Dann, John (1856-1926)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915

Early years

John was born in August 1856 at Smalley, Derbyshire to parents Job and Ann. Job worked as a miner’s labourer. His parents were loyal Primitive Methodists who opened their home to visiting preachers.

In 1871, John was working as a stone miner.

John passed form scholar to teacher in the Sunday School. At the age of sixteen, he took the definite step of acknowledging Christ as his Lord and soon received a note from the Quarterly Meeting to accompany a local preacher, George Hobson, to his appointments. The ‘note’ came as a great surprise to him. John grew into preaching and was called to the ministry. He entered the Sunderland College in July 1878, when nearing his twenty-second birthday.


From the outset of his ministry, John found himself hampered by crushing Chapel debts and at once set himself the task of removing the hindrances. It was his boast that he never created any debts in the circuits upon which he travelled though he initiated building schemes at heage and at Cross of Hands.

As a preacher John was eminently practical. He delivered the evangelical message in terms and with illustrations that could be well understood and applied by the people.

Whilst at Belper, John spent six years on the Board of Guardians. During his term of office he persuaded the Board to establish the system of cottage homes for the children under their care. John also took a prominent part in the Passive Resistance Movement.

John spent six years as a member of the Candidates’ Examining Committee.


John’s first wife died ten months after their marriage.

John married Sarah Elizabeth Davies (1859-1904) in the summer of 1885 at Church Stretton, Shropshire. Sarah was the sister of Revs. William Jones Davies and Edward Robinson Davies. Census returns identify five children.

  • Edward John (1888-1967) – a school teacher
  • William Leighton (1890-1961) – a solicitor
  • Charles Stanley (1894-1918) – killed in action in WW1
  • Gladys Matilda (1896-1975) – married William Edward Storr in 1931
  • Mabel Carrie (b1899)

John married Jane (b abt1857) circa 1910.

John died on 7 April 1926 at West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire.


  • Sunderland
  • 1879 Ramsor
  • 1882 Oldhill
  • 1884 Chesterfield
  • 1887 Crewe
  • 1889 Knighton
  • 1892 Weobly
  • 1894 Leintwardine
  • 1898 Sheffield I
  • 1901 Wirksworth
  • 1905 Belper
  • 1909 Ripley
  • 1913 Newark
  • 1915 Preston
  • 1918 Brigg
  • 1921 Brigg (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915/422

PM Minutes 1926/263

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Further to previous, the quote from the Belper News and Derbyshire Telephone July 26 1907 is from my transcription of a scanned image of an article in the archives of
    Original image of article is copyright The British Library Board. The material can be quoted if it is for personal, academic or non-commercial purposes and a reference is provided. I forgot the reference earlier.

    By C Bott (18/04/2021)
  • Rev J Dann married my great aunt Cissie in the Primitive Methodist Chapel on Hopping Hill, Milford, on 20th July 1907. That is Hannah Martha Bott marrying Samuel Holmes. It is reported in the Belper News as follows:
    “The Rev. J. Dann officiated and there was a large number of friends present to witness the ceremony. The service was choral. Mr Wm. Cheltham presided at the organ, and the hymns sung were “The voice that breathed o’er Eden” and “We join to crave the blessing Lord.” The chapel had been prettily decorated by members of the congregation and friends. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a dress of cream eolienne trimmed with Brussels net and choice silk Maltese lace (the latter being the gift of a brother of the bride), her embroidered net veil being fastened with a spray of orange blossoms. She carried a bouquet of choice white flowers. Miss Dorothy Bott, Birmingham, cousin of bride, and Miss G Bradley, Derby, attended as bridesmaids. Both wore dresses of flowered voile trimmed with cream lace and large cream lace hats, and carried shower bouquets of lilies and roses, gifts of the bridegroom. Mr A. Bott acted as best man”

    By C Bott (13/04/2021)

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