Helliar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Helliar family name to the British Isles. 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 Helliar family

The surname Helliar 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 Helliar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helliar 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 Helliar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Helliar Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Hellier, Helliar, Helyar, Hellyer and others.

Early Notables of the Helliar 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 Helliar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Helliar family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Helliar or a variant listed above: 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..


Contemporary Notables of the name Helliar (post 1700) +

  • Peter Jason Matthew Helliar (b. 1975), Australian actor, radio & television presenter


The Helliar 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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