Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Dr Hilda Maclean
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:
Perhaps the best known bearer of the surname was Norwegian resistance fighter Claus Helberg (1919–2003).
Other Helbergs include:
On the Hellberg side:
(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 (2019) 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 January 2019, there were only 6 telephone subscribers with Helberg spelling and 4 with the Hellberg spelling in Australia (population 24,929,514).
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 2019) from Australia, New Zealand and Norway. Look ups are available from the project contact person.
Name lists consulted include:
Although a specific Helberg DNA project has not been established yet, individual Helbergs and Hellbergs have been tested.
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: