian Holland on Jeanette Holland Austin
Letham trunk in Jimmie Holland's family: What is it and where did it come from?
Writings of Wiley Julian Holland

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My Holland Family Odyssey by Wiley Julian Holland153  wholland15@verizon.net   Copyright 2003-2013 - published here September 10, 2012
Holland site Published 10 July 1996 - This page added 11 September 2012  Last updated 10 March 2014