The Baillod Family in the US & Canada
of the Baillod Name
The Baillod families in the US and Canada are directly descended from the Baillod families in Switzerland and nearly all can trace their roots back to the village of Gorgier, near present-day St. Aubin in Neuchatel. As early as the 1500s, a large group of Baillod families was living in and around Gorgier. All three families considered on this website descend directly from the Gorgier Baillods and trace back to the common ancestor of Jean-Jacques Baillod of Gorgier, who was born February 17, 1718 at Gorgier. The correct French pronunciation of the name is "bye-o", but many families in the US and Canada have Americanized it to "bay-lod" or "bal-oyd." Today, there are about 150 people in the US and Canada with the last name Baillod or Balloid and about 200 in Switzerland. Historically, there have probably been less than 5000 people that ever had the name Baillod.
Family names first came into use in Switzerland around 1100, and according to the Armoreal Neuchatelois, the earliest references to the Baillod name occur in the 1300s at Travers in Neuchatel, so Travers is probably where the name actually originated. There are a few variations of the name Baillod, which can be seen in Neuchatel historical documents and directories, including Baillod, Baillot (archaic), Baillods and Baillodz (archaic). Further research into these names reveals that there were actually two distinct groups of Baillod families. The Gorgier family used the spelling Baillod / Baillot, while another significant group, centered around Couvet, Bole and Motiers, used the spellings Baillods / Baillodz. Today, the Baillods family is much smaller than the Baillod family, but has an extensive genealogy showing no historical overlap with the Baillod/Baillot family. Interestingly, the Baillod family history given in the Armoreal Neuchatelois appears to be based exclusively on the Baillods family and shows significant overlap with the Baillods family genealogy, while no members of the larger Baillod family of Gorgier are mentioned.
Accurate genealogies for both the Baillod and Baillods families have been constructed back to about 1600, with anecdotal and folklore data extending back to about 1400. Both families claim to descend from the legendary Jacques Baillod (or Baillodz, depending on which family you belong to), who was knighted for singlehandedly defeating the army of Jacques de Savoie, the Count of Romont (1440-1486) at the Bridge of Thielle in 1476. Baillod was knighted for this deed and received a medal with the Latin inscription "Vires agminis unus habet," which translates as "One has the strength of an army." Click here for an account of this feat. It is probable that both the Baillod and Baillods families share a common origin, but it is not possible to trace through known records. The original meaning of the surname Baillod remains shrouded in mystery, but several possible linguistic origins can be inferred from this explanation.
Neuchatel didn't join the Swiss Confederation until 1815 and was an independent state prior to that time. As such, most Baillods in the 19th century would have considered themselves "Neuchatelois" rather than Swiss or French. The area of Neuchatel where the Baillod family originated is known as "La Beroche" and is known for its farming and for its watch & jewelry making. Many Baillod family members consequently, became watchmakers and some became quite famous for their fine time pieces.
The name Baillod also appears on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. General Jean-Pierre Baillod was born at Songieu in southeast France on August 30, 1771. He likely descends from the Neuchatel Baillod family, since Songieu is just across the border from Neuchatel. Baillod enlisted in Napolean's army and rapidly rose in rank. He barely escaped the Guillotine after being branded an aristocrat during the revolution. He served in the Army of the Alps, the Army of Italy and the Grand Army, serving in battles in Germany, Prussia and Poland, where he commanded the famous Baillod Cuirassiers of the Prussian Cavalry. Baillod was wounded on several occasions and on August 6, 1811, he was named brigadier general, given the title Baron of the empire and given command of the department of the English Channel. His name was then inscribed on the Arc. By the time of his death he was titled Commander of the royal order of the legion of honor, knight of the royal and military order of St Louis and of the imperial order of the iron crown of Austria. He died on March 1, 1853, leaving a son Edme, also a noted military officer, and a daughter Amedee, who emigrated to San Francisco in 1843. The last of his descendents died in 1922. Click here for more detail on General Jean-Pierre Baillod.
Families in the US & Canada
Three major groups of Baillods emigrated from Switzerland to North America in the late1800s and early 1900s. These groups now account for nearly all of the Baillods living in North America. As of April 2002, I have placed my entire Baillod Family Genealogy online at Ancestry.com. The links on this page subsequently allow you to browse the entire Baillod family database, which includes nearly 700 persons and dates to the mid 1400s.
Aerial Photo of Gorgier courtesy of Andre Locher
By far the largest group of Baillods in North America is the Baillod family that emigrated to Burkes Falls, Canada around 1878. This group was headed by Edouard Baillod (b. 1/9/1837) and Rose Marie (Berthoud) Baillod and rapidly spread across Canada and the US. The family, which holds a reunion every decade, now includes hundreds of members concentrated mostly in eastern and western Canada with groups in Lower Michigan, Kansas, Florida,Texas and California. Edward and Marie had ten children which accounts for the large number of descendants. Their children included Arthur, Arnold, William, Edward, Gustave, Emile, Ferdinand (Fritz), Adrien (emigrated to Porterville, CA), Mary and Flora. Many of the descendents of Arthur Baillod settled in Michigan and changed the spelling and pronunciation of their name to "Balloid." I have added a genealogy outline showing the descendants of this family. I would welcome additional info that is not in the online tree.
