New DNA Evidence
Discards Widely Held Family Ties
A bit of family history related to Virginia and our Banks family: William Banks was our immigrant ancestor. He purchased 1200 acres of Mantapike lands prior to 1690 and settled there. He appears to have come to Virginia with means and was a slaveholder and property owner from his earliest days in the colony.
His English origins are a mystery, although DNA evidence has now conclusively established that he was of the same family as a Richard Banks of a generation earlier who had immigrated from London to Massachusetts. We have all loved hearing the story that William may have been a son of Sir John Bankes of Corfe Castle and brother of Sir Ralph Bankes of Kingston Lacey in England, but it is all but certain he was not – it is not impossible, however, that he was related to this family.