Bankes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bankes is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived close to a slope, or a hillside. The surname is derived from the Old English word banke. [1]

Early Origins of the Bankes family

The surname Bankes was first found in various counties and shires throughout Britain. One of the first on record was Simon Bankes of Bank Newton in Craven, Yorkshire c. 1200. Walter del Banck was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1297 and Metthew Banke was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327. [1]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Nicholas del Bancke; Adam del Bank; and Magota de Bancke. [2]

One branch of the family was found at Winstanley in Lancashire from early times. "In the reign of James I., the manor belonged to James Bancks, a descendant of the Bankes, of BankNewton, in Craven; in whose family the property continued until about 1731, when, by marriage with the heiress of William Bankes, it passed to the family of Holme, who eventually changed their name to Bankes. Winstanley Hall, existing in the 16th century, is the seat of the Bankes family, and stands in a spacious and delightful park: it has been lately re-edified and improved." [3]

Early History of the Bankes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bankes research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1600, 1743, 1820, 1768, 1973, 1784, 1589, 1644, 1627, 1699, 1668, 1659, 1696, 1631, 1677, 1410, 1410, 1588, 1637, 1600, 1588 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Bankes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bankes Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Bankes has been spelled many different ways, including Banke, Banck, Bancks, Banckes, Banks, Bankes and others.

Early Notables of the Bankes family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society; William Bankes, High Sheriff of Lancaster, 1784; Sir John Bankes (1589-1644), Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas to Charles I, who held a family seat at Corfe Castle in Dorset; Sir John Banks, 1st Baronet FRS (1627-1699), an English merchant and politician, one of the wealthiest merchants in London, Fellow of the Royal Society in 1668; and his son, Caleb Banks (1659-1696), an English politician; and Sir Ralph Bankes (1631-1677), MP for Corfe, responsible for the building of the new family seat at Kingston Lacy. Richard Banke...
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bankes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bankes migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Bankess to arrive in North America:

Bankes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Bankes who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Eliza Bankes, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • Dorothy Bankes, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [4]
  • Richard Bankes, who landed in New England in 1673 [4]
  • Robert Bankes, who landed in Maryland in 1673 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bankes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francis Bankes, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [4]
  • Edward Bankes, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [4]
  • Sarah Bankes, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • William Bankes, who landed in America in 1760 [4]

Australia Bankes migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bankes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Bankes, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Mr. Charles Bankes, (b. 1824), aged 14, Canadian errand boy from Saint John, New Brunswick who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 11th May 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bankes (post 1700) +

  • Walter J. Bankes (d. 1942), American politician, Dry Candidate for Delegate to Ohio convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [7]
  • Lyn Bankes, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Livonia, Michigan, 2003 [7]
  • William John Bankes (d. 1855), English traveller in the East, second but eldest surviving son of Henry Bankes, of Kingston Hall, Dorset
  • Henry Bankes (1757-1834), English politician and author, the only surviving son of Henry Bankes, Esq., great-grandson of Sir John Bankes
  • George Bankes (1788-1856), the last of the cursitor Barons of the Exchequer—the office being abolished on his death in 1856, third son of Henry Bankes, of Kingston Hall, Dorset
  • William John Bankes (1786-1855), English explorer and adventurer, MP for Corfe
  • Henry John Ralph Bankes (1902-1981), English noble who upon his death, bequeathed Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle to the National Trust, the largest donation the trust has ever received
  • William George Hawtry Bankes (1836-1858), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Sir John Bankes I'Anson (1759-1799), 6th Baronet of Bassetbury, English peer, rector of Corfe Castle, Dorset
  • Sir Thomas Bankes I'Anson LL.B (1724-1799), 5th Baronet of Bassetbury, English peer, born Languedoc, rector of Corfe Castle, Dorset

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th February 2021). Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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