This intriguing and uncommon name is of pre 10th century Old French origins. Introduced into England by the Norman-French after the famous Conquest of 1066, it has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may be from the French personal name "Billaud or Billault", itself an adaption of the Germanic given name "Bilwald", composed of the elements "bil", sword, with "wald", rule. Secondly, it may be a variant of the English and Scottish surname Balliol, which is also of Norman French locational origin from one of the numerous places called Bailleul, or from Bailleul-en-Vimen in Picardy.These places are thought to be named from a derivative of the word "baille", meaning fortification. The first recording of the surname, as shown below, is from this locational source. Among the many variant forms of the modern name are, in Scotland, Balyall in 1256, and Balliole in 1293, whilst early recordings in England include: Robert Billiald of Yorkshire in 1599; John Belialde in tyhe city of London in 1601; and James Billyield of Kent in 1795. The marriage of James Billyeald and Mary Margaret Hawkesworth was recorded at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, on January 1st 1793. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bernard de Baliol, which was dated circa 1136, a charter witness for David 1, during the reign of King David 1 of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. 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.
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