The Baylis Family

Contributed by Lois Cummins Baylis Lutz


While some genealogists believe that the Baylis family actually originated in France, most Baylis family researchers have concluded that almost all of those who came to America between 1600 and 1800 emigrated from England. Some families in America evolved from a single immigrant ancestor, but that is not the case with the Baylis’. Records indicate that there were several Baylis immigrants from England during the early colonization period, with at least one from France.

The early Baylis families in England were known as “yeoman,” and thus were not entitled to a coat of arms, but in 1680 a family member was described as a “Gentleman and Bailiff,” and would have been entitled to a coat of arms. Thomas Baylis, who was born in 1761, was given a “grant of arms” in the late 1700s. There is no conclusive proof, however, that this Thomas Baylis was directly related to the immigrant ancestor of the Baylis family that is connected to the Erwins of America.

Several researchers have suggested that the Baylis name was first based on the word “bailiff,” a court officer, which was itself derived from the French word “baillif “ or “bailli,” and in turn from the Latin word “bajulus,” a guardian. Some theorize that “Bailiff” merely changed to “Bailiss,” while others suggest that “Bailiss” was shortened from “Bailiffson,” and then eventually evolved into it’s current form of “Baylis.”

The branch of the Baylis family that we are concerned with has been traced to a William Baylis in Virginia. It is not known when or where he was born, or the name of his wife, but Baylis family researchers know that he died in 1754. The bond book, from 1753 to 1786, in the William County Court House in Manassas, Virginia, states that the will of William Baylis, deceased, was filed on May 27, 1754. Sons John and William Baylis were named as executors. His will also refers to a son Samuel and Samuel’s wife Ann.


The children of William Baylis were:

1.        John Baylis, born about 1727; died September 24, 1765

2.        William Baylis, died in 1764; and married Ann Gough January 19, 1757.

3.        Samuel Baylis, married Ann.


John Baylis married Jane Blackburn in 1754, daughter of Richard Blackburn and Mary Watts.  She was born in 1733, and died in 1774.

John Baylis was a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia from 1761 to 1765, representing Prince William County. He was also the "King's Magistrate" during this same period. John Baylis was also active in the Established (Episcopal) Church. From 1757 to 1763 he was a vestryman of Dettington Parish in Prince William County. John Baylis also had a distinguished military record. During the French and Indian War he had the ranks of Captain, Major and Colonel, and is mentioned in the writings of George Washington.

John Baylis was killed in a duel at Dumfries, Virginia on September 24, 1765. The facts about the unfortunate duel that led to his death are generally agreed upon, but there are several versions of the circumstances leading up to the duel. John Scott, the eighteen-year-old son of Reverend James Scott, challenged John Baylis to a duel. At the appointed time John Scott appeared with his brother-in-law, Cuthbert Bullitt, as his second. Bullitt took the place of John Scott and in the ensuing confrontation shot John Baylis in the groin. Baylis died about five hours later at Rippon Lodge, where - it is believed - he is also buried. While a jury acquitted Cuthbert Bullitt, feeling against John Scott as the challenger of the duel was so high that Scott had to leave Virginia. Bullitt also soon left Virginia and settled in Kentucky.


The children of John Baylis and Jane Blackburn were:

1.        Ann Baylis, born August 1755; died October 01, 1782.

2.        William Baylis, born August 20, 1758 at Dumfries, Prince William Co., VA; died June 18, 1843, at Calhoun, Henry Co., MO.

3.        Henry Baylis, born July 01, 1760 at Dumfries, Prince William Co., VA. He died in 1835.

4.        Lucy Chilton Baylis, born in 1762 at Dumfries, Prince William Co., VA. She married Aquilla Dyson on December 16, 1779. Aquilla Dyson was a descendent of Christopher Dyson, who was knighted by Henry VII in 1489. He lived near Baltimore, fought in the War of 1812, and then, with his family, moved to Ohio where he is buried. Both are buried in the Dyson Cemetery, William Clark Farm, Ava, OH.

5.        Jane Baylis, born in 1764 at Dumfries, Prince William Co., VA. She married George Reno February 20, 1785 in Fauquier Co., VA.


Ann Baylis was born in August 1755, and died October 01, 1782.  She married Thomas Randolph in 1770, son of John Randolph and Anne.  He was born May 20, 1746, and died 1826.


The children of Ann Baylis and Thomas Randolph were:

1.        William Baylis Randolph, born March 16, 1778 in Prince William Co., VA; and October 15, 1863. He married (1) Lydia Lupton June 06, 1805. She was born May 25, 1777 and died May 20, 1829. He married (2) Deborah Carroll April 10, 1831. She was born September 15, 1791 in County Antrim, Ireland, and died June 02, 1849 in Columbinia Co., OH.

Deborah Carroll arrived in America with her family at the age of two. The family settled near New Garden in Columbinia County, Ohio. She was a Hicksite Quaker, and was heavily criticized for marrying outside of the Friends Church, but she was not dismissed. Her family was related to Charles Carroll, who settled in Maryland in 1688 with Lord Baltimore. His son, Charles Carroll, Jr., signed the Declaration of Independence, and when he died in 1833 at the age of 96 he was the last survivor of the signers.

