Hellings History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname Hellings 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. Hellings 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 Hellings family

The surname Hellings 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." [1]

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. [2]

Early History of the Hellings family

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

Hellings 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 Hellings 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. " [3] 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 Hellings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hellings family to Ireland

Some of the Hellings 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.


United States Hellings migration to the United States +

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Hellings, or a variant listed above:

Hellings Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Claus Hellings, who landed in North America in 1832-1849 [4]
  • Joh Hellings, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849 [4]

Canada Hellings migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hellings Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Hellings, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Hellings migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Hellings Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Hellings, (b. 1825), aged 24, Cornish farm labourer travelling aboard the ship "Thetis" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 15th February 1849 [5]
  • Mr. William Hellings, (b.1825), aged 24, Cornish agricultural labourer travelling aboard the ship "Thetis" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 15th February 1849 [6]
  • Thomas Hellings, aged 47, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Sultana" [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Hellings, (b. 1827), aged 25, Cornish stone mason travelling aboard the ship "Wilson Kennedy" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th December 1852 [8]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Hellings, (b. 1830), aged 22, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Wilson Kennedy" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th December 1852 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Hellings migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Hellings Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Hellings, (b. 1854), aged 21, Cornish farm labourer departing on 12th October 1875 aboard the ship "Caroline" going to Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 31st January 1876 [9]
  • Mrs. Amelia Hellings, (b. 1843), aged 32, Cornish settler departing on 7th September 1875 aboard the ship "Waitangi" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th December 1875 [10]
  • Miss Amelia Hellings, (b. 1870), aged 5, Cornish settler departing on 7th September 1875 aboard the ship "Waitangi" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th December 1875 [10]
  • Mr. George Hellings, (b. 1841), aged 34, Cornish farm labourer departing on 7th September 1875 aboard the ship "Waitangi" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th December 1875 [10]
  • Miss Jane Hellings, (b. 1874), aged 1, Cornish settler departing on 7th September 1875 aboard the ship "Waitangi" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th December 1875 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Hellings (post 1700) +

  • Ronald "Mack" Hellings (1915-1951), American racecar driver who was killed in a plane crash in Kern County, California in 1951
  • Richard "Dick" Hellings (1874-1938), English born rugby union forward who played international rugby for Wales (1897-1901)
  • Sergio Hellings (b. 1984), Dutch footballer
  • General Sir Peter Hellings KCB, DSC, MC (1916-1990), British Naval Officer, General, Commandant General of the Royal Marines (1968-1971)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Peter G G O Hellings, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Sultana.htm
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_1850_59.pdf
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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