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Where did the English Helf family come from? What is the English Helf family crest and coat of arms? When did the Helf family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Helf family history?The name Helf arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Helf comes from the Old English personal name Helps, which is thought to be a shortened form of a longer name such as Helpric, or some other name with the first element help, meaning aid or assist. It is also possible that the name is of metronymic descent and derives from the Old Norse female personal name Hialp. Evidence for both of these theories exists, but time has confused the two derivations and etymologists now disagree on which is appropriate in any given instance.
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Helps, Help and others.
First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helf research. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Helf History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Helf Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Helf or a variant listed above: Jacob Helps settled in Philadelphia in 1753; Alexander Helps settled in Passamaquodey in Maine in 1823.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Auxilia auxilliis
Motto Translation: Assistance to help
The Helf Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Helf Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:39.
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