Upright, Thomas Kelsey (1852-1937)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

Early years

Thomas was born on 8 September 1852 at Epsom, Surrey, to parents William Upright and Catherine Kelsey. Thomas was baptiswed on 26 December 1852 at Epsom, Surrey. William was a signalman.

When Thomas was very young, the family moved to Shildon, Co Durham, and as a child, Thomas attended the New Shildon Sunday School. He gave his heart to God at the age of fourteen and joined the Church. In order to attend both church meetings, and also attend night school, Thomas voluntarily severed his connections with a local brass band and cricket club. Eighteen months after conversion, Thomas received a ‘note’ to accompany his class leader to preaching appointments.

Following that, Thomas spent two years attending Gainford Academy, where he received a special course of tuition from the Principal, Rev William Bowman.

Before entering the ministry, Thomas worked as a blacksmith.


An earnest, thoughtful preacher, albeit of a quiet retiring nature, his greatest pleasure consisted of proclaiming the Gospel.

His obituary records that the fine courtesy that he always displayed, his devoted pastoral work, his pulpit ministry, his diligence and care in administrative work, made him honoured and loved in all his circuits.

Thomas was elected a Deed Poll Member of Conference in 1931.

Included among his hobbies were bookbinding and gardening.


Thomas married Christian Smith (1856-1934) on 24 August 1881 at Walton Hill, Fife, Scotland. Records identify seven children.

  • William (1882-1970) – a PM Minister
  • Andrew (1884-1885)
  • John (1885-1960) – a PM Minister
  • Tom (b1885)
  • Christian (1888-1968)
  • Melville (1890-1959) – a commercial clerk
  • Kelsey (1892-1975) – married Ralph Wright in 1918

Thomas died on 11 June 1937 at Sedburgh, Yorkshire.


  • 1876 Maryport
  • 1877 Penrith
  • 1879 Thornley
  • 1883 Hexham
  • 1886 Eyemouth
  • 1889 Thornley
  • 1892 St Helens Auckland
  • 1895 Batley
  • 1896 Heckmondwike
  • 1898 Dent
  • 1902 Ripley
  • 1905 Ramsey
  • 1907 Foxhill Bank
  • 1909 Hungerford
  • 1912 Lowick
  • 1918 Penrith
  • 1922 Dent (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/884

Methodist Minutes 1937/202

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Christie Family Tree on Ancestry.com

See also Upright Family History


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