Last name: Banks

This name, with variant spellings Bankes and Banker, derives from the Northern Middle English "bank(e)", itself coming from the Old Danish "banke" meaning a ridge or hillside, and was originally given as a topographical name to someone who lived on the slope of a hillside or by a riverbank. The final "s" on the name preserves the Olde English genitive ending i.e., "of the bank". The surname was first recorded towards the end of the 13th Century (see below). One Matthew Banke appeared in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, dated 1327, and on June 21st 1546, Alse, daughter of John Banks, was christened in St. Antholin's, Budge Row, London. A John Banks of Devon was entered in the Oxford University Register, dated 1597. The famous "dancing horse", Morocco, to which allusion is made by all the best authors of the day, was owned by the Scottish showman, Banks, who flourished 1588 - 1637. The works of Sir Edward Banks (1769 - 1835), who was knighted 1822, include Waterloo, Southwark, and London Bridges. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter del Banck, which was dated 1297, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

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hello everybody my name is Banks and I live in Brazil. Someone knows who Banks was the first to come to Brazil? Thanks!!

George Banks
I believe that the origin of the name Banks could also be from the 13th century money changers who were originally Italians from Lombardy. They sat on benches (Italian banca) to do their business. This became bank in Middle English, and is the origin of our modern bank. As people often took their name from their profession, my ancestors could have been in the banking business I believe.

. Brenda J. Banks
Hi Everyone,
I am Brenda J. Banks, my dad and his family is from Merriwether, GA although; his father name is John Banks and his Mother name through is Bertha Banks, they are mixed with black foot indian native American of course we know how that came about, my father could originally pass for white and his sisters and brothers, with my sisters and brothers it is 6 of us.

Andrew H. Banks

I'm looking for any Banks's from the Hazard Kentucky area. My Father was John Williams "JW" Banks. Born 1944.

Ron Banks

I am from the Banks lineage that traces ancestry back to Sir John Banks who was the "Attorney General" of England back in the 1600's. Probably the second most powerful person in England at the time. He purchased Corfe Castle from the family of William the Conqueror. The castle was destroyed in the English Civil War but the remnants still stand today. I think many of the Banks could probably trace their lineage back to this Sir John Banks and I would be interested to hear what you know about your family history if you are from this line. I know a lot of the Banks ended up in Coweta, Georgia. My family ended up in NW Arkansas but not sure how they got there. William Banks, son of Sir John, came to America in the 1600's to Virginia. One of the descendants fought in the American Revolutionary War, don't know which side. Many of our relatives fought in the American Civil War for the South and were part of the Georgia Banks.

Michael Banks

I'm in a long line of Banks family from Joanna South Carolina. Im currently in Taylors SC.

Trooi Anne Bank
I'm in Namibia and is looking for my family in Germany, as I have understand from my forefather that we get the surname from Germany. Email address

Michael Banks
im Also a Banks from England. My grandfather Originated from Liverpool area but I was raised in Cambridge.

Christopher Banks
My grandfather Lloyd Banks grew up in North Carolina and then move to Indiana he was married to Betty Banks as a kid we used to go there and he would show us where he grew up on the side of a mountain

Edward Banks
Hi All, Its amazing to see how widespread this name is around the world My family is from Canterbury, New Zealand. We have a Peninsula called Banks Peninsula named after Sir Joseph Banks (with the Endevour/Cptn Cook) Unsure if there is a connection to our family and Sir Joseph Banks. There are many Banks's in Canterbury although I'm told not all are related which is interesting. Would be great to track our family tree back to see if there is a connection to Sir JB.

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