Show ContentsBey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German state of Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Bey family. Bey is a local name. Bey is a name for someone who lived in Southern Germany. Further research showed the name was derived from the name the Celtic tribe of the "Boii" who once inhabited this area as well as Bohemia. Bey is derived from the Latin root word Bauari, which means Bavarian people. In the 6th century, the Boii were replaced by a Germanic tribe, a branch of the Marcomanni, who adapted the name Boioarii or Baiuarii. Beyer is also the German and Ashkenazic Jewish name for someone from Bavaria, or Bayern.

Early Origins of the Bey family

The surname Bey was first found in Bavaria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. They branched into many houses, and their contributions were sought by several leaders in their search for power. The name is related to "Bayer," both names referring to the Kingdom of Bavaria, but from early on "Beyer" and its variations formed distinct branches. A high percentage of these branches moved into Silesia, a region just north east of Bavaria.

Early History of the Bey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bey research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1716, 1747, 1786 and 1803 are included under the topic Early Bey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bey Spelling Variations

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Bey include Beyer, Beyere, Beyerre, Beier, Beir, Beiere, Beierre and many more.

Early Notables of the Bey family (pre 1700)

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

Bey Ranking

In the United States, the name Bey is the 4,913rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Bey is ranked the 1,994th most popular surname with an estimated 3,127 people with that name. [2]

United States Bey migration to the United States +

European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Beys to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Bey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Damascus Bey, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [3]
Bey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Rudolph Bey, who arrived in America in 1736 [3]
Bey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bey, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804 [3]
  • Lund Bey, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1804 [3]
  • Heinz Peter Bey, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1850 [3]
  • Jose Bey, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1860 [3]
  • Albert Bey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1875 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bey (post 1700) +

  • Salome Bey CM (1939-2020), American-born, Canadian singer-songwriter, composer, and actress who lived in Toronto, Ontario
  • Frank Bey (1946-2020), born Frank Bass, an American blues singer
  • David Bey (1957-2017), American heavyweight boxer who held the USBA title
  • Faruq Z. Bey (1941-2012), born Jesse Davis, American jazz saxophonist and composer

  • Egon Bey (1922-1941), German Matrosengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [4]

  1. "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. Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from on Facebook