Last name: Bailey

This most interesting surname has three distinct origins. Firstly it can be an occupational name for a steward or official from the Old French "baillis" or "bailif", and middle English "bail(l)". The word survives in Scotland as "bailie", the title of a municipal magistrate, but in England has developed into "bailiff", an officer of the court. The second source is topographical, denoting one who lived by the outermost wall of a castle or fortified town from the middle English "bail(l)y" as can be seen in the case of the Old Bailey in London which was part of the early medieval walls. Thirdly, the surname can be locational, from "Bailey", in Lancashire which means "berry wood". One Roger le Baylly appeared in the Suffolk Pipe Rolls in 1230, while the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire recorded a Ralph de Baylegh in 1246. Walter Bayley (1529-1593) educated at Winchester and fellow of Oxford, was Queen Elizabeth's physician. One William Butterworth Bayley (1782-1860) an Anglo-Indian, was educated at Eton and rose to the rank of Governor-general of India (1828-1830), he later became a director of the East India Company. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger le Baylly, which was dated 1230, in the Suffolk Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "the Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

Lee Collum

My given name at birth was Kenneth Mark Bailey,my name was changed after being adopted at 2 months old in Jan. 1960.i would like to find out more about my family i believe some to be in Mississippi,and maybe to learn more about family origin and background,

Tonya Miller

I am related to the Baileys in ms and have the entire background..If interested my email is

Berkley A. Savage Jr.

My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Bailey. She hailed from the Eastern shore of Maryland. Her father was first cousins to Frederick Douglass (Bailey). Is this slave owning family (Bailey) family from England, or Ireland?

Ricki Bailey Campbell

I am a Bailey... and have been using to track my Bailey side of the family.. From what I can tell so far is starting in England, to Salem, Mass. to the Carolinas to Georgia and onto Texas then Oklahoma and onto Arizona, I live in Oklahoma, much of the Bailey's are in or around Duncan/Davis, Oklahoma and Arizona. I live in Oklahoma... I to am interested in anyone who has some info on the Bailey ancestry and name...

Corey L. Bailey

I assume that Baileys, regardless the genetic relation, are strung about all over the British Isles and North America. I am a Bailey from Mississippi, USA.

eunice bailey

i was told my ancestors originated in Staffordshire,England, my ancestors settled in Newfoundland and Labrador

Deanna Lambert

I am also a Bailey, My great Grandfather came from Ireland. I need so much help in locating and determining ancestry. Thanks

William Kerry Bailey

I am a Bailey born in Mooresville North Carolina. I am trying to find which country my family is from. Anybody with any information send me an E mail

Sue Bailey

I was born a Bailey in Reading, Berkshire, England. As far as I know my descendants were only labourers and have been in the Berkshire since 1800's.

william Kerry Bailey

Nothing wrong with labourers carpenters are in my family also masons.

I challenged HSH Douglas Bailey claim of Clan Chief of the Bailey's , that he had no right to claim such a tittle.and is NOT recognize. It is a cult and he is a fake ! Don't believe me ..ask the House of Lords.

Brian Bayley
Sandy, I know Douglas Bailey. He is a very good friend of mine. He does not, nor has he ever, claimed to be a Clan Chief, though that title is mistakenly attributed to him by others. He is the head of a pan-celtic society for those of Scottish, Irish and other Celtic heritages or are just interested in the history and culture. No cult, no claim of Clan Chief and no infringement to the Lord Lyon, House of Lords or anther other organization you wish to name.

Sandy Bailey

That is not the case, I was told I had to address him as - His supreme Highness ! as he was the chief of the Bailey Clan, and was a direct ancestor of notable Bailey linage. And recognized as such. I have seen his claim on his very own Facebook and other sites owned by him. I was told his soldiers would protect him from harm. And he teaches all his followers / soldiers Martial arts. There is no such Bailey clan recognized ! and for him to mislead people into thinking he has such claim is outrageous ! And Brain I have dealt with you before.

