Ancestry of John HOLMES
John HOLMES's father seems to have been Edward HOLMES of Lanerton; there is a baptism registered at Lanercost for John, son of Edward Holmes on 12 Nov 1696.
This is very close the the birth date of John based on his burial record, which would place it in Sep 1696, so it is likely that Edward was John's father. Besides the date, the name Edward is another bit of evidence, since it remained in the family several generations: John's son Edward, who also had a son Edward; his daughter Ann named her son Edward, etc.
John's baptism record is the only mention of Edward Holmes in the Lanercost registry.
Beyond this link there are only possible linkages to other Holmes families. The oldest such mention is of Richard HOLMES, mentioned in the Musters of Eskdale Ward, 9 Feb 1581, in "Lannercost." Richard was one of 33 men from that place, and was armed with a spear. This area was a border region with Scotland and often suffered raids from the north. (Register of the Parish of Lanercost, vol.1, Appendix IV, p.65.)
Other early Holmes include J. HOLMES, who was a churchwarden of Lanercost Parish in 1684 (but no other mention of him in the parish registers); and Richard HOLMES, churchwarden in 1705 (again, no other mention in Lanercost registers).
The earliest identifiable Holmes family in the register is that of Henry HOLMES. Henry lived at Wall in 1669, and had moved to Chapelburn by 1685. His children (with date of baptism at Lanercost) were:
i. Henry, Jr. (29 Mar 1667);
ii. John (23 Apr 1669);
iii. Elizabeth (19 Jun 1670);
iv. Jane (7 Oct 1772 or 1773);
v. Dorothy (24 Mar 1677);
vi. Janet (26 May 1678);
vii. John (26 Sep 1686);
viii. Thomas (9 Jun 1688).
There are no other mentions of Henry HOLMES in the Lanercost registers.
Another Holmes family, this one living at Lanerton, was that of William HOLMES and his wife Jane ARMSTRONG, of Chapelburn. They married at Lanercost 28 Oct 1702. Since they (or at least William) were from Chapelburn, William could be a son of Henry who did not show up in the baptismal registry of Lanercost. There are a number of children listed for William HOLMES of Lanerton; the first one is:
i. Edward Holms, baptized 16 Apr 1702, which was before William and Jane married, so it is not certain this refers to them. But from 1703 onward William and Jane are living at Lanerton until their deaths.
Other children were (with date of baptism at Lanercost):
ii. Richard (19 Jul 1703);
iii. Thomas (19 Dec 1705);
iv. Jane (23 Jul 1711);
v. William, Jr. (10 Mar 1713/14);
vi. Isabell (29 Sep 1716);
vii. Anne (16 Jul 1719);
viii. Dorathy (15 Apr 1723);
ix. John (21 Jul 1725).
William HOLMES Sr. was buried 25 Mar 1752, and his wife Jane ARMSTRONG on 12 Apr 1754, both at Lanercost. Both were living at Lanerton at the time of their deaths. There is no information in the register on Jane's parents or family.
There is also listed the burial of a William HOLMES of Lanerton 14 Dec 1699.
It is possible, though by no means proven, that Edward and William, Sr. were brothers, both sons of Henry. Chapelburn and Lanerton are next to each other; and assuming an age of about 22 at time of marriage, there are gaps in the years of those of Henry's children listed in the baptismal record. Thus Edward would fit in the gap between Jane (1672 or 1673) and Dorothy (1677), while William would fit between Janet (1678) and Dorothy (1685).
Again, these relationships are purely suppositions. Further proof will have to be sought in the registers of neighboring parishes, Walton, Burtholme, Nether Denton.
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Last revised 28 May 2000
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