Webster, Joseph Alexander (1822-1912)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

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

The Ashbourne Circuit sustained a severe loss in the decease of Mr. Joseph A. Webster on March 12th, 1912. On February 4th our friend attained his ninetieth birthday, and to all appearance he was as active and well as his advanced age would allow. Only a few weeks passed, however, ere God took him. Born in Philadelphia, U.S.A., Mr. Webster came to England eighty years ago, and at once began to attend the Primitive Methodist Chapel and School in Hagnaston (Hognaston). He was most faithful in duty, earnest and self-sacrificing in service, and true to his convictions, for which he has suffered imprisonment. 

As society steward and Sunday School superintendent, his fidelity was unwavering, his energy untiring. It was his proud boast that during a period of thirty years he never missed a Sunday School session, nor was he ever late. He loved the Word of God with intense passion. So he passed away, strong in faith, fervent in spirit. 

Rev. J.M. Gunson conducted the funeral service, which was largely attended by his own family and members of different societies. A memorial service was conducted by Mr. Geo. Wigley, the senior local preacher on the Circuit.


Joseph was born on 4 February 1822 in Philadelphia, U.S.A. His father, William was a book-keeper (marriage certificate).

Census returns identify the following occupations for Joseph.

  • 1851 agricultural labourer
  • 1861 carrier
  • 1871 grocer and carrier
  • 1881 carrier and provision dealer
  • 1891 postmaster and provision dealer
  • 1901 retired grocer and postmaster
  • 1911 retired – private means

He married Fanny Cowley (abt1834-1905) on 4 February 1856 at Hognaston, Derbyshire. Census returns identify thirteen children.

  • Joseph (1856-1945) – a baker (1911)
  • William (1857-1940) – poultry farmer and pensioner of the Cape Mounted Rifles
  • John (1859-1950) – a baker (1901)
  • Fanny (1861-1942) – married Thomas Brindley, a grocer and draper (1901), in 1885
  • Thomas (1863-1943) – a corn merchant (1901); railway drayman (1911)
  • Philip (1864-1901) – a baker (1901)
  • James (1865-1951) – a baker and grocer (1901)
  • Lucy (1867-1916) – married George Fletcher, a cabinet maker (1891), in 1891; married James William Goute in 1901
  • Samuel (1868-1928) – a fruiter’s carter (1911)
  • Isaac (1870-1957) – a journeyman baker (1901)
  • Edwin (1871-1963) – a grocer and corn dealer (1911)
  • Eliza (1872-1951) – married William Gould, a railway platelayer (1911), in 1892
  • George (1873-1951) – a corn dealer (1911)

Joseph died on 12 March 1912 at Hognaston, Derbyshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/749

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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