Mrs Martha Peter was born on 8 Apr 1834, the fourth child of John Shields (1802-1874) and his wife Bridget Audley (c.1809-1884). The Shields family had arrived in Launceston on the Chilli in 1833. Martha Shields married James Peter in Launceston on 7 Aug 1852. Their eleven children were born between 1853 and 1874.
James Peter was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1823. He joined his brother William Peter (1819-1891) in his foundry business at 22 Wellington Road, Launceston. After William's retirement in 1882 James was the principal partner with Charles Saul. In 1890 his eldest surviving son James entered the business as a partner, which became known as Peter & Son, Engineers, Iron and Brass Founders. The firm manufactured ovens, stoves, verandah and tomb railings and all manner of iron and brass castings. It appears that three other sons, John, William David and George, also worked at the foundry.
James died in Apr 1894 aged 71. Martha died at her residence 63 Galvin Street, Launceston, on 27 May 1919. Her son John, daughter Jeannie, brother George Shields, his wife and four sons are also pictured in the Launceston Family Album.