The Hall and Banks Families|
In studying the Hall families in Bedford county, Virginia during colonial times, one is struck with the use of the Banks name by the Halls in naming their sons. The use of this name occurred in both the Hezekiah, d. 1811 and the John Hall, d. 1794 lines and was used for boys in the next several generations.
Historical records for Virginia were examined and correspondence had with number of Banks family researchers with the following story coming to light --
A Mr. and Mrs. William Banks emigrated to America about 1750-60. They lived in Bedford county. The Banks brought with them two small sons, John and Samuel. The boys were quite young, born c. 1740-50 in England. Other children were born in Virginia. The mother's name could have been Mary.
From the old family Bible records it is learned:
Verlinda Austin was born in England and was about the same age as the Banks boys. Her parents died and her sister unwilling to care for the orphan Verlinda did beat and mistreat her. Verlinda ran away and was picked up on the road by a man on his way to America.
The man after hearing her story, told her that he would take her to America, which he did, and on arriving in Virginia immediately sold her as an Indentured or Bond servant to pay her passage fare from England.
Mr. and Mrs. Banks bought Verlinda, took her into their home, and at age eighteen she married their son, Samuel.
At the deaths of his parents, Samuel inherited a few slaves and immediately set them free. This no doubt was because of the 'slavery' history of his wife. +
Evidence strongly suggests that Mary Elizabeth ("Polly") Banks who married Mathew Hall, son of John Hall, d. 1794, in 1794 was a descendant of this Banks family. The Banks family eventually left Virginia going on south and west. Today, they have many descendants throughout the United States.
Early Hall researchers assumed that Keziah, wife of Hezekiah Hall, d. 1811, was a Banks. This may or may not be so. They did name a son, Samuel --- a name not common in the Hall family. The Hezekiah Hall family never owned slaves, members migrating above the Ohio River in non-slave territory and in the Civil War were Unionists. Slavery, however, persisted in Mathew's family as the members of that family remained in the South.
The writer assumes that the impact of the 'slave-girl' story profoundly affected members of the Hall families and they honored the Banks family in the naming of their sons.
This is a Hall family story never told before.
+ The name Verlinda does not appear in any subsequent generations of the Hall families. The name 'Melinda' - which may be an adaptation - does appear in the Mathew and Mary (Banks) Hall family. Also Melinda (Ma-Linda), a combination of Mathew and Verlinda.