Thank you for the post on Ancestry regarding James Atherton. I had contacted Anne after finding her information regarding the graves of James Jnr and Mary as that finally gave me a lead on this part of The Atherton family. I don’t know if you do family research but you often have a couple of characters that become a bit of an obsession and James fell into that category in my Atherton line. I had found (until fairly recently) that my Atherton’s from Darwen (unlike my wife Lorna’s family) were a bit unexciting to research but James was always the exception right from day one. I had a faint entry in his army records that gave a clue that he had emigrated to New Bedford and I found out about the family to a degree from US Census. I could not get any sort of breakthrough from the bare bones though until I found Anne’s entry.
As I mentioned to Anne, James Snr your Great grandfather has a ‘past’ in Darwen where he grew up and it is not a pleasant one. He then joins the army and appears to serve with distinction in the Boer War and there is an interesting connection to his future wife Lydia. For us there is a remarkable coincidence linked to his Boer War service which again made him an interesting family member to research. Also with my wife Lorna’s line being Irish finding James Jnr married an Irish girl was interesting.
I am happy to fill you in with James Snr life in the UK but as I said to Anne I do not want to change peoples perception of a person or tell them details they would rather leave alone, especially when people who knew them are still alive. I had this quite often with Lorna’s mothers history and decided a couple of times not to tell her things to avoid upset. You are a bit farther removed from James Snr so not quite the same maybe so may just be of interest to you.
The things I have tried to find out about regarding James & Lydia’s family are:
Did James Jnr marry and I have now found that out and also his war service is of interest and as in WWII we lost an Atherton relative from Darwen.
Did his sister Elizabeth marry and have a family.
He also had another older sister Bertha and I suspect she may have died in the US but hopefully she also marries.
I was brought up in Darwen but ‘escaped’ and now live more rurally near Preston Lancashire with Lorna. We have 2 children Helen who is married with our first granddaughter and moved back to Darwen and Ben who lives a few miles away who may marry eventually (you never know!).
I will be glad to expand on the Darwen family that you descend from and pass on any information.
My e-mail address is : firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the contact and it is great to find some relatives from this part of my research and if you can add anything for me I would be very grateful.
Best wishes from a finally sunny Lancashire