Jack Russell Terrier history begins in England in the early nineteenth century, when the Reverend John (Jack) Russell, a student at Oxford University who was also a priest and a hunting enthusiast, sought to create a new type of Fox Terrier. At the time, the English White Terrier (a breed that is now extinct) was commonly used in fox hunts, and hunters apparently had difficulty in discerning between the dogs and the foxes they were chasing. So in 1819, Rev. Russell purchased a small, mostly white terrier from a local milkman. That dog was named Trump, and is considered the origin from which all other Jack Russell Terriers have developed. In the 2000 book The Jack Russell Terrier Handbook by D. Catherine Coile,Rev. Russell is quoted as saying that Trump was "...white, with just a patch of dark tan over each eye and ear; whilst a similar dot, not larger than a penny piece, marks the root of the tail."
Over the next several decades, Russell established a breeding program in order to develop a new terrier breed that would work with larger hounds on hunts; the smaller terriers, Rev. Russell thought, would be able to enter fox dens and drive the foxes out so the hounds could chase them. Russell used selective breeding to develop mostly white terriers that had both stamina and courage. By about 1860, the Jack Russell was considered a distinct breed.
Several breeding clubs arose and by the turn of the twentieth century, the first official breed standard had been published, and dogs of this breed made their way to North America. The Jack Russell Terrier grew in popularity during the 1900s; during this century, though, the breed actually began to be known as three distinct (yet virtually identical) breeds in different parts of the world: the Russell, the Parson, and the original Jack Russell. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America was formed in 1976; meanwhile, both the Russell Terrier and the Parson Terrier have been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, while the classic Jack Russell Terrier has not.