The 19 children of Susanna & Samuel Wesley

"Mother of Methodism" Susanna Wesley (1669-1742)
Susanna Wesley

Samuel Wesley (1662–1735) was a Church of England clergyman. In 1688 he married Susanna Annesley (who happened to be the 25th of 25 children) and the pair welcomed 19 children of their own.

Ten of those 19 children lived to adulthood. Two, John (#15) and Charles (#18), went on to found the Methodist Church.

Here are the names of (most of) the 19 Wesley siblings:

1. Samuel, nicknamed Sammy
2. Susanna
3. Emilia, nicknamed Emily
4. Annesley (twin)
5. Jedediah (twin)
6. Susanna, nicknamed Sukey
7. Mary, nicknamed Molly
8. Mehetabel, nicknamed Hetty
9. infant
10. John
11. Benjamin
12. infant (twin)
13. infant (twin)
14. Anne, nicknamed Nancy
15. John, nicknamed Jackie
16. infant
17. Martha, nicknamed Patty
18. Charles
19. Kezziah, nicknamed Kezzy/Kez

Now for some fun!

There are four nameless infants (#9, #12, #13 & #16) on the list. If all four had been girls, what do you think their names would have been? What if all four had been boys?

Sources: Memoirs of the Wesley Family, The Family of John and Charles Wesley

8 thoughts on “The 19 children of Susanna & Samuel Wesley

  1. Girls : Elizabeth (surprising if they didn’t have one)

    Boys: Thomas
    Robert (I’m not sure of this one of if it would be more Biblical such as Ezekiel)

    I just found your blog and I love it!

  2. Nice choices!

    They do seem to prefer Biblical names, but I think if they were okay with names like Charles and Emilia, then they wouldn’t have had any objection to Robert.

    I’m really glad you like it here! That makes my day. :)

  3. I wonder, was Annesley a boy? I assume so– that one really sticks out.

    I also love this game, though the practical genealogy buff in me knows that most likely the subsequent siblings got the names of the infants who died. (In my own family tree there is one early Colonial family who kept re-using Elizabeth, 3 times total, until the last one survived…Grim.)

    So, my “practical” guess would be a jumble of John, Benjamin, Nancy, Martha… But on the more fun side, I am surprised they never used Sarah/Sally.

  4. You’re right — both Annesley and Jedediah were male. Neither one lived very long, though.

    I think that’s exactly what accounts for the repetition of Susanna and John — both of the original bearers died young, so their names were simply reused. (The 2nd Susanna and 2nd John both lived to adulthood.)

  5. Wow! How interesting! I understand why they would reuse the name of a sibling who passed away, especially if it was an important family name, but it sounds very strange and kind of morbid to the modern ear. I think four other girls would be Elizabeth, Jerusha, Sarah, and Jochebed. They used common biblical girls names as well as some very obscure ones (at least they’re obscure today). For boys, I’d say Daniel, William, Ezekiel, and James. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have to admit, I looked up some history on the Wesley family before I made my guesses. Before I read a couple of articles online, I was going to guess, like Alyssa Thys did, that there would be a William and/or a James in the bunch. However, Susanna and her husband Samuel were at odds over the identity of the true king. Samuel considered William of Orange to be the king, while Susanna believed James II was king. Once, when Susanna refused to say “amen” to Samuel’s prayers for King William, Samuel left their home and lived in London for a year! He returned only when Queen Anne was installed on the throne and both husband and wife concurred that Anne was the true sovereign. Therefore, I very much doubted that they would have a William or a James as a constant reminder of their feud! I picked Francis and Robert because they were family names (an uncle and great-uncle) and Thomas and Nathaniel seem like good, common Biblical names. I agree that there would have definitely been another Annesley after the first died, since that was Susanna’s maiden name.

  7. I am Ava Marie Wesley daughter of Oliver Ray Wesley Jan 25,1940-april 5th,2016 & Olga Elena Wesley(Perez) Dec.24th,1941-mar.6th,2013 my grandparents were Herbert Aldon Wesley died in 2007 Ruby Nell Wesley(Wilson) who passed on Sept.25th.2013

  8. I too find this blog very interesting. Thank you.
    I’ve always been enthralled when reading about Susanna Annesley Wesley.
    Thanks for an explanation, hope t. I had read, “….Her husband left her and the children for over a year because of a minor dispute….” — & wondered over what?!
    Luke 8:3(7:40) *Susanna…ministered unto him (Jesus)….
    & of course, we recognize Samuel, Mary, John, Benjamin, & Martha as Biblical names.
    Genesis 36:39; 1 Chronicles 1:50 …Hadar reigned;… and his wife’s name was *Mehetabel…. [Nehemiah 6:10 …Mehetabeel…. (Here seemingly a male)]
    Job 42:12 So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:…. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, *Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.

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