How Proving that I Was Not related to Sir Joseph Banks Helped Me Find Ralph Banks Clockmaker and Silversmith

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ts well known that families relish finding a famous ancestor!

From a very early age I was told that our family descended from Sir Joseph Banks. Irene Williams, my great aunt, went as far as travelling to London when Sir Joseph’s diaries were auctioned.

So the first thing I did was to see if I could prove that the famous Sir Joseph Banks was, as I was told by different family members, my GG Grandfather or my GGG Uncle. My searches have found no link! I did find a botanist living in Devon connected to our family, but definitely not Sir Joseph.

The earliest connection in my Banks branch is Ralph Banks He married Mary Hawkins the daughter of Henry Hawkins and Elizabeth on 9 Jan 1748 at Stoke Damerel, Devon England. They were my 5G Grandparents.

They had five children including a son, Ralph. Ralph was christened on 20 June 1758 at Stoke Damerel Devon and married Rebecca Palmer Collings on 10 Dec 1782. 

He was a watchmaker and clock maker and silversmith. A Longcase, high tide clock by Ralph banks is in the Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery 

Longcase clocks were also known as tall case clocks, floor clocks or grandfather clocks and were freestanding, weight driven pendulum clocks with a pendulum encased inside a tower commonly 1.8-2.4 metres. From the mid 17th century to the early 20th century they were the most accurate timekeepers available.

*insert info from Plymouth Museum with photo.



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