Smith, John (1854-1914)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by N

For nearly forty years John Smith was a stalwart in our Zion, and most loyal and devoted in his service. In early life he had few educational advantages, but by earnest application became a most acceptable local preacher. A strong character, with broad, generous sympathies, the poor ever found in him a friend. In his own church at Birtley he was always a force for good, and did splendid work in the Sunday school. In the counsels of the circuit he had a place, and was highly esteemed by its officials. 

On Wednesday, July 28th, after a painful affliction, our friend entered the homeland aged sixty years. Truly he has lived to be missed, and in the memory of many will always stand as one of the bravest and most manly souls they have known; one that feared God and loved his fellow men. The interment took place at Birtley on August 1st, Rev. J. Jopling assisting Rev. J. S. Nightingale in the service. Our loss is great, but we look forward to the renewal of fellowships and friendships in the Father’s house.


John was born abt1854 at Birstall, Yorkshire. I have not been able to identify John’s parents in online records.

Census returns identify the following occupations for John.

  • 1881 coal miner
  • 1891 coal miner
  • 1901 coal miner – hewer
  • 1911 coal miner

He married Mary Thompson (b abt1855) in the spring of 1877 in the Chester le Street Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify eight of nine children.

  • Sarah (b1877) – a servant (1901)
  • William (b1879) – a coal miner (1901); school attendance officer (1911)
  • John (b1881) – a coal miner (1911)
  • Mary (b1884) – bread baker (1911)
  • Isabel(la) (b1886) – married Thomas Marshall, a journeyman butcher 91911), in 1909
  • Lily (b1889) – confectionary business assistant (1911)
  • Thomas (b1891) – grocer with Co-operative Society (1911)
  • Jane (b1893) – confectionary business assistant (1911)

John died on 28 July 1914 at Birtley, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915/826

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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