This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and can be either a topographical or a locational surname. If the former, the surname denotes residence at or by "a holy stone", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "haelig", "halig", holy with "carr", rock or stone. a stone or particular rock might be called "holy" through association with a saint or notable holy man, or because it was used as a meeting place during religious processions and celebration. The surname can also be locational from a place named "holy rock" which has now disappeared, but is thought to have been situated in Somerset. At least seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets have been "lost" since the 14th Century, mainly due to enforced "clearing" of lands for sheep pasture. The surname can be found as "hellicar", "helleker" and "Hilliker". One Nicholas Hellicar married Elizabeth Stockham on the 15th of January 1679 at East Quantoxhead in Somerset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Hellaker (christening), which was dated 9th of October 1636, at Wiveliscombe, Somerset, during the reign of King Charles I, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.