Ronald Lynn Bailey US AIR FORCE (retired) Educator, (retired)
My father, James Albert Bailey was born in Indian Territory, 1907before statehood. Grandfather, William Jasper Bailey, came from Arkansaw. Don't know much beyond that. Quite interested in more information.

Bob Bailey
My grandfather was John William Bailey. He was born in Tuckerman, Arkansas in 1893. My parents are also from Arkansas.


Hii everyone, Please don't be surprised since I am not a bailey . Actually I was actively looking for one Mr. james bailey ,a traveller ( irish descent ) on internet today so somehow I ended up here . Mr James bailey traveled northern India ( parts of present day himachal pradesh ) somewhere in 1810-1820, and documented the customs,traditions,attires ,living conditions of the places he encountered in a book by the name like. himalayas travel. I write these things from my memory of what one of my uncles told me ,having come across the book some long time back. The book has documented life of my ancestors in those times. So I have been looking for this book and if any of you Baileys know of this great work of your ancestor , please mail me on .I long to know what my ancestors were upto in that era. :)


I skipped the email ID

Toni Pralle

Is this the right book?
Sorry, we just need to make sure you're not a robot. For best results, please make sure your browser is accepting cookies.

Toni Pralle

the book is on Amazon. Not sure I was able to post the link. This site says I'm not allowed????

Ronald L. Bailey

Saw my earlier post and was appalled at my misspelled words as pointed out by P. R. Belfield. Thank you for bringing that to my attention! As a retired teacher of English, I should know to proofread before posting!! LOL!!


Nate Bailey
I was born a Bailey here in Michigan. My family is massive on both sides, but the Bailey name is somewhat scarce among them. However, every single Bailey in my family, including myself, is a business owner. My dad owns a real estate firm, mom owns a propane company, brother owns a property management business, uncle owns a pet store, cousin owns a restaurant, and I own a web design firm. We Baileys are also a bit of a legend around here for being the most brutally honest people you'll ever meet.

Anyone else have a similar feeling about being a Bailey?

Stuart Bailey
I'm also a Bailey. I live in Hampshire England.

I'm interested in what you say about Baileys. My family have quite a lot of small business owners and self employed independent traders among them and they also have a reputation for outspokeness and honesty. These qualities don't always endear them to others though !

My father was born in Stoke on Trent Staffordshire (known as the Potteries) . The name is quite common in Staffordshire and Shropshire which are in the midlands of England.

Do you have ancestors from that area ?

I am an Irish Bailey ...Tyrone Northern Ireland to Australia in 1841.

My supervisor is a Bailey. Hope to know more.

suzanne bailey
hya there dave.i am also from and still in dads name was kenneth bailey and has always lived in the stoke on trent area of staffordshire,any relation do you think?

dave bailey
Hi im dave bailey from Staffordshire in the uk. Looking to trace my family tree. Any advice would be great. Thanks hope to hear soon!

suzanne bailey
hya there dave.i am also from and still in the staffordshire dads name was kenneth bailey and has always lived in the stoke on trent of staffordshire,any relation do you think?

Dave Bailey
Hi Suzanne, I don't know if you can view this or not, but here is my complete family tree. As far back as I could go on all branches. You may email me as well at and my facebook page is Regards...

Family Tree - Bailey Dutcher Klaas Family Web Site - MyHeritage
Family tree of the Bailey Dutcher Klaas Family Web Site on is the best place for families online.

A. Bailey
Aho ! ::)

Richard D Bailey
I am a Bailey whose father grew up in Hartford, CT. I now live about 15 miles north of Plymouth, MA. At the end of my street is an old cemetery. Some headstones go back to the 1600's. There are Bailey's galore in there. Nearly all were born in England earlier in the 17th century. Most seem to be from the area of Stratford, England. Bailey is one of the oldest names in America. By the way... how many people were aware that one use of the world Bailey is the courtyard of the ancient English castles - Including Windsor Castle - which were designed shortly after the Norman invasion of 1066. They are known as 'Motte and Bailey' castles. My e-mail is I would be happy to walk down the street to the old Grove Cemetery and take pictures and send them. It is a great family name. be proud of it.

