The Truth About Gabriel Holland of Virginia 
by Wiley Julian Holland
Copyright 2007-2013


Several years ago my elderly sister and I were discussing our family history. During the conversation a wide smile appeared on my sister’s face and she blurted out, “Wiley, did you know we are direct-line descendants of the English Plantagenet Royal Family. At my last bridge club meeting, Joyce, said she read a book by a woman with that information in it. The lady who wrote the book claimed to be a professional genealogist so the information must be true.” 

With a large smile on her face, my sister went on to say, “Wiley, aren’t you excited to know we have royal blood running in our veins?” Seeing the jubilation in my sister’s demeanor, I smiled and simply said, “that’s interesting.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had seen the book to which she was referring and had serious reservations about the validity of the information contained in the book.

While researching my Holland family I read postings about Gabriel Holland meeting with King Charles 1 and that he was the great-grandson of Thomas Holland, an illegitimate son of Henry Holland, third Duke of Exeter. Because of those rather incredulous statements I spent an inordinate amount of time researching Gabriel Holland.

I concluded that the information on Gabriel which I am rebutting originated from two authors. The first was a book A History of the Virginia Holland Families 1620-1963 written by Kirk Davis Holland in 1963. The second author Jeannette Holland Austin wrote the book The Hollands 1000-1988 and The Georgia Pioneers, originally published in book form by the Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland. The information from The Georgia Pioneers is now part of a website requiring a subscription to view.

Before proceeding it is important to understand the term headright as it relates to 17th century Virginia. The headright system was initiated to stimulate immigration and the settlement of the Virginia colony,  “It is ordained that any person who paid his own way to Virginia should be assigned 50 acres of land and if he transported at his owe cost one or more persons, he should for each person whose passage he paid, be awarded 50 acres of land.” The persons whose transportation was paid became a headright of the individual who paid the transportation costs.

An example would be: Mr. X paid his own transportation costs to Virginia and that of Mr. Y.  In this case Mr. X could claim 2 headrights, one for himself and one for Mr. Y. Thus Mr. X qualified for a 100-acre patent of land.  Many headrights were family members, and friends.

The headright system was corrupted to a certain extent and many multiple claims of headrights were submitted to acquire additional land. All headrights were not indentured servants but all indentured servants were headrights. These servants agreed to work for a specified amount of time, usually four to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, shelter and clothing. 

In the course of the 17th century, from 120,000 to 150,000 immigrants landed in the Chesapeake Region and seventy-five to eighty percent of those people came as indentured servants. Eighty percent of the indentured servants died from malaria and other diseases within the first year.

I disagree with many statements made by Kirk Holland and Ms. Austin but for the sake of brevity I am only listing eleven. Those are listed in numerical order with my rebuttal and sources following each statement in question.

"Gabriel Holland was the great-grandson of Thomas Holland, an illegitimate son of Henry Holland, third Duke of Exeter and an unknown Mother. Henry's wife, Anne Plantagenet, the daughter of Richard, Duke of York had him murdered at sea. Thomas tried to claim his birthright to become the fourth Duke of Exeter but Anne Plantagenet and her powerful family blocked this from ever happening."  Jeannette Holland Austin with no sources.

RebuttalThere are absolutely no records showing the Gabrielle Hollande born in St. Martins-in-the-Field Parish in London was the great-grandson of Thomas Holland who Ms. Austin claims was the illegitimate son of Henry Holland, third Duke of Exeter. Neither is there any records showing Thomas Holland to be an illegitimate son of Henry Holland.

An illegitimate child did play a large part in the line of succession intrigue, but it was not aThomas Holland. The direct line of succession to the Crown went through Anne, Duchess of Exeter, and wife of Henry Holland.  Anne Holland was the sister of King Edward lV.   Henry Holland, third Duke of Exeter and his wife Anne, Duchess of Exeter were married about 1455 and had one child, Lady Anne Holland.

In the War of the Roses, Henry Holland sided with the House of Lancaster against the House of York, whose titular head was King Edward, brother to Henry’s wife, Anne, Duchess of Exeter. . In 1764 following the battle of Towton, a victory by the House of York, King Edward, as chronicled by Bernard Holland in his book, The Lancashire Hollands

“confiscated all Henry Holland's estates and granted to Anne, Duchess of Exeter, his sister, the Holland estates in Devonshire and other southwestern counties under the provisions of entail which meant upon the death of Anne, Duchess of Exeter, all her property would be inherited by her daughter with Henry Holland, Lady Anne Holland.

On November 12, 1467, Anne Holland, the Duchess of Exeter obtained a divorce from Henry Holland and she promptly married Sir Thomas St. Leger. Most historians agree Sir St. Leger, acting on behalf others, murdered Henry Holland and threw his body overboard in 1475.

While Anne Holland, the Duchess of Exeter, was married to Henry Holland, the Third Duke of Exeter, she had an illegitimate child, Ann, by Sir Thomas St. Leger.  Following the death of Henry Holland, his widow Anne married Sir Thomas St. Leger.  His illegitimate child with Anne, Duchess of Exeter, was also named Ann. 

