The Staniforths of Ormskirk

Credit has to be given to Margaret Christine Ross, Joyce Lockhart, and Maggie Duggan for this incredible account of their family history in Ormskirk.


Although the Staniforth family of Liverpool is well documented in various publications, most notable of which being Staniforthiana by Frances Margery Hext (Full transcript here), another large family existed to the north of the city in Ormskirk,

On January 29, 1785 Thomas Staniforth married Martha Stephenson at St. Anne’s Liverpool. We later find the baptisms for their children in Ormskirk. The couple had nine children in total:

  • Henry Staniforth, born 1788, he married twice, firstly to Susan Shorlicker, secondly to Alice Rothwell.
  • Elizabeth Staniforth, born 1790, she married Thomas Culshaw
  • Thomas Staniforth, baptized September 5, 1794, he married Ann Wright.
  • Robert Staniforth born 1797
  • Sarah Staniforth, born 1800, she married Robert Ashurst
  • Mary Staniforth, born 1803, she married William Howard
  • Martha Staniforth, born 1808, she married Edward Draper
  • Nathan Staniforth, baptized January 17, 1812, he married Jane Battersby
  • John Staniforth, baptized January 17, 1812, he married Ann Shorlicker.

Thomas Staniforth was buried in Ormskirk in 1813, his wife would outlive him by a number of decades being buried April 13, 1842.

We will now look into the families of the children listed above.

Henry Staniforth was the informant on his mothers death certificate. Based on Census records we see that he worked as a bricklayer. On August 21, 1809, he married Susan Shorlicker. The two would only have a daughter together, Elizabeth baptized on September 17, 1809. Susan passed away on September 29, 1809, likely due to issues relating to her giving birth to Elizabeth. Elizabeth would go onto marry James Arkwright. Henry then married Alice Rothwell on September 10, 1810 at St. Peter’s Liverpool.

Henry and Alice had:

  • Mary Staniforth, baptized February 21, 1813, she does not appear to have married, however has an illegitimate son named Joseph Staniforth baptized October 12, 1833, he only survives a month being buried on November 2, 1833.
  • Thomas Staniforth, baptized January 15, 1815, he goes onto marry Ann Threfall
  • Martha Staniforth, baptized May 4, 1817, she goes onto marry Abraham Waterhouse, moving to Stockport and then Cardiff.
  • Henry Staniforth, baptized May 13, 1819, he goes onto marry Sarah Finch
  • James Staniforth, baptized May 15, 1821, he goes onto marry Alice Baxendale
  • Robert Staniforth, baptized December 19, 1823, he marries twice, to Ellen Ashcroft and then to his brothers widow Sarah (Finch)
  • John Staniforth, baptized June 9, 1825, he also marries twice to Eliza Gregory and Alice Nelson, he has a number of children including John Staniforth (1870-1961)
  • William Staniforth baptized May 8, 1827, he also marries twice to Margaret Rimmer and Catherine Miller
  • Joseph Staniforth baptised August 15, 1829, he goes onto marry Frances Hardy
  • Michael Staniforth, baptised November 13, 1831, he marries Ellen Kirkby
  • Alice Staniforth, baptized May 23, 1834

Thomas Staniforth married Ann Threfall at St. Nicholas, Liverpool on January 7, 1837.

They had the following children:

  • Alice Staniforth, born 1837, she married a John Noblet
  • Thomas Staniforth, born 1839 (died 1845)
  • Jane Staniforth, born 1840 (died 1855)
  • Mary Staniforth, born 1843, she married a John Gerrard
  • Henry Staniforth, born 1844, worked as a painter.
  • Thomas Staniforth, born 1847, worked as a brick setter and married a Margaret Spencer, the two had a daughter named Henrietta Ruth Ann Staniforth in 1868.
  • John Staniforth, born 1850 (died 1852)
  • James Staniforth, born 1852, married Martha Ormisher.
  • Ann, born 1855 (see below)
  • John, born 1860 (see below)

Thomas Staniforth dies on December 24, 1851 at the age of 37, meaning the last, meaning Ann and John are not Thomas’ children. Thomas was buried in Ormskirk. Based on Census records, we see that the couple lived at Burscough Street, following Thomas’ death, the family relocated to Aughton Street. Thomas was a Bricklayer by trade, employing 4 men, his wife Ann ran a green grocers with the help of her daughters Mary and Alice. By 1871, Ann relocated to 3 Moor Street and worked as a Gingerbread maker before dying at the age of 73 on January 11, 1891.