I was born a Bailey and it seems to me, judging from the comments, that there are a lot of Baileys who don't know how to spell!

Gerard Bailey Burwell
Wow this page really is helpful...

hi bernadette karen this is yo`re5 newst frriend its chrisbailey age 31 you said its fantasticget kown him better

bernadette karen bailey
fantastic love this xxx


William Butterworth Bayley was an Englishman. He was not 'Anglo-Indian'. He was baptized at two months old on 7th January 1782 in Lancashire. Lancashire is in England. This insinuating of politically correct conceptions of nationality and belonging that allow a birthplace priority over ethnicity and race is just one of the more obvious ploys in our exciting new society. In this instance - assuming we have the same William Butterworth Bayley, and I think we do - it's just wrong.


Allocating priority to birthplace was an example. Bayley wasn't born in India and I didn't mean to imply that. Apologies for the clumsy wording.

Greg Brien
And the Norman French were Viking invaders from Scandinavia????

I am also a Bailey. Our ancestors are known to be from Dumfries Scotland. My 9th great grand father Charles Bailey was part of the English conquest and colonization of Ulster, today Northern Ireland, in the early 1600's. It is believed that he was the 1st resident of Ireland with the surname Bailey. My direct American descendent Enoch, was born in Ireland in 1669 and entered the US through Plymouth Massachusetts, via England circa the 1680's. So while the arguement continues all may be right. many bailey's are of scottish descent. Many are also of Irish descent due to the colonization of Ulster which brought Baileys to the Emerald Isle. If you are Bailey of Irish descent you will find as you look further that the name originated on the Island of Britain and in Normandy on the North coast of France.

David Bailey (Gig Harbor, WA)
This is my line as well. This makes me the 13th cousin o my Clan Chief, HSH Douglas Bailey. I am possibly a Duke. We are looking further in to it.

David bailey (Gig Harbor, WA)
My line goes back to 990AD with: Count Siher ( L (Bayley-O' Baile 990-1028 Birth 990 in Somme Picardie, Basse-Normandy, France 1024 Marriage to Countess Sihere ( M De Gramines 1024 in Mortange, Orne, Basse-Normandy, France 1028 Death 1028 in Mortange, Orne, Basse-Normandy, France

That is not the case, I know your lot and it has NOT been recognized by the house of lords. I asked....

Bob Bailey
You are so right! I think I am of Irish descent according to my brother's research.

Brian Bayley

Just a correction. Douglas Bailey is not a clan chief as defined by Lord Lyon nor does he encourage anyone calling him a clan chief. He is the president of a pan Celtic society for those interested in Celtic culture and history. The society is patterned after the clans of Scotland, but it is not a Scottish Clan itself. Also (more for the benefit of Sandy) the House of Lords would not concern themselves with Mr. Bailey's titles as they are not English.

I'm also a bailey, I was told its Irish, but the article sais it's not

Weird, my name's Clay too and i'm a Bailey from Ireland

I'm a Bailey from Dorset my family have lived here for over 300 hundred years

Hi. I was previously a great grandfather came out here to New Zealand in 1874 with his wife and children. He (and my great great grand father Jonah Bailey) were from Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire.

Richard D. Bailey
As far as i know i am not related to the Richard D.Bailey from Hartford,CT...I was born and raised in Ohio...My great grandfather was John James Bailey born in Ireland...There are Baileys all over the UK and my direct descendents came from Ireland,therefore i am Irish...By the way he married a Cherokee indian named Minnie Ivy...I could never find her Indian name...They were married in Jasper Tnn...

