Recorded in several spelling forms including Hellwing, Helwing, Helwig, Hellwig, Helwich, etc. this is a surname of pre Medieval 7th century German origins. It was first recorded as the baptismal or personal name, Hell-wig, which translates as "Battle-battle". This today in the 20th century would be regarded as an unusual name for a child, but not so in the "Dark Ages". This was the period after the fall of the Roman Empire in 410 a.d. until the rule of the Emperor Charlemagne in the 9th century. At this time it was the custom to call ones children by names which extolled power, religion, or glory, in the hope or anticipation of the child's life. On this basis no doubt "Battle-battle" would have seemed quite appropriate when all centralised rule had collapsed, and survival for many people, lay with the sword. The surname, like all surnames, is much later, being 13th century, and in hereditary form, perhaps later still. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic rolls and charters of the period include Blasius Helving, who married Sabina Jonigken at Klingerswalde, Ostpreussen, Germany, in 1636, and Anna Catharina Hellwing, who married Johannes Zimmer at Breidenoach, Oberhessen, on May 10th 1801. The first recording in any form is probably that of Heinricus Helwig, in the charters of the town of Wimpfen, Germany, in the year 1292.
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