John Staniforth (Grandson of Henry and Alice) with wife Martha Thomas

Now we must backtrack to Thomas Staniforth, the son of Thomas Staniforth and Martha Stephenson. Thomas Staniforth married Ann Wright in Ormskirk on November 11, 1821. Ann actually had a child prior to this married named Thomas Wright, baptised in July 1821, he later adopted the Staniforth surname, the married couple had the following children:

  • Richard Staniforth, baptised March 9, 1823
  • Robert Staniforth, baptised January 14, 1825 (died October 18, 1825)

Thomas Staniforth dies in November 1824. Richard married Margaret Bowes in Liverpool in 1843. Margaret was a native of Ireland. They had he following children:

  • Thomas Staniforth, born 1844, he marries Sarah Brookman
  • Ann Staniforth, born 1846
  • Jane Staniforth, born 1849
  • Margaret Staniforth, born 1851
  • John Staniforth, born 1856
  • Richard Staniforth, born 1851
  • Thomas Staniforth, born 1854
  • William Staniforth, born 1856

Throughout his life, Richard worked as a Confectioner and a Baker. His son Thomas appears to have continued this trade in Everton after he married Sarah Brookman, he had a number of children also including Richard Staniforth born 1871, Thomas Staniforth born 1875 (He married Mary Emma Morson), and John Staniforth born 1877.

Nathan Staniforth, the son of Thomas Staniforth and Martha Stephenson worked as a weaver. He and his wife Jane had three children:

  • Martha Staniforth, baptised October 15, 1837
  • Thomas Staniforth, baptised August 4, 1839
  • Hannah Staniforth, baptised May 10, 1841

Nathan passed away on October 29, 1840.

His son Thomas, also married an Irish woman named Catherine (Kate) Walsh on October 24, 1859. The two had a number of children:

  • Lawrence Staniforth, born 1861 (named after Catherine’s father, he died in infancy in 1863)
  • Kate Staniforth, born 1864
  • Lawrence Staniforth, born 1867, in the Ormskirk parish Church magazines, in 1896 it is noted that a Lawrence Staniforth visited from the Garden Society. On the 1939 Register, Lawrence Staniforth is living with his wife Margaret Hughes at 21 Woodruff Street, Liverpool. They have an invalid son named Lawrence in the household.
  • Martha Staniforth, born 1871
  • Teresa Staniforth, born 1877

John Staniforth, another son of Thomas Staniforth and Martha Stephenson, baptised the same day as his brother Nathan, married Ann Shorlicker. He was buried on January 12, 1841 at the age of 30. Based on Census records the couple worked as Silk weavers, with Ann appearing as a widow on the 1841 Census. The couple had the following children:

  • Martha Staniforth, baptised May 26, 1833
  • Thomas Staniforth, baptised March 26, 1835, he married Mary Ward
  • Richard Staniforth, baptised November 29, 1836
  • Elizabeth Staniforth, baptised January 6, 1839
  • John Staniforth, baptised March 15, 1840

Following Johns death, Ann remarried to John Lea and they had at least one son, Peter Lea born 1849. They also have a granddaughter in their home, Ann Staniforth born 1856, that appears to be an illegitimate daughter of one of their own daughters.

The eldest son Thomas Staniforth moved to Burscough and became a tailors apprentice to Mr. John Fairclough. Following his apprenticeship, he moved back to Ormskirk to live with his mother and stepfather John Lea on Aughton Street. He went onto marry Mary Ward and had a daughter named Emma Jane Staniforth in 1866, and a son John Staniforth born in 1869, he died in infancy however, with his death registered in 1873 in Stockport.

