An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Today's generation of the Bannister family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bannister family lived in Lancashire, were they held lands and properties since the Norman Conquest in 1066. The name was also derived from the Old French term balestier which was transformed into arbalester which was an occupational name for a cross-bowman. Literally the name was also derived from balister which meant a baluster or staircase.
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bannister include Bannister, Banister, Banester, Bannester, Bannaster, Banaster and many more.
First found in Lancashire, at Walton-le-Dale, a township and chapelry, in the parish, and Lower division of the hundred, of Blackburn, union of Preston. "The manor was granted by the first Henry de Lacy, probably about 1130, to Robert Banastre, from whose family it passed in marriage to the Langtons."  Another branch was found in Welsh Whittle, again in Lancashire. "This township, under the name of Walsewythull, was held of the earls of Lincoln by the Banastre family in the reign of Henry III."  Altham, again in Lancashire was an important family seat. "Under the name of Elvetham, the manor [of Altham] was granted by the first Henry de Lacy to Hugo, a Saxon: John de Alvetham, Hugo's descendant, left an heiress who married into the Banastre family, and thus sprang the Banastres of Altham, who occupied the manor-house for five centuries."  Again in Lancashire, Billisborrow or Billsborough was another family seat. "The family of Billisburgh was early seated here, and in the reign of Edward II. the Banasters are mentioned as holding lands in 'Billesworth.' " 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bannister research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1149, 1400, 1533, 1610, 1578, 1626, 1624, 1679, 1654, 1692, 1721 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Bannister History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 153 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bannister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Bannister family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Bannisters to arrive on North American shores:
Bannister Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Bannister Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Bannister Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Bannister Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Bannister Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Bannister Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Bannister Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bannister Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 2 May 2016 at 08:32.