Witson, James (1859-1911)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by F. Hobson

James Witson, a devoted member of the Talbot Road Church, South Shields, passed to his eternal rest Oct. 24th, 1911. He was born at Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, June 4th, 1859. He was  converted at nineteen years of age; until the end of his days was a loyal Primitive Methodist. 

Twenty-five years ago he came to Tyne Dock, associated with the old Fauld Chapel at West Harton, and was an active member and official until it was replaced by the new church at Talbot Road. He worthily filled the office of Sunday School Superintendent, Catechumen Leader and C.E. Official, and for several years was Leader of the Sunday morning Class.

He was a strenuous Church worker, until three years ago, when he met with the accident which ultimately caused his death. He bore the years of his affliction with Christian patience and fortitude. He had a firm grip upon Christ, and often said, “Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face.” The funeral service was conducted by Revs. W. Duffield and F. Hobson. The interment took place at Harton Cemetery.


James was born on 4 June 1859 at Blakeney, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, to parents George Wilson, a coal miner, and Mary Davies. He was baptised on 10 July 1859 at Blakeney.

Census returns identify the following occupations for James.

  • 1871 coal miner – trapper
  • 1881 coal miner
  • 1891 coal miner
  • 1901 coal miner hewer
  • 1911 coal miner

He married Bessy Coker (1862-1935) in late 1881 in the Chester le Street Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify seven of eight children.

  • Joanna (1882-1956) – married William Smith, a N.E.R. Fireman (1911), in 1907         
  • Mary (b1886)               
  • Bessy (1889-1967) – married Elijah Lees, a coal miner (1911), in 1908               
  • Agnes Honour (1890-1956) – hospital 2nd assistant matron (1939)
  • Annie (1892-1980) – dressmaking (1911); married Francis G Vickers in 1915
  • James (b1895) – a barber’s apprentice (1911)
  • Joseph (1902-1955) – a coal cutting machinist below ground (1939)

James died on 24 October 1911 at West Harton, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/242

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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