Helmsworth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Helmsworth family lived in the town of Hemsworth in Yorkshire. The place-name was recorded in the Domesday Book as Hilmeuurod and Hamelsuurde. It was originally derived from the Old English personal name Hymel and the Old English word word, which means enclosure. The personal name Hymel is a short form of names such as Hunbeald, which means bear-cub bold, and Hunbeorht, which means bear-cub bright. Thus, the name Helmsworth changed dramatically over time. Surnames rarely appeared in their modern form in ancient chronicles. In the 11th and 12th centuries, it was common practice to Latinize names in official records. The modern spelling of a surname is usually related to the phonetic spelling of that name that was developed during the 17th or 18th century.
Early Origins of the Helmsworth family
The surname Helmsworth was first found in Yorkshire at Hemsworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire. At the taking of the Domesday Book survey, initiated by Duke William in the year 1086 after his conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in the year 1066, Hemsworth was held by Gamel, a Norman noble, who held it from the tenant-in-chief Ilbert de Lacy. Conjecturally, the Hemsworth line is descended from this source. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from Harmondsworth, a parish in Middlesex. 
Important Dates for the Helmsworth family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helmsworth research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Helmsworth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Helmsworth Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Hamsworth, Harmsworth, Hemsworth and others.
Early Notables of the Helmsworth family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Helmsworth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Helmsworth family to Ireland
Some of the Helmsworth family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Helmsworth family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Helmsworth or a variant listed above: William Hemsworth who landed in North America in 1700.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.