This is a copy of a page from the family bible of
Henry b 1827 and Martha McDonald b 1836 Bankston. (Click to enlarge)
It is scanned from a xerox copy of an old photograph, which has left
it difficult to read. I have not gone further back in my Bankston
research than Henry. However, I have it in a note from a contributor
his father was unknown, but had brothers; William, Joe and Riley. She
said they were from Atlanta, GA. This is undocumented, but given for
the researcher's advantage.
I'm not yet sure exactly when Henry and Martha first arrived in AR from GA. It is suspect they went to TX before settling in Bright Star AR. and that crossing over into Texas was a continual happening. Although they would appear settled by seeing census records, the letter below, written Christmas Day, 1863 would indicate differently. We do know, from land records, that Henry and Martha were in AR by 1859. They were listed on the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Census for Miller County, AR. (listings found on Bankston and Site Index pages)
Martha Jane McDonald was born to James and Sarie Hightower McDonald of Georgia. Sarie (Sarah) must have died while Martha and siblings were relatively young. John married again, and had at least one more child. You'll find more on them on the McDonald Page.
Hard Winter in Coryell County Texas 1863
By far, the document which lends the most to the personalization of this family is the following letter, transcribed and given to me by John McClure. It is interesting to note Lula Bankston was born Oct. 23, 1863, and in Texas. She was probably born in the conditions related here in this letter. Also December 15th 1862 had brought the loss of a child, Ida Lithonia, in Bright Star, AR. I would imagine this is the "little grave" she makes reference to at the end of the letter.
See John McClure's review of the names in the "old letter" (below) linked HERE
Coryell County Texas Dec. 25, 1863
margin of the letter) - don T forget that little grave.
(to see the "little grave" - click
Explanation about Jim Salems (Sams) mentioned in the above letter.
I heard from the g granddaughter of James K Polk Sams and Sarah Yates and was fascinated with her findings about the remarks and opinions made by Martha to her sister, Amanda. She wrote:
"I have read the letter you mentioned. I do not know anything for sure, but maybe I can shed a little light on her comment about Jim "Salems". James K was a member of Chenault's Cavalary. He joined in January of 1863 at Bardstown KY. The first of July of 1863, during Morgan's raids, there were heavy losses and several officers including Chenault were killed. Morgan pulled back to recoup before going into Ohio and Indiana. Sometime around the 7th of July they were camped by Bardstown. On the 17th or 18th of July most of the rest of the regiment was captured or killed. They were reformed in 1864. There is no record of James K as a deserter, nor is there a record of a discharge. Evidently the writer of the letter thought he had sold out (Sale em) the confederacy, by not continuing to fight. Perhaps the worst crime that he committed was to be alive when her brother had died. Her pain was apparent in the way she wrote the letter. What do you think? Karen "
Karen sent me the following link for documentation
Henry and Martha McDonald Bankston had twelve
Anna Laura (aka Laura Ann) m Newton Cothern
(Lizzie) Ella, - If you look at the family bible page, the handwritten"Lizzie" looks just like "Tirsie".
Ida Lithonia - Martha makes reference to this infants grave in the letter of 1963. She died less than a year old in Macedonian Cemetery, Bright Star, AR 1862
Pearly Evadner -Pearlie never married.
Jimmie Bentley- died less than two years old, and is buried in the Macedonian Cemetery, Bright Star, AR 1878.