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

  • 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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