- This is an old English surname of either topographical or locational origin. As a topographical surname it denotes someone who lived in or by a wood or copse, the derivation being from the Old English pre 7th Century (and Middle English) word "holt", meaning a wood. If a locational surname, it can derive from any one of the numerous places called "Holt" in Dorset, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Somerset, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. The name development has included "Simon del Holt" (1230, Warwickshire), "Walter in the Holte" (1260, Somerset) and "Hugh atte Holte", (1268, Surrey). The modern surname can be found as Holt, Hoult or Holter. The marriage of William Hoult and Jane Wilmot was recorded at St. Margaret Pattens, London, on August 17th 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Holte, which was dated 1185, Records of the Templars, Kent, during the reign of King Henry 11, "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.