Samuel HOLLIS

5 replies [Last post]
Hollis
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Thursday, 14-05-2020

Hello, all. I am at a bit of a brick wall and looking for any information regarding the parentage, birthplace, or death location of my direct paternal ancestor, Samuel HOLLIS. I've seen Samuel mentioned as a "Protestant dissenting minister." He seems to have had residence in Shrewsbury where many of his children's births are recorded in the England and Wales Nonconformist Record Indexes.

His known children include:

Jane Hollis (1803-1890) Claremont Street Baptist Meeting House, Shrewsbury
Mary Hollis (1806-1860) Claremont Street Baptist Meeting House, Shrewsbury
Jesse Hollis (1809-1863) Claremont Street Baptist Meeting House, Shrewsbury
Samuel Hollis (1810-1857) Claremont Street Baptist Meeting House, Shrewsbury
Benjamin Hollis (1820-1859) Ashton Street Baptist, Shifnal

His wife, Hannah Matthews (abt. 1779-1855), appears to have been born in Wem. She married Samuel at St. Mary's in Shrewsbury  on  26 Dec 1802. I found an old Baptist text mentioning a Samuel Hollis as the minister in Shifnal in the year 1813 (possibly one and the same?), but he vanishes after the 1820 birth of his son, Benjamin. His children, aside from the younger Samuel, sailed to the United States and began new lives there. His wife, Hannah, would join them later and is last found as a resident of Jo Daviess County, Illinois in 1855. There's no indication he ever joined them so I'm assuming he passed away in England.

Any help resolving the mystery of his origins would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Heather Duckett
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: Saturday, 27-08-2011

Hello. I'm sorry I haven't got news on Samuel's origins but I have a bit of information about Samuel from 'An Account of the Baptist Churches of Shropshire and the surrounding areas' by Michael J Collis pub 2008. The entry for Shifnal informs that

'Samuel Hollis was ordained as pastor on Christmas Day 1813. He did not live in Shifnall [sic] , since the Church Book for the period 1813-20 refers to the payments for entertaining him and also stabling for his horse at the Red Lion. He was taken ill on 24 March 1822 and thereafter the church was suppiled by visiting preachers'

It also says that

'The Shropshire Association met at Shifnall in May 1820 and Samuel Hollis wrote the Associstion's Circular Letter in 1820 on the subject of 'The Doctrine of the Resurrection'. The church paid £1 13s 6d for entertaining 15 Miinisters at the Red Lion'

This information is fully referenced and I can let you have the details if needed. Did Samuel die as a result of the illness? There might be some follow up work that could be done on that.

I hope this is of interest if you have not seen it before.

Heather

Hollis
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Thursday, 14-05-2020

Thanks so much for the response, Heather. Anything new I can learn about Samuel is definitely of interest to me so I appreciate it. The information about the Red Lion is new to me. I've seen a very brief account of his writing on the subject of 'The Doctrine of the Resurrection"  in a Baptist magazine of sorts, but it didn't contain many of the details you've shared. I would love to have the references if you don't mind sharing.

The clue about him "taken ill on 24 March 1822" could be quite useful. It is certainly possible that he did die as a result of the illness. As far as his origins go, I recently found a tentative link to a Samuel Hollis born 23 July 1780 in Ellesmere. I'll continue to the search and see where these clues lead me. Thanks again for your help.

Heather Duckett
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: Saturday, 27-08-2011

Hello again, I have the references from the Collis book.

 The sentence 'Samuel Hollis was ordained on Christmas Day 1813' is referenced note 409 and is given as B Mag, 1814,132

The rest of that paragraph which continues from the words 'Christmas Day 1813'  and  ends  with 'supplied by visiting preachers' is referenced note 410 which is 'Aston Street, Shifnal, Bye-gones relating to Wales and the Borders, April 26 1906, 284; Aug 22 1906 [also] 284'

The paragraph starting 'The Shropshire Association ....  to Resurrection,' is referenced  with note 415 which is B Mag, 1820, 337

A couple of other bits of information - It is Aston Street not Ashton

Also Have you seen the actual entry for Benjamin's baptism? It's on Findmypast which has been taken from 'Shiffnal [sic] Aston Street (Baptist) Births' The FMP reference is TNA/RG/4/1817

The entry is for Benjn Hollis son of Samuel Hollis and Hannah his wife was born in Donnington in the parish of Lilleshall in the County of Salop the ..theenth [Possibly eighteenth] February 1820. Registered by me [and signed] Samuel Hollis  Protestant Dissenting Minister.

