Banks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Banks name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from 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 Banks family

The surname Banks 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 Banks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Banks 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 Banks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Banks Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Banks were recorded, including Banke, Banck, Bancks, Banckes, Banks, Bankes and others.

Early Notables of the Banks 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 Banks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Banks migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Banks family emigrate to North America:

Banks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Miles Banks, who arrived in Virginia in 1620 [4]
  • Edward Banks, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Francis Banks, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [4]
  • Henry Banks, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • James Banks, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Banks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Banks, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [4]
  • Isabell Banks, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [4]
  • John Banks, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [4]
  • Martha Banks, who landed in Virginia in 1720 [4]
  • Elizabeth Banks, who arrived in Carolina in 1724 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Banks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Banks, who arrived in New York in 1811 [4]
  • Rose Banks, aged 20, who arrived in Maine in 1812 [4]
  • Helen Banks, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1845 [4]
  • Benjamin W Banks, who arrived in Mississippi in 1846 [4]
  • Carus Banks, aged 19, who arrived in New York in 1864 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Banks Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Carl Mackey Banks, who landed in Alabama in 1921 [4]
  • Lemie William Banks, who landed in Alabama in 1922 [4]

Canada Banks migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Banks Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Cyril Banks, who settled in Bay de Verde, Newfoundland in 1716 [5]
  • Mr. James Banks U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [6]
  • Mr. William Banks U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [6]
  • Nicholas Banks was a fisherman of St. John's Newfoundland in 1794 [5]
Banks Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • George Banks, who settled in Fogo, Newfoundland in 1805 [5]
  • Mr. Alexander Banks, aged 25 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Avon" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [7]
  • Mr. Abraham Banks, aged 22 who was a Seaman aboard the ship "Sir Henry Pottinger" taking passenger to Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec departing from the port of Belfast, Ireland but died at Grosse Isle on 19th August 1847 in the typhus epidemic [8]
  • Miss. Ellen Banks, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Mary" departing 24th May 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 27th July 1847 but she died on board [9]
  • Mr. John Banks, aged 45 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Mary" departing 24th May 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 27th July 1847 but he died on board [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Banks migration to Australia +

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

Banks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Banks, British convict who was convicted in Warwick, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Abraham Banks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [11]
  • Elizabeth Banks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [11]
  • William Banks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [11]
  • George Banks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Banks migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Banks Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • G Banks, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1837
  • John Banks, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Miss Mary Anne Banks, (b. 1835), aged 21, British general servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Isabella Hercus" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th January 1856 [12]
  • Miss Elizabeth Banks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harkaway" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 2nd June 1857 [12]
  • Mr. Enoch Banks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harwood" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th November 1858 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Banks Settlers in New Zealand in the 20th Century
  • David Banks, aged 18, a farmer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926

Contemporary Notables of the name Banks (post 1700) +

  • Dennis Banks (1937-2017), Native American leader, teacher, lecturer, activist and author
  • Brenda S. Banks (d. 2016), American archivist at the Georgia Archives
  • Calvin Douglas "Doug" Banks Jr. (1958-2016), American radio personality, host of The Doug Banks Radio Show
  • Montague "Monty" Banks (1897-1950), born Mario Bianchi, Italian-born, American comedian and film director
  • Carolyn Banks (b. 1941), American novelist, short-story writer, editor, and screen writer
  • Nathaniel Prentice Banks (1816-1894), American politician and soldier, 24th Governor of Massachusetts, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Union general during the American Civil War
  • Ernie Banks (b. 1931), American baseball player
  • John L. Banks, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 8½ aerial victories
  • William M. Banks, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 9 ½ aerial victories
  • Sir Edward Banks (1769-1835), English builder, raised himself from the humble station of a day labourer to the chief control of the firm of Jolliffe & Banks, contractors for public works, and was the builder of Waterloo, Southwark, and London bridges
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Bobby L Banks (b. 1964), American Specialist 4th Class from Junction City, Kansas, USA who died in the crash [13]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Sidney T Banks (b. 1901), English Leading Cook (S) serving for the Royal Navy from Hackney, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. George H Banks (b. 1905), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Guildford, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Robert Henry Banks, British Boy 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [15]


Suggested Readings for the name Banks +

  • 263 "The Banks Family of Maine" by Charles Edward Banks, "Daniel Black Orrell and His Descendants with the Banks Family" by Robert Stanley Orrell, "The Genealogical Record of the Banks Family of Elbert County, Georgia" by Elbert Augustin Banks.

  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 12)
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 62)
  9. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 64)
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SOMERSETSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Somersetshire.htm
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  14. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  15. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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