Anne Holland, Duchess of Exeter was described as, “the last faithless in every sense to her husband” (Henry Holland). It is alleged that the estate resettlement provisions of 1467 were changed by King Edward lV at the insistence of Sir Thomas St. Leger to allow his illegitimate daughter, Anne St. Leger, to succeed Lady Ann Holland and any issue she might have.

Lady Anne Holland died childless after 1467 and her mother, the Duchess of Exeter died in 1476. The tactics by Sir Thomas St. Leger proved successful and in 1482, the King confirmed to Anne St. Leger the estates previously owned by her mother, the Duchess of Exeter. A Lancashire historian, reflecting on the poor body (Henry Holland) found floating off Dover remarked, “Such was the melancholy end of this branch of the great feudal House of Holland.”

 Source: The Lancashire Hollands Author: Bernard Holland, C. B. Published London, 1917, pages 202-234.


   “John Holland chr. 1-29-1556 Westminster, St. Margarets d. 10/26/1628 bur. 10/26.1628 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields (parish records) m. 3/5/1583/84 Mary Mollenax, St. Clement Danes, London. Mary was b. circa 1565 at Wigan Lancashire, the daughter of John Mollenax as stated in her marriage document dated 3/5/1583/84 at St. Clement Danes. Her father was deceased at the date of her marriage issue.” This originated with Jeannette Holland Austin. The only source she gives is St. Martin-in-the-Fields (parish records)

Rebuttal.  There is a marriage record for John Hollande and Mary Molynax at St. Clement Dane Parish in London dated March 5, 1583/84 but there is no record showing them to be the parents of Gabriell Hollande christened 2-15-1595 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Parish.

The statement that John Holland was buried October 26, 1628 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields is inaccurate. The only burial in the Parish records for that day is Georgius Piwell. A will in the name of John Holland of St. Clement Dane Parish was registered December 6, 1593, two years before the christening of Gabriell Hollande on February 15, 1595 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Parish where John married Mary Molynax.

a. The Register of St. Martin in-the-Fields, London, baptisms, marriages and burials, Volume 1, 1551- October 1619.
b. The Register of St. Martin in-the-Fields, London, baptisms, marriages and burials, Volume 2, 1619-1636.
c. Prerogative Court of Canterbury, London, will registrations.
d.  Ms. Anisa Hawes, Archive and Local Studies Assistant, City of Westminster Archive Centre, London, England.


  The issue of John Holland and Mary Mollynax: 

a. Peter Holland, chr. 3/25/1585, St. Martin in-the-Fields
b. Hester Holland, chr. 10/10/1586, St. Martin in-the-Fields
c. Constance Holland, chr. 4/6/1587, St. Martin in-the-Fields
d. Richard Holland, chr. 9/11/1588, St. Martin in-the-Fields
e. Elizabeth Holland, chr. 6/6/1591, St. Martin in-the-Fields
f. Leonard Holland, chr. 8/17/1593, St. Martin in-the-Fields
g. Michaell Holland, chr.3/15/1595, St. Martin in-the-Fields.
h. Frances Holland,  chr. 12/21/1595, St. Martin in-the-Fields
i. Gabriel Holland, chr. 2/15/1596, St. Martin in-the-Fields
j. Philemon Holland, chr. 10/12/1597, St. Martin in-the-Fields.
k. William Holland, chr. 3/5/1598, St. Martin in-the-Fields
l. Ann Holland, chr. 10/12.1600, St. Martin in-the-Fields.

Rebuttal. The above 12 infants are listed as the alleged children of John Holland and Mary Mollynax by Jeanette Austin.  The following is the actual list of the 19 infants christened at St. Martins in the Field Parish, London between 1577 and 1606. 

a. Margarete Hollande, August 31, 1577
b. Joanna Hollande, September 21, 1579
c. Anna Hollande, August 28, 1580
d. Anna Hollande, July 1, 1582
e. Katherina Hollande, July 5, 1583
f. Petrus Hollande, April 25, 1585
g. Hester Hollande, April 10, 1586
h. Constantina Hollande, April 6, 1587
i. Richardus Hollande, August 11, 1588
j. Elizabetha Hollande, June 6, 1591
k. Leonardus Hollande, August 17, 1593
l. Michaell Hollande, March 15, 1594
m. Francisca Hollande, December 21, 1595
n. Gabriell Hollande, February 15, 1595
o. Philemon Hollande, October 12, 1597
p. Guilielmus Hollande, March 6, 1598
q. Anna Holland, October 12, 1600
r. Elizabetha Holland, March 7, 1603
s. Robert Holland, April 18, 1606

The St. Martin-in-the-Fields parish records christening records lists only the name of these Holland infants and the date of christening. No parents were listed so it is impossible to know who the parents of these nineteen Holland infants were which included Gabrielle Hollande

Source:  Part 1, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Parish, London, Christening records


  The following statement originated with Kirk Davis Holland in 1963:   “Gabriel Holland, born 1600, sailed for America on ship Supply on September 18, 1620, arriving at Berkeley, Virginia February 8, 1621.

