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3rd March 2003missionarys
By pam tweedie
I have for some time been trying to trace two relatives who went out to Zululand to become missionarys,they were Rev Joel Jackson &Joel Barlow if anyone could give me a starting point I would be most gratefull.They both left Liverpool in 1880.
3rd March 2003Peter Ewart


I can help you with one of them, the Rev Joel Jackson, as I have done some research on this chap from a variety of sources. I know nothing of Barlow, however.

I have seen it recorded that Jackson was born around 1836, the son of an operative in Shuttleworth, Bury, Lancs., but I have not verified this myself, so cannot say whether it is correct. (You probably know this already if it is accurate but, if not, I may be able to verify his date and place of birth at least, from a usually reliable source, as it predates civil registration).

You are absolutely right that he was a missionary in Zululand. You mention his leaving Liverpool in 1880 but in fact he'd been a missionary for nearly 20 years by then. He trained at St Augustine's Missionary College from 1859 to 1862, when he sailed for Natal.

I'm not certain exactly in which station he served for the first three years - probably assisting in Natal or British Kaffraria - but in 1865 he was posted to the Diocese of Zululand (which was an independent kingdom, but that didn't prevent the Anglican Church from staking out their Diocese, even without a bishop!) He actually arrived there in Jan 1866 & his station was at Kwamagwaza (kwaMagwaza), perhaps the best known Anglican missionary station in Zululand at that time and later. There was no Bishop of Zululand until 1870 (Wilkinson) but there were several missionaries & staff at the station, male and female. Jackson found life tough and his work occasionally dispiriting, blaming, among others, John Dunn & Cetshwayo, not yet King but to an extent already "de facto" ruler.

During his time there he was finally ordained a deacon, a little unusually late perhaps. This was in Sep 1868 & it took place in Bloemfontein, his first journey out of Zululand since his arrival at Kwamagwaza.

In March 1871 the Bishop moved him, with a couple of others, to a station about 20 miles from Kwamagwaza - St Phillip & St James.

In Aug 1871, he visited Natal & met some old college friends among the other missionaries there. As he was also ordained priest that year I suspect it occurred on this trip to Natal. Late in 1871 or early 1872, Jackson was sent north to Swaziland, I believe quite near the Zululand/Swaziland border ("south Amaswaziland") to an area known as New Scotland where the new Bishop of Zululand wanted to set up a station. Although more isolated from Europeans than ever, he was able to live in a hired house rather than, as in Zululand, in a wattle and daub structure built by himself.

Jackson bacame a travelling missionary in Swaziland between 1872 and 1876. I know little about this period of his life, but according to Crockford he then served at Mozana 1877/8, Enhlozana 1879/81 and from 1881 to 1893 was at Usutu River, Swaziland. (19th century spellings).

He appears to have returned (& presumably retired) in or soon after 1893, as by 1898 he was residing at "Fairwood", Polsloe Road, Exeter. My own notes suggest he may have died between 1898 and 1906, but you may have more info on that yourself.

You'll see from the above that he was not in Zululand during the Anglo-Zulu War, nor involved in the evacuation of missionaries from the country in 1878 or their return after the war, as he'd moved north by then. I can elaborate on the above notes if you'd like & I think I have a photo of him. I'd also be delighted to learn anything about him which you already know.

Regarding Barlow, are you sure about him? I haven't come across him. I've made a very quick check among my notes and also of the most obvious sources without seeing him.

Anyway, I hope the above helps.

5th March 2003Peter Ewart
Further to the above, although I'm now in touch with Pam direct, I'm making this posting to make a small correction in the interests of accuracy, given that contributions to this forum remain fairly permanent.

So just in case anyone else was remotely interested, now or later, I have dug a bit deeper and have satisfied myself that Jackson, although keen to begin training from 1859, did not enter college until 1862 and sailed for Natal only in 1865. The problem of identifying the mission(s) at which he served in S Africa between 1862 and 1865, therefore, immediately disappears!