I should mention here, that in Washington State in the United States exists a family of Staniforths. The family stems from a Robert Eugene Staniforth, born in Massachusetts, the son of Henry Staniforth of Blackburn. Henry’s father was Charles Staniforth, born in 1881 in Blackburn. On Census records Charles is living as a boarder with his mother, Ann Staniforth (born in Ormskirk in 1857), This Ann appears to be the same Ann born above in 1856, there is no mother’s maiden name listed on the birth record, meaning she was likely an illegitimate child herself of one of their daughters.

Frederick William Staniforth (son of Henry Staniforth and Sarah Finch) and Sarah Jane Taylor's anniversary

Richard Staniforth married Mary Clift and worked at a rope works. On the 1861 census, the family are living at Church Street, working as silk weavers. They appear to have had one son named John Staniforth in 1861. John married Sarah Jane Marsh and established a family in Macclesfield, which is where Richard dies on December 12, 1877.

Backtracking once again, Henry Staniforth, the son of Henry Staniforth and Alice Rothwell, married Sarah Finch in 1853. Henry worked as a Bricklayer before passing in 1864; Sarah lived to the age of 78, passing away in 1907. The couple had five children:

  • Emily Staniforth, born 1854 (Became a school mistress)
  • James Staniforth, born 1857 (died 1880)
  • Lucy Staniforth, born 1859
  • Frederick William Staniforth, born 1861, he married Sarah Jane Taylor and worked as a carpenter; they had a number of children including Henry James Staniforth and Frederick Douglas Staniforth. Henry James married Catherine Hesker in 1916. Frederick Douglas married Ella Hale.
  • William Herbert Staniforth, born 1865 (Died in 1917, aged 51)

Upon Henry’s death, Sarah married Henry’s brother Robert Staniforth, he was a widow also, after his wife Ellen Ashcroft passed away in 1868.

Robert was a master carpenter and joiner employing 2 men and 2 boys. He had eight children with his first wife:

  • John Staniforth, born in 1842, worked as a bricklayer and owned a Brickworks on Higgins Lane, Burscough. He also ran The Rising Inn.
  • James Staniforth, born in 1847
  • Ann Staniforth born in 1848
  • William Staniforth born in 1856 (died in 1867)
  • Jane Staniforth, born in 1857
  • Joseph Staniforth, born in 1859 (died in 1883)
  • Mary Staniforth, born in 1861

Another daughter is noted on the headstone of Robert an Ellen, a 7 month old daughter named Alice. As noted earlier, upon Ellen’s death, Robert Staniforth married his brother’s widow. The combined family lived in Burscough Street, which is the street both families lived on prior to their respective partners passing away.

James Staniforth, the son of Henry Staniforth and Alice Rothwell married Alice Baxendale of Yew Tree Farm on February 7, 1846 at Burscough. James lived a short life, passing away of D.T’s at the age of 24. This seems to suggest that James lived a sad life. The farm his wife was from consisted of 36 acres, the farmhouse has now been demolished however, it stood on the corner of Higgins Lane and Liverpool/Preston Road in Burscough. James’ brother John Staniforth owned a brickworks between 1855/64 on Higgins Lane. James married Alice at St. John’s Chapel, a Catholic church in Burscough, which was out of the ordinary for the family. It is also interesting to note that on the birth certificate for their daughter, James’ residence states Ormskirk, however his wife’s states Burscough, which suggests they never lived together. It could be possible that James remained at home whilst he was ill, and his wife stayed with her family whilst pregnant. Alice gave birth to Mary Staniforth on May 4, 1846, James passed a few months later in December. Alice passed away in 1868 at the age of 54. The cause of death states Furgus Haematodes in left breast and vercera. Alice had two more sons out of wedlock, John Staniforth in 1848 (married Ann Tattersall) and Thomas Horner Staniforth in 1855, he died in 1864 from caries of the spine. Although it is uncertain who the father of these children where, but there was a Doctors assistant in Ormskirk named Thomas Horner.

Mary Staniforth married William Starkie Fletched in 1874 and worked as a schoolteacher. John Staniforth, Alice’ illegitimate child married Ann Tattersall of Drummersdale, Scarisbrick.

