William Banks was born in Ampleforth, Yorkshire in July 1821.
He was baptised on 28 July 1821 at St Hilda’s parish church in Ampleforth.
He was the son of Richard Banks (1776-1831) and Elizabeth Hodgeson. (1778-1863). His father Richard was a farmer in Ampleforth. William was one of 13 children born to the couple.
In April 1841 William was living at home with his widowed mother Elizabeth, brother William, 20 and Richard aged 4.
William married Ann Dale on 6 July 1841 at nearby Gilling East, Yorkshire, a couple of miles walk from Ampleforth. The couple were married by license, probably because William was under the age of consent – aged 19.
Ann was born in April 1818 at Gilling, and she was baptised at Gilling on 19 April 1818. She was the daughter of James Dale (1773-1846) and Jane Tindall b 1785. Her father James was a cordwainer (shoemaker) of Gilling village.
William and Ann had seven children –
- 1841 Mary Jane b Gilling d 1886 Ampleforth
- 1843 Elizabeth b Ampleforth, d 1900 Eston married James Dennis
- 1845 William b Ampleforth, d 1817 Darlington, married Ellen Barker
- 1847 Ann b Ampleforth, d 1922 Eston, married William Hart
- 1849 Richard b Ampleforth, d 1912 Middlesbrough, married Hannah
- 1851 Maria b Ampleforth, d 1853 Ampleforth
- 1855 Robert b Ampleforth d 1895 Eston
In the 1851 census William and Ann are living in Ampleforth with their children Mary Jane, Elizabeth, William, Ann and Richard.
William is working as an agricultural labourer.
Exactly one year later in 1861 William and Ann only have Ann, Richard and Robert at home with them. William is still labouring.
Unfortunately on November 1861, his wife Ann, aged 42, died in Ampleforth. She was buried at St Hilda’s Ampleforth on 3 November 1861. William was left with six children to support.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, he married again to another Ann. This time he was married on 16 November 1865 to Ann Elizabeth Sayers, at Thirsk, Yorkshire, in her home parish.
Anne was the daughter of Henry Sayers, a gamekeeper. He gave his occupation as a fruiterer, of Ampleforth.
It didn’t take long before another six children were born –
- 1866 Henry b Ampleforth d 1868 Ampleforth
- 1868 Thomas b Ampleforth d 1919 York
- 1870 Henry b Ampleforth d 1946 Hawnby married Mary Sigwick & Susan Reed
- 1872 Mary Ann b Ampleforth d 1912 Huddlesfield, married Harry Rex
- 1874 Eleanor b Ampleforth, d 1940 Tynemouth married George Appleby
- 1877 Fred b Ampleforth d 1957 Ryedale married Emma Colley
So in the 1871 census, things are looking a bit different. William is now a fruiterer and lodging house keeper with his new wife Anne Elizabeth.
Also living in the house are children Robert, Thomas, Henry and a visitor 60 year old Eleanor Sayer, the sister of Anne Elizabeth.
Also living in the house are seven lodgers, so it must have been a reasonable size house! All the lodgers occupations are given as ‘traveller’.
William seemed to like variety in his occupation, because ten years later in the 1881 census he is listed as a gamekeeper in Ampleforth.
Now living with him are wife Anne Elizabeth, and children Thomas, Henry, Mary Ann, Eleanor and six lodgers (all farm labourers). Unfortunately the census doesn’t give the address of the house, just ‘village’.
In 1891 73 year old William has changed occupations again, this time he is listed as a huxter hawk (a pedlar selling small wares).
His wife Anne Elizabeth is running the boarding house and has only her son Fred at home now, and three lodgers.
The address is ‘village lodging house’, Ampleforth.
William passed away on 28 April 1897 at Ampleforth, aged 76. Ann Elizabeth lived for another two years, passing away on 17 Oct 1899 aged 68 years. They are both buried at Ampleforth.