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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Welsh Bayliss family come from? What is the Welsh Bayliss family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bayliss family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bayliss family history?

The surname Bayliss 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.


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

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bayliss research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1500, and 1860 are included under the topic Early Bayliss History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Bayliss family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 141 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Bayliss:

Bayliss Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Bayliss, who landed in New Haven, Conn in 1654
  • William Bayliss who settled in Barbados in 1663

Bayliss Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Bayliss settled in Pennsylvania in 1773

Bayliss Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • S. R. Bayliss arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Excelsior" in 1870
  • Frederick Bayliss, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Schiehallion" in 1872
  • George Henry Bayliss, aged 28, a wheelwright, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • George William Bayliss, aged 23, a painter, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874


  • Brendan Bayliss (b. 1976), American lead guitarist
  • Garland E. Bayliss (b. 1924), American retired historian and director emeritus of academic services at Texas A&M University
  • Jonah James Bayliss (b. 1980), American Major League Baseball baseball relief pitcher
  • Jonathan Bayliss (1926-2009), American novelist and playwright
  • Sir Wyke Bayliss (1835-1906), British painter, author and poet
  • William Maddock Bayliss (1860-1924), English physiologist
  • Clifford William Bayliss (1912-1989), Australian artist
  • Sir Richard Bayliss (1917-2006), English physician to her Majesty’s Household, and to Queen Elizabeth II
  • Lillian Mary Bayliss, English manager of the Old Vic Theatre, in London, and later Sadler's Wells
  • Mark Bayliss (b. 1965), Australian rules footballer



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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Bayliss Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bayliss Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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