John Staniforth (died 1918) and Ann Tattersall had seven children:

  • Theresa Staniforth, born 1876, she married firstly to Isaiah Laycock and secondly to Ken Butler, she had no children.
  • William Staniforth, born 1879, married Margaret Culshaw, they had no children and licked at 9 Scarisbrick Street, William died in 1952, Margaret in 1957.
  • John Staniforth, born 1880, married Elizabeth Woods (daughter of Peter Woods), he was the only child to give up the Catholic faith and reverted to marry Elizabeth. They had a number of children, Hilda Staniforth; she married Herbert Symmons Hosea Roberts, having one child, David. John Staniforth died in 1933 from an accidental gunshot womb after an accident hunting rabbits. Eric Staniforth married Margaret Campbell, a catholic woman. Their daughter Margaret Christine has been an incredible help, sharing her extensive research on this line of Staniforths. The four child was Albert Staniforth, he married Olive Forshaw. John Staniforth died in 1952 of Dementia at the age of 72, Elizabeth passed in 1943.
  • James Staniforth, born 1882, married Annie Wareing in 1905
  • Ann Alice Staniforth, born 1888, married George Bernard Weston in 1921.
  • Joseph Staniforth, born 1890
  • Amelia Mary Staniforth, born 1893, married Baden Banner.

Sarah Ann Staniforth (Daughter of Richard Staniforth and Mary Clift)

We must back track once more to William Staniforth, the son of Henry Staniforth and Alice Rothwell. He married Margaret Rimmer on November 30, 1857 at St. Nicholas Church, Liverpool. He appears to have become a widower early on in the marriage, as Margaret’s death is registered in 1858. For some time he lived in Southport with his brother Michael, and the two worked as a bricklayers. William would move to Glasgow, he remained here until his death in 1879. He remarried a Catherine Miller and the couple had 4 children:

  • William Staniforth
  • Catherine Staniforth (June 14, 1870-June 7, 1939) she married a James Lockhart
  • Henry Staniforth (July 30, 1872 – September 30, 1872)
  • Alice Staniforth (October 14, 1874 – January 28, 1959), she was born in Peel, Ontario, Canada, her parents briefly moved to Ontario, before returning to Scotland. She married a Hugh Mcinally; they had a son Hugh Mcinally who married a Mary Kelly, however the couple divorced and he emigrated to the United States following World War II and had a large family. Mary emigrated to Canada with three of her daughters. One daughter Alice Staniforth McInally remained in Scotland, marrying George McGowan, an adopted man from Belfast. Their daughter Margaret has also been incredibly helpful in compiling the information on this page.

Catherine Staniforth and James Lockhart had 9 children in total:

  • Catherine Miller Staniforth Lockhart (1889-1912)
  • James Lockhart, born 1891
  • Jane Farquhar Lockhart, born 1894, she married David Crawford
  • William Staniforth Lockhart (1896-1961), he married firstly Christina Darge, and secondly Isobel Turner Gemmell Colquhoun, he had three children with Isobel, Staniforth Wilson Lockhart (1931-2020), he married Margaret Dougall and had a son Roy Staniforth Lockhart in 1966.
  • Joyce Colquhoun Lockhart (born 1932), she married Alan George James Holt and had a son named Richard William Pierce Holt in 1967. (Joyce is another woman that provided valuable information for this page)
  • Constance Agnew Lockhart (born 1938), she married James Mair, they emigrated to Australia with their children.

This concludes the history of the Staniforth family of Ormskirk. Although many people claim that Thomas Staniforth that married Martha Stephenson is the son of Thomas Staniforth, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, there seems to be no evidence to suggest this. Thomas does appear to have been baptised in Liverpool on January 2, 1766 to a Thomas Staniforth, however when we look at the children of Thomas Staniforth, Lord mayor of Liverpool and his wife Elizabeth Goore, we see that the couple had a son Thomas on November 22, 1765, he died in infancy on November 22, 1765 and is buried with his brother, another younger Thomas, at St. Nicholas’. The next son if Charles born August 14, 1767. Using DNA evidence we are able to see that there are no DNA matches to this line of Staniforths, but a small connection to the Derbyshire family. It is also worth noting that the Liverpool and Ormskirk lines used different churches, and there was clearly a wealth divide between the two lines, there is little argument to be made for their being a close link between the Ormskirk and Liverpool lines of Staniforths.