Assignment to Subgroups

Each Bankhead family and branch thereof is assigned to its own subgroup at

Whether or not you have had your DNA tested, you can upload your GEDCOM to , and have a link to your Bankhead lineage added to the list below by emailing it to the administrator of this Bankhead project.

Links to Members' Pedigrees and Surname Projects

Descendants of Mary HATFIELD and James BANKHEAD

1) #143035 Pedigree / Surname Project


Descendants of Elizabeth BLACK and James BANKHEAD



Descendants of Elizabeth McGARITY and James BANKHEAD



Descendants of Elinor MONROE and James BANKHEAD



Bankhead Family Origins

"The earliest recording of the Bankhead surname is from 1527 in Riccarton parish.... There are many references to the family in Kilmaurs / Kilwinning / Irvine in 16th and 17th-centuries. The Bankends (sic) seem to have spread originally from Ayrshire to Northern Ireland in the 17th and 18th-Centuries, with some most likely returning in the 19th-century. Documents in the National Archives showing the Springside 'lands of Bankhead' date back at least as far as 1512. Bankhead is of course an exceedingly common Scottish place name in its purely descriptive context, however it is a most uncommon surname."

"In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Bankhead as a surname were the Strathclyde-Britons of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the surname lived in Ayrshire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages... spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Bankhead has been spelled Bankhead, Bankheid and others... First found in Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.... Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America... James BANKHEAD settled in New Hampshire in 1718; Thomas BANKHEAD settled in Philadelphia Pa. in 1847; James BANKHEED settled in Charles Town, S.C."

An interactive chart that shows the census distribution of Bankhead Families in the US in 1840, 1880 and 1920 is at

According to the web page at , "The earliest mention of the name BANKHEAD in America was a 1718 petition to Governor Shute 'of Boston New England'. James BANKHEAD and some Scotch-Irishmen requested permission to settle in his colony. This James BANKHEAD returned to Scotland and died before 1780. Hugh BANKHEAD of Ireland (Ireland had not yet been divided) may have been his father. Both left wills in 1718. The will of Hugh BANKHEAD was proved in 1719" (see letter of Dennis R. LEE below).

Three of this James BANKHEAD's sons named their sons James BANKHEAD:
1) Robert BANKHEAD - His son James BANKHEAD married Mary HATFIELD
2) John BANKHEAD - He died in Union County, SC in 1805. His son James BANKHEAD married Elizabeth McGARITY.
3) Hugh BANKHEAD I of Hartford County, MD. He was born in 1720 and died in December 1769. His son James BANKHEAD married Elizabeth BLACK. He is the ancestor of Tallulah BANKHEAD and the Bankheads of Stover, SC. See .
4) James BANKHEAD - He married Elinor MONROE in 1735 (Virginia Line of Bankheads, married into President Thomas Jefferson's family).

Bankheads buried near Ballymena in Northern Ireland

Headstone inscriptions that were collected from across 42 historic graveyards in the Borough of Ballymena in Northern Ireland can be found via the web page at . The results of a search for the name of Bankhead are shown in the table below.

