The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan. There was never a recorded Wendy before.
I added this to my Odd facts page and Wendys (Friends of Wendys) worldwide have risen to the challenge. Among the retorts that run the gambit from “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire” to well thought out retorts like “I’m a Wendy so the name is real”, one stands out.
A reader who actually followed the rules of the site sent an internet reference by which we can debate whether or not this “Fact” happens to be true. Wendy’s World is a bubbly cute site worthy of a World Class Wendy. Maintained by Wendy Russ, therein lies a link that gives us an entomology of the name Wendy. Sort of. The site itself says that it proves that Wendy was not made up by J. M. Barrie for “Peter Pan”, sort of.
Wendy may be in fact a bastardization of the name Gwendolyn. But I prefer to believe the flip side of the article in that “Wendy” was made up for the story as a homage to a little six year old girl named Margaret Henley who adored Barrie and always called him “my friendy”. However, because she couldn’t pronounce her r’s, the words came out “my fwendy”. One variation of the tale says Margaret called Barrie “friendy-wendy” or in her pronunciation, “fwendy-wendy”.
For now I’ll side for the whimsy and cute story of Margaret Henley until something better comes along.
I post, you decide.