Looking Backwards: A Matter of Life and Death (2)
As I’ve mentioned recently it appears that the vast majority of my uncovered ancestors lived and died within sight of where they were born. I see where I get my ‘home body’ genes from. There are a few examples of those who moved though – some a great distance to VERY foreign lands. I’ve already mentioned some connections with the Caribbean island of Barbados (of which more later) and a few connections with America (before the Revolution). But, as always, there’s more…..
Just recently I’ve been looking at William Banks II (1796-1868), my 4th great-grandfather, and his wife Elizabeth – nee Taylor (1798-1868) who moved from Shropshire, England (where a great many of my ancestors originated) and ended up in Spanish Fork, Utah where they farmed and raised five children. One of those children, John Banks (1834-1896), my 3rd great-granduncle, fought with the Utah Territory Militia in the ‘Blackhawk War’, the name of the estimated 150 battles, skirmishes, raids, and military engagements taking place from 1865 to 1872, primarily between Mormon settlers in Sanpete County, Sevier County and other parts of central and southern Utah, and members of 16 Ute, Southern Paiute, Apache and Navajo tribes, led by a local Ute war chief, Antonga Black Hawk. [Thanks, Wiki] How WEIRD is THAT! One of HIS sons, Robert Taylor Banks (1871-1915) married a local Utah girl Ellen Gudrun Johnson (1871-1964) whose family was from ICELAND [another STRANGE connection] and whose mother had the brilliant, if difficult to pronounce name of Ingibjorg Ingimundsdr.
Then, there’s the brilliantly named Mary Elizabeth Gilson Pomfrett (1630-1653), my 10th great-grandmother, born in the East Riding of Yorkshire who gave birth to Thomas Key (1643-1695) at age 13! [interestingly Thomas was born in Cheshire and not Yorkshire where Mary, his mother, was from. I’m guessing she was sent to relatives to give birth and then either return home or leave for the New World] and who died 10 years later in Charles City, Virginia, New England in 1653. I do wonder if she went there voluntarily. I don’t know much more about her presently – including what age she was when she arrived – but it looks certain that she left her son behind in England.
Then, there’s another possible English Civil War refugee William Cotton (1611-1652) who was my 10th great-grandfather. He was born in Staffordshire and produced a daughter there in 1642 just at the start of the Civil War. Ten years later he died in Boston, Mass. I wonder if he left the chaos that was England at the time looking for a new, and more peaceful, existence in the Colonies. Interestingly, it looks like his daughter, Mary Cotton (1642-1726) stayed in England. She then married Thomas Key – mentioned above – in Staffordshire 1666.
Lastly for now what I originally thought might have been an elopement story but now I’m not so sure. Both James Nolan (1840-1910), my 3rd great-grandfather and Sarah Katherine Gallagher had a rather eventful 1865 with the birth of their 2nd child, leaving Ireland, arriving in the US, taking up residence in Batavia, Illinois and also getting married there……
I’ll see what else I can dig up about my ever expanding cast of endlessly fascinating ancestors……. [lol]