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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Bannister family come from? What is the English Bannister family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bannister family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bannister family history?

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.

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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, soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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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.

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Another 153 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bannister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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


  • Henry Bannister settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Henry Bannister, aged 22, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Wm Bannister, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • William Bannister, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Edward Bannister, who arrived in New Haven, Conn in 1639


Bannister Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Isaac Bannister, aged 35, landed in Delaware in 1813
  • E Bannister, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Mrs. Bannister, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1860

Bannister Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Thomas Bannister U.E who settled in Sissiboo [Weymouth], Nova Scotia c. 1783
  • John Bannister of Trinity Bay settled in Newfoundland in 1784

Bannister Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • John Bannister owned Fishing Room at Trinity, Newfoundland in 1800
  • Robin Bannister was a planter of British Harbour. Newfoundland in 1823

Bannister Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George Bannister, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • James Bannister arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cromwell" in 1849
  • Sarah Bannister, aged 26, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Charlotte Jane"
  • Joseph Bannister, aged 26, a carpenter, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Hyderabad"
  • John James Bannister, aged 28, a carpenter, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"

Bannister Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Edwin Bannister landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Bannister landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Robert Elijah Bannister landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Bannister landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Bannister, aged 35, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840


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  • Alan Bannister (b. 1951), American Major League Baseball player
  • Alex Bannister (b. 1979), American NFL football player
  • Brown Bannister, Grammy award winning producer and songwriter
  • Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901), African-American painter
  • Charles Bannister (1738-1804), English actor and singer
  • Trevor Bannister (b. 1936), English actor
  • Stephen Bannister, Politician and Diplomat
  • Dr. Roger Gilbert Bannister (b. 1929), British Neurologist who was the first person to run the four minute mile
  • Drew Bannister (b. 1974), Canadian NHL ice hockey player
  • Matthew Bannister, New Zealand musician

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  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

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 18 February 2015 at 13:15.

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