Bandys Around Chesapeake Bay Including Accomack County, Virginia

What we do know is that in 1637, John Band was brought to New Norfolk County, Virginia by Henry Catyler[i], and that same year John received a land grant in New Norfolk.[ii] These are the earliest known American references to a name that may have evolved into Bandy.[iii] In a 1660 lawsuit, John Band of Bristol, England was identified as a mariner, age 42, and a member of the crew of the ship Delight. In the lawsuit he testified that David Warren loaned 2,200 pounds of good Virginia tobacco to a Yeamans in November 1657.[iv] It is possible that John was a sailor who did not remain in Virginia.

In 1661 (or perhaps it was 1668),Eliz. Bandy received a grant in New Kent County, up the James River from New Norfolk.[v] She received part of a grant that was for a total of 12,000 acres. This is the earliest known American use of the precise name Bandy.

Robert Band testified in Northhampton County in 1646.[vi] In 1654, Col. Argoll Yardley brought Wm. Band to Northampton County, Virginia.[vii] William received a land grant in "Ackomack in Northpton Co." during the same year.[viii]

Math: Bandy was granted a land certificate for a 50 acre track in Accomack County, Virginia on March 3, 1672 or 1673.[ix] This listing for Matthew in Accomack County does suggest a tie between him and William and Robert and possibly John and Elizabeth.

Northhampton and Accomack Counties are not contiguous with the rest of Virginia, but rather are located on Cape Charles, a peninsula between Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean often called the Eastern Shore. The counties are located across Chesapeake Bay from the James River and Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States. The peninsula also includes counties of Maryland as well as the entire state of Delaware.

Although there is 100 year time gap, other Bandys can be found in Accomack County through 1810. For example, in the 1772 will of Joshua Riggs, daughter Mary Bandy is listed as a residual legatee.[x] Mary's 1775 will lists Isaac Riggs as her administrator.[xi] I assume it is the same Mary. Sally Bandy is listed as an heir in the 1777 will of Isaac Riggs where she is identified as "my cousin."[xii]Kendall Bandy married Rosey Bunting on October 26, 1799.[xiii]Kendall is listed in the census of 1800 for Accomack County.[xiv] His age is listed as between 16 and 25 as is his wife (Rosey). They are listed as having two children, a boy and a girl, both under age 10. Kendall married Rachel Penn on July 5, 1804.[xv]Caleb Bandy is listed in the 1810 census of Accomack County (p. 12). It is not clear whether Caleb and Kendall are the same person. Caleb's age is listed as being between 26 and 45, and he is listed as living with a boy under age 10 and a girl between the ages of 10 and 15. As noted later in this chapter, it is possible that Calebís last name may possibly be Bundy. In 1820, Kendal Bandy is listed in the Elizabeth City County census (p. 115). Elizabeth City is across the Chesapeake from Accomack County. He and the only female in the household are both listed as being over age 45. The only other member of the household is a boy between ages of 10 and 15.

It is of course possible that these individuals are all somehow related, possibly as descendants, of the early persons with the name Band and/or Bandy. Given the very small population of Virginia in the 1600's and geographic proximity of the individuals it is very possible that the Bands and Bandys are the same family. In 1635, just before John Band acquired land, the population of Virginia was only 5,119.[xvi] As many individuals at that time could not write, the varied spellings may simply reflect the recordersí interpretations of the names reported to them.

The descendants of this early group could have spread explaining, perhaps in part, the several pockets of Bandys along the eastern seaboard. These records of Bandys in Virginia in the mid-1600's establish that Bandys were among the earliest European settlers, and suggest that the group could be ancestors of some, perhaps many, Bandys in America today. The time gap between the earliest group found in the area in the 1600's and the latter group found in the late 1700's is puzzling. Did members of the group move away or die out? If they did move on, was it to Maryland?

 

[i]Immigrants to America Before 1750," The Magazine of American Genealogy, 1930.

[ii]George Cabell Greer, Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1960, p. 19. The fact that John was identified has being brought to America suggests that he was an indentured servant, who after completing a term of service, might earn his freedom.

[iii]Another reference indicates that a John Band brought Thomas Morse and Thomas Galey to Virginia in 1656 (Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1987, p. 333.) It is unclear whether this is the same John Band.

[iv]Deposition Book of Bristol, 1657-1661, p. 54.

[v]Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1666-1695. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. 1977, pp. 49-50.

[vi]Ransom B. True, The Biographical dictionary of Early Virginia, 1607-1660.

[vii]"Immigrants to America Before 1750," op. cit.

[viii]Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1963, pp. 289-290, and Greer, op Cit. p. 19.

[ix]Stratton Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, Virginia 1663-1709. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1977, p.51. The date on the original document apparently was unclear.

[x]Stratton Nottingham, Wills and Administrations of Accomack County, Virginia, 1663-1800. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 1990, p. 267.

[xi]Ibid., p. 264.

[xii]Ibid., p. 267.

[xiii]Nora Miller Turman, Marriage Records of Accomack County, Virginia 1776-1854 Recorded in Bonds, Licenses and Ministers' Returns. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994, p. 17.

[xiv]Annie Laurie Ewald, "Accomack County, Virginia 1800 Census," The Virginia Genealogist. vol. 1, July-September, 1957, p. 103. Although the original record of the 1800 Accomack County census is lost, a duplicate was found when county papers were delivered to the Virginia State Library. This reporting is based on the duplicate.

[xv]Turman,op. cit.

[xvi]Evarts B. Greene and Virginia D. Harrington, American Population Before the Federal Census of 1790. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1981, p. 136 citing the Calendar of City and State Papers, Colonial Series: America and West Indies.