Show ContentsBaillie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Baillie came to England with the ancestors of the Baillie family in the Norman Conquest in 1066. The surname Baillie 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. [1] 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 Baillie 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.

Early Origins of the Baillie family

The surname Baillie was first found in Northumberland. However, there is still great controversy over the earliest origins of the 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. [2]

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.

Early History of the Baillie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Baillie research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1292, 1296, 1308, 1332, 1338, 1585, 1587, 1589, 1610, 1611, 1630, 1632, 1634, 1644, 1648, 1657, 1664, 1667, 1671, 1684, 1691, 1701, 1719, 1720, 1721, 1738, 1740, 1741, 1744, 1749, 1764, 1872 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Baillie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Baillie Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Baillie, Bailey, Bailie, Bayly, Bayley, Bailley, Baly, Ballye, Bayllie and many more.

Early Notables of the Baillie family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Robert Baillie of Jerviswood (1632-1684), a civil and religious reformer, eventually put to death for his outspokenness
  • Robert Baillie (Baillie of Jerviswood) (ca.1634-1684), a Scottish conspirator implicated in the Rye House Plot against King Charles II, he was executed for treason

Baillie Ranking

In the United States, the name Baillie is the 15,595th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Baillie family to Ireland

Some of the Baillie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 174 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Baillie migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Baillie name or one of its variants:

Baillie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Baillie, who arrived in Georgia in 1735 [4]
  • Kenneth Baillie, who landed in Georgia in 1740 [4]
Baillie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Baillie, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [4]

Canada Baillie migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Baillie Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Baillie, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Baillie migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Baillie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Baillie, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Omega" [5]
  • Mr. Alexander Baillie who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for 15 years, transported aboard the "Clara" on 19th March 1857, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [6]

New Zealand Baillie migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Baillie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs Gordon Baillie, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Oriental
  • Capt. William Baillie, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand in 1857 [7]
  • Mrs. Hannah Baillie, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand in 1857 [7]
  • Gordon Baillie, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • Thomas G. Baillie, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Baillie (post 1700) +

  • Alec Baillie (d. 2020), American bassist who grew up in Manhattan
  • Bruce Baillie (1931-2020), American cinematic artist and founder of Canyon Cinem
  • Thomas Gilbert Baillie (1881-1969), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Saginaw County 1st District, 1905-06 [8]
  • David G. Baillie, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Guilford, 1934 [8]
  • James Baillie (b. 1996), English footballer who plays for Crewe Alexandra (2014-)
  • Douglas Rae Daw Collier "Doug" Baillie (1937-2022), Scottish footballer who made over 299 appearances as a centre-half in the Scottish Football League and the Football League
  • William Baillie (1723-1810), known as "Captain William Baillie," an Irish printmaker
  • William Baillie (1736-1816), Lord Polkemmet, a Scottish jurist
  • Charles Bishop Baillie (b. 1935), Canadian former CFL football player who played from 1954 to 1965
  • Alexander Charles Baillie OC (b. 1939), Canadian former CEO of TD Bank Financial Group, Chancellor of Queen's University (2002-2008)
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Cornwall
  • William Alexander Baillie (d. 1942), British Ordinary Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]
North Sea Flood
  • Robert Baillie, British traveler aboard the ferry "Princess Victoria" who survived the North Sea Flood, a major storm surge in 1953
  • Frederick W. B. Baillie, British traveler aboard the ferry "Princess Victoria" who survived the North Sea Flood, a major storm surge in 1953

The Baillie Motto +

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.

  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. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) OMEGA 1852. Retrieved
  6. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 11th February 2021 from
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 19) . Retrieved from
  9. Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from on Facebook