Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
This name has two origins, one German and another English. In Germany, it is a shorten version of the surname Fassbender, which is an occupational surname for a cooper, a person who made barrels. In England, it derives from the Old English word bendan, meaning “to bend (the bow)” and hence is most likely a metonymic occupational name for an archer (similar to the last name Benbow). One source asserts the name was first found in Baden, a historical territory in southern Germany. Less commonly, it can be a locational name for a person who came from a city in Moldova named Bender on the banks of the Dniester river. One source asserts most of the Benders in the United States were Pennsylvania Dutch, a term coined by the early American/English settlers to refer to German immigrants, using the German word for German people Deutsch, which eventually was corrupted to Dutch. Another source states: “Bender, an Amish Mennonite family name, is first recorded in the Amish community near Waldeck (later near Marburg) in Hesse-Cassel, Germany in about 1790”.
Common spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Bander, Bennder, Bandder, Bendder, and Bannder.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Bender ranks 821st in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name is significantly less common in England, where it ranks only 8,010. The name ranks particularly high in the following nine states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, North and Dakota. In Germany, the last name Bender is the 154th most frequent name. It is particularly frequent in Cologne, Frankfurt, and Munich. In Switzerland and Austria, it ranks 767th and 3,340th, respectively, in terms of commonness.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearer of this surname documented to history was Balthasar Bender who was born in Germany around 1560. He married Catharina Menger and they had a son named Ansett (Hans) Bender who was born in Eschelbach, Heidelberg, Baden-Wurerttemberg. He married twice, to women named Margaret and Anna, whose maiden names are unknown, and he had four issue: Micheal, Anna, Nicoclaus, and Margretha. His son Micheal was for in the same town in 1644. He married Ursula Rucker and they had seven children with her: Johann Jacob, Georg Adam, Anna, Maria Eva, Johann Georg, Johann, and Michel. His son Johann George was born in the same town in 1694. He married Anna Ursula and had the following issue with her: Georg Caspar, Anna Maria Helena, Maria Helena, Johann Georg, Anna Ursula, and Georg Clauss. His son Johann Georg Bender was born in 1716 in Eschelbach, Germany and he married Maria Elizabeth Lutz with whom he had the following children: Maria Catharina, Maria Elisabeth, Johann Caspar, Maria Barbara, Johann Christoph, Anna Dorothea, Maria Helen.
A one Johann Bender was born around 1620. He married a woman named Helena with whom he had two sons: Leonhard and Michael. His son Leonhard was born in Kleinostheim, Bavaria and he married Anna Eizenhöfer, and they had ten children together: Johann, Margaretha, Andreas, Johann Georg, Sebastian, Eva Margaretha (Schohe), Maria Margaretham, Johann Adam, Anna Maria, and Adam Peter. His son Johann was born between 1649-1703 in the same town. He married Katharina Hauck, and he had the following children with her: Johann Michael, Andreas, Adam Peter, Johann Heinrich, Maria Eva, and Johann. His son Johann Michael Bender was born in 1703 in Kleinostheim and he married Anna Margarthea Möller, and he had the following issue: Valentin, Margaretha, Johann Heinrich, Johann Martin, and Melchior.
Johann or John Bender was born in Wurttemberg, Germany in the first half of the nineteenth century. He married Sophia Pfeiffer and had three issue with her: Clara, Helena, and Friedrich. His son Friedrich or Fred Bender was born in the same state in 1863. He married Auguste Bendig and he had the following issue: Clara, Elisabeth, Helen (Neff), Herbert, Charles, Edith, Bertha (Thompson), Clarence, Emma Louise, Laura Henriette (Heisel), Edward, John Frederick, and Elmer Wilhelm. His son Clarence (nickname Sputzy) was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1903. He married Marcella Hilderhoff and they had the following issue together: Gloria A. Rieder, Clarence George, Charles Frederick, Donald Nicholas, and Howard E., and William L. Bender.
John George (or Johann) Bender was born in Russia in 1813. He married Christina Margaretha Mauch in 1831 and Russia. He went to the United States. He had a son named John. John was born in 1836 in Worms, Odessa and he married Margaretha Bender and had a son with her named Wilhelm. Wilhelm Bender was born in Odessa and he married Barbara Reidinger there in 1892. Before his death in 1939 in Hursfield South Dakota, he had the following issue: Eva (Patzer), Jacob, Wilheml, Christine (Lausch), Rosi (Brown), John, Emma (Baier), and Wola Pauldina (Widiger).
Marianna Bender was born in Steinberg, Ukraine in 1879. She married Anton L. Lauinger and she went to North Dakota. She had a daughter named Theresa Frances in 1900, who married Ralf Steven Berger.
Early American and New World Settlers
Early settlers in colonial American bearing this name include Anna Maria, George, and Henrig who settled in New York in 1709. Early settlers in Canada include Dennis Bender and George Bender, United Empire Loyalists, people from the American Colonies who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, who arrived in Cornwall around 1783. One of the earliest settlers in New Zealand bearing this last name was Simon Bender, who came aboard the Berar in 1865 and settled in Wellington.
Matthus Bender, and with wife Carharina, daughters Catharina, and sons Alexander and Johann Georg immigrated to Pennsylvania in between 1713 and 1727. A one Mathias Bender (Painter) (born circa 1660) came to Philadelphia in the 1720s.
The book Thirty Thousand Immigrants names in PA by Rupp states the following: “The Benders are prominent and numerous in Lancaster County and Eastern Pennsylvania.About this time Matthias Bender or Binder a Mennonite minister of Wurtenburg in Germany, was arrested and taken to Stuttgart prison on account of his faith, and later imprisoned in chains.He was examined and threatened by the doctors of theology, the representatives of the Prince and by the abbott.He was then sent to the castle of Hohenwithing and remained two years, when in 1576 the castle was burned to the ground.He was then released because of his brave conduct about the fire”.
We have 9 coats of arms for the Bender surname depicted here. The first 8 blazons are from Armorial General published in 1861 by the famous genealogist/heraldist Johannes Baptisa Rietstap. The 9th Bender Family Crest on this page is British, as it is from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons (in French and translated to English), and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it.
There are hundreds of notable people with the Bender surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Jack Bender (1949) who was an American television and firm director best known for three cult favorite shows: The Sopranos, Lost, and Game of Thrones, 2) Austin Letheridge Bender (1916-1980) who was the mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee from 1961-1971, a veteran of World War II who obtained the rank of Captain, 3) Chester R. Bender (1914-1996) who was the fourteenth Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, 4) Riley Alvin Bender (1890-1973) who was a US businessmen who is best known for his three bids for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party in elections of 1944, 1948, and 1952, 5) Hans Bender (1907-1991) was a German lecturer from Freiburg on the topic of parapsychology, and 6) Manfred Bender (1966) who is a German football manager and former player from Munich who most recently managed Austria Klagenfurt.