Joseph was born in late 1854 at Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, to parents Robert Wilsden, a tailor (1871), and Ann Greenwood.
Before entering the ministry Joseph worked as an accountant (1871).
The 1901 census return records Joseph as a tailor, clothier and auctioneer. In 1891 and 1911 he is recorded as living on private means.
He married Mary Ann Darnley Birkby (1847-1888) on 15 May 1885 at Poulton le Sands, Lancashire.
He married Fanny Huthersall Knowles (1856-1926) on 17 October 1889 at Caton, Lancashire. Census returns identify four children.
- Fanny Birkby (1891-1938) – a sick nurse (1911); married James H Goss in 1928
- Mavis Margaret (1892-1985) – married John Victor Salisbury in 1918; died in New Zealand
- Elma Mary (1894-1991) – married Edwin Gregson, a detective inspector (1939), in 1931
- Cecil Joseph (1896-1958) – a telegraph messenger (1911)
Joseph died in the spring of 1912 at Lytham, Lancashire.
- 1880 Lancaster
- 1882 Blackburn II
- 1884 disappears
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers
Note: Most records spell the surname Wilsdon.