Help History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Help reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Help family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Help is based on the Old English personal name Helps, which is thought to be a shortened form of a longer name such as Helpric, or some other name with the first element help, meaning aid or assist. It is also possible that the name is of metronymic descent and derives from the Old Norse female personal name Hialp. Evidence for both of these theories exists, but time has confused the two derivations and etymologists now disagree on which is appropriate in any given instance.

Early Origins of the Help family

The surname Help was first found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Important Dates for the Help family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Help research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Help History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Help Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Help are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Help include Helps, Help and others.

Early Notables of the Help family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Help family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Help, or a variant listed above: Jacob Helps settled in Philadelphia in 1753; Alexander Helps settled in Passamaquodey in Maine in 1823.

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