Thank you for your interest in the Holdich Family History Society. We hope this will explain who we are and what we do.
The Holdich Family History Society (HFHS) was formed to promote and encourage the public and private study of family history, genealogy, heraldry and local history with reference to the name Holdich and all its various spellings. The Society encourages the preservation, security, accessibility and research of relevant archive material and is a source of enquiry about the name Holdich.
We are a member of the Guild of One Name Studies. Most of our members are either Holdich or Holditch or can trace a Holdi(t)ch in their family tree.
The web site is constantly being up-dated and currently includes, over 300 articles written by family members and some of which were previously published in our journal, information about Colonel Sir Thomas Holdich and George Maydwell Holdich, our most famous family members, as well as details about some of our family archive. Our Chairman tweets daily about family information and items of general historical interest @Holdiches
We produce a twice yearly journal, sent by either post or email, which includes photos and articles written by current family members about previous family members and articles of general interest to the family. The journal is also a good way to keep up-to-date about what every-one is doing.
We also hold Family Days early in September when we all meet at the Village Hall in Wadenhoe which is where one of our earliest ancestors John Holdich, who was married to Sythe, was living in 1546. As well as being a great way of catching up with other family members we usually have a presentation during the afternoon. Memorable speakers have talked about strip farming, early Wadenhoe, Geo-phys work on the hill on which Wadenhoe church stands, carrying the 2012 Olympic torch and the life of a recent Peterborough Lord Mayor. At our 2013 Day Claire H, a professional singer and flautist, performed a recital of songs. Family days are catered by the family all bringing a ‘picnic’ contribution for a huge buffet. And as the hall is next door to The King’s Head pub, which was built before the English Civil War, most of us enjoy a glass of wine or beer with lunch.
Wadenhoe is a pretty village very near to the historic market town of Oundle in Northamptonshire. It is one of those villages that usually only appear in idyllic Merchant Ivory films, thatched cottages, village green, local manor house and ancient church. It may be a bit of a cliché but the most appropriate word to describe it really is picturesque. The Village Hall is located on the River Nene and next door is The Kings Head pub. The thatched pub was built during the 17th century and as well as delicious lunches and dinners serves a range of real ales. The church of St Michael and All Angels, up the hill from the village, has a number of graves and box tombs of past Holdiches who lived in the village as well as brass plaques commemorating family members. Part of the church was built between 1195 and 1200, it has a 13th Century font and some of the pews date back to 16th century. Traditionally the family walk up the hill to the church after lunch on Family Days. Several years ago we bought a bench which has been placed in the church yard looking out across a view which has probably not changed very much since our ancestors were farming the local fields. From the bench you can see churches in the villages of Aldwinkle, Thorpe Achurch, Stoke Doyle and Pilton all of which were home to members of the Holdich family.
As well as the pub and the Church other buildings of note in Wadenhoe include, Wadenhoe House, sadly never a Holdich home, part of which dates back to 1657, Nene Cottage and 33, Church Street both of which are beautiful thatched cottages which were built during the time our ancestors were living in the village. There is also a Dovecote which was built during the Napoleonic war and contains 500 lathe and plaster nesting boxes. And, the final claim to fame for this small but perfectly formed village, is the Post Office which in 1871 was the first Post Office with a telegraph installed to enable the First Lord of the Admiralty, George Ward Hunt, who lived at Wadenhoe House, to communicate quickly with the Government in London
Wadenhoe is very close to the picturesque town of Oundle at whose school a number of Holdiches were pupils. Oundle web site describes the town as ‘quintessentially English’. The area has been continuously inhabited since the Iron Age. There was a Roman settlement near-by, the Venerable Bede mentioned it in his 8th Century writing, it was granted its market charter in 972, and a survey carried out in 1565 which listed all the streets in Oundle includes at least two, Mill Road and Jericho, which have not changed their names since. In 1556 Sir William Laxton left a bequest in his will which founded a grammar school in Oundle which eventually became Oundle School. Oundle seems to have escaped much of the turbulence of English history and to-day is a peaceful market town which manages to incorporate the essentials of modern day living within buildings which have not changed for centuries.
The Holdich Family History Society was started by Jim Holdich in the late 1980’s following many years of family research. By the end of the 80’s Jim had been able to build a fairly substantial and detailed family tree stretching from John Holdich and his wife Sythe living in 1546 up to the present day. The family appear to originate in or near the village of Wadenhoe in Northamptonshire where John and Sythe lived. Another Holditch family line is based in Devon and a further line appears to originate in Norfolk. To date we have not been able to connect up these different family trees but one thing they do seem to have in common is itchy feet which have lead them to settle pretty much all over the world.
In 1989 Jim decided to contact all the Holdiches he could find in UK phone books and invited them to a gathering in Wadenhoe to see who was related to whom. It turned out that several other family members had been researching the family history and had family trees, photos and documents. This first meeting started a trend and the Holdich family have met in the village hall in Wadenhoe on the first Saturday in September every year since 1989. That is apart from one year when we held the Day with the Holditches in Devon.
Over the years various family members have accumulated a range of documents and photographs relating to the family. We are painfully slowly building a list of archive materials which will also be available through the web site. In the mean-time if you are trying to find details about any specific members of the Holdi(t)ch family you may complete the Contact Form and we will reply as soon as possible. We’ll do our best to give you any information we have or to put you in touch with family members who might be able to help.
New members whether based in UK or abroad are always welcome to join the Holdich Family History Society and every-one has an open invitation to join us on the next Family Day. If you would like to join the Holdich Family History Society please enquire using the Contact Form and we will send you a Membership Pack. Membership is currently £11 (sterling) per annum.