From Records of London Company, page 405, CXLIL, Thomas Parker, Mayor of Bristol, certificate for sailing on the ship Supply September 18, 1620.  To the Treasury Council and company of Adventurers and Planters of the city of London for the first colony in Virginia.  This is to certify that in the good called the Supply this present XVIII of September 1620 were shipped from our port of Bristol for plantation in Virginia at the charge of Richard Berkeley, George Thorpe, William Tracey and John Smythe Esq. under the conduct of the said William Tracey appointed Captayne and Governor over them this 56 persons whose names ensue who forthwith proceeded in their voyage accordingly: GABRIEL HOLLAND--- RICHARD HOLLAND

Jeannette Holland Austin wrote in her book “Gabriel Holland chr. 2-15-1596 Westminster, St. Martin in-the-Fields, London, emigrant to Jamestown, Virginia.” He sailed for America on ship Supply September 18, 1620, arriving at Berkeley Virginia February 8, 1621. “Richard Holland (christened 8-11-1588 Westminster, St. Martin in-the-Fields, London) came to Virginia in 1620 with Gabriel Holland.  He was massacred by Indians at Berkeley Hundred in 1622.

Ms. Austin copied the above information written by Kirk Holland beginning with “Records of the London Company” verbatim.  Ms. Austin gave no sources.

Rebuttal The certificate for sailing of the ship Supply by Thomas Parker, Mayor of Bristol is accurate with one exception. It did not include the names Gabriel and Richard in capital letters at the end of the certificate. They were added by Kirk Davis Holland and copied by Jeannette Holland Austin for her book.

In 1618 a group of local Gloucestshire, England merchants and Gentlemen came together to form the Berkeley Company. Their goal was to exploit the immense resources of the New World. The principal backers of the enterprise were: John Smyth of Nibley, agent to and historian of the Berkeley Company; Richard Berkekey; George Thorpe of Wanxwell Court; Sir William Throckmorton and Sir George Yeardley, Governor of the new territory of Virginia.

The Berkeley Company negotiated a grant of land on the James River containing some 8000 acres, on which to build a private colony to be named the Berkeley Hundred. The first ship sent to Berkeley was the Margaret.  The ship arrived at Berkeley December 4, 1619 carrying 36 indentured workers.

John Smyth of Nibley, historian for the Berkeley Group, recorded the status of the passengers. For those who died of natural causes he wrote “dead.” For those who had been killed by Indians, he wrote “Slayne.”  Of the 36 passengers arriving on the ship Margaret, twenty-one died of natural causes following their arrival, one returned to England, one drowned and two were “Slayned” in the 1622 Indian massacre.

The second ship sent by the Berkeley Group from England to the Berkeley 100 was the ship Supply.   The ship arrived at Berkeley January 29, 1621, and the Governor certified the arrival on February 8. 1621, with 50 passengers. The authorization to sail in England listed 58 passengers but several passengers did not sail because of overcrowding.

Gabriel and Richard Holland were among the 50 passengers and like most of the passengers, Gabriel, and Richard were indentured workers, contracted to the Berkeley Group to build the Berkeley Plantation. They signed an agreement with the Berkeley Group, as other male enlistees requiring them to work for three years to six years. 

However, most contracts required only three years service. For the first year they would be provided "food, lodging, cattle, clothes, tool and other equipment" After the first year they would receive "50 percent of the profit from their endeavors. At the end of their three-year indenture they would be granted 50 acres of land." 

The Berkeley Group historian, John Smythe of Nibley, as he had done with the passengers on the ship Margaret, recorded that 16 of the Supply passengers died of natural causes and eleven were “slayne” during the 1622 Indian massacre.

Gabriel and Richard Holland were among the 16 passengers who died of natural causes after arriving at Berkeley according to Smyth.

There are absolutely no records proving Gabriell Hollande christened at St. Martin-in-the-Fields was the same Gabriel Holland that arrived in Virginia on the ship Supply in 1621.  A will for Gabriel Holland was recorded in London May 6, 1624 and another for Gabriel Holland in London dated June 26, 1667.

There was also a Gabriel Holland living at St. Nicholas Cole Abbey in London 1638 and paying 10 pounds rent. Each of these could have been the Gabriel Holland christened 1595/96 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Parish, London.

There was a Richard Holland who sailed on the ship Supply with Gabriel but it was not the Richard Holland christened 8-11-1588 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Parish in London. That Richard, or Richardus as the name appears on the baptism records, died August 16, 1593 at the age of five and is buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Parish.

John Bennett Boddie in his book Historical Southern Families, written in 1955 states, “Gabriel and Richard Holland were killed by the Indians in a massacre at Berkeley 100 in 1621. Boddie was incorrect in saying they were killed by the Indians in 1621 when they actually died of natural causes.

