Freeman, Joseph (1848-1916)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.P. Langham

Joseph Freeman, of Church Gresley, was a man beloved by his family, trusted by his employers and fellow workmen, and honoured by the people amongst whom he dwelt. 

Born at Geddington, near Kettering, in 1848, at seventeen years of age he removed to Church Gresley, and very soon joined the Primitive Methodist Church. He was a trustee of the present beautiful chapel. Very faithfully, energetically, and steadily did he work for the interests of the Church and Sunday school, holding the office of superintendent of the latter for twenty-one years. He was careful about the religious training of his own children, and had the joy of seeing them all zealous in church service. One of his sons is a minister of our community, and is now working successfully at Helmsley, in Yorkshire, where, in addition to the oversight of an extensive circuit, he is doing good work among the troops.

A man of vigour and unflagging industry, he continued all his duties till a very brief period before his death. He passed away in Burton Hospital, and on February 24th, 1916, his remains were interred in the cemetery at Church Gresley. His wife finds the general recognition-of his worth and work very precious in her bereavement.


Joseph was born in late 1848 at Geddington, Northamptonshire, to parents Charles Freeman, a farmer (1851), and Ann Franklin.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Joseph.

  • 1861 apprentice
  • 1871 potter’s presser
  • 1881 yard foreman at sanitary pipeworks
  • 1891 foreman at sanitary pipe works
  • 1901 foreman sanitary pipe work
  • 1911 foreman in clay quarry

He married Agnes Eyley (1853-1924) on 30 August 1874 at Church Gresley, Derbyshire. Census returns identify six children.

  • Charles James (1875-1940) – a car fitter (1911)
  • Elizabeth Ann  (1877-1934) – certified assistant teacher (1911); married Thomas Henry Adcock, a hospital attendant (1919), in 1912; emigrated to Australia
  • Lucy (b1879)
  • George (1881-1921) – a PM minister
  • Lily (1884-1923) – head teacher (1911); married Ernest Bodell in 1920
  • Joseph Arthur (1886-1971) – a transport clerk (1939)

Joseph died on 20 February 1916 at Burton on Trent, Staffordshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/564

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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