The last entry in Aston Street Church at which Samuel Hollis was the minister was for 21 March 1821. The entries then contiue with John Thomas.

It looks as if the family was living in Donnington in Lilleshall parish when he was minister at Aston Street, at least in 1820 if not earlier. Odd that no children have been found between 1809 and 1820. I've just noticed that at Jesse's baptism at Claremont Street, the abode is given as 'Donnington Lileshall parish', Also in the same abode in 1810 when Samuel is baptised.

The first entry in the online register is by Samuel Hollis. It is dated 19th May 1811. However original date of 5th Sept 1813 has been crossed out and replaced with the 1811 date.

Heather

Hollis
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Thursday, 14-05-2020

Thanks again, Heather. I'll defintely be looking into all of this. The "Ashton Street" Baptist must have been a poor transcription of a record. I haven't been on FindMyPast, but it looks like that could be a good place to start with some new research.

That is quite a large gap in between children. I haven't found an explanation for that either. Given the fact that the abode given for Jesse and Samuel's baptism was in "Donnington Lileshall parish," perhaps I'll shift my focus there and see what I can unearth.

I still don't know what happened to the elder Samuel, but younger Samuel seems to have stayed behind in England while the rest of his siblings and mother moved to the states. He lived in Lilleshall with his wife and children, working as a Post Master from what I've gathered.

Hollis
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: Thursday, 14-05-2020

I may have found a date of death (1829) for Samuel in An Index to Notable Baptists, Whose Careers began within the British Empire before 1850. The exerpt reads:

"HOLLIS, a family from Rotherham, mainstays of Pinners' Hall mixed communion, benefactors of religion and education. Thomas 1659-1731, enriched P.B. fund, Harvard, Pennsylvania association, opposed seventh-day, built the first baptistery in London.Thomas,* 1720-1774, barrister, traveller, widened his benevolence to Cambridge, Berne, Zurich, edited life of Milton, Sideny's works, F.R.S. 1757, F.S.A. Samuel became pastor at Shifnal, died 1829."

And again in The Baptist Quarterly, Volume 1, Issue 2:

"Thomas Hollis (I) was of Rotherham, where he was buried 4th February 1663-4. His son, Thomas Hollis (2), '1634-1718, migrated to London 1654, settled in the Minories where he dealt in Sheffield goods; he established a Hollis trust in Rotherham, maintaining schools there and at Don-caster, contributing to the support of a chapel at Sheffield, for whose building he was the largest subscriber in 1700, and maintaining a hospital there for aged women; it was he who took the long lease of Pinners' Hall. His son, Thomas Hollis (3), 1659-1731, was the chief benefactor of Harvard College in Massachusetts, and his example was followed by his brothers Nathaniel and John. Nathaniel had a son, Thomas Hollis (4), who had a son, Thomas Hollis (5), 1720-1774, Fellow of the Royal Society and Fellow of 1he Society of Antiquaries, whose life was published in 1780, and of whom a sketch is given in the Dictionary of National Biography. His uncle Timothy, son of John was his heir, and with the death of Timothy's grandson, John, the name is supposed to have died out, though all the Hollis trustees in Yorkshire are des ... cendants by various daughters. It is not important to place Samuel Hollis, Baptist minister at Shifnal 1813-1829, but it is worth while noting that Thomas Brand Hollis only :assumed that sirname in recognition of a handsome bequest."

Odd that he's offhandedly mentioned at the end of each of these exerpts. Is it hinting at a connection between Samuel and this particular Baptist Hollis family? Or just mentioned as a somewhat notable Baptist that happens to share the same surname?