Helen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The illustrious surname Helen is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.
Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Helen is a place-name from in Devon. Hillion, near Saint-Brieux, was the birthplace of Herve d'Helion, a companion of William the Conqueror who was awarded a barony and lands in Devon. The name could also have been a baptismal name derived from the son of Heilin.
Early Origins of the Helen family
The surname Helen was first found in Brittany, where Hillion, near Saint-Brieux, was the birthplace of Herve d'Helion, a companion of William the Conqueror who was awarded a barony and lands in Devon. It is there that the family established its family seat at Ashton and Credy-Helion.
Some of the family were found in the parish of St. Ewe, Cornwall. "The manor of Heligan, was at an early period the property of the Heligans, from whom it passed by female heirs to the Tregarthians, and Whitleghs, and from the latter by co-heiresses to the families of Grenville and Hals." 
Shropshire, on the border of Wales, was of particular significance to the family. For it was here that in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, Philip filius Heilin, Robert filius Heilin and B'ucha uxor Heilini were recorded as holding lands at that time. 
Early History of the Helen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helen research. Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1190, 1273, 1562, 1631, 1562, 1631, 1600, 1662, 1600, 1685, 1759, 1736, 1705, 1708, 1711, 1728, 1861 and 1865 are included under the topic Early Helen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Helen Spelling Variations
Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Heylin, Heylen, Haylin, Hayling, Heylins, Heylens and many more.
Early Notables of the Helen family (pre 1700)
Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was Rowland Heyyn or Heylin (1562?-1631), Sheriff of London, "descended from an ancient family seated at Pentreheylin in the parish of Llandysilio, Mongomeryshire, whose members were hereditary cupbearers (as the name signifies) to the princes of Powys. " 
Peter Heylin (1600-1662) of Burford, Oxfordshire, a theologian and historian whose controversial writings made him famous. He was born at Burford, Oxfordshire, in 1600, and was second son of Henry Heylyn by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Clampard of Wrentham, Kent...
Another 88 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Helen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Helen family to Ireland
Some of the Helen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Helen migration to the United States +
Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Helen, or a variant listed above:
Helen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Nathaniel Helen, who arrived in Maryland in 1671 
Helen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Georg Helen, who landed in New York in 1710 
Contemporary Notables of the name Helen (post 1700) +
- Miss Alison Helen Falcon M.B.E., British Lieutenant Colonel for The Royal Logistic Corps for the Army Reserve was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017
- Ms. Jessica Helen Cook B.E.M., British founding Director of Can You Hear Us? was appointed the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for voluntary services to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Patients 
- Mrs. Ruth Helen Jackson M.B.E., British Headteacher for Kitchener Primary School in Cardiff, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Education 
- Mrs. F Iona Helen Highet M.B.E., British Senior Entomologist for Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Bee Health 
- Ms. Elizabeth Helen Bainbridge B.E.M., British Consultant Nurse for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was appointed the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to Nursing and to Vulnerable People 
- Mrs. Gail Helen Rothnie M.B.E., British Head of Outreach for University of Birmingham, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Widening Participation in Higher Education 
- Mrs. Cindy Helen Rose O.B.E. (b. 1965), British Business woman and Chief Executive Officer for Microsoft, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to UK Technology 
- Mrs. Louisa Helen Rolfe O.B.E., British Deputy Chief Constable for West Midlands Police, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Policing 
- Marion Helen Bryden (1918-2013), Canadian politician from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ontario MPP (1975-1990)
- Mary Helen McPhillips (1931-1998), Canadian-born, American television personality, host of The Martha Deane program in the 1970s and 1980sIrish Film and Television Award
Related Stories +
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
- ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
- ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists