Families are the grouping together of Family Units to form a lineage.
A Family unit is based on the relationship between a male and a female, typically, though not necessarily, through marriage. Also included in the family unit are any children resulting from that relationship.
An individual will appear in at least one family unit as a child. That person may also appear in other family units as a parent.
By linking family units together, usually through the father (Patrilineal), we can establish a lineage. The surname being used to describe what we generally refer to as a Family, typically presented as a Family Tree.
To misquote George Orwell, all families are equal, but some families are more equal than others.
Through the centuries some families stand out in terms of the development of Prescot as a result of a combination of family size, wealth or influence. These families were not always resident in Prescot.
For example, the Atherton family of Preston, remembered eponymously by a street in Prescot. Only one member of the family, William 1750...1803, is known to have lived in Prescot.
His brother John is often described as of Prescot, but no evidence of his living in Prescot has yet been found. He did however purchase the nearby Cronton Hall in 1819.
Other influential families include the Case and Willis families.