In any event, this Gabriel was dead in 1621. Boddie corrects the date of the Indian massacre in his paragraph on a different Gabriel, Sergeant Gabriel Holland who was living at Jamestown at the time of the massacre, March 22, 1622 with his wife, Rebecca.

Martha McCartney, project historian for the National Park Service’s Jamestown Archaeological Assessment, writes the following in her book Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers 1607-1635 A Biographical Dictionary:

Gabriel Holland left Bristol, England on the Supply during September 1620 and arrived at Berkeley Hundred on January 29, 1621.

Holland was supposed to serve for a certain number of years in exchange for some acreage. However, he reportedly died shortly after he arrived at Berkeley. He may have been a kinsman of the Gabriel Holland, who for a time oversaw the servants the Society of Berkeley Hundred sent to Shirley Hundred.

Peter Wilson Coldham is a noted British genealogist who was awarded the Bickerstith Medal in 1991 and is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogist and the London Society of Genealogist. His book, The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660 was published in 1988. In his discourse on the disposition of the passengers on board the ship Supply that landed at Berkeley in 1621, he writes, “passenger Gabriel Holland, died” and “passenger Richard Holland died.”

a. London Company of Virginia Records, Library of Congress.
b. John Smyth of Nibley document collection. New York City Library
c. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers 1607-1635, Martha McCartney
d. History of Virginia Company of London, Edward Neill, pg.339, 346
e. Historical Southern Families, Volume 1, Chapter, Holland of Nansemond, John Bennett Boddie, 1956
f. The Inhabitants of London in 1638, St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, author, T.C. Dole, 1931.
g. The Ley Hunter’s Companion, 1979.
h. The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660, Coldham, 1988

Who then was the Gabriel Holland mentioned by Martha McCartney as a possible relative of the Gabriel Holland who died in 1621 at Berkeley Hundred?

John Bennett Boddie in his book Historical Southern Families states, “Sergeant Gabriel Holland was living at Jamestown at the time of the Indian massacre of 1622.  His wife, Mary, (second wife) was granted a patent of 12 acres, on the Island of James City, August 14, 1624. They appear in the records of the General Court up to about 1627, but disappeared after that.”

Kirk Davis Holland and Jeannette Holland Austin presume    Sergeant Gabriel Holland was the same Gabriel who arrived on the ship Supply in 1621. Sergeant Gabriel Holland could not have been the same Gabriel Holland who arrived on the ship Supply for a number of reasons. First, the Gabriel who arrived in Berkeley on the ship Supply was an indentured worker, not a Sergeant in the militia.

His indentured contract was for three years, which would last until 1624. During the time of indenture, workers were not allowed to move from the plantation on which they were working so the indentured worker, Gabriel, could not have been in Jamestown at the time of the Indian massacre in 1622.

Both Kirk Holland and Ms. Austin write that the Gabriel Holland who arrived in Berkeley on the ship Supply returned from a trip to England with his new wife, Rebecca, after attempting to present a petition to the King. No Gabriel Holland was ever sent to England to meet with the King and that episode will be addressed at length later.

Sergeant Gabriel Holland arrived in Virginia from England with his wife, Rebecca, on the ship John and Francis. The year they arrived is not known but based on ship and court records it was probably 1621/22. Gabriel was living at Shirley 100 in 1622 based on Court testimony he gave January 2, 1624, in which he stated, “he formerly had lived at Shirley 100 where he held the rank of sergeant and had been temporarily responsible for 15 of Berkeley 100’s male servants.”

Following the Indian massacre of March 22, 1622 surviving indentured servants from Berkeley 100 and others were transported to settlements that were more secure. Several servants from Berkeley were temporarily sent to Shirley 100.

On February 16, 1623/24, Gabriel was listed as living at the College Land in Henrico.  His wife Rebecca was not listed on this census and Gabriel was one of 30 men and one woman living there at that time. He and Thomas Marlott were elected to serve in the House of Burgesses to represent themselves and 28 other men residing at Ye College Land.

As a one-term Member of the House of Burgesses he signed a document with other Members outlining “The Tragical Relations of the Virginia Colony.” He also signed a document containing 34 articles answering complaints against the Virginia Company of London Company by the King.

The 35th article authorized an additional tax on tobacco to finance the trip by John Pountice, Councilor of State, to deliver the petition to the King. Gabriel served one term in the House of Burgesses and in 1624 was living in Jamestown.  Gabriel’s wife, Rebecca, had died and by August 14, 1624 he had married Mary Pinke, widow of William Pinke.

Martha McCartney, mentioned above, writes the following about Mary Pinke, the second wife of Gabriel Holland. “ On August 14, 1624, Mary indicated she had married Gabriel Holland, a yeoman. Mary Pinke, alias Jonas Holland, died between August 14, 1624 and January 14, 1625, at which point her land (which she owned outright) descended to her new husband Gabriel Holland.”

