Phebe Bristow, nee Kirk


Grave - 8 June 2017
Raymond Ella
Grave - 8 June 2017

Phebe Kirk was born at Cumberworth, Lincolnshire on 16 July 1831 a daughter of Francis and Dinah Kirk. Her sisters and brothers, also born in Cumberworth, being Mehetabel  born 1830, Francis (junior) born 1833, John born 1835 and Martha born circa 1838/9. The parents had been married in Alford 29th June 1829, i.e. Francis Kirk to Dinah Lowry.

She married Richard Stemp Bristow of Mumby on 10 July 1853 at Louth. They lived there for several years before moving to Huttoft where they both in 1860 “unfurled the Primitive Methodistic Banner” in open calling. It is now known that what became a PM Chapel on Church Lane in Huttoft was built earlier than 1860 and not by the Primitive Methodists. The associated graveyard, still there, may have had burials before c.1860 and a check on the survival of headstones may imply this or not.

Richard was a Draper and Grocer, both helped the poor and sickly.

Her obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1883, page 494, says Mrs. Phebe Bristow “was no ordinary Christian women; indeed, she was a princess amongst her sex. Her many Christian Works praise her “. She was a musician and had a gift of singing.

Phebe died on 18 March 1881 at Huttoft near Cumberworth.

Phebe’s brother Francis Kirk (junior) of Cumberworth was the proprietor of land occupying 26 acres in 1851 age 42 and his father Francis (senior), in that year aged 75, still a farmer had 30 acres. It is thought that other members of the  family were Primitive Methodists, the junior Francis being the Mr. Kirk who gave land to the Primitive Methodist Connection to build what is now our linked lounge to our cottage, indeed the PM Chapel built in 1859. The Indenture for the building of it mentioning the donator of land was Francis Kirk. He and his wife Ann had at least two children, Joseph born c.1851/2 and Benjamin born c.1854/5.

Note: members of the Kirk Family had baptisms in Cumberworth Parish Church, “before the calling of the Primitive Methodistic Banner”.

Note: Some records give Richard Stemp’s middle name as Stamp


Cumberworth St. Helen’s Parish Church Registers

Census returns

Primitive Methodist Magazine


Comments about this page

  • There are two Phebe Kirk civil birth registrations for Lincolnshire years 1852 and 1853, the one mentioned in previous posting and other for Louth Civil Registration District, register vol 7., page 921, Sept., 1853.

    Note : The death for Phebe Bristow index gives age 49.
    So, Phebe* Bristow (maiden-surname Kirk) age 49 or almost or gone 50 was born in 1831 and no civil registration then, but she had been baptised and date of baptism and her birth recorded.
    *this scribe form; one of two.

    By Raymond E.O. Ælla (31/10/2021)
  • Extra .-
    The following would possibly ( yes or no ) have the word “Widower”, a man whose wife had died :

    Vol. 7a, page 927, (Spilsby Registration District), marriage, Richard Stamp Bristow, Sept., 1882.
    Earlier : Vol. 7a, page 921, ( Louth R.D.), marriage, Richard Bristow, 1853.
    Ray & Marie.

    By Raymond E. O. Ælla (30/10/2021)
  • Phebe Kirk, birth registered ( civil registation ), Spilsby Registration District [ including Cumberworth ], register vol. 7a, page 485, Dec., 1852 : be she born then or earlier.

    Also : Phebe Bristow [died] 1881, register 7, page 383.
    Richard S. Bristow, [died] June, 1900, age 68/9, register 7a, page 369.*
    * for Richard’s place of demise a copy-certificate would be needed.
    Regards, Ray & Marie.

    By Raymond E. O. Ælla (30/10/2021)
  • Thank you for posting this information. It is very interesting. I am from Iowa in the U.S. and descended from Francis Kirk I and have seen the church. It is good to know the land was donated by my ancestor, Francis Kirk II. I don’t know if their graves or the church is still there since we were there in 1989 but it was wonderful to see at the time. I am currently searching for information on Francis I’s father, John, and John’s parents, Thomas and Jillian. Thanks again for posting this.

    By Sue C (06/05/2021)
  • Regarding Phebe Bristow (nee Kirk), singer and musician who was also a Primitive Methodist Teacher: 

    The inscription dates when-died/entombed appear to show her age as age 40. Phebe was aged 49 at her demise; the 9 has eroded to look like a 0.

    Regards, Ray.


    Raymond E.O.Ella, author-historian, retired.

    By Raymond Ella (10/06/2017)

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