Janet Kerr was born on 29 April 1865 in Bothwell parish, Lanarkshire, to John and Jane (Laidlaw) Kerr. Her father was a coal miner. When the 1871 census was enumerated the family lived in Carluke parish and Janet, who went by Jessie, attended school. She was not living with her parents in 1881 and likely worked outside the home as a servant, but she has not been found in the census taken that year.
She married Francis Riddell on 23 December 1887 at her home on 39 Ross Street in Fernigair, a small hamlet about a mile away from the town of Hamilton. She was 22 years old and worked as a farm servant. Francis and Jessie had seven children during their married life.
In 1891 the family lived at 11 Hallcraig Street in New Monkland parish. By 1901 the family had moved to Hamilton parish where they remained for the rest of their lives. Jessie's husband became a property owner sometime before 1915 and the family lived in Gertrude Cottage on 7 Scott Street for several years.
Jessie died on 23 November 1927 at her home on 13 Scott Street, Hamilton, of fatty degeneration of her heart. She suffered from fainting spells brought on either by low blood pressure or insufficient blood flow to her brain before her death. He husband lived for another 15 years but did not remarry.
1871 Scotland Census, Parish: Carluke; ED: 4; Page: 21; Line: 11; Roll: CSSCT1871_120
1891 Scotland Census, Parish: New Monkland; ED: 24; Page: 27; Line: 10; Roll: CSSCT1891_314
1901 Scotland Census, Parish: Hamilton; ED: 14; Page: 32; Line: 6; Roll: CSSCT1901_338
1911 Scotland Census, 02/04/1911 Riddell, Francis (Census 1911 647/00 014/00 014)
Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, 1865 Kerr, Janet
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1865 Kerr, Jane (Statutory Births 625/02 0196)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1887 Riddell, Francis - Kerr, Jessie (Statutory Marriages 647/00 0199)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1927 Riddell, Jessie (Statutory Deaths 647/00 0432)
Topographical Dictionary for Scotland, (Baltimore:Clearfield Co., Inc., 2002)