Gabriel made several appearances in the General Court during 1627 and 1628 at which time he arbitrated disputes and collected debts attributed to merchant Humphrey Rastall’s estate. He helped settle a dispute between Jamestown residents John Upton and Caleb Page. He had Robert Marshall arrested for debts and served as administrator for the estate of Ann Behoute.

John Bennett Boddie, in the section of his book Southern Historical Families dealing with the Hollands of Nansemond states,“ There are no records of Gabriel Holland following 1627.  A land transaction May 20, 1637 shows John Radish and John Bradwell receiving a patent of 16 acres of land in Jamestown abutting land formerly owned by Mary Holland.  There is no mention of Gabriel in this patent information and Mary’s name is written in the past tense.

Sources:  London Company of Virginia records - Henning’s Statutes at large - Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635 - Cradle of the Republic, Lyon Gardiner Tyler - First Republic in America, Alexander Brown -  Narrative of Early Virginia, 1606-1625, Lyon Gardiner Tyler- Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 1622-1632 -  Hotten’s ship list - The living and dead in Virginia February 16, 1623/4 - The Original List of Persons of Quality etc, John Camden Hotten - The Complete Book of Immigrants, Coldham -Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1666, Nell Marion Nugent- Historical Southern Families, John Bennett Boddie,1956.

 To continue with the information written by Kirk Davis Holland and Jeannette Holland Austin with my rebuttals.


  Gabriel Holland a Member of the House of Burgesses (for the College) “In March 1623-24 30 men signed an agreement relative to sending a man to England to petition the King and agreeing that to meet his expenses there should be collected from every male who was 16 or over and had been there a year, pay 4 pounds of merchantable tobacco by or before October 31.Among the signers were Luke Boyse and Gabriel Holland. Gabriel Holland carried this petition and offered to present it to King Charles 1 of England in 1625.  This information is included in Kirk Davis Holland’s book written 1963

Ms Austin writes in her book “An active member of his community in 1625 Gabriel Holland signed a petition (along with 30 men) to send a man to England to petition King Charles 1 that every male who was 16 years or older and who had been in Virginia one year should be required to pay 4 pounds of merchantable tobacco by or before October 31. It was decided that Burgess Gabriel Holland his expenses to be paid for by the King) would go and present the petition to King Charles 1[sic].

RebuttalAs discussed earlier, there is no record of Gabriel Holland carrying a petition to England to present to King Charles 1.  John Pountis, Councillor of State and a member of Governor Wyatt’s Council carried the petition to England. The petition was a defense of the Virginia Company of London, which argued the case against the revocation of the Virginia charter by the King.

The following is the verbatim transcription of the 35th article of the original petition adopted by the House of Burgesses. The 35th and last article March 22, 1624 was as follows:  

“That Mr. John Pountis, counselor of state, going to England (being willing by our entreatie to accept of that imployment) to solicit the general cause of the country to his majesty and the privy council toward the charges of which voyage, the country consent to pay for every male head above sixteen years of age their living, which have been here a year, four pounds of the best merchantable tobacco in leafe at or before the last of October next.”

The document was signed by Governor Sir Francis Wyatt, Knight, the Governor’s Council members; Captain Francis West, Sir John Yeardley, Captain Roger Smith, George Sandys, Treasurer, Captain Ralph Hamor, Dr. John Pott and John Pountis, Esq. Twenty eight, not thirty Members, of the House of Burgesses also signed the document. Gabriel Holland and Thomas Morlatt representing Ye Collage Plantation were two of the 28 Members of the House of Burgesses signers.

In March 1624, there was another assembly, the acts of which have been preserved and are the first published in this volume. There are no further notices in the minutes of the London Company, than in an abstract of a letter from the council in Virginia, of the 17th of April 1624, advising, "since their last letters they had met in a General Assembly, and had sent Mr. John Pountis to solicit their common cause with the king and council." See ancient records, Vol. 3, p. 176.

John Pountis left Virginia for England April 27, 1624 on the ship Furtherance carrying a General letter from the Virginia Council and seven documents. He died on board his ship before he reached England and the petition was never submitted to the Crown. The King revoked the Virginia Company Charter in 1624 and Virginia became a Crown Colony and remained so until the Revolutionary War.  Other than being one of the twenty-eight Burgesses who signed the petition, Gabriel Holland had nothing further to do with it.

If you examine the language of the document approved by the House of Burgesses and the statement written by Kirk Holland and Ms. Austin stating Gabriel Holland carried the petition you will notice the similarities in the language,  i.e.,  every male over 16, 4#of merchantable tobacco, by or before October 31. It is obvious Kirk Davis Holland had seen the original document. I am at a loss why Gabriel Holland's name was substituted for John Pountis in such an important matter.

Source:  First Republic in America, author Alexander Brown, 1898, Page 570 from the London Company of Virginia Records, a part of Thomas Jefferson library collection on file at Library of Congress Ancient Records Volume 3, page 176, Hennings Statutes.


