Mabel Field Quodling was born on 12 Jan 1867 at Bothwell, Tasmania, to Henry George Quodling and his wife Maria Lydia Holland. She was the youngest daughter. Her father was superintendent of the Launceston Gaol, the Invalid Depot and Contagious Diseases Hospital at the time of the Tasmanian Exhibition in 1891-92.
After her father died suddenly in Aug 1893 Mabel and her mother had to leave their home and moved to Sydney. Two of her sisters were living there: Lydia who had married Francis Foot in 1882 and Amy who was matron of a private hospital. Her sister Ethel had married Alfred Blandford and lived in Melbourne and her brother Henry was a junior clerk in the Mines Department in Hobart. Mabel married Walter Nicholls in 1902 and died in 1938. Her mother is also pictured in the Family Album. See The Examiner 7 Oct 2006, p. 32.