History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index



DR. HOWARD A. HELLYER, of Penns Park, was born in Wrightstown township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, October 22, 1845, and is a son of William and Lydia D. (TWINING) HELLYER.  Tradition takes the ancestry of the HELLYER family back to Sir William HELLYER, an English baronet, whose sons William and Bernard came to America in the early part of the eighteenth century, the former settling in Pennsylvania and the latter in New Jersey.  Bernard HELLYER, above referred to, was the great-grandfather of Dr. HELLYER.  He was a farmer and spent most of his life in central Bucks county.  He was twice married, and had a large number of children.  The name of his first wife and the ancestress of Dr. HELLYER is unknown.  He married a second time, on December 24, 1795, Sarah WALTON.   William HELLYER, son of Bernard, was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch.  He was a farmer in Upper Makefield township, where he died in 1833.  He was the father of seven children-Phineas, Hester, Hannah, Alice, Elizabeth, William and Frances.

            William HELLYER, father of Dr. HELLYER, was born in Upper Makefield, in 1812, and died in Newtown township in 1885, at the age of seventy-three years, three months, eighteen days.  He was a farmer first in Upper Wrightstown and later in Upper Makefield.  He filled the position of school director in the latter township, and occupied many other positions of trust.  In religion he was a member of the Society of Friends, and in politics was a Republican.  He married Lydia D. TWINING, daughter of Jacob and Phoebe (TUCKER) TWINING, of Wrightstown, the former a lineal descendant of William TWINING, a native of England who came to America about 1640 and settled in Massachusetts, from whence he removed to Newtown, Bucks county, in 1695, with his son Stephen; the latter being the ancestor of the TWININGS of Bucks county.  Phoebe (TUCKER) TWINING was a daughter of John and Phoebe (BEAL) TUCKER, of Buckingham, and a granddaughter of Nicholas TUCKER, one of the earliest settlers in Buckingham.  John TUCKER, the father of Mrs. TWINING, was a tax collector during the revolution, and it becoming known to the DOAN outlaws that he had a considerable sum of money in his possession, they entered his house, near Buckingham Station, and demanded the money.  While Mr. TUCKER was parleying with them in the lower story, Mrs. TUCKER tossed the bags of coin out an upper story window into the garden.  After a fruitless search, and the torturing and abuse of their victim, the robbers departed, and the money was eventually recovered intact.

            Lydia D. (TWINING) HELLYER was born in Wrightstown in 1814, and died May 26, 1856.  She was the mother of five children, of whom but two survive—the subject of this sketch, and Hannah, wife of David K. HARVEY, of Middletown, Bucks county.  Another son, Harrison, enlisted in Company E, Twentieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, equipped in Philadelphia, during the Civil war, and died from typhoid fever contracted in the service.

            Dr. HELLYER was born in Wrightstown, in the same house where his mother was born, his father at that time being engaged in farming his father-in-law’s farm.  He was reared on the farm and obtained his elementary education in the public schools, later taking a course in the Excelsior Normal Institute at Carversville, Bucks county.  He began the study of medicine in 1866 with Dr. Benjamin COLLINS, of Penns Park, and in the autumn of the same year entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from that institution in 1868 in the class known as “the Centennial Class.”  After his graduation he located at Forest Grove, Buckingham township, Bucks county, where he practiced his profession for two years.  In the spring of 1870 he succeeded to the practice of his old preceptor, Dr. COLLINS, who removed to Virginia, and located in Penns Park, where he has since practiced, building up a large and lucrative practice.  He is a member of the Bucks County and Pennsylvania Medical Societies and takes an active interest in their proceedings.  In politics Dr. HELLYER is a Republican, but has never sought or held other than local office, He has been a member of the local school board for nineteen years, and has recently been re-elected for a term of three years, acting for many years as secretary of the board.  He is one of the trustees of the Forest Grove Presbyterian Church and Cemetery, having acted as president and secretary of the board of trustees continuously since 1868.  He is a member of Northern Star Lodge. No. 54. I. O. O. F., at Richboro; of Curtis Encampment, No. 77, of Newtown; and of Penns Park Council. No. 973, Jr. O. U. A. M.

            Dr. HELLYER married, June 28, 1868, Fanny E. OLMSTEAD, daughter of Silas C., and Elizabeth T. (SQUIRES) OLMSTEAD, of Niagara county, New York.  Mr. OLMSTEAD was a well known farmer and merchant miller, operating for many years a large mill near the Suspension Bridge, Niagara Falls; and shipping his product to the New York markets via the Erie canal.  Mrs. HELLYER is a graduate of Ingham University, and was for several years a teacher of music, teaching at the Carversville Normal Institute and at the Bellevue Female Seminary at Langhorne, Bucks county.

            To Dr. and Mrs. HELLYER have been born eight children, of whom five survive: Edwin F., now a druggist at Newtown, Pennsylvania; Grace E., wife of Edwin NAYLOR, of Warwick, Bucks county, Pennsylvania; H. Arthur, an instructor in a Philadelphia business college; Harold, who fills a like position in Philadelphia; and George W., principal of the Richboro High School.  All these children are graduates of the West Chester Normal School, and have received every advantage in the way of a first-class English education.


Text taken from page 552 to 553 of: 


Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed August 2006 by Joan Lollis as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project,

Published August 2006 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at


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