Cemetery NameYearFull Transcript
1st Ahoghill1929 Bankhead In loving memory of Mary died 27th Oct 1929 Margaret died 9th June 1940 Samuel died 10th Dec 1965
1st Ahoghill1929 Erected by James Bankhead. Killane. In memory of his parents James Bankhead died 5th Dec 1929 aged 88 years Elizabeth died 13th Dec 1930 aged 82 years Also his brother James died 27th February 1890 aged 10 weeks And his dear wife Sarah (died result of an accident) 6th May 1967 aged 61 years Also the above named James Bankhead died 15th November 1971 aged 78 years 'The Master is come and calleth for thee' John II v. 28
1st Ahoghill1874 Erected by Andr. Bankhead, Lismurnaghan in memory of his father Robert Bankhead who departed this life 10th Decr 1874 aged 69 years Also his mother Jane Bankhead depd this life Feby. 1883 aged 70 years Also his children Jane depd this life 12th July 1901 aged 25 years and Sarah Ann Depd this life 20th June 1892 aged 22 years
1st Ahoghill1877 Erected by Robert Bankhead, Ahoghill, in memory of his son John born 8th February 1875 died 25th April 1877 'Of such is the kingdom of heaven' Also his daughter Jane Carson Bankhead born 31st August 1871 died 8th Aug 1883 Also his son Alexander born 15th Feby 1880, died 12th Feb 1884 And an infant son Also his wife Elizabeth Bankhead, died 19th May 1927, aged 77 years
1st Ahoghill1929 Bankhead. In loving memory of Samuel Bankhead, Ballybollend, died 14th September 1929 aged 66 And his wife Jane died 27th May 1930 aged 60 And their sons John died 27th April 1968 aged 76 And Alexander died 11th October 1976 aged 79
1st Ahoghill1867 Erected by Margaret Jane Bankhead of Ballyministra in memory of her husband John Bankhead who departed this life 7th Feby 1867 aged 60 years
1st Ahoghill1871 Erected by John C Bankhead of Lismurnaghan in memory of his father Alexander Bankhead who died 4th Augt 1871 aged 60 years
Ballymenanot dated Bankhead
Ballymena1930 In memory of Elizabeth Ann Bankhead, died 28th Feb 1930, aged 76 years
Kirkhill Cemetery Connornot dated Bankhead
Old Churchyard, Ahoghill1836 Erected in memory of Joseph Bankhead of Galgorm who departed this life 25th Septr 1836 aged 57 years Also of his son James who departed this life 10th Feby 1842 aged 26 years And Agnes his wife 3rd April 1861 aged 80 years Sarah Bankhead died Dec 1872 aged 70 yrs Her son James Bankhead died July 1893 aged 51 years And his father Robert Bankhead who was born A.D.1812 died 1896 Mary Bankhead died 25th Dec 1893 aged 72 years
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ahoghill1939 In loving memory of Sarah Bankhead died 9th Jany 1939 Also her husband Thomas Bankhead died 6th Jany 1944 and their daughter Alice May died 31st March 1959. And their son Robert McMaster died 20th Augt 1982 Peace Perfect Peace.

Theory about how American Bankheads are related to each other

Stewart copied Mr. Dennis R. LEE’s 02/24/2001 letter below from the web page at

Hello to xxxxx,

This will be a little long; but it will give you some background on how I come to believe the family structure I have is probably correct.

I got my information on the early Bankhead lines about 1987 from Mrs. Loudie Moffatt, a professional genealogist of Austin, TX.

Mrs. Moffatt became interested in the Bankhead history while doing research for a Bankhead family (from CA I think).

She became so interested in the family that she prepared a draft of a book which she tentatively entitled "Westward from South Carolina - A History of the Bankheads".

She tried to get financial backing to publish the book by contacting Bankhead families over the country. She was unable to amass enough money to publish... and returned all the money she had collected.

I bought some of the material from her...and started my Bankhead research from those roots. She has since died, as has her husband, and I have been unable to contact any of the family. I really would like to have all those files and photos.

Mrs. Moffatt's story followed the history of four James Bankheads here in America. She numbered them #1 on through keep that in mind as I give you some quotes from her records. #4 was the son of her original James, and 1, 2 and 3 were his (#4's) nephews, sons of his brothers.

The following are excerpts from her records:

'The earliest mention of the name BANKHEAD in America was a 1718 petition to Governor Shute "of Boston New England" by a group of Scotch-Irish requesting permission to settle in his colony, among them was a JAMES BANKHEAD. Extensive research on my part, as well as by a number of prominent New England genealogists since 1920, have failed to show that this man remained in America.

Matt Bankhead of Edinburgh, who was born in Northern Ireland, has developed a theory through his research that this JAMES BANKHEAD may have been the son of HUGH BANKHEAD of Ireland, both of whom left wills in 1718, thus suggesting to him the possibility of a hazardous trip or some such that year. The father's (Hugh) will was proved in 1719. ...

Now I know that James Bankhead #1's father was the man I call "HUGH 1" for he, his son James (1742-1798), and James' father-in-law Robert Black, all paid their annual stipend to the Presbyterian Minister in Hartford County, MD in December 1769. But we do know that JAMES #1 and his wife, Elizabeth Black, were back in Scotland by 1772 when their son HUGH was born. Elizabeth Black Bankhead's grandfather was a prominent merchant in NC and VA. The family traditions of several branches of the family say that William Black, a noted "Scottish Merchant of Edinburgh", had left Scotland with a fleet of ships for Ireland, carrying his family, other relatives, his slaves and household goods, cattle, etc, where he sojourned for a number of years before continuing on to America".

