Welcome to the Bailey Family page at Surname Finder. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Bailey surname. As vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Bailey genealogy.
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I. The Bailey Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Bailey family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Bailey ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Bailey Ancestors
II. Bailey Genealogy
Keep an open mind when searching through Bailey records. Years ago many people were unable to read and write, thus a given ancestor's name could be spelled in a variety of ways depending on who recorded it. If you want to know How can city directories be used to help my Bailey research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Bailey
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Bailey records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Bailey family history resource today.
III. Origins of the Bailey Surname
It is quite possible for two people with the Bailey last name to have been given that surname for entirely different reasons. Discovering the country from which your Bailey ancestors originated can often yield additional clues for the meaning of the surname. Were you aware that Bailey is considered a very common surname, which offers its own set of challenges? The article "Researching Common Names" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
According to An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [page 61], the surname BAILEY is defined as A name of office, a corruption of Bailiff, which is derived from the French bailler, to deliver. A municipal officer in Scotland corresponding to an alderman.
IV. Bailey DNA Projects
While DNA testing cannot conclusively tell you if two Bailey ancestors were related, it can easily prove if they weren't. Be sure you understand what types of research issues each different DNA test can address before you spend any money. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Bailey research, read "When do you use DNA?".
V. Bailey Family History
There is more to exploring your Bailey ancestry than just gathering a bunch of names and dates. Understanding where your ancestors lived, how they were employed, and what they did for fun, may give you a better appreciation of your heritage. Whether you are a beginner or expert genealogists, knowing Where can I find a biography of my Bailey ancestor? is always useful.
VI. Networking with Bailey Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "Looking for John Smith - Focusing a Query" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Bailey queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Bailey ancestors.
VII. Bailey Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Bailey was the 60th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
VIII. Web Sites & Blogs with Bailey Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Bailey, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To have your web site/blog listed on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page will appear once its content has been reviewed by one of our editors.
IX. Upcoming Bailey Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Bailey booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "Planning Details For A Family Reunion" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Bailey reunion.
Suggested use: Print a copy of this free research checklist, and keep track of the Bailey genealogy resources that you visit. If your web browser does not print the date on the bottom, remember to record it manually. Today is 20/Jun/2013.
If you host the Bailey blog or web page, please link to this surname-focused resource. Here's the HTML code for a basic link. Simply cut/paste this code on to your page.