Jopling, John (1856-1919)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915

Early years

John was born in 1856 at Brancepeth, Co Durham. The greater part of his infancy was spent in East Prussia. On their return to England, the family settled near Crook. John was sent to Pease’s West Elementary School, but in his early teens began work at Stanley Colliery.

John was converted at the age of eighteen through a Wesleyan class meeting, but through family connections he joined the Primitive Methodists at Mount Pleasant. In 1877, John was placed on the Chester-le-Street circuit plan, having moved into that circuit. He was soon called into the ministry.


His obituary records that John’s best contribution to the Church was as a preacher. Sermon making was his glory and joy. He liked the work and it was the master passion of his life. Clothed with a choice vocabulary, they were delivered in a clear and ringing style.

John served as Secretary of the District Building Committee and was a representative to Conference on four occasions.


John married Emily Elizabeth Chalk (1861-1944) in the summer of 1884 Alresford, Hampshire. Census returns identify five children.

  • Violette Margherita (1890-1979)
  • Mildred Dorothy (1891-1911)
  • Cyril Clifford (b1892) – a civil service student (1911); emigrated to Australia in 1920
  • Winifred Ernestine (1894-1980) – see comment below
  • Reginald (1896-1964) – a telegraph messenger (1911)

John died on 11 March 1919.


  • Sunderland
  • 1880 Winchester
  • 1883 Baldock
  • 1884 Maldon
  • 1887 Braintree
  • 1890 Canterbury
  • 1893 Bilston
  • 1894 Leintwardine
  • 1895 Bilston
  • 1896 Castleford
  • 1899 Bradford I
  • 1904 Birmingham I
  • 1907 Grimsby II
  • 1911 N Shields
  • 1915 Gateshead
  • 1918 Waterhouses


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915/966; 1919/580

PM Minutes 1919/270

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Sometime between 1858 and 1861, William Coulson, a Durham mining engineer, was contracted to open up mining in the Ruhr valley by William T Mulvaney. Coulson took 300 miners + their families with him. or 300 (miners + family members) , I haven’t found out which. 

    By David Stephenson (19/07/2017)
  • Geoff, regards John Jopling – I’m puzzled as to why John’s parents, Joseph and Hannah went to Persia. Can you shed any light on this mystery?

    By Patricia Chesterman (05/05/2016)
  • Patricia,

    I can only speculate that the father worked in the Durham coalfields and then found employment in the mining industry in East Prussia, what I think would today be part of Germany or Poland.

    By Geoff Dickinson (05/05/2016)
  • Hi Geoff,

    So sorry, didn’t see your request until now. It’s no wonder you are having trouble finding a marry for Winifred. She never married, although she led us to believe she had. A wartime romance led to the birth of my mother – my mum’s father was James Henderson, born in York, Ontario in 1878. He was a Captain in the RAMC, and died just a few weeks after my mum (Joyce Winifred Henderson) was born. She was born 1/6/1917; her father died 16/7/1917. (He was a married man already – war time! Shrug). Later she formed an alliance(?) with James Wilhelm Durrant, some thirty years her senior – he was also a married man who gave her two more children before going back to his wife. She came to Australia and lived in Queensland – still calling herself Winifred Ernestine Durrant – until her death in 1980.

    Hope this helps.


    By tricia chesterman (29/04/2016)
  • Thanks for the additional information Tricia.

    By Geoff Dickinson (29/04/2016)
  • Tricia,

    Can you let us know who your Gran married and year of death to add to the family information?

    By Geoff Dickinson (23/02/2015)
  • Hi Geoff. John and Emily were my great grandparents. Winifred was my Gran. Tricia.

    By Tricia Chesterman (22/02/2015)

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