....In searching out the four contemporaneous American Bankheads, I have the (unproved) theory that the JAMES BANKHEAD of the 1718 petition and will just may have had sons:
JAMES, who in 1735 married Elinor Monroe of Virginia (my JAMES #4);
HUGH I of Hartford County, MD who died in December 1769; [JAMES #1]<1742-1798>
JOHN "of Scotland", whose son JAMES #2 died in Union County, SC in 1805;
and ROBERT, whose son JAMES #3 left Belfast, Ireland in November 1767 aboard the "Betty Gregg", also called the "Snow", bound for Charles Town, SC.'

Stewart's note: a snow is a kind of ship.

Posted by Matt BANKHEAD September 16, 1999:
Re: WEIR: Ahoghill Ballymena area, Co Antrim.
The Bankheads and Weirs in Ahoghill were neighbours and intermarriage often took place (many of my uncles had Weir as a middle name)....

Did the James BANKHEAD who married Mary HATFIELD emigrate from Ahoghill, Ireland?

War for Independence

By Stewart

The monument shown on the right in the photograph of the church below displays the names of John (d. 1806) and James BANKHEAD (d. 1821) and other rebels who fought for Independence from England's Empire. Catholic PRESBYTERIAN Church was established in Chester County, South Carolina about 1770. It's Scotch-Irish preachers helped incite hatred against king George III.

On July 4, 2000, Mr. Dennis LEE wrote to me that:
1) his wife Margie is a descendant of Mary HATFIELD and James BANKHEAD. James and his first cousin John Bankhead are named on the aforesaid monument.
2) John lived in Chester County but the rest of his family lived on the other side of Broad River in Union County.
3) John's brother James BANKHEAD married Mary McGarity.

Jane, the daughter of Mary HATFIELD and James BANKHEAD married Robert, the son of SC militiaman James STEWART and his wife Rosannah (WHITE?). The Stewarts and Whites are said to have come from near the small village of Broughshane, about six miles to the east of the aforesaid Bankheads of Ahoghill, Ireland. In 1767 Rose and James received a 150-acre royal land grant a few miles south of Old Catholic and about 200 meters northwest of where Stover Creek and the Chester and Fairfield County boundaries now intersect. Descendants of Elizabeth BLACK and James BANKHEAD still live in the Stover community.

Since none of these Presbyterians owned a slave, they and their children had to work like slaves in order to compete with slave owners like William Ellison in the market place.

Did the South Win the War?

By Stewart

One wing of CORNWALLIS' army was utterly defeated on October 7, 1780 at the "Battle of Kings Mountain", SC. The only non-American who fought there was a Scotsman named Patrick FERGUSON. He was shot off his horse on the part of the battlefield where the soldiers of Gaston County, NC fought under the command of my ancestor Lieutenant Colonel Hambrecht (born in 1726 in Germany). HAMBRIGHT's name is inscribed in large letters on a large plaque on the right (southern) side of the obelisk shown in the picture below. That plaque is visible above the head of the man on the right in the foreground. See . Its approximate coordinates are 35.137778, -81.392222. Click on Google Maps at .

TARLETON was decisively defeated at the Battle of Cowpens SC on January 17, 1781 by American General Daniel MORGAN (c. 1736 – July 6 1802). One of his patrilineal descendants is a kind policeman in Columbia, SC. Stewart's ancestor Michael MARTIN fought under General Morgan's command. He named my gggGpa Morgan MARTIN (senior) after him. General Morgan's cunning plan at Cowpens is widely considered to be the tactical masterpiece of the war and one of the most successfully executed double envelopments of all of modern military history. See .

Historians have estimated that approximately 40-45% of the colonists actively supported the rebellion against the government of the German House of Hanover. Almost all of the loyalist and rebel troops were Americans, about one third of them from Germany. SC won its first war against imperialism and lost its second.

All families of the prosperous Old South may have ancestors like these. Let's not forget them and their deeds, graves, etc.