Furniss, Mary (nee Houseman) (1838-1901)

Transcription of Obituary in the Christian Messenger

MRS. MARY FURNISS.—The little Society at Darley, in the Pateley Bridge Circuit, has suffered a great loss in the decease of Mrs. Mary Furniss. Our deceased sister when a young woman, and before her marriage, was a teacher in the Sunday school. For many years she loved the Lord, and led a consistent life, without being a joined member of the society. Ultimately she was led by the kindness of the members, the reading of the Word of God, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to become a member of the church, and, like the early converts to Christianity, she was added to the church and continued in the Apostle’s doctrine and fellowship and breaking of bread and of prayers. She was very spiritually minded, and most regular in her attendances at all the means of grace. She erected the family altar in her home, and was most attentive to domestic worship. She was a genuine member of the society for about sixteen years, and when she became a widow some few years after joining the church, she had encouragement in the discharge of life’s duties for her three grown-up sons, who now mourn her loss, or rather their own loss, for their loss is, undoubtedly, her eternal gain. Our sister acted on the motto of Paul, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The minister and local preachers were always welcome to visit her home and to share the good things of her table. She gave her temporal things cheerfully, but she always expected spiritual things in return. She was not only wishful to worship in the public House of Prayer, but she highly appreciated prayer in her own home, and often has the writer of this memoir, on his visits to her home, been privileged to lead the devotion in the house. Her affliction was long and painful, but she bore it with patience and with hope. She died December 16th, 1901, aged 63 years. She is interred in the Dacre Congregational Burying Ground, and the service was conducted by our own minister.



Mary was born in 1838 at Darley, Yorkshire, to parents John Houseman, a farmer, and wife, Sarah.

She married John Furniss (1827-1892) in late 1859 in the Knaresborough Registration District. John, a farmer and blacksmith, was a widower with a young son, Joseph. Census returns identify that Mary had two children.

  • John Thomas (1860-1925) – a dispenser to a medical practice (1911)
  • William (1864-1922) – a farmer


Christian Messenger 1902/379

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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