The discovery of Helium is widely attributed to French Astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen, in 1868.
However, many resources also ascribe the discovery as well to English astronomer Sir Joseph Lockyer. Apparently both men released the news of their discovery on the same day! Sir Joseph Lockyer is attributed the naming of the new gas discovered as Helium, derived from the Greek word, Helios, for the Sun. ( http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Helium.html )
Properties of Helium