Jane Bell was born in 1856 to William Richardson and Martha Jackson. William was a shipwright who helped his son in his butcher’s shop around 1881. William’s parents were William and Maria Richardson.
Martha Jackson was christened in 1827 in St Andrews Brunswick Place (formerly an Orphan House) in Newcastle Upon Tyne. On the outside of a shoe shop in Northumberland Street is a plaque commemorating this site. It never actually became a house for orphans, but served as an important early Methodist center with school, church and a resting place for worn-out and sick preachers. It was here, when taken ill in Newcastle, that John Wesley (1703-1791) was nursed back to health by Grace Murray, the housekeeper. He fell in love with her and they became engaged. However, influential friends persuaded her that marrying John Wesley would in all probability lessen his usefulness in the itinerancy and she married another.
Martha Jackson’s parents, John Ronald Jackson and Jane nee Cooper, were married in 1825 in Gosforth, Northumberland.
John was the youngest of four children whose christenings are recorded in the St Nicholas Parish and Nonconformist register. John’s parents were William Jackson and Mary Ronald, who married in 1795 in Newcastle.
Mary Ronald was christened in 1771 in the Groat Market Meeting Nonconformist Church in Newcastle. Of the 51 William Jacksons recorded at about this time, the most likely is the one whose christening is also recorded at Groat Market in 1770. William’s parents were John and Mary Jackson.
By 1743, the Groat Market had been established for the sale of groats (oats from which the hulls had been removed). R.J. Charleton succinctly described it in A History of Newcastle (written about 1880) as ‘a street of taverns, tea-rooms and eating houses with some commodious shops on the Town Hall side’.