Forster, John (1850-1928)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914

Early years

John was born on 23 March 1850 at Knockburn, Allendale, Northumberland, to parents Simonton and Sarah. Simonton was a farmer

John became a member of the PM Church in February 1874 during a revival conducted by the circuit ministers, John Elliott and George Lewins.


John’s obituary records that his preaching was evangelical and practical, and was of a quality to both instruct and edify his hearers. He was widely read; far more widely read than most people supposed, but his knowledge was never paraded, and he was unassuming to a degree.

John was a regular contributor to the Connexional Review. He also contributed stories, articles and numerous poems to other magazines. His poetry was of high order, many of the lyrics possessing extraordinary charm and grace.

John served as District Orphanage and Temperance Secretary. He was also an examiner of candidates for the ministry.


John married Mary Chaytor Hall (abt 1859-1887) in early 1886 at Easington, Co Durham. Census returns identify one child.

  • John Chaytor (1887-1951) – a schoolteacher

John married Emma Wilson, nee Cowen, (1860-1933) in the summer of 1892 at Crook, Co Durham.  Census returns identify three children.

  • Dorothy (b1895) – at boarding school (1911)
  • Agnes Symington (1899-1975) – married Christopher Norman Curry
  • Norah Cowen (1901-1969)

John died on 30 November 1928 at Brampton, Cumberland.


  • Sunderland
  • 1878 Carlisle
  • 1883 Thornley
  • 1886 Crook
  • 1890 Middleham
  • 1892 Bradford III
  • 1894 Middleton in Teesdale
  • 1898 Stokesley
  • 1902 Cockermouth
  • 1905 Driffield
  • 1908 Stanley
  • 1912 Helmsley
  • 1915 Brampton


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/252; 1929/245

PM Minutes 1929/265

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers



Comments about this page

  • Dorothy was my dad’s mother.

    By Mark Nixon (30/09/2021)
  • John Forster was my great grandfather.
    Agnes Symington was my maternal grandmother.

    By Joanna Ware (25/06/2020)
  • John Forster was my great grandfather. John Chaytor Forster was my maternal Grandfather

    By Ann Lumsdon (21/08/2014)

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