I was recently in e-mail contact with Dr. Phil Candy. He graciously gave me some interesting information about my grandfather, Robert Candy, who was born in November 1839 in Montrose, Forfar, Scotland. Dr. Candy said that the Scottish Candys were “a bit of a closed book” to him. That prompted this post.
My grandfather was a career soldier in the British Army, serving in the Royal Horse Artillery from 1858 – 1879 and later with the Territorial Army from 1886 – 1896. He died in 1913 at age 46.
I had always believed that the name”Candy” was an English name as has been pointed out here. But the 1881 census showed quite a few Candys living in Forfarshire, Scotland:
- Isobella CANDY Occ: Mill Worker;
- Jane CANDY Occ: Farm Serv Wife;
- Mary CANDY Occ: Bleachfield Worker;
- James CANDY Occ: Farm Servant; Mary Ann CANDY Rel: Wife; James CANDY Rel: Son; Charles CANDY Rel: Son; Helen CANDY Rel: Daur; William CANDY Rel: Son
- Margaret CANDY Occ: Ag Lab; William MC HARDY Rel: Son; Alexander MC HARDY Rel: Son; Mary J. MC HARDY Rel: Daug; Charles CANDIE Rel: Son
- Mary Ann CANDY Occ: Millworker
- Christina CANDY Occ: Linen Weaver
- Mary Ann CANDY Occ: General Servt (Domestic)
- William CANDY, son of Isabella WILLOCKS Occ: Farm Lab
The only information I have personally on the source of Scottish Candys is anecdotal and possibly wrong.
Anyone with the name “Candy” can probably relate to growing up with our unusual name and being kidded about it. At one point in my childhood, I asked my father, "Where did we get our name, Dad?" My father told me a story about his father seeing the grave of his grandfather, or even his great-grandfather, and the name on the tombstone was "Kennedy." As the story went, it seems that one of my ancestors was a farmboy from Ayrshire who joined the army, an "English" regiment. He could neither read nor write, and when asked his name he replied in a broad Scots accent, "Kennedy, Sir." The English recruiting sergeant, perhaps being acquainted with the name "Candy" in England, recorded my ancestor's name as "Candy." My ancestor made his mark, and we have been Candys ever since.
Years later after my father had departed this mortal coil, I talked to my aunt, who was also married to my father's older brother and knew much about the Candy Family. I asked her about this. Her reply was, "Ooch no, Robert, your father was an awful story-teller." Dead end. Much later, I told the story to the host of radio call-in show on genealogy. He thought there might be some truth in it.
So where did the Scottish Candys come from? Montrose was a garrison town for the Royal Artillery, but all those Candys living in and around Montrose in 1881 could not have been the progeny of English soldiers called “Candy.” Or could they? Can anybody out there shed some light on this?
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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