Home arrow Related Families arrow The Pin(n)ington of Leigh ancestoral story

Who's Online

The Pin(n)ington of Leigh ancestoral story

A fascinating story by Nick Penington that is bound to interest any Mort researchers who can trace their ancestors back to Ralph Mort 1573 and Agnes Pinington 1574.

Nick Penington
Pennington ancestry,the non-Gamelcentric view.


This article was inspired by a recent paper that I read in the American Journal of Human Genetics by a Professor at Oxford called Bryan Sykes. He found that surnames could essentially be traced from signatures in the Y-chromosome that is passed on with the same pattern as surnames. It is remarkable that a study of several surnames has turned up only one genetic signature in the Y-chromosome confirming that there was only one progenitor of many surnames. This got me thinking about some old bits of Pennington genealogy that have been ignored, perhaps because of their early remoteness in time.

Second, it highlights the neglected fact that there are really two early Lancashire origins of the Pennington surname and most likely we will not all be shown to be ultimately derived from Gamel de Pennington and the Muncaster family.

We will see below that the spelling of the name/place Pininton gradually over the centuries evolved into Pennington. This article is really for those who are puzzled when their researches uncover a consistent early spelling of Pin(n)ington in their family tree and a location of origin near Leigh Lancashire.

The main fact underlying the part of this article that might be called a flight of fancy is that Hugh de Radcliffe assumed the name of his wife Margery de Pininton on their wedding. This might be explained by the fact that Margery owned the manor of "Pennington" near Leigh that was a land grant from Simon de Bedford 1122 AD. (Victoria County History of Lancashire).

Thus if one traces the descent of the Y-chromosome rather than the surname, the ancestors of Adam de Pennington were really named de Radcliffe and before this, if we accept the Radcliffe pedigree, de Taillebois.

First a few words about the forgotten Pennington we hear so little about:

Pynynton 1246 - 1360
Penynton 1305
Pynyngton 1351 - 1442
Penyngton 1443

There is no village of Pennington in West Derby Hundred; the whole of the ancient manor is now within the town of Leigh half way between Manchester and Liverpool. It contains an area of 1,482 acres, but several landmarks remember the name Pennington (the modern spelling).

It is noteworthy to me that Aston-by-Sutton Cheshire, where my ancestors came from c1635, is 10 or 15 miles from Leigh in Lancs. It has also been hypothesized that the spelling Pin(n)ington ties a family directly to Leigh in Lancashire. In early records this place was spelt always with one "n" and sometimes with an "i" or a "y". The earliest recorded spelling of my surname is Pinington.

If all Penington/Pin(n)ingtons originating in SW Lancashire near (Leigh) are descended from Adam de Pennington (as conjectured in the book "Surnames of Lancashire" by R.A. McKinley) their ancestors, in chronological order, would include:

1. Ivo de TAILLEBOIS - Earl of Anjou - Baron of Kendal abt 1085. Ivo was born 1020 in Anjou, or Normandy, France. He died 1094.
Went to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.
He had the following child:
Aelfred de TAILBOIS "The Englishman" was born 1045 likely in Normandy, France.
Ivo married again about 1084.
(2) Countess Lucy Malet daughter of Earl Aelfger and granddaughter of Gruffydd, King of Wales who was born about 1065 of Mercia, England. After Ivos death in 1094
Lucy married (2) Roger FITZ GEROLD.
Lucy Married (3) Ranulph de Meschin - Earl of Chester d. 1129

2. Aelfred de TAILLEBOIS "The Englishman" was born 1045 in Anjou, or Normandy, France. Aelfred is probably the product of a previous marriage in Normandy.
He had the following children:

3. Ketel was born about 1065. Ketel married (1) Christina.
Christina was born about 1065. Ketel or Chetel & Christina had at least 2 sons:
i. Gilbert de Frunesco TAILLEBOIS was born 1070.
ii. William de Taillebois (later changed his name by order of the King to William de Lancaster.

4. Gilbert de Frunesco TAILLEBOIS was born 1070 of Furness county in Lancashire. Gilbert later went by the name Gilbert de Lancaster. Gilbert married (1) Goditha about 1090. Goditha was born about 1072.
They had the following children:
William Fitz Gilbert - de LANCASTER was born about 1095 in England
ii.Nicholas Fitz Gilbert - de RADECLIVE was born 1097/1100.

