Bailess History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Bailess is derived from the Old French word baillis, which is the nominative form of the word bailliff. The name was originally occupational for a bailiff, a deputy of a king or lord, whose duties included collecting of rents and administering justice. In Wales, this name was for an agent of the English lords of the marches.

"The office, being of importance, was usually held by Normans of rank." [1]

Early Origins of the Bailess family

The surname Bailess was first found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Bailess family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bailess research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1500, 1860 and 1924 are included under the topic Early Bailess History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bailess Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Bailess have included Bayliss, Bailiss, Baliss, Balis, Balies, Bayles, Bayliff, Bayliffe, Bailiff, Bailiffe and many more.

Early Notables of the Bailess family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bailess Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bailess family to Ireland

Some of the Bailess family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bailess migration to the United States +

The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Bailess:

Bailess Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Bailess, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1774 [2]
Bailess Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Abe Bailess, aged 5, who immigrated to America from Cape Town, S. Africa, in 1908
  • Jack Bailess, aged 3, who landed in America from Cape Town, S. Africa, in 1908
  • Mac Bailess, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from Cape Town, S. Africa, in 1908
  • Rlume Bailess, aged 9, who landed in America from Cape Town, S. Africa, in 1908

Contemporary Notables of the name Bailess (post 1700) +

  • Katherine Bailess (b. 1980), American actress


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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