Tranter, John (1832-1910)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911

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

St. Helens Circuit has lost one of its brightest lights in the death of Mr. John Tranter. He was as fine a sample of genuine goodness as we ever hope to see. With no special natural endowments, except perhaps his inborn cheerfulness and fine optimism, his influence was remarkable. In the pulpit—for he was a local preacher fifty-five years,—in the prayer meeting, indeed, wherever he was, was an atmosphere that was spiritual.

He was one of the most companionable of men, and withal tender-hearted and  sympathetic and generous. Sympathetic with young life to an extraordinary extent, no more enthusiastic Christian Endeavourer could be found.

Born at Dawley Green, Salop, May 21st, 1832, of sturdy, warm-hearted Primitive Methodists, he was converted in his 23rd year, under the ministry of the late Rev. J. Langham. The late Rev. T. Guttery took great interest in him and taught him to read. In 1868 he removed to St. Helens, where, with a few years’ interval when he was located at Skelmersdale, he remained to the close of his life, Sept. 12th, 1910.


John was born on 21 May 1832 at Dawley Green, Shropshire, to parents Richard, a collier (1851), and Jane.

Census returns identify the following occupations for John.

  • 1851 collier
  • 1861 miner
  • 1871 coal miner
  • 1881 coal miner
  • 1891 coal miner & PM local preacher
  • 1901 dataller in coal mine

He married Rebecca Simmons (1836-1879) on 2 June 1856 at All Saints, Wellington, Shropshire. Census returns and birth records identify eight children.

  • Samuel Henry (1859-1924) – postmaster Northwich (1911)
  • Charles (1862-1881)
  • John (1868-1868)
  • Richard (1870-1872)
  • Harriet (1872-1882)
  • John Thomas (1875-1966) – a hot bottle packer (1901)
  • Arthur Ernest (1877-1881)

He married Martha Owen, nee Wilcock (1850-1924) in early 1880 at St Helens, Lancashire. Census returns identify six children.

  • Jane Hannah (1881-1956) – married William Henry Hale, a railway checker (1911), in 1903
  • William (1884-1920) – miner (1911)
  • Martha (1885- – married George Atherton, a carpenter (1920), in 1909; emigrated to USA in 1909
  • Richard (1888-1973) – glass cutter (1911)
  • Elizabeth Ethel (1890-1890) 
  • Henry (1892-1952) – a glass cutter – foreman (1939)

John died on 12 September 1910 at St. Helens, Lancashire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/155

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: A dataller was a worker hired or paid by the day, typically for manual work.

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