HOLLOWAY FAMILY OF HOLLOWAY PRAIRIE
By: Greg Aymond
The area of northeastern Rapides Parish, Louisiana, known as Holloway Prairie, was named after colonial settlers, John and James Holloway. These two brothers, were the sons of John Holloway (born about 1737 in King and Queen County, Virginia to Robert Holloway) and of Elizabeth White (born about 1738 in Culpepper County, Virginia to James Taylor White and Elizabeth Powe). Both the White and Holloway families moved to South Carolina, where John and Elizabeth married in Craven County before 1764. After fighting in several skirmishes during the Revolutionary War, John Holloway, followed shortly thereafter, by many of his White in-laws, moved to the area near Natchez, Mississippi. On October 24, 1781, John Holloway was killed by Indians near Natchez.
In the mid-1790's, brothers, John and James Holloway, along with their maternal uncle, Reuben White and his family, moved into the Holloway-Deville area of Post Du Rapid, where they obtained Spanish land grants and engaged in the cattle business. Many of the Anglo families of the Deville area came there from Natchez, Mississippi. John and James Holloway appear upon several 1790's Spanish Colonial documents and militia lists. However, due to the 1864 burning of Alexandria by the Yankees, along with the courthouse, much information on these early Holloway settlers have been lost. Fortunately, James Holloway's descendants are found in several documents which have survived dealing with the LaCroix family of Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
From E. W. McDonald's book "The LaCroix Descendants; 1611 - 1991; From France Via Quebec To Central Louisiana", we see that James Holloway married Catherine LaCroix. It appears likely, from age ranges in later Census records, that all of John and James Holloway's children were born in Rapides Parish, beginning in the mid-1790's. James Holloway and Catherine LaCroix had the following children: Mary; Nancy; Selita; Eliza; Elizabeth; Jane; and Stephen. As son Stephen married Polly Martin, and moved his family to St. Landry Parish and on into Texas, the remaining male Holloway children are probably descendants of his brother John.
It is not known who John Holloway married. We know for sure of two (2) of his children: Thomas and Mary Julia. From records of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, in Mansura, Louisiana, we know that Thomas married Cecil Jannot (Jeannot), and that Mary Julia married Henry Harmon, before 1820. Henry and Mary Julia Harmon subsequently moved to Catahoula Parish about 1840, as did many of Mary's White cousins. One of Henry and Mary Julia Harmon's daughters, Polly, married Joel Sylvan Clark, from whom many of the Clarks of Rapides and Avoyelles Parish descend. From the muster roll of the 17 th , 18 th and 19 th Consolidated Regiment of the Louisiana State Militia, we see that, besides John and James Holloway, there was also a John Holloway, Jr. who served in the War of 1812. However, John, Jr. does not appear on the 1820 Census for Rapides Parish. In the 1810 Census, John Holloway had three minor male children and four minor females in his home. By the 1820 Census, John had eight males in his household and two females, besides his wife. John increased his number of slaves from three in 1810, to five by 1820. It is likely, therefore, that John Holloway had more children that those we know of (John, Jr.; Thomas and Mary Julia).
By the 1850 Census, only two male Holloway households appear in Rapides Parish. Lewis Holloway (born in Louisiana about 1813) is likely one of John's sons or a son of Thomas. In his 1850 household (in the area of Holloway Prairie) were Susanna (born abt. 1810 in Louisiana); and children: Thomas; Lewis, Jr.; George; and Jeannot. Also in Lewis' home were Alexandre Lamontage (sic), age 22, and Anthony Lamontage, age 21. Living next to Lewis, was Thomas Holloway, age 29 (therefore too young to be the Thomas who married Cecil Jannot). It appears that this younger Thomas Holloway's wife was Sarah, age 25; and they had two sons at that time: Augustus, age 10; and John, age 8.
During the War Between the States, Confederate troops were sent into the Holloway Prairie area on several occasions, in order to route out Jayhawkers and draft dodgers. One story has it that, on one of these military incursions, Confederate troops burned out the homes of many in the Holloway Prairie area. Whatever the reason, it appears that few of the male Holloway line remained in the Holloway Prairie area. As of this time, there is also no proven relationship between the Holloway Prairie Holloway line to the much later Holloways of the Forest Hill area of Rapides Parish.