Interesting Richard, my DNA shows Native American and matches a Sizemore tree who are said to have Cherokee...

If your family is at all from the UK / France region of that part of the world, you undoubtly have Irish, English, Norman, Scottish, and French blood in your viens as this area was constantly blending thru-out history. The inclination with any type of research is to forget that 1 page of information may cover a thousand years or hundreds at least in a mear moment.......

Black Bailey
"The inclination with any type of research is to forget that 1 page of information may cover a thousand years or hundreds at least in a mear moment......." Exactly!!! Im Black, a British born Jamaican. My family are "Bailey's" (bestowed upon my ancestors by their lovely White slave owners of course). You will find many many Jamaican's, even Latino American's with Bailey as a surname also.

hi black bailey this is chrisbailey age31`as he did not kown you from british &born in jamaican your family are bailey`s you`re inclination you siad exactiy christoherj bailey does not have any ancetors get to kown mr mrjbailey as a person

I have a few friends who are also Bailey's and were of no relation but all have a bit of Irish blood! Coinsidence?

Kerman Holland
My father is a Bailey and was born in Delaware Mass. and was one of 14 children. They moved to Kentucky where most of the family still reside. The family cemetary is located in Blackey KY which is near Whitesburg KY. His father Walter, Uncle Henry and Aunt are all buried there. My father Johnny Lee Bailey is buried in Manchester Ky. I would like to know more about that side of the family. Any info can be emailed to me at Thanks

Tammy Bailey -Ward
Kerman, I'm a Bailey and my father is from Kentucky as well. I've always heard we were Irish, but now not so sure. Irish and Cherokee Indian. Great, great, great (maybe) grandmothers' sur name was Feathers! i will have to ask my Aunt Rose if she knows any of the names you've listed.

Aaron Bailey
Aaron Bailey! Suffolk, England - I don't think i'm recorded in the Suffolk pipe rolls.. likely Anglo-Saxon or Iclandic, That's my wild guess.

Harold Calvin Kenneth Bailey
Hi There, I'm also a born and bred Bailey from Cape Town in South Africa. I've been told that my great grandfather was Irish. I would really like to find out some more. Where do I fit into this whole Bailey Clan.

B merry
Hi Harold. I have a ancestor on my grandmothers side named George Richard Bailey. Born Cape Town 1878.he immigrated to Australia in about 1890. Trying to get more information of Bailey family frm South Africa. Be great to hear from you.

luther bailey
Iim a baILeY borN in eastern KY. My brotHeR doEs a lot Of geNeoLogY on the baILey siDe of the fAmily. ACcorDiNg to him were enGLish, irish, scOtTisH n sum gErman. He bAckTRaCkEd our faMIly to the Late 1500 s.

shelley Sinanan
my grandfathers ' name was Henry Bailey ( on my mother's side ) I believe they came from Grenada to Trinidad , where we presently live , he had two brothers - Christopher and Arthur . My grandfathers' mother was Blanche Highland . Trying to get some more family history .

Jo Bailey
I'm a Bailey from London UK. My ancestors lived in Somerset, North India, Sheffield and London. If you think you have any links with these places, let me know. I have our family tree going back 500 years.

Caroline Brennan

Hi, I am looking for a Bailey Family from Somerset, who I believe I am related to, Would love to hear more about your ancestors please, The bailey's I am interested in are Arthur G Bailey, who married Elizabeth Eleanora Nora L Miller. Please contact me if any links, Many thanks

Justin Bailey Sr.

I'm a Bailey. Born is Bakersfield California. I tried to ask my grandma before she died about our history..all she could tell me is what alcohol some of us drank. A few people were hit by trains (which i think is the old way of saying "im too embarrassed to tell you the truth.) All the Baileys i know are poor and have terrible luck. But like Stuart Bailey said i feel compelled to always tell the truth. Bailey power!! good luck all! ill take an Bailey info ya got. Please and thanks.