I am researching my European origins. My great-grandfather, George Banks, was born in Ireland in 1827. He married a woman named Sylvia or Silvania Berk or Berkner, born in Baden, German. They had six children including my grandfather William John Banks born in Warren County, Iowa in 1869 and a woman named Margaret Theresa Banks Seymour born October 8, 1854 in Pennsylvania. I am seeking information on when my great grandparents came to the United States. Did they meet in Pennsylvania and move to Iowa? Did they meet aboard a passenger ship? Was Sylvia or Silvania really from Germany?
Also on my paternal side, my cousins have always claimed to be direct decendants of Lyman Hall, third signer of the Declaration of Independence. But while in Hall County, Georgia, I read a biography of Dr. Hall that stated he was married twice, his only son died in infancy. But it's certainly possible that this man married a third time as it would have been unusual for a gentleman farmer to have lived 35 or so years after his second wife's death. A mystery for sure.
And then there is the maternal family tree - Virginian's for several centuries now. Civil War soldiers--I even have a handmade quilt of dark wools created by my ancestors from men's suitings and uniform scraps. What's the real story about that quilt? Practical and heavy, it is not from an aristocratic and wealthy family, but an heirloom of a practical family.
Let me know if you can help fill in the gaps. Or, even if you find that we're "just" related in some way.
Shannon Marie Banks (Coleman) (Washington) Keaton
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