Helme Family Seal (sketch redrawn by Margaret Davis, Gass)
The family originated in England but the county and town still have not been identified. An entry in a Helme Family Bible of a later date records that Thomas Helme (I) came from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to Setauket. Tradition states that he left Salem, Massachusetts for Long Island but this is yet to be proven. The first appearance of Thomas Helme (I) in the recorded history of eastern Long Island is as a witness in a 1671 Southampton Town Abstract - Page 72:
John Beswick sell to Isaac Mills a house and 4 acres of land adjoining East side of Swan Creek, and is in common near Ellis Cooks which he bought of Ellis Cook and Anthony Ludlam, pr 20 pounds April 9, 1671
Witness Thomas Helme Samiel Mills
Observation: Could this Isaac Mills be the father or brother to Mary Mills, the future wife of Thomas Helme (I)?
Following this early reference in Southampton Town Records, we then find Thomas Helme (I) in the Brookhaven Town Records as early as 1676. Tradition holds that the homestead of Thomas and Mary Helme was located close to Old Post and Coach Roads in what is now known as East Setauket, NY. There he lived for the remainder of a full and useful life. He purchased the Miller Place property in 1677 but never lived there. Please refer to the TOWN RECORDS for additional information on property holdings in Georges Neck (now part of Poquott), Dyers Neck (East Setauket), Drowned Meadow (Port Jefferson), Mount Misery (Belle Terre) and Fireplace (the hamlet of Brookhaven).
The will of Thomas Helme (I) was probated on 27 September 1710 at the Court of Common Pleas in Southold, NY. To his oldest son, William Helme, we find that he was given title to the land and meadow at Georges Neck and Dyers Neck and the 1695 Indenture shows that this tract originally consisted of 300 acres give or take. In the late 1740's William migrated to Orange County, NY with his family and that being another saga.
The youngest son, Ans Helme, received the home lot in Setauket as his inheritance with the provision that his mother would retain the use of the house and land. There is very little in way of supporting documentation that Anshelme lived to adulthood.
But Thomas Helme (II), his second son, inherited the land in the Ould Mans in the East Division and a fifty (50) acre lot lying about the head of Pinestave Brook.
Observation: The name Pinestave appears instead of the current street name of Pipe Stave.
In the late 1720ís, Thomas built the first house on this property that Richard Floyd had sold to his father and William Jayne. Richard Floyd had purchased the original 34 acres on 3 April 1671 from "old" John Thomas for a white-faced cow. The home was placed edgewise to the county road that we now know as North Country Road which was laid out May 10th 1728 which according to a Brookhaven Town Record:
Layd oute a highway from the Olde man's to ye South, and also to ye wade River, beging att Josiah Robins' house along the East side of ye swompt along through Halms' his landes, 4 pole wide.
And this is where the story of Helme House begins as this branch of the Helme family made this location their home for the next seven generations.