Received in a recent e-mail from Ray H. Banks Jr. sent Sunday 3/18/2007 12:00 PM

The explanation of the Banks DNA project is found at:
This is a link to the new page that includes the results for the Banks of Elbert family

Ray Banks



From: Ray Banks []    Sent:  Sun 3/18/2007 11:54 AM

Dear Banks,
My timing may be faulty.  I was waiting for a report on a DNA sample now in the lab, but I received info that the newsletter was about to come out in April.  Perhaps I have missed the deadline.  And I am being presumptuous in assuming you might be interested in an update on the Banks DNA project as it pertains to the Banks of Elbert group.
Some e-mail systems now send e-mails containing links to the spam folder.  For this reason, I will immediately send a second e-mail containing several links.  If you do not see this second e-mail, it is probably in your spam folder.
Update to the Banks DNA project as it pertains to the Banks of Elbert families:
Last year we determined that the descendants of Thomas Banks (Banks of Elbert families) are indeed closely genetically related to the branch of the Virginia Bankses with the best documented descent from William Bankes of King and Queen Co., Virginia.  The Banks of Elbert book suggests an earlier descent from Sir John Bankes, originally from Cumbria.  A descendant of the best documented line born in the 1850s indicated a tradition in his own family of several brothers coming to the U.S. originally. 
There is a pertinent new test result, but it fails to confirm either tradition.  This sample is from a descendant of Richard Banks who came to York, Maine, in the mid-1600s.   The new test participant is as close genetically to the tested Virginia Bankes, including the Bankses of Elbert, as they are to each other.  Thus it is unlikely that the common Banks ancestor shared by the Maine and Virginia families lived much farther back than the 1600s. 
The descendants of Richard Banks of York, Maine, constitute a large family who have almost all stayed in Maine, with the exception of a group of Loyalists who moved to Nova Scotia during the American Revolution.  Some of these Canadians emigrated back to the U.S. in the early 1900s period.
The origins of Richard Banks were fairly well established by Dr. Charles E. Banks, historian and genealogist, almost 100 years ago.  He determined that a group of persons related by marriage and living in the same area of Kent in England migrated to York at the same time.  It is known also from the parish registers in Alkham, Kent, that Richard was then a tailor and had children in England.  He seems to have moved to Alkham from another location because of a lack of Banks entries for some time in the parish registers.
From 1651-2 Richard was a provincial councillor.  He probably died an old man in 1692 in the Indian massacre of that year.
Richard also seems to be the Richard Banks of New England listed in The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1661-1699 who was receiving shipments from English merchants.  It cannot be ruled out that he was also the Richard who received similar shipments sent to Virginia and Maryland if he or his sons operated multiple mercantile operations.
Among the three children baptized to Richard and Joan Banks at the parish of Alkham was a William Banks, baptized 5 Sep 1641.   William is not listed in the burial records there and does not appear later in the Maine records.  Some might suggest -- as a third scenario for the Virginia William's parentage -- that he was later the William Bankes of King and Queen Co., but the evidence is far from convincing.
What is needed at this point is a sample from a descendant of the Keswick Cumbria, families, but it is very difficult to obtain English participants.  This is not due to lack of trying.  Most of the samples now being collected are from the British Isles, and it is very important to trace the ancestry of each participant.  To date, we have found 30 unique Banks DNA profiles, and there are likely many more.  All of Sir John's original Cumbrian family seems to have left the town by the late 1800s and there possibly may not be any male Bankses left from Sir John's line.  Any help with regard to the latter is appreciated.
We have in the lab a sample from a 1600s Kent family from a New Zealand descendant.  I have no idea whether this will provide relevant information.  But the results will not be available until April. 
Ray Banks


************************************************************************UPDATE #2********************************************************************************************

Subject: News as to Banks DNA Project
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2008 14:14:32 -0700

It is my understanding that a Banks of Elbert reunion will be held toward the end of this month.   I have news I would like to pass on to whichever person is in charge of the reunion. 


Regretfully it is yet only partial news, as I will explain.
Two years ago I determined that your Banks family is genetically related to the fully documented line of descendants of William Bankes of King and Queen Co., Virginia.  Since then we have found a close match to your family only among the Banks family of mid-1600s York, Maine.  Since then, I have also expended a great deal of time and effort trying to locate a participant from the family of Sir John Bankes in England.  The most recent edition of the book Banks of Elbert argues your family is descended from Sir John. 
It was only this spring that I succeeded in finding a living male Bankes from Sir John's line.  It turned out to be the most difficult sample I have collected as the participant had to be reassured on many issues and I have to remind him about a dozen times to return the sample.  The sample was finally returned last week, but results will not be available until October.  That is why I only have partial news.
This man by agreement between the two of us must remain anonymous, but I can point out his deceased ancestors.  Our participant is descended from Henry Bankes, b. 1757 who represented Corfe Castle in parliament from 1780 to 1826 and then Dorsetshire from 1826 to 1831.  Presumably during this time he lived at Kingston Lacy.  More recently our participant is descended from the lord chief justice of appeal, Sir John Eldon Bankes, who was born in 1854, died 1946.  John inherited the estate of Soughton Hall in Flintshire, Wales, which his Bankes grandfather obtained when he was chaplain to Queen Victoria.
This sample will go a long way to determining if there is a relationship between your family and that of Sir John Bankes (1600s).  Full confirmation of the Sir John Bankes family line's genetic profile would require a sample from the Banks families of Cumbria who are related to Sir John.  This is not easily done as the original families left the Keswick area by the late 1800s, and I have not been successful in tracing any of them to more recent descendants.  In fact, I can not identify any Banks in the 1901 census descended from the original families though I have done considerable work in assembling Cumbrian families.
As mentioned, the results will not be available until October.