The second largest group is the Baillod family that settled in Porterville, California in about 1900. This group was headed by Jules Baillod (b. 5/15/1835) and Adele (Rosselet) Baillod who married in Switzerland. Jules was the brother of Edward Baillod (above) and came to Porterville from Burkes Falls. Jules and Edwards' parents were Charles August Baillod (b. 6/13/1806) and Helene (Favre) Baillod who remained in Switzerland. Jules and Adele had a number of children including Louis Baillod (b.1862), Jules Baillod (b.1867), Adele Elise Baillod (b.1870), Rose Margaretta Baillod (b.1871), John Baillod (b.1873), Jane Baillod (b.1876) & Paul Baillod (b.1878). Their descendants are now spread throughout the western United States, but are still centered primarily in California and Idaho. A geneaology outline for this family and that of Adrien Baillod (above) is available through the online records of the cemetery in Tulare County. They have been reproduced here. I have constructed an outline genealogy for this family which I have placed online here and would welcome additional info that is not in the online tree.
The third largest group is the Baillod family that settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1905. Headed by Charles Adolphe Baillod and Klara (Stieger) Baillod, this family is still concentrated primarily in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Upper Michigan. Charles emigrated from St. Aubin in 1905 leaving his mother, Elise Francoise Baillod. Charles married Klara Steiger (from Mielen, Switzerland) in Milwaukee in 1907. Charles and Clara had four children, Charles, Henry, Clara & Francis. Charles' parents were Henri (b. 4/14/1839) and Elise Francoise Baillod who remained in Switzerland. Henri's parents were Alexandre Leonard Baillod (b. 4/3/1787) and Suzanne Henriette (DuBois) Baillod. A general genealogy of this family is available online here.
in the US and Canada
Other related Baillod families are known to live in South America, and at least one Baillod came to the US without leaving any descendants. Some years ago, a headstone was found in a cemetery at Houghton, Michigan for Louis Baillod (1825 - 1871). Louis was killed in a boating accident on the Keweenaw Waterway, leaving a wife, Elizabeth Baillod. Research indicates that he was probably a cousin of Edward and Jules (above).
Another apparent sojourner was Frederic Baillod, born in Neuchatel in 1844. He came to the US in 1873 and is listed on the 1920 Census in Livermore, California as a single man working as a barrel cooper at a winery at age 76.
Georges Baillod (1857
- ?) is listed on the Swiss Baillod family tree as having died in America, but
no record of him has yet been found.
Aimé Baillod (1798 - ?) is listed on the Swiss Baillod tree as having emigrated to New Orleans where he married. His children Aimé (1821 - 1840) , Numa (1824 - ?) and Adalbert (1836 - 1865) also came to the US or were born here. Aimé was killed by a street car in New York. Numa married Rosette Barbara in New York and had three sons and a daughter. Adalbert died a bachelor in 1865, possibly in the Civil War.
Alfred Baillod (1859
- ?) is shown in 1897 working as a Jeweler in Brooklyn. He is noted in Ellis
Island records to have made a number of journeys back to Neuchatel and may have
returned to Switzerland.
Sisters Blanche (1894 - ?) and Berthe (1897 - ?) Baillod, emigrated from St. Aubin to Brooklyn, NY and Stamford, CT in 1924 and 1926, respectively. They are shown working as domestic servants on the 1930 census. It is possible that the sisters may have been siblings of Jules Baillod (1905 - 1991), listed below. They may have returned to Switzerland.
In addition to the
above, the family of Jules (1905 - 1991) and Bertha (1912 - 1997) Baillod of
Connecticut and the family of Jean (1893 - 1971) and Yvonne (1901 - 1986) Baillod
of Florida have yet to be fit into the family tree and I would be interested
in hearing from any of their descendents.
family Genealogy Resources:
Baillod Family Master Database (does not list first names or dates for living people) - current as of 1/7/2007
Family Heraldry (transcribed from the Armoreal Neuchatelois)
Online Swiss Baillod Family Tree from Claude-Francois Baillod (in French)
French Baillod Family on the Arc de Triomphe (in French)
All Ancestry.com records for the name Baillod
All Genealogy.com records for the name Baillod
Baillods listed in USSearch.com
Baillods listed in the MyFamily PeopleFinder
Baillods in the Yahoo.com PeopleSearch
Baillods listed in the Social Security Death Index
For more information about the history and genealogy of the Baillod family in the US and Canada, or if you are a Baillod and would like a baillod.com email address, you may email Brendon Baillod.
Special thanks to the following Baillods who've contributed data and family history:
Kerry Nelder - Michigan
Claude-Francois Baillod - Switzerland
Anne-Claire Baillod - Switzerland
Gary Baillod - Michigan
Henry Baillod - Wisconsin
Barbara Janoiko - California
Daryl Smith - Ontario
Cindy Holenski - Italy
Deed Baillod - Mexico
Roger Rosset - Switzerland
Sylvie Baillods - Switzerland
There are now Baillod families in the following States and Provinces (in descending order):