Featherstone, Ralph (1847-1916)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.A. West

Our Crawcrook Church, Blaydon Circuit, has again suffered loss in the removal of Bro. Ralph Featherstone. Born at Dyke Head, Weardale, in 1847, he was converted in early youth under the ministry of Dr. John Watson. He married in 1872 Miss A. Rutherford, and in the home they established religion was the prevailing atmosphere. That is seen in the fact that all their children are members of the Church, and two of their sons, Michael and Thomas, have entered our ministry. 

In 1878 he came over into the Tyne Valley in search of work, and settled down in our Crawcrook Church, of which he was a very loyal supporter, labouring there as Sunday School teacher and class leader. 

The end came somewhat suddenly, but he died as he had lived – praying.


Ralph was born in the summer of 1847 in Dyke Head, Weardale, Co. Durham, to parents William Featherston, a lead miner, and Mary Watson.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Ralph.

  • 1851 scholar
  • 1861 lead miner
  • 1871 lead miner
  • 1881 coal miner
  • 1891 coal miner
  • 1901 stone man
  • 1911 no occupation

He married Ann Rutherford (1848-1925) in the spring of 1872 in the Weardale Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify ten children.

  • Mary Hannah (b1873)
  • William Arthur (1874-1933) – a coal miner hewer (1911)
  • Joseph Ralph (1876-1957) – a coal miner hewer (1911)
  • Michael (1878-1950) – a PM minister
  • Elizabeth (1879-1972) – married Andrew Martin Cockbain, a coal miner (1911), in 1908 
  • John Luther (1881-1952) – a carpenter (1911) 
  • Sarah (1883-1966) – married Anthony Ions, a coal miner (1939), in 1911
  • Thomas (1886-1962) – a PM minister
  • Henry (1888-1930) – a coal miner onsetter’s assistant (1911)
  • Annie May (1892-1987) – married Joseph Bird, a colliery stoneman (1939), in 1917

Ralph died in the spring of 1916 at Crawcrook, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/857

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Ralph’s birth record and the 1851 and 1861 census returns are in the surname Featherston.

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