Show ContentsBalas History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Balas 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 Balas family

The surname Balas 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 Balas family

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

Balas Spelling Variations

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Balas have included Bayliss, Bailiss, Baliss, Balis, Balies, Bayles, Bayliff, Bayliffe, Bailiff, Bailiffe and many more.

Early Notables of the Balas family (pre 1700)

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

Balas Ranking

In the United States, the name Balas is the 15,930th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Balas family to Ireland

Some of the Balas 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.

Migration of the Balas family

During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Balas: William Bayliss who settled in Barbados in 1663; William Bayliss settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; and Joseph Baylis settled in New England in 1763.

Contemporary Notables of the name Balas (post 1700) +

  • Mitchell Francis "Mike" Balas (1910-1996), American Major League Baseball pitcher who appeared in one game in with the Boston Bees in 1938
  • Egon Balas (1922-2019), Romanian-born, American applied mathematician and a professor of industrial administration and applied mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Edith Balas, Romanian-born, American Professor of Art History, College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, widow of the late mathematician Egon Balas
  • E. Andrew Balas M.D. Ph.D.,, Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Bill Balas, American screenwriter, director and producer best known for his work on the A&E series Bates Motel and the TNT series Animal Kingdom
  • Eli Balas, Israeli professional poker player, based in Las Vegas, Nevada

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?"., on Facebook