Daniel Atherton 1818 - 1886

Daniel was our first known sea-going ancestor in the Atherton line (though as well as a shoemaker, his father John sometimes gave his occupation as WATERMAN - someone who worked the barges or Mersey flats on the Mersey estuary - not to be confused with a BARGEMAN who worked the narrow inland waterways canal barges). Daniel was born in Sankey, but by 1840, when he married Margaret Woods at Farnworth Chapel (2 or 3 miles to the west) he too was a waterman, living in Penketh.

In 1851 Daniel and Margaret were living in Red Lion Lane in Penketh with four children (their first son, baptised Daniel in December 1841 at Great Sankey, sadly was buried there in May 1844). Margaret's mother, Sarah Woods, was also living with them - a 71-year-old "pauper in receipt of relief" born in Lymn in Cheshire. Daniel was at sea at the time of the 1861 census - we found him on the "Majestic" where he was captain with his son Daniel (born 1845) serving as ship's "boy". Margaret was at home at 6, Top Lane, Penketh with her remaining seven children.

In 1871, Daniel was presumably again at sea (from 1867-1877 he served on the "Duke of York"). Margaret was at 3, Ockleshaws Cottages with daughters Ann and Ellen, son Samuel and granddaughter Margaret Pye - little Margaret's mother was Daniel and Margaret's oldest daughter, yet another Margaret, who lived next door at no 4 with husband Thomas Pye and their other two children (at least six more were born to them before 1890). It may be that little Margaret regularly slept at her grandmother's; or it may be that she had temporarily given up her bed for her uncle John Pye who was visiting her parents.

On the other side, at no 2, lived James Cheetham, wheelwright with wife Jane; my father said the family were related to the Cheethams, so I think that Jane is the third daughter of Daniel and Margaret. At no 1 lived John and Margaret Atherton, possibly the son of Joseph and Esther (see coincidences) and so probably some kind of cousin

Daniel and Margaret's children

I think perhaps Daniel and Margaret belonged to another church between 1845 and 1857. There are no baptisms for them at Great Sankey in that period although at least four other children were born - three of them baptised there later.