Show ContentsByles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Byles is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name 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 Byles family

The surname Byles 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. [1]

William Byle of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) [2] and Thomas Biles of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. [3]

Early History of the Byles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byles 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 Byles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Byles Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Byles include Bill, Bills, Billes and others.

Early Notables of the Byles 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 Byles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Byles family to Ireland

Some of the Byles 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.

United States Byles migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Byles were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Byles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Byles, who landed in Delaware in 1679 [4]

Canada Byles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Byles Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Mather D. D. Byles Jr., U.E. born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]

Australia Byles migration to Australia +

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

Byles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Byles, English convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Charles Kerr" on 6th June 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1837 aboard the ship [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Byles (post 1700) +

  • Mather Byles II (1734-1814), American Congregational clergyman at New London, Connecticut until 1768 who settled as a Royalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia after the War of Independence
  • Mather Byles (1706-1788), American clergyman, grandson of Increase Mather, known for his quote: "Which is better-to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?"
  • Daniel Alan "Dan" Byles FRGS, MP (1974-2010), English mountaineer, sailor, ocean rower, polar adventurer and politician, Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire (2010-), he took part in the first ever Atlantic Rowing Race in 1997
  • Marie Beuzeville Byles (1900-1979), English-born, Australian conservationist, the first practicing female solicitor in New South Wales, mountaineer, explorer, feminist and author
  • William Douglas Byles (1914-1988), Canadian broadcast pioneer, inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 1997, father of Alannah Myles
  • Tim Byles CBE, British Chief Executive of Partnerships for Schools (2006-)
  • Brigadier Gary Byles CSC, Australian Army officer, Commander of JTF Gold/Op Gold
  • Sir John Barnard Byles (1801-1884), British barrister, judge and author
  • Sir William Pollard Byles (1839-1917), British newspaper owner and Liberal politician, Member of Parliament for Shipley (1892-1895) and for Salford North ( 1906-1917)
  • Kerrie Byles (b. 1948), also known as "Junior Byles", "Chubby", or "King Chubby", a Jamaican reggae singer

RMS Titanic
  • Father Thomas Roussel Davids Byles (1870-1912), English Catholic priest who remained on board the RMS Titanic as she was sinking hearing confessions and giving absolution [7]

The Byles Motto +

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.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Convict Records of Australia ( retrieved 1st February 2021, retrieved from
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook