Sherman, Joseph Frederick (1852-1920)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1922

Early years

Joseph was born on 8 February 1852 at North Dean, Buckinghamshire to parents Thomas and Sarah. Thomas worked the land. Joseph was baptised on 28 March 1852 at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire.

In his early years, Joseph was taken to Berkhampstead and received his elementary education in a Church of England school.

Joseph was converted when a companion induced him to attend special services held in the Primitive Methodist chapel, then under the superintendency of Rev Thomas Russell. Joseph soon became a local preacher. He received a call into the ministry when he was nineteen.

The 1871 census shows Joseph working as a baker, lodging with Frederick Harbourn, a master baker and local preacher, in Berkhampstead.


In his third circuit, Folkstone, Joseph was made superintendent, even though his was still on probation.

When Joseph went to Glasgow he found a struggling mission with 96 members, 15 teachers and 155 scholars. At the end of six years, he left a self-supporting circuit with two ministers, 280 members, 52 teachers and 600 scholars.

In his next circuit at Carlisle there was also a great religious awakening, which resulted in many conversions and general prosperity.

Joseph served as District Secretary and District Sunday School Secretary. At Stockton, Joseph was President of the Free Church Council.

His obituary records that Joseph was one of those preachers the love of whom grows upon his hearers. He possessed a wonderful sympathy with the human heart in all its struggles, and was a faithful imitator of his Master, Christ.


Joseph married Elizabeth Ann Valentine (1852-1907) in the summer of 1877 at Dover, Kent. Census returns identify two children.

  • Albert Joseph Thomas (1880-1908) – a photographer
  • Ernest Stephenson (1887-1961) – a watchmaker (1911)

Joseph married Eveline Annie Kirk (1879-1924) in the summer of 1912 at Aston, Warwickshire.

Joseph died on 19 November 1920 at Winsford, Cheshire.


  • 1873 Redhill
  • 1874 Dover
  • 1876 Folkstone
  • 1879 Chichester
  • 1880 Portadown
  • 1883 Glasgow II
  • 1889 Carlisle
  • 1894 Blackpool
  • 1897 Sunderland II
  • 1902 Stockton
  • 1906 Rochdale
  • 1910 Carlisle
  • 1912 Winsford
  • 1916 Winsford (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910/675; 1922/70

PM Minutes 1921/278

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *