The Search for the Father of the Helms Brothers of North Carolina continues


This website hopes to continue the excellent work began by Gerald Helms, William Helms, Ira Helms, Harold Polk and others. These people have generously used their time and talents to give us a sense of family and heritage.

The main focus of the research is to identify the parents of the Helms brothers, George, Tilman, and Jonathan. We will not present the same material as the Helms Brothers website but rather build on it and point out the areas that need further research. Hopefully, new people who become interested in the Helms research will find a direction by which they can contribute to the overall effort.

Church Records

An online search of all available parish and early church records has been made for Spotslyvania, Essex and Stafford Counties. The church records of Aquia Church, Tinkling Springs, Hopewell Quakers, and Elk Run had few records and no Helms. The Parish of St. George and Hamilton Parish and Turkey Run Church have no surviving records. St. Paul Parish was examined with negative results. There was a Church of the Potomac left no records. We do know that the marriage of Mary Helms (1738) and the birth of Sarah Helms (later) were recorded in the Overwharton Parish register. The records of St. Maryís Parish in Caroline County did not survive. The records of Rev. John Caspar Stoever had no Helms. There was an earlier Quaker Church in Maryland whose records might be searched. Although the Helms were not Quakers, they did marry many Quakers and lived among them. Quaker records include the names of people who attended their meetings but were non-members and make mention of those who had business dealings with Quakers such as surveying and road building. Truro Parish still needs to be checked.

DNA testing of the Helms surname

The DNA results from the Helms group study of 2005 indicated that George, Tilman and Jonathan Helms were exact matches. They were not matched with any other participant in the study according to the currently accepted methodology of comparing genetic genealogy data.

One respected researcher has suggested a different approach to the DNA data. In comparing the results between George and Tilman Helms and the descendant of Leonard Helm, there were many differences in the 37 markers. However, most of those markers differed by +1 or -1 which was not considered to be statistically significant. That left three markers out of 37 that were statistically significant. On that basis, the researcher thought the match between the North Carolina Helms and Leonard Helm was close. While this method of looking at the DNA results is not the currently accepted approach, we have to keep it in mind because the historical data strongly suggests some kind of relationship between the North Carolina Helms and Leonard Helms.

Genetic genealogy is a new field and we donít know how the methodology will develop over the years. We can all remember the stories of mathematicians and scientists who looked at things differently from the status quo. Sometimes it turned out they were right. There was one 100% DNA match between the North Carolina Helms and a Hellums. That Hellums was not part of the DNA study. I do not know his lineage but hope he will contact me, SUE MARTINSON using this email address:

The Father of the Helms brothers

The Father of the Helms brothers was probably born between 1690 and 1710. George Helms was born between 1727 and 1730. Tilman was probably born between 1730 and 1733, and Jonathan between 1731 and 1735. These guesstimates are made on the basis of George being alive at the time of the 1790 census and Tilman on the 1800 census.

The Helms as a group share a huge interest in their lineage, yet nothing has been handed down to identify the father of the Helms brothers. Therefore I would speculate the father died before the boys were old enough to learn anything about him. I would place the death of the father between 1735 and 1744. The Helms mother probably remarried quickly and the boys were raised in the household of a step-father.

Candidates to be the Father of the Helms brothers.

Candidates to be the father of the Helms brothers are given by state in order to help organize the research. The main candidates are:

1) George Helm of South Carolina
2) Thomas Helme of Virginia, son of Leonard the immigrant
3) Meredith Helme of Virginia, son of Leonard the immigrant
4) John Helm who survived an Indian attack in James City, Virginia
5) Jonathan Helms of Pennís Neck, 1738

Click on the name of the state below to review a list of the information needed.








New: 01March2014