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Surname:  Bailey
Branch:  Bailey
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:  The name Bailey in Ireland is usually of Anglo origin having been brought to the country by settlers as early as the thirteenth century. The Gaelic version of the name is Baille whilst variants include le Bailiff and Bellew. The name is now quite widespread except in the Province of Connaught. It is an occasional synonym of Bellew.

Motto:  Libertas, Liberty.
Arms:  Erm. three bars wavy sa.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

The Bailey or Bailiff was a man of great importance and was paid accordingly by his master. Where a shepherd earned 4 shillings per annum and a ploughman 8 shillings, the Bailey would receive six pounds. He lived in the Manor House at the Lord's expense and was responsible for the administration and supervision of the general agricultural policy. Then term Bailey, now obsolete in England, is still common in Scotland wher it is used as Chief magistrate or Sheriff. In the 14th Century Dionisy-eri-la-Baillye owned shops and houses at the Old Bailey. The name BAILEY may be derived from more than one source. One of these is the old French "Bailli" originally meaning "carrier" but later "administrator". Early records mention Roger Le Baylly who appears in Surfolk Pipe Rolls of 1230.

Name Variations:  Bailey, Baille, Bailie, Bailiff, Baily, Baly, Bayley.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.

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