This rare name is recorded both in Lincolnshire and London, but with few examples. It is clearly locational and would certainly appear to refer to a village of the same name, but if so both the village and its original location are lost. The etymology of the name suggest that it is old English pre 7th Century in origin and is composed of the elements "banke" which generally refers to a fence or bank, plus "hyrst" - a wood. The spelling as "Hurst" is usually but not always a "southern" spelling, the Northern version being "hirst". The few recordings include the following example - Henry James Bankhurst, christened on March 2nd 1806, at St. Mary-le-Bone, London. He was the son of Henry and Esther Bankhurst, but the name does not appear again in the London recordings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Bankhurst, which was dated July 10th 1735, married James Wright at Holbench, Lincolnshire, during the reign of King George 11, "The Last soldier King", 1727 - 1760. 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.
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