Interesting article and a new Notable to connect: James Holman, the Blind Traveler

+8 votes
I read a really interesting new article today on James Holman, the "Blind Traveler". Being blind myself, I was fascinated with the story of a totally blind man circumnavigating the globe in the 1800s. Apparently he was fairly well known in the early 1800s, though fell into near obscurity since then. Here is the article:

I just created a WikiTree profile for him and, obviously, he's going to need some connecting. It doesn't appear he married or had children, so I suppose the connection would probably be through his siblings. Another article I found through a quick Google search indicates he was the 4th of 6 sons and his father was an apothecary.

Here is what I have so far for Sources (I am not 100% sure on the baptismal record - it is the only James Holman I found born in Exeter at that time, though.)

• James Holman Wikipedia page:
• The Blind Traveler by Lucas Reilly, Accessed August 29th, 2017:
• "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch (
 : 30 December 2014, James Holman, 19 Nov 1786); citing SAINT PETROCK,EXETER,DEVON,ENGLAND, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society
of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 916,838.
• "England and Wales Census, 1851," database with images, FamilySearch (
 : 29 July 2017), James Holman, New Windsor With Dedworth, Berkshire, England; citing New Windsor With Dedworth, Berkshire, England, p. 3, from "1851 England,
Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (
 : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.
• "Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch (
 : 13 December 2015), James Holman, ; Burial, Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England, Highgate Cemetery (West); citing record ID 10564,
Find a Grave,
list end
WikiTree profile: James Holman
in Genealogy Help by Kristen Louca G2G6 Mach 2 (27.2k points)
retagged by Kristen Louca
And the baptismal record seems /fairly/ feasible that it is him. Parents are noted as John Holman and Sarah on that document. I do see other children born to what I assume are the same couple.

There is also a John Holamn marrying a Sarah Collins in 1772 in Devon, but no clue if this would be the same couple:

"England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 5 August 2017), John
Holman and Sarah Collins, 1772, Marriage; from "Church of England parish registers 1538-1911," database and images, findmypast (
: n.d.); citing Devon, archive reference , images provided by FamilySearch International.


If James was 4th of 6 sons and he was born in 1786, a 1772 marriage date doesn't seem too out of line.
Alright - I've added James' parents (John and Sarah). I kept Sarah's surname as "Unknown" for now as I am not sure how to confirm/deny whether that marriage record from 1772 was her or not. I also estimated their birth years at around 1750, though they could likely be a few years younger than that.

I added all of James' siblings, as well. There were a lot of them. Earliest had a baptism in July of 1773 and the oldest was in 1796. Seemed a fairly fertile couple. There must be a connection to the big tree through one of those siblings!

Any help/advice is appreciated.
Alright. I've found out his sister Harriet married a "David Andrews" in 1803/1804. She had a few kids with him, at least, so there may be a potential connection there.

With his other siblings, though, the names are too common for me to certain where they ended up. I may have to leave this to a more experienced Connector. I am stumped.
Think I have managed to connect him to the global tree, believe it takes 24 hours to update , fingers crossed

1 Answer

+2 votes
You beat me to it, Kristen! I read the same article yesterday and my first thought was that somebody needs to create a Wikitree profile for this amazing fellow.
by Paul Hancock G2G6 (6.1k points)
Glad more people are aware of him now! (I was surprised I did not know of him before hand.)

Please feel free to add to his biography or try to expand on his connections a bit. I will definitely need some help - I didn't realize "Holman" was such a common surname.

He does have a lot of brothers/sisters, though, by the looks of it. One of them should hopefully yield a connection to the big tree.

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