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 www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2015
Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree
. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA
We are currently experiencing a technical fault with our comments system we hope to have it working again shortly, sorry for any inconvenience. (19th of May 2015)
Andrew H. Banks
I'm looking for any Banks's from the Hazard Kentucky area.
My Father was John Williams "JW" Banks. Born 1944.
hello everybody my name is Banks and I live in Brazil. Someone knows who Banks was the first to come to Brazil?
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.
. Brenda J. Banks
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.
I'm in a long line of Banks family from Joanna South Carolina. Im currently in Taylors SC.
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.