The ancient history of the Halas name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided as "inhabitants in a house on a hill".
Opinion varies in respect of the name Halas - some claim it means "in a hollow", while others believe it came from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning "in the meadows".
Variations of the name include: "Hillis", "Hillers", "Hillhouse", "Hillus", "Hallis" and many more.
From a personal perspective....
Between the two world wars, during the early 1930's, the then Hungarian government forced many Hungarian-Germans or German-Hungarians to change their name to a Hungarian name, under the "Magyarization" effort of the time.
My father, Joseph Hausknecht (1905-1977) has, according to a deed dated 17 Dec 1934 officially changed his name (under political pressure) to the Hungarian name of Halas. Two of his brothers, Paul (1912-1981) and Anton Hausknecht (1917-2010) also adopted the same name.