Helms is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a herdsman. The surname Helms 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 Helms 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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helms research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1180 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Helms History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Helms include Helme, Helm, Helms and others.
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Helms were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Helms Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
^ 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)