Balley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Balley is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name 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 Balley 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 Balley family

The surname Balley 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 Balley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balley research. Another 188 words (13 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 Balley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Balley Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Baillie, Bailey, Bailie, Bayly, Bayley, Bailley, Baly, Ballye, Bayllie and many more.

Early Notables of the Balley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Balliol King of Scotland from 1292-1296; Dr Richard Baylie (1585-1667), twice President of St John's College, Oxford, twice Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Dean of Salisbury; John Bayley (died 1611), an English politician, Mayor of Salisbury in 1587, Member of the Parliament for Salisbury in 1589; 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...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Balley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Balley family to Ireland

Some of the Balley 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 Balley migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Balley or a variant listed above:

Balley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Balley, who landed in New York in 1837 [3]

Australia Balley migration to Australia +

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

Balley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Balley 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:

Balley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • E. Balley, aged 36, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Elizabeth Balley, aged 31, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Albert Balley, aged 7, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Edith Balley, aged 5, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Frank Balley, aged 3, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Balley 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. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas


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