Chapter 10 Yarns, Traditions, and Facts

The lives of the Bandy family described in the earlier chapters and their relatives with other names are not that different from their contemporaries, but far different than our own.

According to family tradition, Bandy ancestors moved from France to England to escape religious persecution. As noted below, however, there is little evidence to support the theory.

One story suggests that the Bandy name refers to the stripe on military uniforms. According to the tradition, the original Bandys either made these stripes or were soldiers who wore them. None of this tradition has much evidence to support it.

Nevertheless, the fate of many Bandy has been to serve in the military and to die from their wounds. The family history is one of frontiers, covered wagons, and farms. It is a story of war, Rough Riders, and U boats. It is of silver mines, Jayhawkers, and bushwhackers, and it is a story of moonshining, bootlegging, pensions, Olympians, and presidential inaugurations. Some individuals with the name pre-date the American Revolution by 100 years. Relatives fought on both sides of the Civil War and possibly the American Revolution.

Today, in the United States, there are small towns named Bandy in Lowndes County, Georgia, Pulaski County, Kentucky, Catawba County, North Carolina, and Tazewell County, Virginia. Also, there is a creek in Oklahoma, and there are streets in Roanoke, Virginia and Carroll County, Arkansas.

Although the origin of the name is unknown, one known effort to trace it back to its earliest origins is by Derek Bandy of London, England. Information from his effort is summarized below:

A Bandy is mentioned in the Doomsday Book (1086) for Buckinghamshire. The Doomsday Book is the name given to the census conducted William the Conqueror after his successful invasion of England. One other early reference is to Thomas Bandy as the Vicar of Mathon in the county of Worcestershire from 1373 to 1378.

The modern Bandy family appears to have its origin on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, around Milton Keynes in 1550. Derek Bandy indicates that he is descended from Edward and Rebeccah Bandy who were married in 1711 apparently in a small village northeast of Buckinghamshire. Edward and Rebeccah had six children including Sarah, George, John, Thomas, William, and Elizabeth. There is no evidence that this group is related to Americans with the same name.

A variation of the history of the family name is found in the Newberry Library in Chicago which cites “The Battle Abey Roll with some account of Norman Lineage, and the Duchess of Cleveland, 1899.” John Murray, Alberemarle Street, London apparently wrote the report which states:

Bandy (Baudyn) would appear to be a duplicate of Baudion or Bawdewyn. It probably stands for Bondy, from a place so named near St. Denis, Isle De France. Ralph de Bondi occurs in Palgraves Rotuli Curia Repes of 1199. Robert de Bundy founded Bradley Priory: Leceistershire in the time of King John. There was a family of Bendys in Staffordshire, that bore argent two bats Azure which charged with three martelets. That apparently is a description of the family crest. Schutt-End says Erdeswick, is an old house, formerly of Bendys. William Bandy of King’s Swinford, was Clerk of the Peace for the County and died in 1684. William Bondi of Bedfordshire and Thomas Bundi of Shropshire occur in the Rotuli Hundredorum, about 1272. Richard Bundy in 1313, appears in Palgraves Parliamentary Writs as manucopter of John Pistor, Burgess returned for Guilford. The arms of Bondy; or a bend, and on the sinister side two bandlets Vert, are preserved by Roboson.

These sources make no mention of Bandys fleeing France because of religious persecution. As noted in Chapter 1, the Banning family has in its history references to religious persecution and moving from the Netherlands to England and on to America. It is possible that the confused history of the name relates to the blending of two sources.

It seems likely that the name has multiple origins. That is not everyone named Bandy can trace the name back to a single early ancestor. For example, the 1850 U.S. Census lists 18 foreign born individuals named Bandy including 6 from England, 2 from Austria, 8 from Switzerland, and 2 from Ireland (see Chapter 12). This suggests that individuals from different locals in Europe were known as Bandys.

Some alternative origins reported in Derek Bandy’s Website include:

·An English origin derived from the name Bond which means a peasant farmer or husbandman. That name may have a Germanic origin meaning relating to being “banded” or “bound” together by loyalty or possibly in “bounded” servitude.

·The Scandinavian name “Bonde” simply means farmer. The name Bonde can be found as far back as the 13th century in Norway. Derek Bandy suggests that the name came to England during the Scandinavian invasions. Constable Bondi, who possibly was related to the Norman Invaders and/or Danes, played an important social and political role in 1086 England. A Scandinavian variation of the name includes”buandie” which refers to peasant land holder with voting rights. Still today, the greatest concentration of Bandys in England can be found in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire Counties, north of London, which were controlled by Danes following the Scandinavian invasions in the ninth and tenth centuries.

·French variations include “bande” which alternatively refers to a clothier, a soldier, and a flag carrier. The name Bande is first documented in France during the 12th century being derived from the Fankish word “binda” meaning a band or strip of cloth. This suggests that early bearer of the name were in the trade of making or selling strips of cloth. The French word “bande” also refers to a band, troop, or company of soldiers. Membership in military units was noted by the wearing of colored strips (or bands) of cloth. Troops wearing the same colored stripes were said to be “banded” together. Still today, the stripes on the pants of Army uniforms are called “bands.” The earliest French record of the name was Gilbert Bandy, date not stated, Count of Naleche, a member of the 23rd Dragoon Regiment. In addition, the name refers to one who carries a flag. The colors in military flags matched the uniform stripes. Again, the stripes banded troops together.

·The name Banning is said to be derived from the Dutch name Van Dyke which in some cases became Bandyke. As noted in Chapter 1, some early American Bannings were sometimes referred to by the name Bandy. If some American Bandys are descended from the Bannings then their name likely originated as Van Dyke.

Taken together, these facts suggest that the name Bandy may have multiple origins, and that not all individuals with the name can trace it back to the same origin.