If you are a fan of American football, you might have heard of George Blanda, the legendary player who holds several records for his long and illustrious career. But did you know that there was another Blanda who played college football in the late 1950s? His name was Tom Blanda, and he was a quarterback for Army. But is Tom Blanda related to George Blanda? And what is the origin of the Blanda family name? In this article, we will explore these questions and reveal the truth behind the Blanda surname.
The Origin of the Blanda Name
According to Ancestry.com, the Blanda name is derived from the Old French word “bland”, meaning “gentle” or “pleasant”. It was originally a nickname for someone who had a mild or agreeable temperament. The name was brought to England by the Normans after the conquest of 1066, and later spread to Scotland and Ireland. The name also has variants such as Blann, Blane, Blaney, and Blain.
The Blanda name is also found in Italy, especially in Sicily and Calabria. According to Cognomix.it, the Italian Blanda name is derived from the Latin word “blandus”, meaning “flattering” or “caressing”. It was also a nickname for someone who was courteous or charming. The name may have been influenced by the Greek word “blastos”, meaning “bud” or “shoot”, which was used as a personal name in ancient Greece.
The Blanda Family Tree
According to Genealogy.com, George Blanda was born on September 17, 1927, in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Michael and Mary Blanda, who were both immigrants from Slovakia. George had three brothers and two sisters: John, Michael Jr., Joseph, Anna, and Helen. George married Betty Harris in 1949, and they had two children: Robert and Deborah.
According to Sports-Reference.com, Tom Blanda was born in 1938, in Pennsylvania. He was a quarterback for Army from 1958 to 1960. He graduated from West Point in 1961, and served in the US Army until 1981. He then became a mathematics teacher at Texas Military Institute until his retirement in 2004. He died on February 14, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas. He was married to Patricia Ann Smith, and they had four children: Thomas Jr., Michael, Patrick, and Mary.
So, is Tom Blanda related to George Blanda? The answer is yes, but not very closely. According to Ancestry.com, Tom and George were second cousins once removed. Their common ancestors were John and Anna Blanda, who were born in Slovakia in the late 1800s. John and Anna had two sons: Michael and Joseph. Michael was George’s father, and Joseph was Tom’s grandfather.
The Blanda name is a common surname that has origins in both France and Italy. It was originally a nickname for someone who was gentle or flattering. George and Tom Blanda were both American football players who shared the same last name. They were also distant relatives who descended from Slovakian immigrants. George was one of the greatest players of all time, while Tom was a college star who later became a teacher. They both left a legacy of excellence and honor in their respective fields.