Balass History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Balass 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 Balass family

The surname Balass 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 Balass family

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

Balass Spelling Variations

The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. 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 could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Balass have included Bayliss, Bailiss, Baliss, Balis, Balies, Bayles, Bayliff, Bayliffe, Bailiff, Bailiffe and many more.

Early Notables of the Balass family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Balass family to Ireland

Some of the Balass 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 Balass 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 Balass: William Bayliss who settled in Barbados in 1663; William Bayliss settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; and Joseph Baylis settled in New England in 1763.



  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)


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