Bailey Surname Meaning and Origin

British Royal Artillery Officer 1815
British Royal Artillery Officer 1815. Neil Holmes/Getty Images

Bailey is derived crown official or officer of the king in county or town. Keeper of a royal building or house. A person of high rank. From the Old French for "bailiff" and/or the Scottish term "bailie," a municipal officer corresponding to an English alderman.

Bailey is the 66th most popular surname in the United States and the 56th most common surname in England.

Surname Origin

Scottish, French

Alternate Surname Spellings


Genealogy Resources for the Surname Bailey

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Bailey Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Bailey surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Bailey query.

FamilySearch - Bailey Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Bailey surname and its variations.

Bailey Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Bailey surname.

Cousin Connect - Bailey Genealogy Queries
Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Bailey, and sign up for free notification when new Bailey queries are added. - Bailey Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Bailey.


Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Bailey Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). Bailey Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "Bailey Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 26, 2023).