The Family of James Panton, Town Crier(1805-1849)

This has been updated to include the outcome of the trial of Martin Luther Parkes, husband of Rebecca Frances Panton.

As is often the case with genealogical research, the task of researching John Panton born 1804 in Lincoln, has taken many twists and turns.My newspaper archive research, revealed early on that there was a James Panton, who was town crier(He was also a shoemaker by trade) in the Bail. Initially I had believed that John’s father James Panton(1786-1857) had been the town crier. However further research has proved to my satisfaction that John’s brother James Panton, was the town crier. James Panton the town crier, is described as having expired suddenly, having been cleaning out his pig sty. He had complained of feeling unwell and had died lying next to his wife in bed, aged only forty four.The death of James Panton, crier of the Bail would have made him born in 1805(from the Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, 16th November, 1849.)

As he was born  in 1805, this indicated that he was the brother of John Panton born 1804. Today I have been researching James Panton(1805-1849)from Lincoln, son of James Panton(1786-1857) and his family.

Investigating each of his children in turn  has proven particularly fruitful and yielded yet another interesting court case. Rebecca Frances Panton(1843-1915), daughter of James Panton, the town crier had an eventful life.By 1881 Rebecca Frances Panton(referred to as Fanny) who is the second youngest daughter of James Panton, town crier, is living with her sister Sarah Panton and has clearly married somebody with the surname of Parks. Further research disclosed that Rebecca Frances(Fanny) Panton had married a young man, named Martin Luther Parks. This unusual name aroused my curiosity. A quick search of the newspaper archives revealed that Martin Luther Parks had been put on trial in September 1867, for having abandoned his wife and two children.Documents were produced to prove the marriage, however Martin Luther Parks had claimed he did not believe the marriage was valid, as he had been underage and had not had the permission of his parents. As revealed by later investigation, Martin Luther Parks’ father was a Methodist Minister called Robert Parks. He (Martin Luther Parks) was remanded in custody, as bail had not been paid. Later it was reported in The Nottingham and Stamford Mercury (September 13th, 1862) that the case had been discharged as he (Martin Luther Parks) had paid all expenses due and had undertaken to, “take his family off the books of the union”.

 Martin Luther Parks can be found in California in 1896, working as an engineer. Records note that he comes from England. 

By 1881 Rebecca Frances Panton and her children are living with her sister, Sarah Panton. Ten years later in 1891 Rebecca Frances Panton is described as the head of the household-by this time she has four children Robert, Eleanor(sadly Eleanor died in 1893, aged only eleven),  Florence and Lucy and her sister Sarah is now living with her. Unsure how she has managed to acquire two more children, although all the children bear the surname Parks. I note that Rebecca has retained the surname Parks.

Rebecca made straw bonnets and is living at 33 Bailgate according to the 1892 Kelly’s Directory.

Rebecca lived until she was ninety years old, despite the hardships she must have endured as a lone parent, dying and being buried in Lincoln in 1915.



Death of Albert Jollands

Albert Jollands was the brother of Ruth Jollands, who was married to George Panton(1821-1882), who was the son of John Panton(1804-1865) and his wife Mary. Albert was said to have been well-known in racing circles in Newark, as a trainer of steeplechase horses.

I was both saddened and a little intrigued when I had discovered yet another World War One soldier, who appeared to have died during the war. This was somewhat different however, as it was stated he had actually died at home. I had initially assumed he must have died of injuries sustained during the course of his duty. Surprisingly this was not the case.

Corporal Albert Jollands had served  in the South Nottingham Hussars as a letter carrier. At the time of his death (He died on August 24th,1915) it was stated that he lived at 4 White Yard, Nottingham.(I strongly suspect this is actually 4 White Cow Yard,Nottingham). Information below obtained from the website:

Nottinghamshire History

Close to Hollowstone and just behind “Horne’s Castle” is Scotland Place, and out of Scotland Place leads White Cow Yard, which is all that remains of the yard of the “White Cow,” an inn that formerly stood in Fisher Gate.

