Show ContentsHalp History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Halp is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Halp is a name that 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. 1

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.

Early Origins of the Halp family

The surname Halp was first found in Lincolnshire where Helpe Arbalistarius was the first recording in the Pipe Rolls of 1181. Walter Help was later listed in Northumberland in 1230. Over one hundred years later, Gilbert Helpe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffol in 1327. 1

Interestingly, the same author notes that Simon Helpusgod who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296, presumably derived his name from 'may God help us." 1

Turning back the clock for a moment, one author presumes that name was actually Norman as he notes that the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Hugo de Helpe, Normandy, 1180-95. 2

Early History of the Halp family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Halp research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Halp History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Halp Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Helps, Help and others.

Early Notables of the Halp family

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

Migration of the Halp family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Halp or a variant listed above were: Jacob Helps settled in Philadelphia in 1753; Alexander Helps settled in Passamaquodey in Maine in 1823.

The Halp Motto +

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

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X) on Facebook