England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Helsby family lived in a place in Cheshire called Helsby, which was recorded in the Domesday Book as Helesbe. The place-name Helesbe is derived from the Old Norman word hjallr, which means ledge and refers to a ledge on a mountainside, and byr, which means farm or settlement. Thus, the place-name refers to a farm that is located on a ledge on a mountainside. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. As a result, the place-name Helsby is of Norman French rather than Old English origin.
Early Origins of the Helsby family
Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Helmsby. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066 at Hastings, the village of Helsby was held by Earl Hugh, Earl of Chester. Conjecturally, it is from an unknown Norman noble who was tenant of this village from the Earl who was the ancestor of this family. The village lay between Helsby Marshes and Helsby Hill.
Early History of the Helsby family
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Helsby Spelling Variations
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 Helsby, Hellsby, Helsbie, Helsbee, Hellsbee and many more.
Early Notables of the Helsby family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Helsby family to the New World and Oceana
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 Helsby or a variant listed above: Richard Hellsby who landed in North America in 1710.
The Helsby Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: En Dieu est mon esperance
Motto Translation: In God is my hope.
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