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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the English Bailey family come from? What is the English Bailey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bailey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bailey family history?

The name Bailey reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Bailey is for a person who held the civil office of the same name in Normandy. The title 'Le Bailli' was approximately equal to that of Viscount or sheriff. There was also a place named Bailleul-En-Vimeu which is about six miles south of Abbeyville in the Somme, Normandy from which some instances of the surname may have evolved. The name Bailey is also an occupational name for a steward or official, deriving from "baiulivus" in Late Latin. In Scotland the word bailie, rather than bailiff is still used as the title for an officer in the courts.


The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Bailey has been recorded under many different variations, including Baillie, Bailey, Bailie, Bayly, Bayley, Bailley, Baly, Ballye, Bayllie and many more.

First found in Northumberland. However, there is still great controversy over the earliest origins of the Clan name. There was great popular belief that the name was changed from Balliol, due to the unpopularity of the two Scottish Kings of that name. However, many historians, such as Bain, find no evidence for such a change, and cite very early instances of the name Baillie, such as William de Bailli, who appeared as a juror on an inquest concerning forfeited lands in Lothian around 1311-12. Early records of the Baillie Clan indicate that the aforementioned William de Bailli was also known as Baillie of Hoperig, who acquired the lands of Lamington in Lanarkshire. His son William was granted a charter confirming ownership of these same lands in 1358. Alexander, the eldest grandson of William and two brothers fled the country after they had beaten and killed their tutor. After serving in the army, Alexander received the lands of Dunain and Dochfour, and was appointed the Constable of Inverness. Another brother of Alexander's married a daughter of Sir Patrick Hume's in 1492, and from this union descended the Baillies of Jerviswood.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bailey research. Another 375 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1296, 1292, 1332, 1338, 1308, 1721, 1872, 1292, 1296, 1585, 1667, 1611, 1587, 1589, 1632, 1684, 1634, 1684, 1657, 1671, 1720, 1701, 1664, 1738, 1691, 1648, 1610, 1664, 1644, 1664, 1630 and are included under the topic Early Bailey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 341 words(24 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bailey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Bailey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 335 words(24 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Baileys were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Bailey Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Mary Bailey, who was listed as being in Virginia in 1619
  • Jonas Bailey, who was recorded in Maine in 1634
  • Jonas Bailey, who landed in Maine in 1634
  • Richard Bailey, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1638
  • Guido Bailey, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1642

Bailey Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • LeSt. Bailey, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719
  • Robt Bailey, who arrived in Virginia in 1755
  • John Bailey, who was a fisherman living in Trinity in 1758
  • William Bailey, who arrived in America in 1760
  • Benjamin Bailey, who arrived in North Carolina in 1776

Bailey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Jas Bailey, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Esther Bailey, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811
  • James Bailey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Wm Bailey, who landed in Connecticut in 1812
  • Marg Bailey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812


  • William C. "Buster" Bailey (1902-1967), American jazz musician specializing in the clarinet
  • Rear Admiral Theodorus Bailey (1805-1877), United States naval officer during the American Civil War
  • Francis "F" Lee Bailey (b. 1933), American criminal lawyer
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954), American horticulturist, botanist and cofounder of the American Society for Horticultural Science
  • Major Kenneth D Bailey (1910-1942), United States Marine Corps officer who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Raymond Thomas Bailey (1904-1980), American actor on the Broadway stage, movies, and television. He is best-known for his role as wealthy banker, Milburn Drysdale, in the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Pearl Mae Bailey (1918-1990), American actress, singer and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Benjamin Ray "Ben" Bailey (b. 1970), American comedian, Emmy Award winning former game show host, executive producer for Discovery Channel's Cash Cab
  • Welby Sheldon "Buddy" Bailey (b. 1957), American professional baseball manager
  • William C. "Buster" Bailey (1902-1967), African-American jazz musician



  • The Bailey Family: History and Genealogy of Descendants of Richard Bailey of Rowley, Massachusetts who came to Michigan by way of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York: 1635-1990 by Jeanne Bailey Ransom.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of AugustusRudolph and Lucy Hosmer Smith of Elmore, Vermont by Mariam Parr.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ubi bene ibi patria
Motto Translation: One's country is where one is well.


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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Bailey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bailey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 October 2014 at 19:25.

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