Recorded in several spellings including Haliwell, Hallwell, Hellawell, Hellewell, and Helliwell, the latter being the more usual spelling, this is an English surname. It is habitational from a place called Halliwell near the city of Manchester, in Lancashire, or possibly from the villages called Holwell in Dorset, Leicestershire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire; or Halwill and Halwell in Devon; and Holywell in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Clwyd and Northumberland. All these placenames derive from the same Olde English pre 7th century elements of "halig" meaning holy, and "waella", a spring. In medieval times many springs were dedicated to saints, but this usually represented no more than a Christian patina on an earlier pagan belief. The place in Lancashire was first recorded as "Haliwelle", in the year 1200 in the Cockersand Chartulary, and as "Haliwell" in the Assize Court Rolls of the county in 1246; whilst Haliwell in Middlesex was recorded as "Haliwell" in both the Curia Regis Rolls of 1201, and the Pipe Rolls of Middlesex in 1230. Recordings from early survviving church registers include: Ralph Helliwell, on April 27th 1584, at Rochdale, and the marriage of Robert Hellewell and Ellin Diconson on June 4th 1604, at Wrightington in Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert de Haliwell'. This was dated 1199, in the Pipe Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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