Ramsay, Joseph (1876-1945)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOSEPH RAMSAY: born at Barrington, Northumberland, in 1876. Having passed as a Candidate on to the Reserve List, he was appointed to a circuit without going to college. The greater part of his Ministry was spent in the north of England, twenty-two years in Yorkshire. Most of his work was not in big cities but in urban and rural circuits. He was a lover of the countryside, and in the homes of ‘the tillers of the soil’ he was loved and his work appreciated. 

He had a philosophical turn of mind, and was a diligent student of the Scriptures. He was never a seeker after office, but willingly did his best in many District offices when called upon. He was a pioneer of Youth Conferences forty years ago, and some that he initiated when in office as Sunday-school Secretary still exist. He had a gift of friendship and excelled in personal contacts with his people. Friendship for him was one of the great gifts of God. 

He was a distinctive personality and a faithful preacher of the Word. He maintained a lively and helpful interest in everything that concerned the Church and Kingdom in its wider circles. He lived to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and the grace, kindliness, and courage of his life will abide in the memory of those who knew him. He faithfully served his Church for forty-three years in the active Ministry, and then retired to Ripon, where his services were greatly esteemed. 

After a brief illness he quietly passed away on 3rd August 1945, in the sixty-ninth year of his age and the forty-fourth year of his ministry.


Joseph was born on 15 July 1876 at Barrington, Northumberland, to parents John Ramsay, an insurance agent (1901), and Mary Ann Dobinson.

Joseph worked as an insurance agent before entering the ministry (1901).

He married Martha Rebecca Atkin (1877-1947) in the summer of 1905 in the Middlesbrough Registration District, Yorkshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • Wilfred Atkin (1906-2003) – a schoolmaster in Southern Rhodesia (1939)
  • John Kenneth (1907-1988) – a wholesale furniture salesman (1939)
  • Doris Mary (1910-1912)

Joseph died on 3 August 1945 at Ripon, Yorkshire.


  • 1901 Docking
  • 1903 Newport
  • 1906 Wem
  • 1909 Westgate
  • 1913 Berwick
  • 1916 Brotton
  • 1921 Ripon
  • 1924 Scotter
  • 1930 Driffield
  • 1934 Partington
  • 1940 Pocklington
  • 1944 Ripon


Methodist Minutes 1946/127

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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