Starnes, William (1845-1914)

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

William Starnes, of Fleetwood, was a Greatheart. Scores of little children found in him a loving friend and helper. Some years ago he founded and became superintendent of the Mission School, and when his body was borne to its resting-place many of the little folk formed part of the procession. 

Discharged prisoners, too, found in him a sympathetic guide, and as secretary of the Sailors’ Rest he did excellent service. In the Church, as sidesman, pew steward, Sunday school teacher, trustees’ secretary, and vice-president of the C.E. Society, he was regular in his attendance and painstaking in the discharge of his duties. He will be sorely missed. He did a good day’s work, and was spared to reach well-nigh the threescore and ten years, and finished triumphantly.


William was born in the spring of 1845 at Laughton, Sussex, to parents Abraham Starnes, an innkeeper (1851), and Anna Stockford. He was baptised on 6 June 1845 at Laughton.

Census returns identify the following occupations for William.

  • 1881 outdoor officer H.M.C.
  • 1891 customs officer
  • 1901 preventative officer H.M. Customs
  • 1911 retired customs officer

He married Jessie Mary Ann (1842-1882) in the summer of 1865 in the Islington Registration District, London. Census returns identify seven children.

  • William Abraham (1868-1890) – Royal Navy 1883-1890; ship, HMS Serpent, was lost 10 November 1890
  • Annie Louisa (1870-1949) – a sick nurse (1911); hospital nurse (1939)
  • Frederick Charles (1872-1947) – emigrated to Canada in late 1891
  • Jane Matilda (b1873) – married Llewellyn Jones, a postman, in 1894
  • Edith Emily (1875-1884)
  • Albert Ernest (1877-1910) – a temp sorting clerk (1901)
  • Arthur Edward (1881-1927) – electric tram car driver (1921)

He married Emily Toms (1852-1946)) in the summer of 1884 in the Lewes Registration District, Sussex. Census returns identify two children.

  • Gertrude Emily (1887-1983) – a school teacher (1911); a clerk (1921); married William Quayle, an assurance clerk (1939), in 1921
  • Florence May (1894-1972) – draper’s apprentice (1911); shop assistant ladies outfitter (1939)

William died on 10 May 1914 at Fleetwood, Lancashire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/579

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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