Since I posted my original message in January 2006 I've been fortunate to make contact with a person who is descended from a brother of Richard who was baptised at Farnworth in 1747 the son of John and Mary Atherton.I'm now confident that this Richard is my Richard who came to Holywell in Flintshire in 1785.
I also now know that the father of John was William because William died in 1777 and in his Will he mentions all of the children of John from both his marriages, he also names the estate where he lives in Bold as "Derbyshire"
William is possibly the William who was baptized in Farnworth in 1697, he was the son of John from Bold, there was also a son Richard baptized in 1696 and a son James in 1699, two days later James and his mother Jane are buried.
I have two other Wills, one for Thomas Atherton a Weaver from Bold who died 1699 and the other is Robert Atherton a Shoemaker from Bold who died 1708. Thomas Atherton mentions Robert Atherton in his Will but he doesn't say what relation he is to him. He leaves 5/- to Richard Atherton the son of John Atherton, he doesn't mention William he later refers to his Nephew John Atherton. Robert Atherton leaves £1 a year for 5 years to Richard and William Atherton the sons of John Atherton from Bold, he doesn't specify what relation they are.
When we were exchanging messages in 2006 you told me to get in touch with you again if I could get back to 1650.As this Thomas and Robert were probably born before then I'm wondering do you know of them?
I hope your still checking this site and I look forward to hearing from you.