As I understand it is generally excepted that the above Humphrey Atherton is most likely the son of Edmund Atherton of Winstanley bap in Upholland in Sep 1607.
Edmund Atherton is the son of another Humphrey Atherton who in 1596 disputed lands in Winstanley with a Edward Winstanley, this was resolved upon the grant of some land in Billinge to Humphrey Atherton.
I have recently received the transcript of a Will of a James Atherton of Billinge-Husbandman dated 16 October 1606.
In the Will he refers to debts owed to him by various people two of which were
1/ My Brother Humphrey Atherton 20/- (shillings) 2/ To Edmund Atherton his son 10/-(shillings)
It also refers to a son of James Atherton in the Will named Thomas Atherton,who is aged under 21 years.
A reference is made to his God-Father Edmund Winstanley who I presume could well be one and the same mentioned in the VCHL-see below.
Early in 1596 Edmund Winstanley and Alice his wife sold the manor of Winstanley, with the coal mines and view of frankpledge, to James Bankes. (fn. 7) The purchaser, who belonged to a Wigan family, (fn. 8) died 4 August 1617, From: 'Townships: Winstanley', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 87-89. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41383http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41383Date accessed: 31 March 2011.
Trusting this helps for those researching into the ancestery of Maj Gen Humphrey Atherton