  The King would not hear the petition of Virginia’s House of Burgesses which Gabriel wanted to present to the King so he returned to America, embarking 2-16-1623 on the ship John and Francis. Both Kirk Holland and Ms. Austin had this same language with minor exceptions in their books. No sources given.

Rebuttal Gabriel could not return to Virginia because he did not carry the petition to England. Gabriel was already living in Virginia by February 16, 1623 residing at the Ye College Land. He and his wife Rebecca had arrived in the ship John and Francis circa 1621-22.

Source:  1624/25 Virginia muster listing ship John and Francis. List of living and dead February 16, 1623.  John Camden Hotten.


  In 1629 after the King agreed to hear the petition, Gabriel went back to England with the petition and presented it to the King. He returned to America on the ship Assurance in 1635 with Robert Holland and William Holland. It also states that Gabriel was 35 years old in 1635. This statement was in Kirk Holland’s book. No sources given.

Ms. Austin writes, “ It was not until 1629 that the King agreed to hear the petition. Thus Gabriel again returned to England to present the document. In 1635 he was still handling colony business, when he returned to Virginia in the ship Assurance along with Robert Holland and William Holland In 1635 Gabriel was recorded as being 35 years old.  

RebuttalGabriel did not return to England because he never carried a petition to the King in 1629 and there are no records of Gabriel after 1627-time.  As noted above it was carried by John Pountis. Gabriel and Robert Holland did not return to Virginia on the ship Assurance in 1635. The only Holland listed on the ship manifest was William Holland, age 35.

To know there was a ship Assurance that sailed in 1635 with a William Holland on board, Kirk Holland must have seen the ship’s passenger list.  I am at a loss to understand why he added Gabriel and Robert Holland to that list and show Gabriel as 35 when that was the age listed for William. Before Ms. Austin copied Kirk Holland’s information stating Gabriel was 35 years old in 1635, she should have reviewed her statements saying Gabriel was born Feb. 15, 1596

The William Holland who sailed on the ship Assurance was probably the headright, most likely an indentured servant whose passage to Virginia was paid by Cheney Boyce. Boyce was granted 1150 acres of land in Charles City County May, 1636 for transporting 29 persons, which included William Holland from England

Ship Assurance passenger list-Hotten
Cavaliers and Pioneers-Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. 1623-1666, Volume 1, Nell Marion Nugent, 1934. 


  One account says Gabriel first married Rebecca, daughter of   John George who was in 1667 a Lt. Col. of Isle of Wight County, Virginia. It is claimed that George Holland later in Accomack County was Gabriel’s son by Rebecca George. Gabriel later married Mary, widow of William Jonas. The information was from Kirk Davis Holland’s book. No sources provided.

George Holland was born 1633 in Jamestown, son of Gabriel (and reported as) Rebecca George. He later lived in Accomack County, Virginia. . This information was part Ms. Austin’s list of the issue of Gabriel Holland

Rebuttal Rebecca Holland arrived in Virginia on the ship John and Francis with her husband, Gabriel. There are no records giving her maiden name. There was a Colonel John George in Isle of Wight born about 1602/03. His date of birth was determined by a deposition given by John on April 5, 1653 stating he was fifty years old.

John George did have a daughter, Rebecca, born about 1640. She first married Thomas Lewis who died before August 8, 1670. She then married Phillip Pardoe who died before April 6, 1678, the date of John George’s will. Based on this information, Rebecca George could not have been the Rebecca, wife of Gabriel Holland.

There was no George Holland in Accomack County but there was a George Holland who arrived in Lancaster County, a neighboring county to Accomack, before 18 September 1665. He was a headright of William Wroughton.

Wroughton was granted 400 acres in Lancaster County Sept. 18, 1665 for transporting George Holland and seven other persons from England. Ms. Austin said George was born in Jamestown, 1633, and was the first son of Gabriel. There are no verifiable records that prove that the Gabriel Holland who arrived in Virginia aboard the ship John and Francis had children by his first wife Rebeca or his second wife Mary Pinke Holland.   Rebecca George died in 1624 so it would have been impossible for her to bear George in 1633.

Cavaliers and Pioneers Virginia Land Patents 1623-1666, Nell Marion Nugent 1934 - Isle of Wight County Virginia, John Bennett Boddie, published 1938.  George Family History, Descendants of Colonel John George (1603-1679) England and Virginia. Volume 1, author Marvin A Grant


  Issue of Gabriel Holland. “The children of Gabriel Holland were Richard, George, John. Job, Daniel and William. From Kirk Davis Holland’s book No sources are given.

RebuttalThere are no records of Gabriel having children by his first wife, Rebecca or his second wife, Mary Pinke. As noted above, Mary was dead by January 14, 1625. It has been determined that George could not have been a son of Gabriel and his first wife, Rebecca. At this point in Kirk Holland’s book, he only lists the sons of Gabriel with no dates of birth. He later shows Gabriel’s son, John as born 1628. That will be discussed later.

