Oldham, Mark (1844-1913)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by R.H.

The death of Mark Oldham, of Barnsley, has removed a well-known figure in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Few men were better known or more highly respected. For more than fifty years he was a local preacher, and filled the position of trust treasurer to several struggling causes in the Barnsley First Circuit. 

Converted in early life, he joined our Church, and coming to Barnsley, he at once threw himself with energy and enthusiasm into the work of the circuit. He was one of a strong group of men who did heroic service for the extension of Primitive Methodism in this District. As a preacher he was earnest and evangelical; as an official he was loyal, painstaking, and self-sacrificing; as a friend he was faithful and tender. His temperament was optimistic: rarely indeed would he speak of the difficulties or hindrances in Christian work. He was especially the friend of needy churches. He gave willingly and generously, and was hardly ever known to be appealed to in vain. 

Many stories could be related of his private and public benefactions. God prospered him in business, and he found an increasing pleasure and a deepening joy in giving freely of that which he had received. Mention must be made of the generous and unstinted service he rendered to Silkstone and Barugh chapels, for both of which for many years he acted as treasurer. 

His illness was of short duration, but he was bright and hopeful as he drew near to the Homeland, into which he has entered. Great sympathy is felt for his widow and family. The burial took place on December 24th, and was attended by many old friends from many parts of Yorkshire. The writer improved his death in the Westgate Church.


Mark was born in late 1844 at Hazel Grove, Cheshire, to parents Thomas Oldham, a blacksmith (1851), and Ellen Daniel.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Mark.

  • 1851 scholar
  • 1861 butcher’s servant
  • 1871 coal leader
  • 1881 coal merchant
  • 1891 coal merchant
  • 1901 coal merchant
  • 1911 coal merchant customs agent

He married Elizabeth Totty (1843-1929) in the spring of 1865 at Barnsley, Yorkshire. Census returns identify eight of ten children.

  • John William Totty (1867-1943) – a coal agent (1901); retired coal merchant (1939)
  • Arthur Totty (1869-1914) – a coal merchant (1911)
  • John Thomas Totty (1872-1912) – a joiner (1911)
  • Ernest Totty (1873-1900) – clerk to coal merchant (1891)
  • Ellis Totty (1876-1882)
  • Frances Laura (1877-1968) – married William Hamer Renton, a coal miner (1911), in 1901 
  • Evangeline Totty (1879-1911) – married Enos Sidney Preece, a coal miner(1911), in 1902
  • Lily Totty (1887-1902)

Mark died on 22 December 1913 at the Yorkshire Co-operation Nursing Home, Leeds, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/580

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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