Heldeyard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Heldeyard family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Devon. This name is, however, not a reference to that area, but to the family's place of residence prior to their emigration to England with the Norman Conquest of 1066, St. Hellier, near Rouen, Normandy. [1]

Alternatively the name could have been derived from "the Anglo-Saxon helan, like the southern provincialism, to heal, signifies to cover; and in the West of England a hellier is a thatcher or tiler, equivalent to the French couvreur, one who covers buildings with any material whatever. It was a kind of generic appellative, including the Thatchers, Tylers, Slaters, Shinglers, and Reeders, all of whom are also separately represented in our family nomenclature. In Walsingham's History, the arch-traitor, Wat Tyler, is designated 'Walterus Helier.' " [2]

Early Origins of the Heldeyard family

The surname Heldeyard was first found in Devon.

While many of the family hail from Devon, early rolls proved the widespread use of the name likely as an occupational one. In Kent, Robert le Heliere was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275; Gilbert le Helyere was listed in Hampshire in 1280 and Robert le Hillier was found in Bedforshire in 1347. [3]

There were two early records in Somerset: Michael le Helier and William le Heliere, both listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [4]

The reader should note that all these early entries include "le" in reference to the trade as in, Robert "the" Heliere and so on.

Early History of the Heldeyard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heldeyard research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1662, 1697, 1662, 1677, 1680, 1682, 1690, 1697, 1684, 1687, 1535, 1503, 1522, 1524 and 1525 are included under the topic Early Heldeyard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heldeyard 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 Hellier, Helliar, Helyar, Hellyer and others.

Early Notables of the Heldeyard family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Hellier (1662?-1697), English divine, born at Chew-Dundry, Somersetshire, about 1662, the son of Henry Hellier. He became scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in April 1677, and graduated B.A. 1680, M.A. 1682, B.D. 1690, and D.D. 1697. He was ordained deacon at Christ Church...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heldeyard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Heldeyard 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 Heldeyard or a variant listed above were: Isaac, John and Peter Hellier, who settled in Virginia in 1654; Marjorie, Mary, Robert, Thomas Hellier settled in Barbados between 1654 and 1684; Robert and Thomas Hellyer settled in Barbados in 1685..



The Heldeyard 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: Pro republica semper
Motto Translation: For the state always.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.


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