Maternal Family


My maternal Grandmother Margaret Doyle 1916-2011 was born in Danville, Illinois. Her Parents were Peter Lee Doyle 1869-1934 and Mary Belle Carr 1886-1966. Peter was from from Pittsylvania Co, Virginia. Mary was from Campbell Co. Peter Doyle migrated from Virginia around 1900 where he worked as a coal miner in the mining camps of Buxton, Iowa. He married his second wife Mary Belle Carr there in 1903. Together they had the following children; Louie, Rose, William, Margaret, Robert Leonard, Sarah Edythe, John Wesley and Esther Pearl. 

Louie Doyle died in infancy in Buxton, Iowa. William Doyle moved to Minneapolis,married and had two children. Margaret  first married Anthony Bannarn,  together they had two daughters. They resided in Minneapolis, Mn. She later married Donald James and had two sons. Robert stayed in Des Moines Iowa and had one child. Sarah Edythe (Pie) and married first William Bell, together they had one son, Terry. They resided in Des Moines, Iowa. Her second husband was Orville Grant. 
John Doyle never married, he died in WWII in 1945 at the age of 20 years old. He is buried in Epinal, France. Esther Doyle Died at age three in 1931. 


My maternal Grandfather, Anthony Sherman Bannarn, was born in Wetumka, Oklahoma in 1908 and died in Albuquerque, New Mexico 1970. His parents were Dee Bannarn (1879-1949) and Hassie Thompson (1880-1942). In 1935 he married Margaret Doyle. Together they had two daughters, Gloria and Shirley. He later moved to Youngstown, Ohio and married Virginia, together they had three sons.

The name BANNARN is definitely the most unusual name that I have in my family, to date. Which does make it easier to trace, the down side is that most people don't spell it correctly. I have found it spelled a dozen ways through the census records. I have also found that if you spell the name the way that my family does..guess what?..Your probably related!  it is derived from the name O'BANNON. At some point it was changed to the current spelling

Dee and Hassie were both from Texas. Hassie was from Cherokee, Tx and Dee was from Greenville. I have not found a marriage certificate for them, however judging by the age of their first child and the 1900 census. It appears that they married in about 1899. They had the following children together: Ora, Jewell, Anthony, Henry (Mike), and Robert.

Ora married Thomas Hughes. They had a daughter, Dorothy. Ora had a blood disease and died a month after her daughter was born. Jewell married her first husband, Joe Lillard, he was one of the Harlem Globetrotters. She later married Ben Bobo,  Henry Wilmer ( Mike) Bannarn married Mayola Moise, together they had three children. He was a great Artist and sculptor.
I don't have much information for Robert N. He married Margurite Graham, Rita Jones and Faith Primm.

Dee's  parents were John Henry Bannarn and Emiline Spencer, John was born a slave in Missouri in 1853 to Nancy Saunders, his father was the slave owner. He married Emiline Spencer in Hunt County, Texas in 1870. Together they had ten children: Thomas, John, Dee, Walter, Monroe, Albert , Ellora, Laverne. I have not identified the other children.

Oral history says that the Bannarn family, were a mix of Native American and black ancestry. Siminole and Cherokee. They have always been referred to as black Indians. They lived in various counties in Texas. They moved to Oklahoma in the 1890's.Where they remained for several years. According to Jewell Bannarn,  they moved around very often. Traveling by covered wagon.  Hearing news of a new settlement in Canada, they left Oklahoma in about about 1912. Some of the family stayed behind. Some got ill on the way and had  to turn around. Family Story says that Dee Bannarn killed a man and they left because they feared for the safety of the family..maybe it was a bit of both. When they reached the border of Cananda, the Elder Bannarns, John Henry and Emiline were turned away. The reason why is unknown to me. Their son, Albert, who was affectionately nick named Goree, and his wife Lola were allowed across the border. They settled there and started a family. They had two daughters, Cleola and Gladys.

John Henry and Emiline settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota. with them were..their children, and grandchildren. Dee and Hassie, John and Lela, and daughter Laverne. Lela Bannarn was also Hassie's sister.

In the 1920's John Henry had a desk job, in downtown Minneapolis. Cousin Delores Grigsby who has also been researching the Bannarn family history, said that her mother, told her that John Henry resembled an old time actor named Wallace Berry.

John and Lela Bannarn had three children together, Clara, Steven and Floyd. Floyd was the first black race car driver. Steven was a dancer, he died very young. I don't have much information about Clara.

Thomas Bannarn married Fannie Whitehead and stayed in Texas. He later mover to Oklahoma. Together they had two daughters, Hannah and Goldie.
Ellora Bannarn married Ed Jones and remained in Eufala, Oklahoma. Ellora died in 1931. Together they had the following children: Odessa,Cecil, Hoyt, Arvella, Elmer, Elmer, John Henry, Monroe, Roberta.

Walter and Monroe lived in Waxahachie, Texas. Walter married a woman named Emiline.

Laverne married George Kelly. I have not found much about her.



  1. We may be related! Mildred Dillard, the second wife of Burwell Lee was previously married in 1854 to John Doyle, the prosperous owner of an iron furnace in Rockbridge County Virginia. Census records of Rockbridge County show Doyle as the owner of about 45 slaves. He died 1857 intestate in Pittsylvania County.

    By chance, have you DNA tested at I believe that I am a descendant of a child Doyle may have had with Julia Smith Shanks who was living in his household in 1850. They never married.

    If your Sarah Doyle was the offspring of John Doyle and one of his slaves, and my research is correct we should find matching DNA results.

    1. WOW! Thank you for your comment. I have been trying to find more information on this John Doyle.I suspect that he may have been connected to Sarah Doyle and her family. Yes, I have tested with AncestryDNA.


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