Helsly is a name that was carried to England
in the great wave of migration from Normandy
following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Helsly family lived in a place in Cheshire
called Helsby, which was recorded in the Domesday Book
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
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 Helsly family
The surname Helsly was first found in 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 Helsly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Helsly research.Another 207 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Helsly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Helsly Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago, spelling variations
of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Helsly include Helsby, Hellsby, Helsbie, Helsbee, Hellsbee and many more.
Early Notables of the Helsly family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Helsly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Helsly family to the New World and Oceana
at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Helslys to arrive on North American shores: Richard Hellsby who landed in North America in 1710.
The Helsly 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.