Bailey, a surname of England, Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Islands from the term baillie, now obsolete in England, but still used in Scotland of a chief magistrate, a sheriff and an alderman; or from the English place name Bailey (Lancashire). (Reaney, Black, Turk).
Guppy found Bailey widespread, especially in Hampshire, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire; he notes that Bayly is a rare form, mostly found in Cheshire, Staffordshire and Sussex, and that Baillie is scattered in Scotland. MacLysaght found Bailey and Bailie numerous in all provinces except Connacht.
Family traditions: James Bayl(e)y (1797-), from Poole (Dorset) married at Harbour Grace, 1820 (MUN Folklore). John Bailey of Lark Harbour, 1849 (MUN Hist.). John, from Ireland, settled at Harbour Main, about 1860 (MUN Folklore). ----, Bayley, of Coachman's Cove, ? about 1860 (MUN Folklore).
Early instances: Richard Bayly, of Bay de Verde, 1675 (CO 1); John, of Barrow Harbour, 1676 (CO 1); John Bailey, fisherman of Trinity, 1758 (DPHW 64); David Bayly, of Bonaventure, 1777 (DPHW 64); Samuel, juror of St. John's, 1789 (CO 194.38); John Bailey, of Salmon Cove (now Champneys), 1792 (DPHW 64); C., of Petty Harbour, 1794-5 (Census 1794-5); John of Heart's Content, 1799 (DPHW 64); James Baily, from Co. Wexford, married at St. John's, 1812 (Nfld. Archives BRC); James, of Harbour Grace Parish, 1814 (Nfld. Archives HGRC); Richard Bayley, planter of Bonavista, 1821 (DPHW 64); James Bayly, planter of Cupids, 1827 (DPHW 34); Thomas Baily, planter of Ship Cove (now part of Port Rexton), 1830 (DPHW 64B); John Baillie, of Bay of Islands, 1835 (DPHW 30); George Bayly, planter of Cat Cove (Trinity North District), 1846 (DPHW 64B); William Bailey, fisherman of Fogo, 1849 (DPHW 83); William Bayley, of Seal Cove (now New Chelsea), 1852 (DPHW 59); Augustus of Ferryland, 1860 (DPHW 31); Jacob Bayly, of Harbour Grace, 1867 (Nfld. Archives HGRC).
Modern Status: Widespread, especially at St. John's, Corner Brook, New Chelsea, Port Rexton and other parts of the Trinity North District.
Place names: Bailey Cove 49-45 56-53; Baileys Point 49-28 57-55; Bayleys Cove 48-39 53-07.