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Origins Available: English, German


The name Helm is from the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was given to a person who was a herdsman. The surname Helm is derived from the Old English word helm, which means a covering. In some later dialects, this word took on the which means of a roofed shelter for cattle. Occupational names such as Helm frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.

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The surname Helm was first found in Surrey where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Helm family name include Helme, Helm, Helms and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helm research. Another 279 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1180 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Helm History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Helm or a variant listed above:

Helm Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Israel Helm, who arrived in Delaware in 1693

Helm Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johann Michael Helm, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Peter Helm, his wife, and six sons and one daughter who arrived in 1709 in New England
  • Simon Helm, who arrived in New York, NY in 1709
  • Willem Helm, who arrived in America in 1730
  • Joh Adam Helm, who landed in America in 1750-1753
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Helm Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Anthony Helm, aged 27, landed in New York in 1812
  • Adam Helm, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1830
  • Adam Helm, who emigrated from Hessia to Baltimore with his wife and five children in 1830
  • David Helm, aged 45, arrived in America in 1839
  • Michael Helm, aged 48, arrived in America in 1839
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Helm Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Catherine Helm, aged 44, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1855
  • Elizabeth Helm, aged 17, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1855
  • Friedrich Helm, aged 25, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1855
  • Jacob Helm, aged 11, landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1855
  • Jacob Helm, aged 46, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1855
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  • Lorin Edwin Helm (1920-1945), American football coach
  • W. Stuart Helm (1908-1986), American former politician, 126th Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1957-1958)
  • Susan C. Helm (b. 1943), American politician, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (2007-)
  • Benjamin Hardin Helm (1831-1863), American politician, attorney, Confederate brigadier general, and a brother-in-law of Abraham Lincoln
  • John LaRue Helm (1802-1867), American politician, the 18th and 24th Governor of Kentucky in 1867 and (1850-1851)
  • Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm (1940-2012), American three-time Grammy Award winning rock multi-instrumentalist and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and frequently lead and backing vocalist for The Band, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2012)
  • Rear Admiral James Meredith Helm (1855-1927), American naval officer, eponym of the USS Helm (DD-388)
  • Thomas Richard "Tom" Helm (b. 1941), English-born, former Australian politician, Member of the Western Australian Legislative Council
  • Thomas George "Tom" Helm (b. 1994), English cricketer who plays for Middlesex County Cricket Club
  • Anne Helm (b. 1938), Canadian Laurel Award nominated actress, known for her work on General Hospital (1963), Follow That Dream (1962) and The Magic Sword (1962)
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  • Vengeance!: The Saga of Poor Tom Cover (also Helm) by Dan L. Thrapp.
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
    6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    11. ...

    The Helm Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Helm Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 19 May 2015 at 08:40.

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