"The earliest recording of the name Colebank I have found to
date is in
The Boke of Maryages and
Buryalles of
"Saynte De'nis Back-
Church Parishe
" in London, England. On "1550
Sept. 1, Thomas Smythe and Allys Colbanke" were joined in
marriage. The next is in "
A List of Passengers
to be Trans- ported From The
Towne of Gravesend (
near London) to
Virginea June 23, 1635
" where we find "Sara
Colebank" listed among the women passengers. The 1810
Census of Monongalia County, Virginia recorded "P. Colebank"
and in the 1820 Census his sons were recorded, "Sam
Coalbank" and "James Coalbank". In later censuses the
"Colebank" spelling is used most often.

 We know that the name existed as "Colbanke" in 1550 so the
name dates back to 1500 or earlier. We know there was a
practice of giving foundlings a surname indicating where they
were found. We know that stories handed down by some of the
Colebank families say this is how the name originated.
Traditional stories that are handed down often have a nucleus
of truth -- names, dates and places become vague because
they are harder to remember. It is possible that the first
Colebank was a foundling child named for the place where he
was found. I think Colebank is a place name of the man who
lived on the bank of the Cole River. The original spelling was
likely "Colbenc, Colbanke or Colebanke.

  I have wondered about the origin of the Colebanks ever since
grade school in the 1900s when my schoolmates asked me
"Colebank" -- What kind of name is that? Where did they come
from?"  I couldn't answer. All anybody knew about the
Colebanks was that they came from West Virginia. My Grandpa
L S Colebank said he grew up in West Virginny near the
Monongahela River and Point Marion, Pennsylvania; that his
father was James David Colebank and his grandfather was
James Coalbank. He said the earliest Colebank he had heard
about was his Great Grandpa Peter Colebank.
 In my studies, all the Colebanks I have talked to or
corresponded with have proven to be descendants of Peter
and Sarah Grimes Colebank born about 1755. I found them in
Monongalia County, Virginia in the 1810 federal census. They
had three children -- Samuel, James and Mary."

Warren Colebank,
Colebank Family Historian
"From Whence Came the Colebanks", 1989,  pages 8 -9

* * * *

This website was created in part from the above Colebank
family history by Warren Colebank and from further research
by family historian Becky Blanshan Colebank.  We welcome all
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