William Holladay (1802-1891)

William Holladay (1802-1891)

William HOLLADAY was born on 24 Nov 1802[1] in Adair County, Kentucky.[2] He died on 1 Mar 1891[3] in Adair County and is buried in the Holladay Cemetery.

William lived and farmed all of his life in Adair County. He was the last of Zacharias and Kitty’s four adult children to marry. In the 1830 census he appears to be still living with his parents, but more study of tax, land, and census records is needed in order to understand the living arrangements of Zacharias, William and Joseph during this period.

William was a solid citizen who was active in the Zion (Baptist) church community. He raised a large family and seems to have placed great value in education. At least two of his children became teachers, his son William and youngest daughter, Betty, who was educated at Georgetown College.

William’s activities in the Zion church included contributing to its building fund and serving as a messenger (delegate) to the Russell Creek Association of Baptists. Further evidence of his devotion to both the Baptist church and education is provided in the obituary of his son Anderson Holladay, which states that “His (Anderson’s) father and mother had ‘The Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer’ in their home.” Also, “As a boy he learned to read the English language by pondering over the ‘Western Recorder’ pages even before he started to school.” (The name of the publication was changed to ‘The Western Recorder’ in 1851.)

William married Mary Anna (Polly) Reynolds on 3 Jan 1832.[4] [5] Polly was born on 26 Feb 1813[6] in Adair County and was the daughter of Henry Reynolds and Nancy Sallee.

Of Zacharias’ three sons, William appears to have been the closest to his father. Zacharias spent his declining years living in the household of William and Polly. After Zacharias’ death William went to the Adair County Court to enter his father’s will for probate. The will was proven by William’s brothers-in-law, Joseph S. Reynolds and James H. Reynolds. William was named administrator of Zacharias’ estate and posted a bond of $30.00. (John W. Garnett was named as his surety.)

William and Polly had nine children born between 1832 and 1851. Polly died On Christmas day of 1851[7]. She was buried in the Holladay Cemetery. At the time of her death their youngest child, Betty, was only six months old and there were four other children in the household under age ten. What a sad Christmas time that was for the Holladay clan!

Just over two years later, on 3 April 1854, William married Elizabeth Ruberts of nearby Casey County.  Elizabeth was born 10 Feb 1810 in Kentucky and was the daughter of John Rubarts/Ruberts and Sarah (Sally) Cabell.

Elizabeth and William had no children of their own, but they shared a house full of children and young adults. By 1860 there were still seven children living at home; the oldest daughter had married, and one son had died of consumption. In the 1880 census William is age 77 and head of the household, Elizabeth is 67, and living with the family were two spinster daughters, Frances, age 39 and Bettie, 29, as well as son Thomas and his wife and daughter. As we know, there were many more multiple-generation households in those days.

Elizabeth (Ruberts) Holladay died on 20 October 1882 and was buried in the Pelley-Rubarts Cemetery.

William lived another eight years and died on 1 March 1891 at age 88. He was buried next to Polly in the Holladay Cemetery.

William HOLLADAY and Mary Anna (Polly) REYNOLDS had the following children:

1. Henry HOLLADAY, born on 1 Oct 1832; married Mary Anthony (Molly) GARNETT on 16 Apr 1863; died on 3 Oct 1889.

2. James HOLLADAY, born on 16 Sep 1834; married Mattie N. EPPERSON on 10 Feb 1876,  Adair County, Kentucky; died in 1918, Adair County, Kentucky.

3. William HOLLADAY, born on 6 Sep 1836 in Adair County, Kentucky; died on 26 Aug 1859.

4. Catherine HOLLADAY, born on 20 Nov 1838, Adair County, Kentucky; married Henry J. HENSON on 16 Mar 1858; died on 13 Mar 1865.

Frances HOLLADAY, born on 17 Sep 1841, Adair County, Kentucky; married Edmund Pendleton WAGGENER; died on 10 Sep 1904.

6. John HOLLADAY, born on 1 Dec 1843, Adair County, Kentucky; married Ellen WAGGENER on 14 Mar 1878, Adair County, Kentucky; died on 18 Oct 1900, Elba, Coffee, Alabama.

7.  Thomas HOLLADAY, born on 28 Mar 1846, Adair County, Kentucky; married Martha Jane WILLIS on 16 Dec 1869, Gradyville, Adair, Kentucky; died on 5 Dec 1889.