2.        Son Randolph, born about 1771, and died about 1771.

3.        Daughter Randolph, born about 1774, and died about 1774.

4.        Unknown Randolph, born October 01, 1782,and died the same day.



William Baylis was born August 20, 1758 in Dumfries, Prince William Co., VA, and died June 18, 1843 in Calhoun, Henry Co., MO.  He married Elizabeth Turner May 22, 1780, daughter of Hezekiah Turner and Henrietta Chunn.  She was born March 28, 1765, and died after 1841.

According to Revolutionary War pension records of May 15, 1818, William Baylis enlisted in April 1777 in the Twelfth Virginia Regiment, commanded by Col. James Wood. He fought at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and Paulus Hook, NJ, where he was wounded. He later commanded a company of militia at Yorktown, VA. He served under General George Washington at Morristown. He resigned his commission as captain in July or August of 1780.


The children of William Baylis and Elizabeth Turner were:

1.        John William Baylis, born in 1784 and died November 08, 1826. He married Lucy Clayton Williams October 24, 1811.

2.        Ann Blackburn Baylis, born March 11, 1785 and died October 27, 1842. She married John Fawcett March 11, 1817 in Shenandoah Co., VA. He was born January 22, 1786 and died March 13, 1862.

3.        Henrietta Baylis, born about 1788, and married James Hathaway January 02, 1812. James Hathaway was a captain in the War of 1812. He was a widower with no children, and lived in Frederick County, Virginia.

4.        Jane Wyatt Baylis, born about 1790, and died in September 1834. She married Fortunatas Fleming Dulaney, a doctor.

5.        Lucy Chilton Baylis, born about 1796. She married Charles Buck.

6.        Susan Emily Baylis, born in 1803, and died August 26, 1835 on the Isle of Wight, England. She married William Oakley.

7.        Maria Turner Baylis, born in 1806, and married (1) Samuel Lewis, and (2) John Ashby Tutt.

8.        Elizabeth Martha Baylis, born about 1808, and married (1) John McLean, and (2) George Lewis. George Lewis was a nephew of George Washington. In his will Washington bequeathed a sword to each of his five nephews, including George Lewis. George Lewis was a captain in the Revolutionary War.


Henry Baylis was born July 1, 1760 in Dumfries, Prince William Co., VA. He died in 1835 and is buried in Wisecarver Cemetery, Fawcett’s Gap, VA.  He married Mary Sophia Edmunds February 25, 1788 in Fauquier Co., VA, daughter of Captain Thomas Edmunds. She was born March 8, 1770, and died June 17, 1842.


The children of Henry Baylis and Maria Edmunds were:

1.        John Edmunds Baylis, born December 10, 1788 in Fauquier Co., VA, and died December 08, 1873.

2.        Helen Baylis, born March 17, 1790 in Fauquier Co., VA. She married (1) Alexander Newman about 1810, and (2) George Ash March 20, 1820.

3.        Thomas Blackburn Baylis, born February 14, 1793 in Fauquier Co., VA, and died September 13, 1869. He married Mary Katherine Wilson February 03, 1825. She was born August 23, 1804 and died May 24, 1882. Thomas B. Baylis was a soldier in the War of 1812.

4.        Emily C. Baylis, born April 10, 1795 in Fauquier Co., VA. She married John Poland September 30, 1811. He was born August 22, 1786 and died about 1824.

5.        Jane Baylis, born September 25, 1799. She married Mason Anderson November 27, 1825.

6.        Henry William Baylis, born December 23, 1807.

7.        Lucy A. Baylis, born September 1810 near Opequon, VA. She married George Newman.

Text Box: John Edmunds Baylis

John Edmunds Baylis was born December 10, 1788 in Fauquier Co., VA, and died December 8, 1873.  He married (1) Madelin Snapp February 1, 1813, the daughter of John Snapp and Madelin Kellar.  She died about 1826, and he married (2) Katherine Moore Davis April 21, 1827.  She died August 21, 1854.


The children of John Baylis and Madelin Snapp were:

1.        Emily Mary Baylis, born August 31, 1818 in Winchester, Frederick Co., VA, and died April 03, 1888, in Rush Co., IN. She married John Darby Downey December 21, 1837. He was born November 05, 1810 and died May 24, 1897.

2.        Harrison Thomas Baylis, born November 28, 1820,and died October 27, 1883. He married Ann Jane Fizer. She was born July 06, 1833 and died September 11, 1916.

3.        Henry Baylis.


The children of John Baylis and Katherine Davis were:

4.        Franklin E. Baylis, born February 17, 1828, and died August 1849.

5.        Sidner Baylis, born February 22, 1830, and  February 22, 1830.

6.        Sandford Baylis, born February 13, 1832, and died March 02, 1909. He married Amanda Elizabeth Rudolph. She was born June 15, 1844, and died June 25, 1892.

