Marriage: 8 Apr 1849 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, EnglandJohn was the eldest of Nathaniel Bell and Ann Murray’s nine children and had been christened in their local church at All Saints in Hindley, Lancashire on 9 Dec 1827. On 30 Jan 1830, Susannah had also been born in Hindley but had been baptised at the larger church in Wigan that she later was married in. She was the 5th daughter and sixth child of Henry Catterall and Hannah Dean. One of the witnesses at her wedding was her elder sister, Sarah.
John Bell - (X), 22 Collier, Bachelor of Hindley
Susanna Catterall - (X), 21, Spinster of Hindley
Groom's Father: Nathaniel Bell, Collier
Bride's Father: Henry Catterall, Spinner
Witness: Thos. Smithie, (X); Sarah Catterall, (X)
Married by Banns by: A.Coates Curate\
John was a coal miner as were his father and grandfather before him. The area around Hindley had many coal mines and by 1900 there were twenty in operation. Susannah’s family worked in the other main industry of the area, cotton manufacturing, and were mostly spinners and weavers.
John and Susannah had six children, the youngest being my great grandfather:
- Nancy - baptised 29 Jul 1849 at All Saints, Hindley, married Thomas Wood
- Sarah - baptised 19 Sep 1852 at All Saints, Hindley, married Roger Wood
- Hannah - baptised 14 Jan 1855 at All Saints, Hindley, married James Twist
- Mary Ann - born in 1859, married John Taylor
- Esther - born February 1867, died at aged 8 in Nov 1875
- John - born 8 Dec 1869, married Margaret Alice Bate
Sometime between the 1871 and 1881 Censuses, the family moved from Hindley to 22 Shuttle Street in Tyldesley where John continued to be a coal miner. By the time of the 1891 Census though, John and Susannah had become a shopkeepers and he is listed as a Grocer at 47 Elliott Street, Tyldesley. John Bell died there on 20 May 1895 at the age of 67. Susannah continued to operate the shop until her death on 13 Nov 1901.
At left: Susannah in the doorway of the shop