Helliwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Helliwell is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived near a holy spring having derived from the Old English terms halli, which meant holy, and welle, which meant spring. [1]

There are several place-names that are also derived from these words, including Halliwell in Lancashire, Holwell in Dorset and Oxfordshire, and Holywell and Northumberland.

Early Origins of the Helliwell family

The surname Helliwell was first found in Lancashire at Halliwell, a township, and ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Deane, union of Bolton, hundred of Salford. " The first mention of Halliwell occurs in the 17th year of the reign of John, when the abbot of Cockersand had an exemption from fines and amerciaments, by a charter of that date from the king." [2]

Hollowell is a hamlet, in the parish and hundred of Guilsborough, union of Brixworth, S. division of the county of Northampton. "The former of these two places has made Halliwell a familiar surname in South Lancashire." [3]

However, by the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 the name was scattered throughout ancient Britain: Adam de Holewell, Norfolk; Simon de Holewell, Bedfordshire; John de Holowell, Buckinghamshire; Godfrey de Haliwell, London; and Richard de Holewell, Huntingdonshire. [3]

In Somerset, John de Holewell and Edith atte Holywelle were both listed 1 Edward III (in other words during the first year of King Edward III's reign). [4]

Further to the south in Devon, the Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III- Edward I listed William de Halegewelle.

Later in Scotland, Halywell is mentioned in Berwick Retours and Thomas de Halywell was superior of the Abbey of Kelso in 1465. "Robert Halywell was notary public in St. Andrews diocese, 1473. Thomas Halywell, a Scot born at Grynlawe, in 1480 had letters of denization in England, John Halywell was killed in 1535 and William Halywell was burgess of Linlithgow, 1537." [5]

Early History of the Helliwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helliwell research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1535, 1548, 1564, 1649, 1686, 1655, 1676, 1744 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Helliwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Helliwell Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Helliwell has been spelled many different ways, including Halliwell, Halligwell, Haliwell and others.

Early Notables of the Helliwell family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Oibert Halliwell of Halliwell; and Edward Halliwell, English fellow of King's College, Cambridge from 1535 to 1548 who wrote the lost tragedy, Dido, which was performed before Queen Elizabeth I during her royal visit to the university on 7 August 1564. John Holwell (1649-1686) was an English astrologer and mathematician. He claimed descent from the Holwells of Holwell House, near Tavistock, Devon, and his father and...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Helliwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Helliwell migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Helliwells to arrive in North America:

Helliwell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Edith Annie Helliwell, aged 11, who arrived in America from Bacup, England, in 1907
  • William Helliwell, aged 20, who arrived in America from Battey, England, in 1907
  • Barker Helliwell, aged 50, who arrived in America from Todmorden, England, in 1909
  • Martha Helliwell, aged 52, who arrived in America from Todmorden, England, in 1909
  • Henry Helliwell, aged 30, who arrived in America from Halifax, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Helliwell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Helliwell Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • John F. Helliwell, aged 42, who arrived in British Columbia, Canada, in 1914

New Zealand Helliwell 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:

Helliwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Hannah Helliwell, (b. 1824), aged 45, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th September 1869 [6]
  • Miss Fanny Helliwell, (b. 1856), aged 13, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th September 1869 [6]
  • Miss Mary H. Helliwell, (b. 1860), aged 9, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th September 1869 [6]
  • Joseph Helliwell, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Helliwell (post 1700) +

  • Paul Lional Edward Helliwell (1915-1976), American lawyer and CIA agent "instrumental" in setting up Civil Air Transport
  • Robert A. Helliwell (1920-2011), American electrical engineer and professor at Stanford University
  • Paul L. E. Helliwell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1952; Member, Committee on Permanent Organization, 1956 [7]
  • Sidney "Sid" Helliwell (1904-1939), English professional footballer who played from 1923 to 1933
  • Luke Helliwell (b. 1988), English rugby league player for the York City Knights
  • Ian Helliwell (b. 1962), English former footballer
  • Grant Helliwell (1855-1953), Canadian architect, co-founder of Gordon & Helliwell, an architectural firm based in Toronto, Ontario, known for their work in Toronto and at Queen's University, Kingston
  • Wade Helliwell (b. 1978), former Australian professional basketball player who played from 2000 to 2012
  • David Leedom Helliwell (b. 1935), Canadian silver medalist Olympic rower at the 1956 Summer Olympics
  • John Helliwell (b. 1945), British musician and the saxophonist and occasional keyboardist and woodwind player for the rock band Supertramp


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  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.
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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