Wilkin, James (1836-1904)

Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.T.T.

On Monday morning, December 19th, 1904., James Wilkin, of Eston, was called to his Master’s presence.

To many people such a statement has no interest at all; to the Primitive Methodist Church at Eston, Yorkshire, it recalls a great loss. To mention the offices that were left vacant at Mr. Wilkin’s death would be proof enough of this. He had been Circuit Steward for three years, and Society Steward at Eston for twenty-four years. He had held nearly every office in the Church save that of Local Preacher. His promotion came to us all as a great blow. We could ill spare him, for our Society here had already suffered several great losses, but the claims of the higher service are imperative.

Mr. Wilkin died at the good old age of sixty-nine. He was born at Walsingham, Norfolk, in 1836. In 1862 he was “born again” under the preaching of his employer, whose daughter he afterwards married. At his conversion he at once joined our Society at Southcreek, and in 1867, at the time of a great exodus from Norfolk to the North of England, he came to Eston. He threw himself with great heartiness into the religious life of the rapidly growing village and, step by step, won his way to the hearts of those about him.

The Church delighted to honour him. He was, in succession, made Class Leader, Choir master, Society Steward, Delegate to the District Meeting, Secretary to the Trustees and Circuit Steward. He never preached, save by his good deeds and consistent life. He was a worker. The hours he spent in toiling for the cause he loved are beyond reckoning. He never stinted either his time or his toil. He also knew how to pray. His tremulous voice uplifted in supplication has helped the writer many times.

Now he is gone, and the place does not seem quite the same. His work was finished and now he enjoys the reward, while the effect of his work will be seen in Eston for many years to come.


James was born to parents John, a bricklayer, and Alice.

Census returns identify the following occupations for James.

  • 1851 shoemaker’s apprentice
  • 1861 carman
  • 1871 ironstone miner
  • 1881 labourer in ironstone mine
  • 1891 school attendance officer
  • 1901 school attendance officer

James married Sarah Jane Chasney (abt1840-1923) on 5 July 1860 at Bermondsey, London. Census returns identify twelve children.

  • Evelina (1857-1956) – married James Bates, an ironstone miner, later a platelayer, in 1880; born before Sarah married James – father unknown
  • James Bennington (1861-1939) – an ironstone miner
  • John Matthias (b abt1863) – an ironstone miner
  • Francis (1864-1928) – an ironstone miner (1901)
  • Alice Susannah (1866-1943) – married Harry Smitheringdale, a labourer, in 1882
  • Bennington (1868-1930) – an ironstone miner (1901)
  • George (abt1871-1917) – a plumber (1911)
  • Sarah Jane (b abt1873) – married Joseph Duckworth, an ironstone miner, in 1896
  • Dorcas (abt1875-1967) – married William Feasby, an ironstone miner, in 1902
  • Maggie (abt1878-1933) – married James Drew, an ironstone miner, in 1903
  • Minnie (1879-1957) – recorded as blind in 1911; married Frederick E. Yaxley in 1916
  • Thomas Edwin (abt1883-1915) – an ironstone miner (1911); killed in action in WW1


Primitive Methodist Magazine1905/996

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for publishing this. He’s my great great grandfather so it’s lovely to read background about him other than census, births and death information.

    By Allison Nicholson (16/03/2019)

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