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About the study
The Helberg surname (with one 'l') appears to have originated in Sweden and is most prevalent in Sweden, the Swedish-speaking part of Finland and Norway. From Scandinavia, the surname migrated predominately to the United States of America, but small numbers are also found in Australia and New Zealand. Individual bearers of the Helberg surname can be found world-wide.
The Hellberg surname (with two 'l') is believed to have evolved separately in Germany before migrating to the "New World".
Helberg and Hellberg were used interchangeably by the record keepers of Australia and New Zealand, often masking the origin of the family concerned. Therefore both spellings have been collected.
The surname Helberg can be split into two elements: hel . berg
In Swedish and Norwegian hel means whole and berg means mountain (Swedish and German) or rock (Norwegian).
The earliest recorded baptisms in Family Search are:
History of the name
Perhaps the best known bearer of the surname was Norwegian resistance fighter Claus Helberg (1919–2003).
Other Helbergs include:
- Robert J. Helberg (1906–1967), American aeronautical engineer
- Sandy Helberg, German American actor
- Simon Helberg (born 1980), American actor and comedian
On the Hellberg side:
- Björn Hellberg (born 1944), famous sports journalist, author, tennis oracle and TV personality
- Mattias Hellberg (born 1973), Swedish musician
- Owe Hellberg (born 1953), Swedish Left Party politician
- Niklas Hellberg, Swedish studio musician
- Martin Hellberg, German actor, director and writer
(All of the above from Wikipedia)
Helberg/Hellberg outside of Scandinavia and the United States is very rare.
In Australia, the name is not as common today (2017) as it was in the 19th century. The states of New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory had no Helberg voters in 1990/1991 electoral rolls while only 6 instances were found in the Northern Territory. In April 2015, there were only 6 telephone subscribers with Helberg spelling and 5 with the Hellberg spelling in Australia (population 23,796,400).
Distribution of the name
The Helberg surname arrived in the Australian colonies in the mid-19th century in both South Australia and New South Wales. In the late 1940s, the New South Wales family moved to the Northern Territory, establishing the surname. The surname has virtually disappeared in New South Wales as a result, with the current surname holders being recent migrants to Australia.
In New Zealand, almost all instances are of the Hellberg spelling.
In Ireland, shipping interests provided the two families in the 1901 census, from Norway and Sweden.
Mid-19th century migration from Norway and Sweden to the United States established the surname in Chicago and the mid-west.
Surname data has been collected to date (January 2016) from Australia, New Zealand and Norway. Look ups are available from the project contact person.
Name lists consulted include:
- Birth, death and marriage registration indexes
- Newspaper birth, death funeral and marriage notices
- Undertakers and cemetery registers
- Electoral rolls
- Telephone directories
- Government gazettes
- Shipping lists