As a young man Sanford Baylis worked in a sawmill at Fawcett's Gap, which was owned by Elkanah Fawcett, a cousin. While working there he received an injury there that caused him to be permanently lame. During the Civil War he operated a Confederate Army supply house several miles south of Capon Springs, on what is now the John Marshall Highway. While there he was shot and killed by a Union spy. He is buried at Hebron Church Cemetery, Intermont, WV.

7.        Mary Sophia Baylis, born August 17, 1834. She married Simon Cooper.

8.        Charles Davis Baylis, born September 29, 1837, and died August 08, 1886.

9.        Sarah Katherine Baylis, born April 10, 1840. She married William H. Lewis October 17, 1856.

10.     John Martin Baylis, born July 21, 1843, and died in 1848.

11.     William Harvey Baylis, born August 22, 1844.


Charles Davis Baylis was born September 29, 1837, and died August 08, 1886.  He married Elizabeth Loise Moncravie.  She was born in 1845, and died in 1924.


The children of Charles Baylis and Elizabeth Moncravie were:

1.        Harrison Drew Baylis, born December 16, 1882 in Thurston Co., NE. He died November 07, 1943 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS.

2.        Charles Davis Baylis, Jr., born June 16, 1886, and died in 1906.


Harrison Drew Baylis was born December 16, 1882 in Thurston Co., NE. He died November 07, 1943 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS and is buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Cowley County. He married (1) Myrtle Dell Wilmot June 18, 1908, daughter of Charles Wilmot and Lydia Serrott.  She was born May 16, 1887 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS, and died in June 1917 during a measles epidemic. He married (2) Elizabeth Somers July 13, 1923, daughter of Patrick Somers and Mary Daly. She was born June 18, 1895 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS.

As a child Harrison Baylis moved with his family to Grainola, Osage County, Oklahoma. As an adult he was a banker in Grainola, as well as a rancher, but he was also active in prosecuting claims of the Indian tribes for lands and royalties from the oil wells on their lands in Oklahoma. At the time of his death he was referred to as "one of the finest and most popular citizens of Arkansas City."

Elizabeth Somers attended high school in Arkansas City, Kansas, and in 1917 graduated as a registered nurse at the Arkansas City Hospital.

      The children of Harrison Baylis and Myrtle Wilmot are:

1.        Zeb Eugene Baylis, born October 10, 1910 in Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS. He married Mauricia Barbara Norton January 01, 1937. She was born December 19, 1918 in Guthrie, Logan Co., OK. Zeb Baylis attended school in his early years in Wichita, Kansas, and later graduated from the Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri. As an adult he became Superintendent of Boat Landing for Shell Oil Company at Toledo, Ohio. In 1943 he entered the U.S. Army Engineers, and was first located at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and later fought on Okinawa in the Pacific. He was discharged in 1945 and resumed working for Shell Oil.

2.        Katherine Willetta Baylis, born January 12, 1914 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS. She married Norman Otto Pierce, Jr., June 15, 1934. He was born November 02, 1908 in Denver, Arapahoe Co., CO. Norman Pierce attended Culver Military Academy for one year, and then went to Yale University where he majored in dramatics. After college he went to work for Southwest Bell Telephone Company. In 1942 he joined the United States Marine Corps as an officer, and was a major when he was released to inactive duty in 1946. He served again for ten months in 1951 during the Korean War.

3.        Howard Glenn Baylis, born September 14, 1915 in Grainola, Osage Co., OK.


Howard “Glenn” Baylis was born September 14, 1915 in Grainola, Osage Co., OK, and died December 11, 1957 in Arkansas City, Cowley Co., KS. He married Lois Ruth Cummins January 9, 1949 in Topeka, Shawnee Co., KS, daughter of John Cummins and Goldie Erwin. Lois was born September 9, 1928 in Madison, Greenwood Co., KS.

Howard Glenn Baylis attended high school in Arkansas City, Kansas, and took a pre-medical course at the University of Oklahoma. On July 2, 1943 he joined the United States Army Air Force as a private, but shortly afterward was accepted into a pilot training program. After a very brief period he was flying combat missions in Europe. He was discharged on February 26, 1946.

For the next three years Glenn worked as a civilian flight instructor in Topeka, Kansas. It was in Topeka that he met Lois Cummins, his wife-to-be. They were married January 9, 1949, and moved to Oklahoma where Glenn took over the operation of the Baylis family's 2200-acre cattle ranch near Grainola in Osage County. Glenn and Lois Baylis operated the ranch until Glenn’s death in 1957.



The children of Glenn Baylis and Lois Cummins are:

1.        Virginia Lea “Ginger” Baylis

2.        Christine Marie Baylis

3.        Michael Glenn “Mike” Baylis, born December 15, 1953 in Cedar Vale, Chautaugua Co., KS; He died February 7, 1953.


This branch of the Baylis family surname ended when Michael Glenn Baylis died.