Rhode Island has been the American home of the Helme family since the early half of the seventeenth century, when the first of the name, Christopher Helme, is recorded as a sergeant and a member of a Court of Trials in Warwick, in 1647, his death taking place there in 1650. His youngest son was Rouse Helme, who died in 1712, and his son James Helme was born in 1710 and married, in 1738, Esther Powell, who was a granddaughter of Gabriel Bernon, one of the most eminent of the early French settlers in Rhode Island. He was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1717 and a judge on that bench for many years, besides having held numerous other public offices.
Samuel Helme, son of James and Esther (Powell) Helme, was born in 1755 and served as clerk of the court in Washington County. He was the father of Powell Helme, who married Elizabeth Kenyon. Powell Helme died October 20, 1861. He was for many years clerk of the Supreme Court of Washington County and was town clerk of South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He and his wife were the parents of seven children:
- Samuel, died in infancy.
- John, died at the age of twelve years.
- Powell, died at the age of eight years.
- Abby A., a resident of Kingstown.
- Bernon, who is in charge of the Hazard properties at Peace Dale, Rhode Island.
- Nathaniel, meteorologist at the Rhode Island State College.
- Mary, married Dr. William Hale, of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.