Geoffs Genealogy Update 30 August 2011

Tuesday September 20th, 2011 | Geoff

A couple of weeks ago we went to a Jamboree of the Maliphant clan, which was held at Upton Castle in Pembrokeshire Whereas the reunion that we organised in June was a gathering of people descended from one couple – the parents of John Bankes’ Rand siblings – this was a gathering of people with a connection to the Maliphant name, and hence more of a one name gathering. Where does Maliphant fit in to my family history? Well, Jan’s 2 x maternal Welsh grandmother was a certain Ann Maliphant (1836-1918) who married Evan Hughes in 1855, so she is qualified to attend the gathering.The Maliphant name has been traced in this country back into Norman times, and at one time people of that name owned Upton Castle, hence the significance of this venue to members of the clan. Unfortunately, the weather was not too kind to us on this occasion, but everybody who attended seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, which was the main thing. You can see some photographs of the event at the Maliphant Jamboree website.

The building at Upton Castle is not open to visitors, although the superb gardens are available for public viewing on payment of an admission charge. We were served up a lovely lunch and made to feel very welcome by the owners of the castle – Stephen and Pru Barlow, and were allowed access to parts of the grounds not usually open to public viewing.

Having organised our reunion with Helen in June I can appreciate how much work must have been done by Andrew & Bruce Maliphant to make this event possible, and they will rightly take great pleasure from its success. This was the third Maliphant Jamboree. The next one will be held next July in Swansea. If you have a Maliphant connection I’m sure that you would be most welcome to attend.

It’s now over two months since the Bankes Descendants Reunion, and Helen and I are aware that we still have not managed to finish off the work of preparing the updated trees for the people who requested copies. Quite honestly, we have been so busy since the big day that we simply have not had time to complete the job, so our apologies for that. Probably a classic case of “biting off more than we can chew”.

Reunion of John Bankes' Descendants, 18 July 2011

The line up of people attending the Bankes Reunion in June 2011

We have now completed the extra research that we needed to do to bring the Pedigree as up to date as possible, and hopefully we shall be able to make the necessary amendments to the tree and contact the relevant people in the next few weeks. Similarly, I have not added the photographs of the event to the Geoffs Genealogy website. This is due to a number of factors, which I won’t bore you with. Suffice to say that I shall rectify the situation as soon as I can, and in the meantime am including a photo in this posting, just to whet your appetite!

The wonderful thing about these family or one name gatherings is the way in which a group of people from different backgrounds and geographical areas invariably get on so well together with people who they have never met. Of course, we are not really thrown together – we choose to attend, after all – but it really is a very good experience and a positive reflection of human nature.

In the process of researching the extra people who we have been adding to the Bankes Pedigree I have become acquainted with a couple of very interesting characters, who were both flying planes in the early days of aviation. In the course of our Bankes Bingo game at the Reunion Helen mentioned John Thearsby Bankes Price, who was a true World War One hero. To quote from Helen’s notes :

John Thearsby Bankes Price (1895-1916) was born [in Chicago] the following year.

[He] appears to have been [his parents’] only child; he … had an eventful life as a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Air Service, flying biplanes in the first world war. He was present at what has been described as “the most historic and significant episode in naval aviation” – the first ship-launched airborne torpedo attack on a ship on 12 August 1915. After many near misses he was killed on 17 September 1916, when after engaging enemy aircraft over Turkey. His Schneider seaplane, for no clear reason, burst into flames, killing the pilot.

I was able to look at a number of the accounts of WW1 actions that John was involved in, which Helen had used in her research. He was flying his biplanes over the Dardanelles and also over Egypt and Palestine, based on the vessel Ben My Chree. I even found an artist’s impression of one of the attacks that he took part in. It really is amazing what we can find on the internet!

The other flying man was Harold Essex Reynell (1887-1972). He was the son of Bankes descendent Eugenie Mary Davies (1856-1908) and her husband, Harold Essex Reynell (b 1853). Eugenie married her spouse at her home parish church of Llangain, Carmarthenshire, in 1881, but the couple must have moved to live in Kobe, Japan, in the early years of their marriage because that was where Harold Essex Reynell Jnr was born in 1887. It was also the place in which Eugenie died in 1908.

By 1916 Harold Jnr was serving in the British forces in the First World War – a Captain in the Black Watch. However, he was also recorded in the listings of holders of Aviators’ Certificates that were compiled by the Royal Aero Club, although I suspect that his flying activities were more pleasurable than those of John Thearsby Bankes Price.

After the war he seems to have been quite an international traveller, as there are a great many passenger lists in the archives that attest to journeys that he made with members of his family – chiefly between the UK and USA or Canada, but also to the Philippines. He married in 1917, to Georgiana Catherine Liddell (1898-1981), and they had two children.

As I said, the details of these people have now been added to the ever-growing Bankes Pedigree.

Have a good month.

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