Helsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Helsley was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Helsley family lived in a place in Cheshire called Helsby, which was recorded in the Domesday Book as Helesbe. The place-name Helesbe is derived from the Old Norman word hjallr, which means ledge and refers to a ledge on a mountainside, and byr, which means farm or settlement. Thus, the place-name refers to a farm that is located on a ledge on a mountainside. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. As a result, the place-name Helsby is of Norman French rather than Old English origin.

Early Origins of the Helsley family

The surname Helsley was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Helmsby. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066 at Hastings, the village of Helsby was held by Earl Hugh, Earl of Chester. Conjecturally, it is from an unknown Norman noble who was tenant of this village from the Earl who was the ancestor of this family. The village lay between Helsby Marshes and Helsby Hill.

Important Dates for the Helsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helsley research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Helsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Helsley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Helsley have been found, including Helsby, Hellsby, Helsbie, Helsbee, Hellsbee and many more.

Early Notables of the Helsley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Helsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Helsley family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Helsley were among those contributors: Richard Hellsby who landed in North America in 1710.

Contemporary Notables of the name Helsley (post 1700)

  • J. E. Helsley, American politician, Member of West Virginia State Senate 15th District, 1933-36

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