Balliffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Balliffe 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 Balliffe family

The surname Balliffe 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 Balliffe family

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

Balliffe 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 Balliffe have included Bayliss, Bailiss, Baliss, Balis, Balies, Bayles, Bayliff, Bayliffe, Bailiff, Bailiffe and many more.

Early Notables of the Balliffe family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Balliffe family to Ireland

Some of the Balliffe 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 Balliffe family

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Balliffe: 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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