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BAILEY Family History

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.

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