Issue of Gabriel. With the exception of George Holland, Ms. Austin lists the following sons of Gabriel and Mary Pinke. She provides no sources.

1.  “Richard Holland was born 1630 in James City, Virginia. Omitted from Hotten’s “List of soldiers 12/31/1680 belonging to Giles Hall. Richard probably removed to Accomack Co. Virginia where he witnessed the LWT of George Crump 9/12/1667.

RebuttalMary Holland was dead by January 14, 1627 and there are no records of Gabriel after 1627/8.  Again, there was a Richard Holland who was a headright of John Haskins. Richard arrived in Accomack County before July 22, 1661, and married Mary LNU. Following the death of Richard, his widow, Mary married Richard Arrowsmith July 5, 1676.

Sources:  Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666. George Cabell Greer, published 1912.
Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia 1649-1800, Robert K Headley Jr. Genealogical Publishing Co.

2.  John Holland- John will be addressed at length following William Holland, the alleged last child of Gabriel

3.   Job Holland Born about 1630. No source given.

Rebuttal.  There is no record of a Job Holland living in Virginia in the 1600s.  A Job Holland did appear in the Nansemond County Holland families in the 1700s

4.  Daniel Holland of Northumberland County, Virginia was born ca.1633 in James City Co. Virginia. His LWT dated 4-17-1672 Northumberland County adminstratix was his widow, Mrs Joyce Holland. His LWT names his wife Joyce and daughter Elizabeth. Etc.

RebuttalThere was a Daniel Holland living in Northumberland County and the above information about him is correct with one exception. There is not a single record anywhere stating that Daniel was born ca. 1633 in James City, Virginia and was the son of Gabriel Holland. As noted above Mary Holland was dead by January 14, 1625.During the period 1665 through April 6, 1669 Daniel was actively involved in Maryland court cases.  I can add that following the death of Daniel, his widow Joyce married Phillip Shapleigh.

Sources: Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia 1649-1800
Cavaliers and Pioneers. Nugent, 1934.

5.  William Holland was born 1634 in James City, Virginia. Omitted Chapters from Hottens: Capt. James Eley’s Co., 1679, William Holland. Cavaliers and Pioneers, Patent Book no. 1 part 1 p. 40 Cheney Boyce, 1550 acres Charles City Co. land of May 1636.p 252, N upon the Lime hill SW,W upon Merchants Hope Creek  E. upon the maine woods an S towards the head of sd. Cr. 100 acres due as being an ancient planter before the time of Sir Thomas Dale and 1450 acres for trans. Of 29 persons:  William Holland etc.

Rebuttal. The source citation Ms. Austin gives for the William Holland regarding the Cavaliers and Pioneers is the 1636-dated 1450-acre patent awarded to Cheney Boyce for transporting 29 indentured servants from England to Virginia.  William was one of the 29 people transported from England by Cheney Boyce.  If Ms. Austin’s 1634 date of birth for William is accurate, he would have been two years old when he arrived in Virginia.

Source:    Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1666. Nell Marion Nugent page 40.



“John Holland, son of Gabriel Holland and his wife, Mary, was born in 1628. Acting as a headright under Lt. Blake and Edward Isom, he (John Holland) patented 2500 acres in Nansemond County, Virginia February 20, 1664, the first proved date. John Holland transported 60 persons from England to the colony, Records of Virginia Company, Cavaliers and Pioneers by Nugent pg. 444. This statement by Kirk Davis Holland.

John Holland, son of Gabriel was born 1628 in James City, Virginia. M Mary. He is the ancestor of all Nansemond County, Virginia, some North Carolina and Georgia Hollands. 2/20/1664 John Holland patented 2500 acres in Nansemond Co. Virginia in the area known today as Holland, Virginia which is about 13 miles due south of Suffolk. The land grant was granted because he transported 60 persons from England to the colony. Records of Virginia Company, Cavaliers and Pioneers by Nugent p. 444. This information is contained in Jeannette Holland Austin’s book.

Rebuttal. In response to Kirk Holland’s statement that John Holland received a grant while acting as a headright, I will just say emphatically, a headright could not receive a land patent.  John Holland was not born 1628 in James City and he was not the son of Gabriel Holland. He did not patent 2500 acres in Nansemond County because he transported 60 persons from England to the colony

Quite the contrary, John Holland was one of the 50 persons transported from England to Nansemond County by Lt. Colonel Jonathan Blake and Mr. Edward Isom. Colonel Blake and Edward Isom were granted 2500 acres of land in Nansemond County February 20, 1664 under the headright system. The following is the verbatim patent information as it was recorded in Patent Book 5, page 154:

