BANISTER OF MIDGLEY
Martha Banister, wife of Bryan Cunningham, would have been only fifteen years old when married if she was baptised soon after birth. However, her connections are well documented by the wills of her father Henry Banister and her sister Priscilla Banister. The latter names not only her three surviving sisters and their husbands, but several aunts and uncles. Priscilla was unusually young when her will was made but her identity is confirmed both by the information in the will itself, and by a note at the end of the registered copy from John Favour, vicar of Halifax, confirming that Priscilla, daughter of Henry Banister of Midgley, was baptised on 12 January 1594.
Additional evidence of the origin of Martha Banister is in the York cause papers, where it is noted that she was taken to be married to Bryan Cunningham without the consent of her grandfather Richard Smith.
The will of Edward Banister of Yatehouse, Midgley, written in 1587, confirms that he was the father of Henry Banister. The baptism entries for Edward’s children show that he resided in Sowerby before living in Midgley. Edward appears to have been a son of John Banister of Hathershelf in Sowerby. Entries in the Wakefield manor court rolls in 1538 relating to property including Hathershelf mention John Banister, his wife Margaret, and children of John named George, Robert, Henry and Joan. The 1572 will of George Banister of Hathershelf mentions, among others, his brothers Henry Banister and Edward Banister.
I welcome comments on this page. My e-mail address is on my home page.
Children of John Banister:
i ROBERT BANISTER.
iii HENRY BANISTER of Sowerby; m 12 Oct 1551, Halifax, ALICE WOOD.
2 iv EDWARD BANISTER (bur 1587).
v JOAN BANISTER.
Children of Edward Banister:
3 ii HENRY BANISTER (bur 1598/99); m RUTH SMITH.
3 HENRY BANISTER of Yatehouse, Midgley, yeoman, was buried on 26 January 1598/99 at Halifax. He married on 26 October 1584 at Halifax, RUTH SMITH, daughter of Richard Smith (see here). Ruth was baptised on 26 October 1561 at Halifax and buried on 18 October 1596 at Halifax.
Children of Henry and Ruth (Smith) Banister:
 Will dated 23 Jun 1572, proved 2 Oct 1572 (Borthwick Institute).
 National Archives, C 1/1034/41-45; J.W. Clay and E.W. Crossley, eds, Halifax Wills (Halifax, 1904), 187. The will of Thomas Crabtree of Heptonstall, dated 1514, mentions the testator’s daughter Joan, wife of John Banaster, and the latter’s daughter Agnes, but it is not clear whether this was John Banister of Hathershelf: J.W. Clay and E.W. Crossley, eds, Halifax Wills (Halifax, 1904), 39-40.
 Ann Weikel, ed., The Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield from 1537 to 1539 (Leeds, 1993), 58-59; will of George Banister, dated 23 Jun 1572, proved 2 Oct 1572 (Borthwick Institute). See also H.P. Kendall, “Hathershelf, Sowerby”, Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society, 11(1914):135-56.
 The will of George Banister names his wife Margaret. George’s brother-in-law Henry Cowcrofte or Colcrofte is also mentioned, so Margaret may have been a Cowcroft.
 Halifax parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com). The entry says “Henry Banyster et Ruthe Smyth sepult” (buried) but it is on a page otherwise dedicated to marriages and it is well documented that Henry Banister married a daughter of Richard Smith, the latter being named, for example, in Henry’s will as the testator’s father-in-law.