JC Halbrooks 1940-1999



After the fall of the Roman Empire, several groups, or tribes, from Germany, Denmark. Norway. and Holland settled in different areas of England. They brought their spoken languages with them, which had the same origins as modern German languages It is debated if they were invited, or if they came by force- or both. Although their languages were similar, the original differences sharpened after settlement The natives probably spoke gaelic, possibly mixed with some Latin words This is in the general time of 400 - 1000 AD. One of these northern European groups was called the "Northmen; also known as the Norse and Normans". A group of them had settled in coastal France, among other places which became known as Normandy, due to their presence. This habitation caused many of the French language elements to become incorporated into their spoken language When William defeated his half-brother, Harold at Hastings in 1066 AD, his soldiers were mainly other Northmen from Normandy They took over as owners of the land and English Manors dispossessing the "now native' owners. The land and manors were generally given to these, and later-arriving Northmen. Some of the government records from this time are written in what is now called "early French." Initially these Norman land owners used a different language from the people then native to England. In academic and church communities, Latin was used for written records. From this of use of several languages came a composite language. ENGLISH. It was not that everyone started using this new blended language immediately, but rather that the Norman speakers had to speak with AngloSaxons and adopted some of their words. The Anglo Saxons likewise adopted Norman words The result was that now English often has two words for the same thing; cow sheep hog. and their "Norman" words, beef, mutton, and swine

There was not as much travel, nor movement of residence then, so dialects arose in different areas. By the 1400s, people in the north and south of England could not understand each other's speech. Language shifts are common to most languages and English shifted for the same reasons plus the Norman takeover of England added to the scope of the process. The introduction of the printing press caused an adoption of the midland dialect as it was most understandable to those in the north and south, and it was the dialect of London, the largest city of England. Cheshire and Lancashire were part of the Mercian kingdom and were later owned by a Prince, rather than by the King. The result of these political divisions became reflected in a regional accent to these two counties, and is seen in the parish registers where Holbrook is most commonly found as Houlbrook The modern descendants of Cheshire use Holbrook and Houlbrook spellings in England, and Holbrook, Haibrook, and Haibrooks in the USA. In other English locations the name tended toward a spelling of Holbrook. In every area there is great diversity in the spelling, as the idea of "set" spellings had not evolved yet The first general English dictionary did not appear until the mid- 1700's

The name HOLBROOK is found as early as 968 in England, during the Anglo-Saxon time when it is found as HOLANBROC. The shifting of sounds over the years had its effect, and this earliest found version is later found as HOLENEROC. then as HOLEBROC. Continuing shifts made it HOLEBROOI(, and HOLBROOK, this last being the most common spelling today. Latin had no "l(", the "hard C" providing this "K" sound, and the spellings of those times generally reflect this


British language experts gave the information that HOLAN is what they call an oblique case of the Old English HOL, meaning "hollow, lying or running in a hollow". BROC means "brook'. The name means "the brook running in a hollow"


It appears there are two ways locations are named. First, a location is given the name of someone who lives there of that name We see this today when we refer to "the Thompson place, or "the Thompsons". These names due to occupancy usually do not remain beyond the occupancy.

The second method is where a name is attached to a location or physical feature This type name may appear on a property deed as part of the land description and normally lasts longer than the occupancy type name.

Two locations have been named Holbrook for over 900 years they are first found in the 1088 Domesday Book These places, in Derby and Suffolk, are still named Holbrook today.


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