England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Devon. This name is, however, not a reference to that area, but to the family's place of residence prior to their emigration to England with the Norman Conquest of 1066, St. Hellier, near Rouen, Normandy.
Early Origins of the Helyer family
Devon 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.
Early History of the Helyer family
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Helyer Spelling Variations
spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Helyer has been recorded under many different variations, including Hellier, Helliar, Helyar, Hellyer and others.
Early Notables of the Helyer family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Helyer family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Helyers were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Isaac, John and Peter Hellier, who settled in Virginia in 1654; Marjorie, Mary, Robert, Thomas Hellier settled in Barbados between 1654 and 1684; Robert and Thomas Hellyer settled in Barbados in 1685..
The Helyer 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: Pro republica semper
Motto Translation: For the state always.
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