5.Nicholas de RADECLIVE was born 1097/1100 in England. A knight who was given the Manor of Radeclive from his lord, and may have built Radcliffe Tower, in the village of Radcliffe in Lancashire, England. Nicholas took the name "de Radcliffe" meaning of or from Radcliffe.

Radcliffe Lancs is not 5 miles from Leigh in Lancs. Eventually the last name Taillebois was dropped and Radcliffe took its place in the family lineage. Nicholas married (1) Lady the Booths before 1124. Lady the Booths was born about 1100.

They had the following children:
i.Matthew RADECLIVE or Fitz Gilbert was born about 1122 in Lancashire, England.
ii Henry de RADECLIVE or Radcliffe was born 1124/1126 and died before 1190.
iii. Simon de RADECLIVE or Fitz Gilbert was born about 1128 in Lancashire, England.

6.Henry de RADECLIVE or Radcliffe was born 1124/1126 in Lancashire, England. He died before 1190. He had the following children:
i.Richard de RADECLIVE was born about 1162 in Lancashire, England.
ii.William de RADECLIVE or Radcliffe was born 1164 and died 1220.
iii. John de RADECLIVE was born about 1166 in Lancashire, England.

7.William de RADECLIVE or Radcliffe was born 1164 in Lancashire, England. He died 1220. He was appointed High Sheriff of Lancaster in 1194 by Richard the Lionhearted and was one of twelve trust knights of the shire.
William married (1) Cecilia MONTBEGON about 1186. Cecilia was born about 1165 in Lancashire, England.
They had the following children:
i.Adam de RADCLYFFE was born about 1188 and died 1250.
ii.Geoffrey de RADECLIVE was born about 1190 in England.
iii. Hugh de RADECLIVE was born about 1192 in Lancashire, England.

8. Hugh de Radcliffe Married Margery de Pininton daughter of Richard de Pininton (living 1220) who may have been the Lord of the Manor of Pennington in Leigh. Hugh assumed the name de Pennington because Margery was granted the Manor (about 1500 acres), by Simon de Bedford before 1221). Children included Richard and William. Note that printed sources of the lineage of this family switch over to the modern spelling of Pennington after Margery.

9. Richard de Pennington in 1246 inherited the manor of Pennington, while his brother William inherited all of Heartshead Co York. Richard married and his son was Adam.

10. Adam de Pennington (died in 1309) married Joan ......... and had one daughter Joan who married Roger de Badshagh son of Richard de Bradshagh and they were given one half of the manor of Pennington in Leigh. Thus the manor passed to the Bradshagh and other families.

11. Adam de Pennington also had three sons by an Elota Crakebone, Hugh (living 1301) Richard and Adam. Records show that Richard and Adam partially owned Pennington 1330-1350. It is from these three Penningtons Hugh, Richard and Adam, who were granted land by their father, that the Penington/Pin(n)ington families concentrated around Leigh in Lancashire are said to be descended?

In 1338 a Richard, son of William de Pennington, is mentioned in this time period and these may have been descendants. A look at the IGI using the surname variations discussed above shows that there were probably more Peningtons/Piningtons living near Leigh, Lancs than near Pennington in Lonsdale hundred from where the Muncaster Penningtons originated.

Proof of this somewhat fanciful pedigree would be possible nowadays. To do this a genetic analysis of the Y-chromosomes from a single cheek cell of a random sample of Penningtons and Radcliffes, including some Peningtons/Pin(n)ingtons who originated from SW Lancashire, should produce a signature in common with Radcliffe descendants of Adam and Geoffrey de Radcliffe (generation 7).

My prediction is that there will be at least two signatures in the DNA of the male Penningtons, one of them could be Gamel de Pennington's and the other may be Ivo de Tallebois's! In addition unfortunately 50% of us will not have either signature due to the accumulation of early non-paternity events (Sykes and Irven, 2000).

Victoria County History of Lancashire, West Derby Hundred, Pennington.Hampson, Charles P.. The Book of the Radclyffes. Being an account of the main descents of this illustrious family from its origin to the present day, compiled from a variety of sources, including public records and private evidences. [With plates.]
Publisher: pp. xxv. 317. T. & A. Constable: Edinburgh, 1940. 4o.
Sykes B and Irven C Surnames and the Y Chromosome, (2000) Am. J. Hum. Genet. 66:1417-1419.

Nicholas J Penington PRA member

< Prev   Next >