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Francis Marion

BIRTH 17 DEC 1844 • Copiah County, Mississippi

DEATH 23 SEP 1878 • Santa Bárbara d'Oeste,

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Married 8 Nov 1866 • Copiah Co., Mississippi

Sarah Rebecca Ellis

BIRTH 1849 • Copiah County, Mississippi

DEATH 1905 • Santa Barbara, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Both buried at Campo, Santa Bárbara d'Oeste,

Sao Paulo, Brazil

CSA Recod:

Name         Francis Marion Bankston

Side            Confederate

Regiment State/Origin     Mississippi

Regiment     Roberts' Company, Mississippi


(Seven Stars Artillery)

Rank In        Private

Rank Out     Private



Henry M Bankston

BIRTH 9-28-1867 • Santa Barbara SP (Brazil)

DEATH 9-7-1869 • Cemiterio do Campo, Santa

Barbara, SP,



Nancy s. Bankston*


BIRTH 8-25-1869 • Sao Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 12-3-1875 • Cemiterio do Campo, Santa


SB, Brazil


Lucille Bankston

BIRTH 11-15-1871 • Brazil

DEATH JAN. 19, 1940 • Bewark, Deleware, USA


Reynold Price Baird*, Son of James Ranson Baird and Eliza Caroline Price

Rev. James R. Baird, Presbyterian minister, moved his family to Brazil to

start a church for the U.S. Southerners who moved down there after the

Civil War.  Alice Baird Randolph lived there as a young girl.


An excerpt from

SOUTHERN IMMIGRANTS TO BRAZIL by Maria E. B. Byington letter about some love letters found in a little straw suitcase from B. T. (Tom) ATKINS, a Confederate soldier, to MissSally STRONG, who immigrated to Brazil with her father after the Civil War appeared in MISSING LINKS 4:41 on 6 October 1999. Sally sent her photo, taken in New Orleans just before she sailed to Brazil, to her sister, Mrs. ELLIS, and to dear friends in Brookhaven (Lincoln County created in 1870, from parts of Franklin, Lawrence, Copiah, Pike, and Amite counties), Mississippi. Her sister gave the photo to Tom, who placed it in Amy HOOKER's album, for if it had been sent directly to him "no one's album could have presented an array of pictures brilliant enough to have ever held it." All this Tom describes in one of the letters to Sally in Brazil. I needed a photo of Sally to place in the book I was preparing with Tom's letters, so I wrote to MISSING LINKS to inquire if by any chance some of these photos sent to her friends in Brookhaven might have turned up in some family's album or some old photographs exhibit [SOMEBODY'S LINKS 2:1, 7 January 2000]. I received several letters from people giving me suggestions about where I should look, such as universities, collections of old photographs, private collections, etc. I had almost given up having a photo of young "Aunt Sally," who inspired such strong feelings in at least three gentlemen, but who would not think of marrying for "her heart was buried in a battlefield," (so goes the story collected by Judith Mac KnightJones, historian of the descendants of Southern immigrants to Brazil). Then one day I found the photo right under my nose.


Judith had published in her book about the descendants a picture of a young girl immigrant with the following caption: "member of Dunn's group," but unidentified. However, as I turned the pages I had gone over more than 100 times, I saw a picture of the same girl with the same dress between a young couple, and this time with the following caption: "The BANKSTONs and Sally STRONG."The BANKSTONs were relatives of Sally who had gone to Brazil together with Sally and her father. The story of how the house in which the STRONGs formerly lived in Brookhaven was found captured the interest of Megan Smolenyak, who published it in her book IN SEARCH OF OUR ANCESTORS: 101 Inspiring Stories of Serendipity and Connection in Rediscovering Our Family History (Holbrook, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation, 2000), companion to the PBS series (see my letter in MISSING LINKS 5:46, 15 November 2000). The story also aroused the interest of Martha Strong, who published it on her Web site "Welcome to my World" at So, now the book is finally ready and in April 2001 I will be visiting New Orleans, Louisiana for the first time. Then I will take the train to Brookhaven, Mississippi, making the trip back to the place my family left more than 130 years ago. My book will be presented at the local library, and on 21 April 2001.  I will take part in the Tour of Homes in Brookhaven and visit the Old Strong House, which belongs to Dr. Natalie Herndon.


It is located at the intersection of Interstate 55 and Exit 42. The many success stories published in MISSING LINKS and ROOTSWEBREVIEW inspired me to continue with my searches. I am most thankful to librarians Mary Sanders and Rebecca Nations of the Lincoln County(Mississippi) Regional Library, who helped me with this project, and to all who have written sending me suggestions on where to search for Sally's photo. * * *

Editors' Notes: Cynthia Forde in a 27 February 2001 message to quotes the work of Anne Martin Haigler, of St. Louis, Missouri, on the BANKSTON line that went to Brazil. On page 404 of BANKSTON COUSINS, Anne Haigler stated that Francis Marion Bankston, son of Jacob Marberry Bankston and Nancy Tuombs, was born circa 1845 in Copiah County, Mississippi, and on 9 October 1872 gave power of attorney to his mother, at which time he was living in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Forde continues: "Campo: A North American Cemetery in Brazil," by Cyrus B. Dawsey and Betty de Oliveira, printed in TAPROOTS, Vol. 36, #3, Jan. 1999, by the Genealogical Society of East Alabama, gives further information regarding the American settlement in this area. A list of burials in the Campo Cemetery includes ANDERSON; AYERS; BAIRD; BANKSTON, Francis Marion -- 17-12-1844 to 23-09-1878, spouse Sarah ELLIS died Sao Paulo City; Henry M. BANKSTON, 28-09-1867 to 07-09-1869, son of Francis M.; Nancy S. BANKSTON, 25-08-1872 to 08-08-1875, daughter of Francis Marion; BARNSLEY; BOOKWALTER; . . .]

Frances Bankston.jpg

Francis M. and Sarah R. Ellis with Sally Strong

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