The Van Helsing family were a family who through many generations had hunted Vampires. Considered to be among the if not the greatest vampire hunters of all time. The first member of the Van Helsing family shown to hunt Vampires was Dr Van Helsing, though his grandson Lorrimer Van Helsing would later mention that his family had been fighting the "obscene cult of vampirism" for generations suggesting that he was not the first member of his family to hunt the supernatural.
The Van Helsing family for at least six generations hunted Vampires. They were considered pioneers in the field of vampire hunting, with Dr Van Helsing discovering many new facts on the ways of the vampire that had eluded others for years, and Lorrimer being not only one of the few people in the 20th century who believed in supernatural creatures such as Vampires, Witches and Demons but had an extensive knowledge of them. Lorrimers granddaughter Jessica intitially did not believe in the supernatural but after a dangerous encounter with Dracula she too began study it and developed possibly an even greater knowledge of it than Lorrimer, with Lorrimer remarking that Jessica had a greater understanding of his work than he did.
Dr Lawrence Van Helsing was one of the most influential vampire hunters off all time he slew many of the most fearsome and renowned Vampires of his time including Count Dracula, Baron Meinster, and the Seven Golden Vampires. He was finally killed in a confrontation with Dracula. He was played by Peter Cushing
Leyland Van Helsing
Leyland Van Helsing was the son of Dr Van Helsing. Like his father he studied the occult and hunted Vampires he also helped his father destroy the golden vampires. He was played by Robin Stewart
Lorrimer Van Helsing was the son of Leyland Van Helsing and Grandfather of Jessica Van Helsing. He followed his Grandfathers pioneering work and research into the occult very closely. Like his Grandfather he fought Dracula many times. He was played by Peter Cushing
Jessica Van Helsing
Jessica Van Helsing was the Granddaughter of Lorrimer Van Helsing and the Great-Granddaughter of Professor Lawnerce Van Helsing. She was initially skeptical of her grandfathers research into the occult, but after a near lethal encounter with Dracula she too devoted her life to researching the supernatural. She was played by both Stephanie Beacham as a young teenager and Joanna Lumley as a young adult.
Other Van Helsings
Jessica Van Helsing is the granddaughter of Lorrimer Van Helsing. Her parents, nor what became of them as Jessica is shown to be in Lorrimers care is never revealed. A popular fan theory is that Marian from The Brides of Dracula is Leyland Van Helsings mother and Mai Kwei from The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires is Lorrimer's mother. Though there is nothing to suggest this in any of the films.
Behind the scenes
Two members of the Van Helsing are played by Peter Cushing.
The Van Helsing family seen in the Hammer Dracula series are possibly the first lineage of Vampire Hunters in modern fiction.
The Marvel Comic Book series Tomb of Dracula also featured a Van Helsing family that fought Dracula through the ages, with Rachel Van Helsing facing Dracula in modern times.