William Ralph Featherston (or Featherstone) was born on July 23, 1846 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to John and Mary (Stephenson) Featherston.
He was a member of the Saint James Methodist Church in Montreal, having been baptized (August 18, 1846) when he was almost a month old! I suppose if you can’t get people to join as adults, you might as well force them into membership as babies? So much for making sure they are saved by Christ before becoming members
He may have married Julie R. MacAlister on August 10, 1869, and had a boy a year later named John.
He died May 20, 1873 at the age of 26 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The hymn he wrote was:
Birth and baptismal record from Ancestry.com. Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin. Record: Montreal (Methodist Saint James), 1846, image 11.
The Glad/Kennamer Genealogy by Tom Glad on Aug. 11, 2007, and held by Ancestry.com Operations Inc. lists William Ralph Featherston, but has different parents from the person of the same name in the record above. This is the source of the suggestion of a wife and son. ID: I38522.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 More Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1985), p. 194.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), p. 56.