Between 1819 and 1968 regular lists of Wesleyan Methodist ministers (from 1932, all Methodist ministers) were published. These listed all the appointments of those ministers alive at the time, and so can be used to track your ministerial relative around the country. In the early days ministers moved every one, two or three years so they are a moving target when trying to find them and their children in the registers or in the census. Methodist ministers are stationed from 1st September in any given year.
The first editions were compiled by William Hill, and entitled ‘An Alphabetical Arrangement of all the Wesleyan Methodist Preachers and Missionaries,who are now Travelling in Great-Britain and in Distant Parts of the Globe’ so Methodist historians usually refer to all the editions as “Hill’s arrangements”
The Rev. Kenneth Garlick wrote the best account of how this very valuable reference work evolved, and this can be found here , on pages 2 to 5 of vol 40 of the Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society.
The first edition was published in 1819
The second edition was for 1824
Rev Garlick realised that sixteen ministers who had been active at the time did not appear in either 1819 or 1824, so published details of their activities on pages 45 to 47 of Vol. 40 of the Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society
The third edition was for 1826
A supplement covered the period 1826 to 1832.
The fourth edition was for 1837
The fifth edition was for 1840
The sixth edition was for 1846. As yet no digital copy is available.
The seventh editionwas for 1852
The eighth edition was for 1857.
The ninth edition was for 1861.
The tenth edition was for 1865.
The eleventh edition was for 1869.
The twelfth edition was for 1873
The thirteenth edition was for 1877. As yet no digital copy is available.
The fourteenth edition was for 1881.
The fifteenth edition was for 1884.
The sixteenth edition was for 1887. As yet no digital copy is available.
The seventeenth editionwas for 1892.
The eighteenth edition was for 1896.
The nineteenth edition was for 1900.
The twentieth edition was for 1904. As yet no digital copy is available.
The twenty-first edition was for 1908. As yet no digital copy is available.
The twenty-second edition was for 1912.
The twenty-third edition was for 1916. As yet no digital copy is available.
The twenty-fourth edition was for 1922.
The twenty-fifth edition was for 1926. As yet no digital copy is available.
A copy of the 1932 edition, the first including all Methodist ministers is available on My Methodist History
For those editions for which no digital copies are available, printed copies are available in the main Methodist museums and libraries