The Penketh and Southworth families
The Lancashire connection




Other sources

  1. Various correspondence with Anne Kinghorn and Clare Stannard, granddaughters of Annie Stannard

Family trees

Penketh Sorton Booth family tree
Family trees of the Penketh and Southworth families

Also showing the Sorton and Booth families

Anne Stannard
Jane Annie Stannard, née Penketh

Photo courtesy of Clare Stannard

William Lanagan Stannard, last scion in the male line of his family of wealthy Irish landowners, married into a very different circle of relatives. As a young man he had settled in Liverpool with its large Irish community, where he met Jane Annie Penketh, whose family were tradesmen and grocers. The two married in Cheshire in 1899, both aged 24.

Jane Annie's forebears on both sides were from the county of Lancashire, which included much of what is now Merseyside. Through the increasingly reliable and detailed census reports from 1841 to 1911 (and now 1921), which include the occupations of all members of a household, one can get a surprisingly accurate picture of how and where these ancestors lived, as the industrial revolution swept through this busy region.


Jane Annie's father was John Penketh, described on the census reports as a 'druggist' and 'commercial traveller in medicines', a trade close to that of William Lanagan's maternal grandfather Thomas Wilson, an apothecary (see the page on Rev. Henry Stannard). The Penkeths lived in St Helens, then a small town east of Liverpool, noted for its glass industry, where John's father Edward was a painter and glazier. John married Jane Ann Southworth in 1872; Jane Annie was born three years later, but her mother sadly died that same year. John remarried in 1879, to Amelia Sorton, and Jane Annie's half-sister Amelia Jessie was born in 1887. John and Amelia and their daughter initially lived in Toxteth, together with Amelia's aunt Charlotte Booth, then moved across the Mersey to the less-industrialised county of Cheshire in the 1890s.


John Penketh's first wife Jane Ann was from a large family of grocers in the area around Ormskirk, north of Liverpool. As shown on the Family Tree (left), Jane Ann's father Hugh Southworth was a grocer (at some stage also a wheelwright), as was her sister Ellen, brother John Henry, and brother-in-law Harry Cheetham. Hugh himself (Jane Ann's father) was the son of John Southworth and Jane Banks, but grew up with a large family of other Southworths, perhaps cousins, the children of Hugh Southworth (snr.), a wheelwright. Little is known of Hugh's parents: they married in Croston in 1815, but by the 1841 census they seem to have vanished from the scene.

Most of the Southworth family were baptised Methodists; Jane Ann and John Penketh married in the Methodist chapel in Southport, and their daughter Jane Annie was also baptised a Methodist. The records do not show how much further this religion extended in the family - Jane Annie and William Lanagan married in the Anglican church of St Mary's in Liscard.

The Sorton and Booth families

John Penketh's second wife Amelia Sorton came from similar Lancashire stock: her father Thomas Sorton was a pawnbroker and salesman in Liverpool, and her mother Elizabeth Booth was from a family of tradesmen in Bury - Elizabeth's father Thomas and brother John were plumbers. When Elizabeth Booth and Thomas Sorton married in 1839, the whole Booth family moved from Bury into Liverpool, and took in some of the couple's children after both died in their forties.

Princes Road, Toxteth
Princes Road, Toxteth, ca. 1900

Photo: (website now defunct)


Over the four generations shown on the Family Tree, a 'drift' can be observed: the occupations at the start of the 19th century were more rural (wheelwright, agricultural labourer for example); those later in the century more industrial (John Penketh's brother-in-law William Cook was an iron founder), and towards the end of the century more 'middle class' - accountant, bank manager, music teacher. Families moved into the industrial centres and then out again when they could afford it - the Penketh family moved from St Helens to Bootle to inner-city Toxteth, then out again to Liscard and Wallesey. But Liverpool itself at the time was a mixed townscape: poor areas with cramped housing were cut through by elegant avenues of Victorian villas such as Princes Road in Toxteth. And even modestly situated families had live-in servants, for example Thomas and Elizabeth Sorton in Toxteth in 1851, or John Booth, a retired plumber, in Ormskirk in 1881.

Anne Stannard, née Pemketh
Jane Annie Stannard, née Penketh

Photo courtesy of Clare Stannard

Jane Annie

Annie, as she was known in the family, was born in 1875 in Walton, now a suburb of Liverpool, and baptised a Methodist. Her mother sadly died later that year, possibly due to complications arising from the birth. Her father John remarried four years later, to Amelia Sorton, and Annie lived with them in Bootle, Liverpool; later as a teenager she lived with her aunt Ellen Southworth in North Meols. 

She met William Lanagan Stannard when he was working as a trainee accountant, living in Smithdown Road, Toxteth Park, near where the Penkeths lived in Parliament Street. They married in 1899 in Liscard, Cheshire, where Annie's father's family were by then living.

Soon after they were married, William Lanagan and Annie moved to West London, where he worked as a private secretary to Col. Pilkington, probably part of the famous glass manufacturing family. But the couple later moved back north: all of their six children were born in the area east of Liverpool - at the 1911 census they are in Prescot Road St Helens, later in Seymour Road, Broad Green. As described on the page for Capt. William Lanagan Stannard, after several years (as a volunteer) in the 5th South Lancashire Regiment, William Lanagan went out to the front at the start of the First World War, and was killed at Ypres in 1915. At that time Annie was living on the south coast, in Wilmington Gardens, Eastbourne.1 Her daughter Aileen was also in Eastbourne (the census of 1921 has her working as a dancing teacher), and her youngest son Lionel was at school there.

Annie later lived with the McConnell family: the [September] 1939 Register has her living in Studham near Luton, with daughter Olive and her two young children, plus Olive's mother-in-law Janie McConnell (née Meharry). In later life Annie returned to the south coast, living in a residential hotel (the Anglo-Swiss) in Bournemouth, possibly together with Janie. During the summer tourist season Annie went to stay with various of her children, for example Derek's family in Surrey.i She died in Ewell in 1962.