My Godmother was a Helff which is from the same family as Baron Von Helfenstein. It appears that our ancestors kept choosing the wrong side in politics which accounts for the demise of the "Baron" title and later the "Von" then even removing the Stein ending. My great Aunt and godmother was named Paula Helff, she escaped Nazi Germany when she was imprisoned for not sauting Hitler during a parade. The family used bribery and cunningness to escape to America. Apparently the Schwartz (Schwarz) family were 1st cousins to the Helff family and my great grandfather married his first cousin, which caused a riff in the family. The Helff side of the family were aristocrats, while the Schwartz side of the family were businessmen. The Schwartz family had a broom factory in NY which burned to the ground in the 1800's. If you have any more questions, write an e-mail to my mother who is 81 at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am sure she can tell you a lot more on this subject since she has worked on the geneology of the family.