Graham, John (1851-1929)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908

Early years

John was born in 1851 at Croft Pit, Sandwith, Cumberland. His father died when he was very young and his mother was an Irish Roman Catholic. When his mother died, Jonathan, aged twelve, moved to Crosby, nr Maryport, where he joined the PM Sunday School. At the age of sixteen, Jonathan began his career as a local preacher.


John’s obituary records that he had great intellectual gifts and read widely and deeply. His greatest ministries were exercised amongst the sick, the poor, the aged, and lonely. In the homes of the people, poor-law institutions and hospitals he was ever welcome. He was a great comforter.


John married Lucy Brett (1847-1942) in the summer of 1876 at Norwich, Norfolk. Lucy was a sister of Rev F W Brett. Census returns identify seven children.

  • Frederick Arthur (1877-1913) – a teacher
  • William Ernest (b1878) – a grocery and drapery manager (1901); a builder’s clerk (1911)
  • Lucy Ada (1880-1946) – married William Duckett, a house painter
  • John Edwin (1882-1914) – a schoolmaster
  • Ethel Grace (1884-1969) – married Harry Charles Overton, a farmer
  • Edith Gertrude (1889-1977) – married Herbert H Ranger
  • Florence Emily (b1892)

John died on 31 January 1929 at Salisbury, Wiltshire.


  • 1871 Downham
  • 1873 Cambridge
  • 1874 Aylsham
  • 1875 Norwich
  • 1876 Lowesoft
  • 1877 N Walsham
  • 1880 Lynn
  • 1882 Thetford
  • 1884 E Dereham
  • 1886 Wigton
  • 1887 Manea
  • 1891 Docking
  • 1893 Kirby Cross
  • 1895 Wangford
  • 1897 Church Stretton
  • 1900 Aylsham
  • 1905 Rockland
  • 1907 Andover
  • 1911 Faringdon
  • 1915 Chipping Norton
  • 1917 Salisbury (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908/213; 1930/308

PM Minutes 1929/267

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Hi, this man is my great grandfather. Has anyone been able to find out who his parents were? I think they may have been William Graham and Catherine Hickey. However, I am not sure of this and I would love to be able to know any Grahams further back, or alternatively any information about my great grandfather. I really appreciate any help anyone can give me, thank you in advance.

    By Claire (26/11/2023)
  • I have now visited Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum where I was able to read the articles in the Primitive Methodist Magazines and Minutes. These were wonderful to read and gave me more information about John Graham. It is definitely a place worth visiting if you have a Primitive Methodist in your family.

    I have also now found out that his daughter Florence Emily was the first female Mayor of Faversham in 1956

    By Sandra Jellis (01/08/2019)
  • I found this page by accident whilst searching for my grandfather Harry Charles Overton.  This is wonderful as it is my great grandfather who I have found some information on and it is amazing to see a photo of him.  It has also answered why I have struggled so much to find his birth and census records before he became a Methodist minister.

    By Sandra Jellis (30/03/2015)

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