The banjo I am playing (at the San Diego Genealogical Society January seminar this year) belonged to my great-grandmother, Caroline Trapschuh Hollander (though I suspect it was really her son, my grand-uncle Albert Hollander, who played it). It was reconditioned a couple of years ago, sounds great & looks wonderful! It's the banjo I learned on back in the 1960s, but was relegated to the wall (as a decoration) when pieces of the fingerboard started to crack and come off.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine was over, checked it out, and discovered it to be an 1889 Fairbanks & Cole parlor banjo. He talked me into having it repaired and I sent it to a banjo genius, Vern Marr, in Oregon. He used the original parts of the neck to bring it back to playing capability, replaced the skin, replaced the inlays, put in tuning machines that look vintage but are actually amazingly efficient 21st Century replicas, and strung it with light gauge strings (it originally had gut strings, but an attempt to use nylon - today's replacement for gut - left it sounding dead; the steel strings give it a bright sound).
I treasure this piece of my family's history and only wish I knew more about the people who played it before it fell into my hands (thanks to my mother's insistence on not throwing anything - especially musical instruments - away).
I'll have it with me at the St. George Family History Expo, coming up next week!