8.  Anderson HOLLADAY, born on 1 Apr 1848, Adair County, Kentucky; married Susan Elizabeth (Susie) TAYLOR on 17 Mar 1874, Casey Co., Kentucky; married Stella E. AYRES; died on 27 Feb 1940, Augusta, Butler, Kansas.

9.  Mary Elizabeth (Betty) HOLLADAY, born on 12 Jun 1851, Adair County, Kentucky; married Reuben CONOVER; died in 1939, Adair County, Kentucky.

Prepared by Jay A. Holladay, PO Box 815, La Canada, CA 91012  email: jholladay@ca.rr.com, jholladay@alum.mit.edu Last update 23 January 2009.


[1] William Holladay Family Bible Records, 1802-1918. Original held by Martha Garnett Chamberlain, Columbia, Kentucky. Photocopies of two transcriptions of family data from this bible are in possession of the author. These copies were obtained during visits to Adair County, Kentucky, probably from family files at the Adair County Public Library.

[2] William (Billy) Holladay Family Group Sheet, Holladay Family Data, compiled by Mrs. John C Holladay, Provo, Utah. Photocopy in possession of the author. This sheet lists a number of sources, some specific and some in generic form.

[3] William Holladay Family Bible Records, 1802-1918.

[4] Adair County, Kentucky, Marriage Bonds, County Clerk’s Office, Columbia. Photocopies of originals in notebook, “Adair County Marriage Bonds”, compiled by Margie Coffey, at Adair County Public Library, Columbia. Unnumbered certificates. Holladay-Reynolds marriage bond dated 3 January 1832. Marriage between William Holladay and Polly Reynolds, daughter of Henry Reynolds who gave his consent. Names William Holladay and Henry Reynolds as sureties.

[5] Ruth Paull Burdette, compiler, “Marriage Records of Adair County Kentucky 1802-1840” (Burkesville, KY: R.N. Smith and Laura Lee Butler, 1975), p.56. ‘HOLLIDAY, William and Polly Reynolds, dau. of Henry Reynolds. 3 January 1832 by Petty.’

[6] William Holladay Family Bible Records, 1802-1918.

[7] Ibid.


13 Responses to “William Holladay (1802-1891)”

  1. David Brown Says:

    Hi Jay,

    Interesting, I am an old friend of your daughter’s from her highschool days who now lives in Santa Barbara and sometimes Missouri and have been trying to locate her?

    How are you?



  2. jholladay Says:

    I am just fine, David and so is Beth. I’ll respond further by email.

  3. Felicia Lumpkin Says:

    These Holladay names are also represented in Alabama.
    My ancester, Kibble Terry, md a Eliza A Holladay widowed after her husband, his father, brother & my ancestor returned from the Creek Removal. Eliza had 3 sons with this William or William Daniel Holladay. I do not yet have the maiden name of Eliza?

    This is what is known:
    JAMES D. HOLLIDAY b. March 1835 in Marion County, Alabama d. January 8, 1915
    in Lamar County, Alabama.
    His mother is ELIZA A. b. abt 1812 in South Carolina d. before 1860 in Lamar
    County, Alabama. [childbirth with Dick 1850?]
    m. (1) unknown HOLLIDAY abt. 1830
    GREEN HOLLIDAY b. 1831
    JAMES D. HOLLIDAY b. 1835
    m. (2) KIBBLE TERRY abt. 1837 son of JOHN TERRY and SARAH MOORE.
    Approx. 6 Terry children.

    John Holladay was born March 10, 1798, in Camden District, Kershaw County, South Carolina. He married Catherine Beasley Higgins in South Carolina in 1822. They had 10 children, 9 of whom survived early childhood. John’s earliest known forbearer in the New World, his great grandfather, was John “The Ranger” Holladay of present-day Spotsylvania County, Virginia. John “The Ranger”, first appears in New World records in 1702. He probably came from the area of Chalford, Glouchestershire, England. “The Ranger is a also an ancestor of Ben Holladay, “The Stagecoach King”.[1]

