Early Origins of the Helsfield family
The surname Helsfield was first found in Oxfordshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant
of the lands of Elsfield, held by Thurstan from Robert d'Oilly, Oxford's great Norman Baron
who was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086. Thurstan may have been Robert's vassal.
Early History of the Helsfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helsfield research.Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 163 and 1634 are included under the topic Early Helsfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Helsfield Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Helsfield have been found, including Elsfield, Ellisfield, Ellesfield, Ellsfield, Elesfield, Helsfield, Ellesfield, Elesfield, Hellsfield, Hellesfield, Helesfield, Helisfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Helsfield family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Helsfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Helsfield family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Helsfield were among those contributors: settlers were recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled on the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Boston, to Virginia, to Florida, and to the islands..