Helps History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Helps came to England with the ancestors of the Helps family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from 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 Helps family
The surname Helps 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 Helps family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helps research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Helps History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Helps Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Helps, Help and others.
Early Notables of the Helps family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Helps Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Helps migration to the United States
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Helps name or one of its variants:
Typical Helps Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Helps Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Jacob Helps, who settled in Philadelphia in 1753
Helps Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Alexander Helps, who settled in Passamaquodey in Maine in 1823
Helps migration to Australia
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Helps Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Stephen Helps, aged 20, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Duke of Wellington" 
- Stephen Helps, aged 21, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 
- Martha Helps, aged 24, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 
- John Helps, aged 48, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Caucasian" 
- John Helps, aged 14, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Caucasian" 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Helps (post 1700)
- William Helps (b. 1962), American professional baseball player
- Robert Helps (1928-2001), American pianist and composer
- Angus Clifford Racey Helps, English children's author and illustrator
- Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875), English writer and dean of the Privy Council
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- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Duke%20of%20Wellington.htm
- ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 26 April 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Caucasian 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/caucasian1853.shtml