Show ContentsHeller History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Heller family name begins in the German province of Bavaria. Heller is a nickname surname, a class of German names derived from eke-names, or added names, that described people by a personal characteristic or other attribute. Heller is a name for a person who lived in the Swabian town of Hall. Residents were so named because of the small medieval coin referred to as a heller which was first minted in the town in 1208.

Early Origins of the Heller family

The surname Heller was first found in Bavaria, where this family made important contributions toward the development of this kingdom from ancient times. Always prominent in social and political affairs, the family formed alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation. In the Middle Ages, the word "heller" referred to the coins that had been produced in Schwaebisch-Hall since the year 1208. Individual bearers of this name first mentioned in ancient chronicles include Herr Volkhart der Heller (1278) of Freiburg, Rudolph der Heller (b.1302,) a farmer in Zuerich, and Johann Heller (1378) of Goerlingen.

Early History of the Heller family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heller research. Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1595, 1728, 1756 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Heller History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heller Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Heller include Heller, Hellern, Heler, Hellers, Hellerer, Helere, Hellere and many more.

Early Notables of the Heller family (pre 1700)

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

Heller Ranking

In the United States, the name Heller is the 1,445th most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Heller is ranked the 3,595th most popular surname with an estimated 1,500 - 2,000 people with that name. [2]

United States Heller migration to the United States +

German settlers were among the most common to come to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. Poverty and religious persecution drove many Bavarians to make this long trek. tenant farmers were also enticed by the prospect of owning land. From east to west, these German immigrants populated the United States, settling in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada also provided homes to many. Early settlers bearing the Heller surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Heller Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Atam Heller, who arrived in New York in 1709 [3]
  • Wolff Heller, who arrived in New York in 1709 [3]
  • Rudolph Heller, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1728
  • Christopher Heller, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [3]
  • Johann Christopher Heller, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Heller Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Heinr Heller, who landed in America in 1818 [3]
  • Peter Heller, who landed in North America in 1837 [3]
  • August Heller, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1839 [3]
  • Augustus Heller, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1839 [3]
  • George Phillip Heller, aged 29, who arrived in Missouri in 1840 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Heller migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Heller Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Ms. Elizabeth Heller U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Heller (post 1700) +

  • Dr. Harold William "Bill" Heller (1935-2020), American politician and educator, Member of the Florida House of Representatives
  • Gerald E. "Jerry" Heller (1940-2016), American music manager and businessman
  • Edmund Heller (1875-1939), American zoologist, President of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (1935-1936) and (1937-1938)
  • Dean Arthur Heller (b. 1960), American politician, United States Senator from Nevada (2011-)
  • Amos Arthur Heller (1867-1944), American botanist
  • Joseph Heller (1923-1999), contemporary American writer, who became famous through his novel "Catch-22"
  • Steven Heller (b. 1950), American art director, journalist, critic, author and editor
  • Dean Heller (b. 1960), American Republican politician, Member of Nevada State House of Representatives, 1990-94; Secretary of State of Nevada, 1995-2007 [5]
  • David N. Heller, American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chemung County, 1899; Mayor of Elmira, New York, 1926-29; Candidate for Justice of New York Supreme Court 6th District, 1929 [5]
  • Clifton W. Heller, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention from Shiawassee District, 1961 [5]
  • ... (Another 32 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Abram Heller (1872-1914), Belgian Third Class Passenger from Antwerp, Belgium who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland [6]

Suggested Readings for the name Heller +

  • The History of Louis Heller of Dunn County, Wisconsin, and His Descendants by James L. Heller.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from
  6. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from on Facebook