Show ContentsBayless History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Bayless 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 Bayless family

The surname Bayless 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 Bayless family

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

Bayless Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Bayless name over the years has been spelled Bayliss, Bailiss, Baliss, Balis, Balies, Bayles, Bayliff, Bayliffe, Bailiff, Bailiffe and many more.

Early Notables of the Bayless family (pre 1700)

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

Bayless Ranking

In the United States, the name Bayless is the 5,463rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Bayless family to Ireland

Some of the Bayless 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.

United States Bayless migration to the United States +

Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Bayless:

Bayless Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bayless, who arrived in New Haven, Connecticut in 1654 [3]
Bayless Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Annie Bayless, aged 47, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Mrs. Thomas Bayless, aged 50, who landed in America from London, in 1892
  • J. Z. Bayless, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1893
Bayless Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles A. Bayless, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States, in 1907
  • Chas. Bayless, aged 30, who settled in America from Cardiff, Wales, in 1907
  • Elizabeth Bayless, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • Marie Bayless, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Paris, France, in 1909
  • Charles Bayless, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Bayless migration to Australia +

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

Bayless Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Caroline Bayless, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 25th November 1852, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bayless (post 1700) +

  • Mary Bayless (1927-2003), American actress, known for her roles in It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Sister Kenny (1946) and Just for You (1952)
  • Joanna Bayless, American actress and producer, known for Junction (2012), Coach of the Year (2015) and The Story of Milo & Annie (2014)
  • John R. Bayless, American Primetime Emmy Award winning make up artist
  • Alexandra "Ali" Bayless, American actress, known for her wok on Only in L.A. (2013), The Leak (2013) and Escape (2015)
  • Kenny Bayless (b. 1951), American boxing referee from Nevada
  • Howard J. Bayless III (b. 1965), American healthcare professional and politician from Birmingham, Alabama
  • Charles E. Bayless (b. 1942), American academic, former President of West Virginia University Institute of Technology, recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Silver Beaver Award, and Silver Antelope Award
  • Rebecca "Becky" Bayless (b. 1982), ring name of Rebecca Treston, an American professional wrestler
  • Rick Bayless (b. 1953), American Daytime Emmy Award nominated chef, owner of Frontera Grill in Chicago and star of Mexico: One Plate at a Time
  • Jerryd Bayless (b. 1988), American basketball player who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  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.?".,
  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 22nd July 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook