The English surname Holt, also found in Germany and Norway, is a topographic name for someone who lived in or by a small wood, from the Middle English, Middle Low German, and Norwegian term holt, or a habitational name from one of the very many places named with this word. In England the surname is widely distributed, but rather more common in Lancashire than elsewhere. The first known recording of the family name anywhere in the world is shown to be that of Hugo de Holte. This was dated 1185, in the records of the Knight Templars of England, Kent. The surname was an early introduction into America, with Randall Holt being recorded as being a resident at James City, Virginia, in 1623.