As so many of the Banta descendants are, I too am a writer and I have thrown my hat into the ring but in a much different manner than my other Banta “cousins” who have also written books. I believe that the Banta family was originally Jewish. I have acquired so many interesting clues about the origins of my family I knew I had to put it in reference book form, and the result is “Secret Genealogy”. Here is an example of the way I research genealogy:
A common practice of Jewish ancestors who changed their name to assimilate was to remove some of the letters of a name, sometimes purposely and sometimes through transcription. For example, “Epke” was the son of Jacob Luuesz (Lion). I have found an Ancient Greek male name, “EPIKTETOS” which means "newly acquired". If you look carefully, you will see that four of the letters removed, form the name “Epke”. I have no idea if this is what Epke intended but it is an excellent example of what many Jews did to their names. Many ancient Jews loved the Greek culture and emulated it as best they could.