Chisholm, Jane Young (1847-1887)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by B. Moody

JANE Y. CHISHOLM was born August 31, 1847, and died at Allerdean, May 4th, 1887. She was the second child and eldest daughter of James and Jane Chisholm, both pious people, and Primitive Methodists in the Berwick Society. The family was made up of eleven children, six sons and five daughters, six of whom died in infancy, and only two of whom now remain, viz., Thomas and Christina, and both are members with us at Allerdean, and have been for years. 

Our departed sister was never married, and when only in her fifteenth year lost her pious mother by death, and was thus naturally thrown in the family into the position of the chief female worker and the caretaker of the family and home, under her father’s guidance.

About eleven years ago, the family were bereaved also of their father, and Miss Chisholm from that time has been the guide of the family. Her sojourn on earth was only short, comparatively speaking, being only in her fortieth year at her death, yet few have made as deep an impression on the public mind in favour of religion, or left behind them as sweet and fragrant a name. Blest with pious parents, and blest also with a disposition to be guided by their counsel and life, she was always regarded as a good moral person. 

But this did not suffice. The writer has heard her say that morality was never a real satisfaction to her. She always felt the need of something more, and was thus never truly happy until she was converted, which event took place at Allerdean, under Primitive Methodist agency, and when she was about nineteen years of age, and forthwith she became a member with us at Allerdean. From that time her life was one of dearest fellowship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. Never wondering, like some, whether she was saved, she could say, and with emphasis, ‘I am saved.’ Her religion was truly of the old Methodist type, resting on the inward witness of the Holy Spirit, and not merely hoping that God would have mercy upon her at the last. 

Naturally she was of a quiet temperament. She wept when others shouted. Hers was a quiet, steady, regular deportment. The light of her life was like that of the sun, ‘shining more and more unto the perfect day.’ She clung to the old truths loved and taught by her father, never troubling herself about the speculations of so-called ‘advanced thought.’ Her happiness lay in a personal, conscious certainty of her salvation, and in the doing of good in every possible way. 

The Sunday-school was a great delight of her soul; and even when she was not circumstanced to attend in school-hours, we have known her open the little chapel at Allerdean in the Sunday afternoon, when no other service was held, and call in as many children as could come, and give them a lesson on divine things.

The prayer-meeting was also a pleasure to her soul. She felt the importance of week-night helps on the way to heaven. Miss Chisholm encouraged the church by her own presence at the prayer-meeting, and prayers in it.

In disposition, our sister was most kind, considerate, and charitable. She used to look on the bright side of things, put charitable constructions on unfavourable reports, and sought to suppress the unpleasant. She was also very liberal and faithful. We write all the more confidently of her because the Chisholms’ home has always been the home for the preachers and is still, and we have thus been made more familiar with them all, and especially with our departed sister, than with most people. We don’t say our sister was perfect, though she might be even this in the opinion of some; yet we happily say, she was one of the very best women we have ever met.

Physically, Miss Chisholm was weakly, though comparatively a stout woman. The consumptive tendency of the family was ever and anon a trouble to her, and of it she died after a weary confinement to her room and bed for about nine months. But living to the Lord for twenty-one years, she died without fear, saying to her only surviving and very dear brother, Thomas, ‘I have got my race about run, but I am not afraid to pass away.’ She was interred on Saturday, May 7th, 1887. May the writer, the reader, and friends all meet Jane Y. Chisholm in heaven.


Jane was born on 31 August 1846 at Tweedmouth, Northumberland, to parents James Chisholm, a provision merchant (1871), and Jane Young. She was baptised on 27 September 1846 at Scremerston, Northumberland.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Jane.

  • 1861 house servant
  • 1871 housekeeper
  • 1881 housekeeper domestic

Jane died on 4 May 1887 at West Allerdean, Northumberland.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1889/311

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Jane’s probate record gives her date of death as 5 May 1887. Her birth was in 1846 rather than 1847 at stated in the obituary.

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