    After John “The Ranger” died in 1742, John’s father, Daniel Holladay Jr., and his grandfather, Daniel Holladay moved to South Carolina. Both Daniels were signers of the South Carolina Declaration of Independence. Daniel Jr. served in the Revolutionary War as a Sergeant with the 2nd South Carolina Regiment under the command of Colonel William Moultrie defending Charleston Harbor in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island. He also served in Francis Marion’s Brigade. Following his father’s death In 1826, Daniel Jr. moved from South Carolina with son John and his young family, to join his son, William Daniel, at Moscow, Marion County, Alabama. Daniel Jr. subsequently applied for and was adjudicated a Revolutionary War veteran pension and land Grant in Alabama. Daniel Jr. died on Feb. 4, 1837 and was buried at Mulberry Hill cemetery in Moscow, Lamar County, Alabama. John’s sister Letticia married Col. John Hollis. Letticia’s daughter, Susana Fleming Hollis, married James G. Bankhead of the Alabama Bankhead political family. Their son, John Hollis Bankhead, served in the US Senate. United States Senator John H. Bankhead II and Speaker of the House William Brockman Bankhead were his sons and actress Tallulah Bankhead his granddaughter. The cross-country Bankhead Highway was named after him.

    James D. HOLLADAY 90
    Birthc. 1835, Marion Co, Alabama101
    Death8 Jan 1915, Lamar Coundy, Alabama102
    Father HOLLADAY ( -1838)
    Mother Eliza Ann (1812-1850)
    Misc. Notes
    Appears in the 1880, 1900, 1910 Lamar Co, AL US C, living on land he owned southwest of the Hollis Cemetery about halfway between Sulligent and the Mississippi line.101

    • theronrh Says:

      My name is Theron Robert Holladay and James D Holladay is my great great grandfather. My DNA on Ancestry has a very strong tie to Daniel William Holladay Jr. Some records indicate James’s father was William born in 1807. William was a grandson of Daniel William Holladay Jr. I am looking for additional proof that Jame’s father was William. My email is theronholladay@yahoo.com. I would love to visit with people in this blog and learn more.

  4. Janice Gurganus Says:

    I am trying to find descendants of William A. Holladay, married Winona Pearl Litton Aug. 29, 1923. William b. Feb. 7, 1882, Columbia KY; died Sept. 27, 1966, Newton KS. Winona Feb. 10, 1890, Peabody, KS (no other info).

    I have some family information to share with the right family.

    • jholladay Says:

      Hi Janice! Thanks for the query. William A. Holladay is the grandson of this William (1802-1891). I know lots of collaterals to William A. and can probably find my way to a direct descendant. I will email you with additional information information.

    • Tim Jennings Says:

      I know children of Paul E. Holladay, William’s son.
      I am also having trouble with Find a Grave, as both William Holladay and his wife Winona have pages of memorial on the site, and the site will not accept corrections regarding the fact that they were actually married. Please contact me.

    • Scott M Holladay Says:


      I am William A. Holladay , Sr.’s grandson. William Sr had two sons, Paul and William A Holladay, Jr., my father. I grew up in Wichita, Kansas. I would be interested in the Bible information.

      I just stumbled on this site, so don’t know how everything works, but the Bible sounds exciting.

      Not sure what has happened since this was posted in 2012 but would be interested in pursuing this.

      Scott M. Holladay

      • jholladay Says:

        Scott, I’m really pleased to hear from a descendant of William Holladay through his son Anderson Holladay. Your grandfather, Willaim A. Holladay Sr. and my father were first cousins. I’ll send you more information via email.

  5. Janice Gurganus Says:

    Dear Jay,

    I have a Bible that I bought in Kansas several years ago and have put queries out many times trying to find descendants; yours is my first response. There are wonderful family records in it. I wish I had this kind of information on my own family.

    I look forward to hearing from you about a direct descendant.

    Thank you so much.


  6. Janice Gurganus Says:


    Please send me your mailing address and I will send the Holladay Bible to you. I really want someone related to this family to have it. I’m going out of town next week, but will send it as soon as I can.

    Janice Gurganus
    Greenville, NC

    • jholladay Says:

      Thank you so much for your offer, Janice. I have responded by email.

      • theronrh Says:

        My name is Theron Robert Holladay and James D Holladay is my great great grandfather. I have done extensive research on the Holladay line. I would love to have pictures of this Holladay bible and would be glad to share information. My email is theronholladay@yahoo.com.

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