LT.COL JNO. BLAKE & MR. EDWARD ISON, 2500 acs. Nansemond Co, 20 Feb 1664, p154, (28) Trans. of 50 pers: Jno. Holland, Jno Gaye, Eliz. Ludlow, Ambrose Right, Jno. Members, Joyce Arnall, Maudlin Jones, Mathew Castome, Richard Harris, Peter Rich, Robert White, John Wale, James Diddicut, A Negro boy, Henry Mills, Heny Stone, Wm. Warde, Wm. Harrison, Xtopher Ashly, Eliz. Baly, Jane Fisher, Alice King, George Coales, Danll Burton, Jno. Johnson, Richard Newman, John Hewes, Mary Cocke, Tho. Belcher, John Fowke, 3 Negroes, Arthur Hope, Alice Steward, Robt. Harrison, 2 Negroes, Giles Danby, Danll. Rock, John Steward,Wm. Jones, Thomas Spicer, James Kirkcomb, Hen. Cutterbooke, John Dodd, A Negro, Matthew Holter, Thomas Mills, Wm. Jnoson.

Kirk Holland erred in writing that John received a patent of 2500 acres for transporting 60 persons. He copied the information from John Bennett Boddie who wrote “Holland of Nansemond” in his series Historical Southern Families. Boddie made the error, Kirk Holland copied the error, and Jeannette Austin copied Kirk Holland’s error. Had the number been 60, the land grant would have been 3000 acres.

Sources:  Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1666, Nell Marion Nugent, Volume 1, published 1934, 1704 Virginia Quit Rent Rolls, Virginian State Archives, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia, John Bennett Boddie, 1938.


.  John Holland was one of the three original Hollands in Nansemond County, Virginia in 1704. In that year John Holland owned 700 acres, Henry Holland owned 400 acres and Joseph Holland owned 100 acres, all in Nansemond County. From Quit Rent Rolls. At that time John Holland was 76 years old, Henry Holland 47 years old and Joseph 20 years old. This language from Kirk Davis Holland


The 1704 Quit Rent Rolls for Nansemond County provides the ages of Hollands i.e.

John Holland, 700 acres, age 76
Henry Holland 400 acres, age 47
Joseph Holland 100 acres, age 20.

These comments are from Jeannette Holland Austin.

Rebuttal.  The statement that the 1704 Quit Rent Rolls list the ages of the individuals is absolutely false. The 1704 Rolls show only the name, County of Residence and number of acres owned by the person to be taxed. There are no ages listed.

All the posts and websites writing that John Holland of Nansemond County was born in 1628 in James City obtained the information from the above statements by Kirk Holland and Jeannette Austin.  There are many. For someone to write John Holland owned 700 acres in Nansemond County in 1704 must have seen the 1704 Quit Rent Rolls. I cannot understand why anyone would use that format to list ages.

Source:  1704 Virginia Quit Rent Rolls


Conclusions I am at a total loss to understand why Kirk Davis Holland took so many liberties with the truth in his writings about Gabriel and John Holland. Why did he write Gabriel took a petition to King Charles 1? He had seen the language where John Pountis was assigned to deliver the petition but nonetheless, wrote Gabriel carried it.

Why did he say Gabriel was 35 years old when he was a passenger on the ship Assurance in 1635, returning to Virginia with his brothers? He knew the only Holland on the ship’s manifest was William Holland, age 35.

Kirk Holland had access to John Bennett Boddie’s information because he used, verbatim, several land transactions from Boddie’s book. On the first page of the Holland of Nansemond, Boddie writes,  “John Holland is the first ancestor of this present Holland family. He was a headlight Lt. Col. Blake and Edward Isom who patented 2500 acres in Nansemond, Feb. 20, 1664, for the transportation of 60 persons, among whom was John Holland.”

Why did Kirk Davis Holland change the language to read, “Acting as a headright under Lt. Blake and Edward Isom he (John Holland) patented 2500 acres in Nansemond County, February 20, 1664, the first proved date.  John Holland transported 60 persons from England to the colony.”

Perhaps the answer to why Kirk Holland took so many liberties with the truth is based on the following statements he made: “It has been a persistent tradition in our branch of the Holland family that the immigrant Holland of our line was a ‘younger son’ of the nobility and that he was from the Lancashire Hollands.” Perhaps that is why Jeannette Holland Austin attempted, unsuccessfully, to link Gabriel Holland to Henry Holland, third Duke of Exeter.

Kirk Holland continued,  “There is a tradition in the Holland family that the name ‘Kingsale’ was given to the Kingsale Swamp territory because the land was a direct grant by the King to our ancestor, John Holland.” Perhaps that reasoning is why he changed the language of Boddie’s writing to make it appear John received the grant and not Lt. Colonel Blake and Edward Isom.

It is obvious Jeannette Holland Austin copied Kirk Holland’s writings with the exception of the St. Martin-in-the-Fields Parish births and the section dealing with Henry Holland, third Duke of Exeter. I will let my rebuttals to her statements speak for themselves.


"I have my opinions but I will let readers form their own opinions.  I learned many years ago in genealogy, people have a tendency to believe what they want to believe."  Wiley Julian Holland


Further readings:

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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Holland site Published 10 July 1996 - This page added 8 August 2009  Last updated 10 March 2014