He had built himself a hut in a more secluded part of the military camp, where he had used to “sleep in solitude”. He was seen outside the hut at six o’clock before he  had started on his postman’s rounds.  At ten o’clock he had gone inside and drawn the curtains.  Around ten to eleven Albert Jolland’s dead body was seen by the Reverend, in his hut with the letters which were addressed to him, underneath him. It was said that Albert had a habit of reading with a candle on his chest and had no doubt fallen asleep. A verdict of “Accidental Death” was recorded. He was fifty four years of age.

Most of this information comes from the Nottingham Evening Post, 29 August 1915. (43)


Lance Corporal John George Panton(1894-1915)

John George Panton, Great Great Grandson of James Panton(1785-1857). Great Grandson of James Panton, town crier of the Bail.(1805=1849). Grandson of George Panton(1821-1882) Son of John James Panton and Sophie Elizabeth Wholey

It appears Lance Corporal John George Panton took part in the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, (as part of the Lincolnshire Regiment) which took place in  10th to 13th March 1915, as he is buried in the British cemetery at Neuve Chappelle. He was reported as wounded and in hospital(6 Montpelier Square) in August 1915. He is subsequently  described as sick August 1915,  On September 18th 1915, it is reported he has influenza. He appears to have returned to the fighting having been discharged  from hospital and was subsequently killed 18th November 1915.

History of the World War-Neuve Chapelle by Francis Andrew March


James Panton (1831-1908)

Today I have been working on the son of John Panton(1804-1865), James Panton born in 1831. This has already presented some mysteries. Why for example was he in the Christ Hospital, Lincoln in the 1841 census? After some archive research, I have decided that John and Mary Panton had probably placed James in the hospital school so he could be looked after and get a decent education. In 1854 it is described as a model school, giving a good education with moral and religious training. He seems to have been taught a trade at the school as he is described as a cooper in 1851.  In April 1856, James Panton married Martha Watkin in Yorkshire. As they both came from Lincolnshire, I suspect he moved there for work. Sheffield is home to many breweries. I cannot locate James in the 1861 census currently.  In 1871 he is described as a wet cooper, which means he built containers for liquids. He is still a cooper in the 1881 census and the 1891(wherein he is described as a foreman cooper) censuses. The 1901 census confirms my suspicions since I first came across the term “wet cooper”. He is in fact working at a brewery. beer barrel

In 1906 probate is given to James Panton(by now he is apparently a retired cooper) in the will of a William Henry Bennett.

James Panton born in 1833 died in 1908 in Bierlow, Yorkshire, which is where he had been living since  at least 1871. It appears that James spent over forty years living and working at a brewery, making barrels.

Source:British Pathé

This was filmed at Sweeney Cooperage,  False Creek, Vancouver.



Walter Panton(1889-1917)

Dulce et Decorun Est Pro Patria Mori by Wilfred Owen

I think this is one of the most powerful works about war ever written.

Wilfred Owen’s poem had a huge personal impact on me. Suddenly war was very real, not just something I had viewed on the television.

I was reminded of this poem again when I encountered yet another dead WW1 soldier, Walter Panton. Twenty eight years old, in what should have been the prime of his life, instead(almost exactly one hundred years ago), it  had become the end of his life. Walter was the son of Frank and Mary Panton and great grandson of James Panton the town crier. I doubt it would ever have occured to James that one day his great grandson would die on the battlefields in France.

The following statement was published in The Lincolnshire Chronicle, 26th May 1917.


Mr and Mrs Panton of 7, Motherby Lane, Lincoln, wish to thank many friends for the kind expressions of sympathy shown to them in their sad bereavement.

A whole generation of young men was decimated, suffering in horrific conditions on the battlefields.  Those who did survive, had often suffered horrifically long after hostilities had ceased. One family member I  remember who had experienced The Somme, had always seemed distant and broken. Another uncle who had been gassed at The Somme, according to his daughter, would wake up at night screaming

I am suddenly tired of this-tired of the terrible carnage of these  poor young men as I remember yet another of our fallen heroes, on the website Lives of WW1.

Descendants of James Panton(1786-1857) (10)


Descendents of James Panton


This is a descendant chart prepared using a gedcom of the original tree, which I downloaded. It should be a book sharing details of the descendants of James and Rebecca Panton. I am unsure whether this will work generally but it does work on my computer. I notice some people are recorded twice(still nonetheless I hope it is helpful) but as I have said this is very much a work in progress.