Show ContentsBalliol History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The long and noble heritage behind the name of Balliol first began in medieval France. Many names derived from Old French roots arrived in England and Scotland after the Norman Conquest of the 11th century. The surname Balliol was originally derived from one of numerous place names in France such as Bailleul-en-Vimeu in Picardy, or Bailleul in Northern France. These place names are generally thought to come from the Old French word "baille," which meant "fortification."

Early Origins of the Balliol family

The surname Balliol was first found in Northumberland, where they held a family seat in their territories. Guy de Bailleul, owner of the fiefs of Bailleul, Dampierre, Harcourt, and Vinoy in Normandy was a Norman Baron, who accompanied Duke William to England. Around the year 1093, he was granted the Barony of Biwell in Northumberland by William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, who was King of England from 1087-1100.

Without a doubt, the most famous of the family was John Balliol (c.1249-1314), King of Scots from 1292 to 1296. Also known as Johan de Bailliol, Jhon BalliIain and Iain Bailiol, little is known of his heritage and his early life. He was likely descended from Bernard I de Balliol (died c. 1154), Lord of Balliol.

His fourth son was Bernard II de Balliol (died c. 1190) was also Lord of Balliol and Barnard Castle. He is best known for his capture of William the Lion, King of the Scots, near Alnwick in 1174. [1]

Yorkshire, more specifically the North Riding of Yorkshire was found to have early records of the family. "The Balliols were anciently proprietors [of Kirkby in Cleveland] as were also the families of Kirkby and Eure." [2]

Early History of the Balliol family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balliol research. Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1212, 1269, 1240, 1296, 1292, 1296, 1364, 1332, 1338, 1356, 1287, 1289 and 1290 are included under the topic Early Balliol History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Balliol Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Baliol, Balliol, Belyall, Balliole, Baliole, Balliol and many more.

Early Notables of the Balliol family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Balliol Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Balliol family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Thomas Baliol, who arrived in New York, NY in 1823; and N.C. Balleul who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1844.

Contemporary Notables of the name Balliol (post 1700) +

  • King Edward de Balliol (1283-1364), eldest son of John II de Balliol, who ruled from Scotland in name from 1332 to about 1338

  1. 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)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook