Jeffs, Frederick (1858-1931)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1932
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913

Early years

Frederick was born on 27 January 1858 at Hillesden, Buckinghamshire to parents William and Ann. William worked the land.

Both parents were Primitive Methodists. There was no chapel in the village and services were held in the home of the Jeffs family. His mother was at once society steward, class leader, sick visitor, missionary collector, and took appointments sometimes to ‘fill in’.

Frederick was converted at the early age of none and received a ‘note’ to preach when only thirteen. He received his limited education in the village church school and at eleven was sent out to work on the farm.

When fifteen, Frederick moved to Derby. Two years later he was engaged as a hired local preacher at Ashby-de-la-Zouch and a year later entered the ministry.


His obituary records that Frederick was pre-eminently a preacher, with an individuality all of his own. He was slow, deliberate, clear, convincing, appealing alike to the heart and the intellect. He commanded attention and carried conviction.

Outside the pulpit, as in it, his personality was unique and most kindly.


Frederick married Elizabeth (Lily) Tharme (1866-1946) in late 1887 at Liverpool. Census returns identify four of five children.

  • Jessie Radford (1889-1954) – married William Frost Shepherd, an insurance official
  • Percy Gilmore (b1893) a fitter and turner apprentice (1911); emigrated to USA
  • Lilian Edith (1897-1972) – married Leslie C T Bailey in 1923
  • Frederick William (1909-1986) – a lecturer (1946)

Frederick died on 15 November 1931 at Willenhall, Staffordshire.


  • 1877 Preston Brook
  • 1880 Liverpool III
  • 1882 Barrow in Furness
  • 1883 Dalton
  • 1886 Preston I
  • 1890 Sheffield III
  • 1893 Willenhall
  • 1897 Preston II
  • 1902 Sheffield III
  • 1909 Leigh
  • 1913 Guernsey
  • 1917 Willenhall
  • 1923 Cradley Heath
  • 1924 Oldham IV
  • 1925 Chesterfield I
  • 1926 Willenhall (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/674; 1932/373

PM Minutes 1932/318

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • That’s really interesting. I met “Uncle Will” as a child and I remember my mum sending him a stocking with little gifts in it one Christmas. Are you able to tell me anything about his and Jessie’s lives? I’m assuming that William and Jessie met when Frederick was minister in Sheffield? I may have a picture of Jessie but not totally sure it’s her. In Guernsey, I definitely found the house that Rev Frederick lived in and have found exactly where the chapel was. The record office there was very helpful and found a couple of pictures of it in their archive.
    My grandmother was Lilian, Jessie’s younger sister.

    By Alison Stevens (21/12/2022)
  • Sorry I can’t help you with your query about Guernsey. I have a slight connection with the family as my great uncle was married to their daughter Jessie Radford.

    By Heather Williams (21/11/2022)
  • Frederick Jeffs was my great grandfather and I’m trying to find out more about his time as a minister in Guernsey 1913 – 1917. From a letter written by my grandmother and a couple of lucky finds, I think that I’ve found the house they lived in on Rouge Rue, but am finding it very difficult to to find any information about, or picture of the church/chapel I think he was minister of – Truchot Methodist Church. I would be most interested if anyone has any information or pictures that would help my research.

    By Alison Stevens (01/07/2022)

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