see family group sheet or chart
Mark was born in 1855 but not baptised until 1876 at Great Sankey. He married Hannah Waterfield at Warrington St Elphins in 1877 . He and Hannah do not seem to have had a home of their own until relatively late in life - in both 1881 and 1891 they were living with Hannah's widowed mother in Richardson's Row. No doubt it suited them better as Mark appears to have been away at sea for much of the time.
According to my father (1988)
"The Atherton family came from Warrington/Penketh. Also there were Atherton jewellers in St. Helens. Originally from the town of Atherton. Well off in mediaeval times.
"My grandfather [Mark] Atherton was a barge skipper/part owner, who died before I was born - say 1910. He married either a Waterfield or a Cheetham - both married in at some point. The Waterfields were Dutch sailing bargemen - the curved-top chest at one time a toybox at Tayvallich was his sea-chest when he came from Holland about 1800. The Cheethams were jewellers from St. Helens.
"They had 6 children - Lilly, Molly, Tom, Mark (my father), Fred, and Jim. All four sons became captains.
"Lilly was born around 1880; married Joe Daniels, a butcher; and they had two daughters, Molly and Elsie . Both married but had no children; Molly & husband moved to Dagenham; Elsie married Len who became crippled with arthritis; they retired to St Annes where Elsie pushed Len round in a wheelchair. My father stayed with Aunt Lilly in Manchester when his mother was ill when he was about 8. All now dead.
"Molly was born ca 1882. She married Arnold Cunliffe, the cobbler in Penketh, who was an orphan brought up in an orphanage. They had a daughter Mary who married and moved to Bristol.
"Tom was born around 1885 and married around 1910. His wife died giving birth to their son Tom. He (father) later had a liason or remarried which was disapproved of by the family.
"Fred b ca 1889 had a daughter Freda b ca 1917 whom I didn't like. Fred was tight-fisted.
"Jim was much younger - b. say 1895. He had three children - one called Tom. Jim was a villain - smoked cigarettes (the other brothers smoked pipes). He once sailed his ship up the Dee which was only 6 ft deep instead of the Mersey. Not approved of by the family after he lost his ship on the east coast."