Emily Jane Spotswood was born on 6 Feb 1866, the seventh of nine children of Christopher Spotswood (1813-1890) and his wife Anne Milne (1830-1889) who were married in Hobart in 1848. Emily was christened on 1 Mar 1866 at the Holy Trinity Church, Launceston. Her father was a clerk in the Police Office at the time. Her mother died in Mar 1889 and her father died in Apr 1890. Emily contributed an oil painting 'Portrait' at the Tasmanian Exhibition in 1891-92. In 1903 Emily was living with her three unmarried sisters: Eliza, Jessie and Amy, at 161 St John Street, Launceston. By 1909 Emily had moved to Williams Road, Toorak, Victoria, where she took on the name 'Jennie' and worked as an artiste. Her sister Eliza dealt with the home duties while Jessie was a masseuse.