Billay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Billay is an Anglo-Saxon name. The name was originally given to a maker of polearms or halberds and billhooks as these were common weapons in early times. The name could also be a baptismal name derived from son of William, although this latter origin is less likely.
Early Origins of the Billay family
The surname Billay was first found in Somerset, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
Early records of the name mention Walter Nicholas Bile who was documented in the year 1185 in London and Robert atte Byle appears in 1327 in County Surrey. 
William Byle of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377)  and Thomas Biles of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 
Early History of the Billay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billay research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1500, 1667, 1501, 1533, 1535, 1505, 1561, 1547, 1551, 1548, 1551, 1553, 1558, 1561, 1558, 1561, 1560, 1561 and are included under the topic Early Billay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Billay Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Billay has appeared include Bill, Bills, Billes and others.
Early Notables of the Billay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Bill (d. 1501), Dean of Westminster, son of John Bill of Ashwell, Hertfordshire, and brother of Thomas Bill, M.D., of the same place, and of St. Bartholomew's, London, physician to Henry VIII. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Billay family to Ireland
Some of the Billay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Billay family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Billay arrived in North America very early: James Bill who settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1638; and was made a freeman in that year; Thomas Bill settled in Boston in 1657. The Bills became a distinguished family of the U.S.A..
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Omne solum patria
Motto Translation: Every land is a man's country.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)