The Stannards and related families



Family trees

Stannard family tree
Family trees of the Stannard and Wilson families

Also showing the MacAdam family

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

Also showing the Sorton and Booth families



The Stannard family, to which my paternal grandmother Olive belongs, hail from County Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland - a pendant, as it were, to the family of Olive's husband Mac, which originated in Northern Ireland. In particular this is the family of John Lanigan Stannard, Olive's great-great-grandfather, who built and lived at The Grange, near Ballyragget, with his eight children in the first quarter of the 19th century. At that time the Stannards were one of the principal landowning families in the county.

Grange garden
The garden at The Grange, Ballyragget

Estate agent's photo

John Lanigan's two eldest sons led comfortable lives as country squires; two of the daughters married into the MacAdam family of Co. Clare. Henry, as was often the case with youngest sons, took holy orders. He married and lived in Dublin, where his two sons Henry and William George were born. Both entered the army, the first as a surgeon (joining the notable list of my ancestors in the medical profession), the second in the Royal Irish Regiment in Kilkenny. William George married a Scottish lady, Christina Jane Wilson; their son William Lanagan moved to England at the age of six to live with his aunt, and did not return to the land of his birth.

In certain ways, the Stannard branch of my ancestors is intriguing, if not not mysterious. For example: from the eight children of John Lanigan Stannard, there is only one descendant through the male line three generations later (William Lanagan Stannard). No photographs or portraits have yet come to light of anyone before William Lanagan. His father William George appears to have been made bankrupt, and his grandfather, the Rev. Henry Stannard, became insane, but no more details are known about these significant events.


In the last quarter of the 19th century, the Stannard family, in the form of William Lanagan Stannard, moved to the north of England, where his mother's family were then living. (Also during those 25 years, Dr. James McConnell moved from Belfast to London, and Col. John Pennycuick moved from India to Surrey.) He trained as an accountant in Liverpool, and apart from a brief period in London, lived in the St Helens area until the outbreak of war took him to Flanders, where he died at Ypres in 1915. His wife Jane Annie Penketh was from Lancashire, as were all four of her grandparents (Penketh, Hill, Southworth and Porter). Jane Annie's forbears were occupied in various trades: painter, glazier, wheelwright, grocer and medicine salesman. Although William Lanagan's six children were born in Lancashire, they gravitated southwards, to the south of England and to South Africa.


Tracing exact details online of family members in 19th-century Ireland is not easy. Birth, marriage and death certificates, either church or civil, are hard to come by. Civil records exist from 1864 onwards (before which time the churches were responsible for keeping and submitting records), and can be viewed in the website,1 but there are several that should be there and aren't. Many church records were destroyed in a fire in the Public Records Office (PRO) in Dublin in 1922, including the parish records of the Donoughmore (Ballyragget) parish from 1764 to 1878,2 which presumably explains their absence from the above site. My usual sources (,3 Findmypast.com4 and Rootsireland.ie5) are not exactly brimming with information. In particular, no Ireland-wide census information exists from before 1901: censuses were carried out from 1821 to 1891, but the returns from 1821-1851 were destroyed in the fire at the PRO in 1922; those from 1861 and 1871 were destroyed soon after the censuses were taken; and those from 1881 and 1891 were destroyed at some stage during the First World War.6

There is however a considerable amount of indirect information to be found for Ireland: law reports, postal directories, probate records and tombstone inscriptions are all useful, as is the Tipperary Clans Archive, to be found on (This is a collection of transcripts of death/burial notices and obituaries from newspapers, together with gravestone inscriptions and other material, collected by students in the 1990s, and dealing with the period before 1864, i.e. pre-civil registration. The death dates of John Lanigan Stannard and his youngest daughter Abigail were found here.) And thanks to the Stannards' position in society, Burke's Landed Gentry and the Peerage website have been extremely useful.

In England, by contrast, census data exists from 1841 to 1911 (and now 1921), with occupations from 1851. The page on the Penketh and Southworth families, put together largely from these and the birth/marriage/death registers, shows that a reasonable picture can emerge from such 'dry' data.



Larry O'Reilly at the Grangemacomb graveyard, 2018

Away from purely internet-based research, I am extremely grateful to Mary Mulcahy of Grange Manor for welcoming me and my wife into this wonderful house and explaining its recent history, and to Larry O'Reilly of Grange village for showing us the Stannard graves. Also to Mary Flood at Rothe House, Kilkenny for valuable tips, and to Annie Owen of the Powys Family Historical Society for helping me find details of the last resting place of the Rev. Henry Stannard. Last but not least, Clare Stannard and Anne Kinghorn (née Stannard) in South Africa have provided invaluable family stories and photographs.