The Methodist Church in Ireland spread rapidly after separating from the Church of Ireland in 1817-18. Methodists called for the individual to experience Jesus personally. This radical message in essence bypassed the professional clergy in the Anglican parishes throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Pivotal to spreading the Methodist message were ministers who would preach to all classes in societies making no distinction. For this reason, the common people would find the message appealing, as it provided hope in often desperate circumstances.
If you have a Methodist minister in your family, you will be interested in the “Index to Methodist Ministers” database hosted by The University of Manchester library. The database covers 1819-1968. The source is “Ministers and Probationers who Have Died in the Work” which appeared in the back of the 1968 edition of Ministers and Probationers of the Methodist Church, printed by the Methodist Publishing House in London. A link from Ancestry.com under the database “UK, Methodist Ministers Death Index, 1800-1963” sends you to the Manchester database.
This serial was published periodically with updated ministerial lists in each edition. The periodical ran from 1819 to 1968. The database acts as a finding aid to Methodist clergy in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Codes Used in the Ministerial Database
The index is alphabetical and although it provides only basic information, it is enough to allow research to continue. The names in the index are coded as follows: P (Primitive); U (United) and W (Wesleyan). Other codes include: Est. (Clergymen of the Established Church); I (Ministers in the late Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Conference in Ireland before the Amalgamation in 1878); W1 (Died in the 1914-18 War); and WW2 (Died in the 1939-45 War).
This list is similar to the “Index of Methodist Ministers Who Served in Ireland” being compiled online by the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland. Their codes include: M (Methodist); MNC (Methodist New Connexion); P (English – Primitive); PW (Primitive Wesleyan); W (Wesleyan); WMA (Wesleyan Methodist Association); Est. (Clergymen of the Established Church); WW1 (Died in the 1914-18 War); and WW2 (Died in the 1939-45 War).
Using the Information from the Database
Once you have identified a minster contact the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland or The University of Manchester for more biographical information.
If you would like help with your genealogy please call 385-214-0925.