Mrs Emily Caroline Nicholas was born on 5 Feb 1849, in Bodmin, Cornwall, England, the youngest child of Edmund Harry, a physician, and his wife Amy. She married photographer Collan Nicholas, whose family was from Coombe, St Stephen in Brannel, Cornwall. Their first son Collan was three months old when they emigrated to New Zealand in 1869. Collan senior set up a photography business at Milton, Otago, New Zealand. Their eight other children were born in New Zealand, before the family moved to Hobart, Tasmania, in Aug 1888, with their five surviving children.
They arrived in Launceston in the early 1890s in time to attend the Exhibition in 1891-92. Several members of the Nicholas family were in the Exhibition Choir, including Mrs C Nicholas, who was an alto. Collan Nicholas' photographic studio was located at 141 Brisbane Street, Launceston, from about 1892 to 1904. The business went bankrupt and the family moved to Mackay, Queensland.
Mrs Nicholas moved to a property at Langwarrin, Victoria, by 1907 and became a fruit grower. Her daughters Amy, who suffered from consumption, and Nettie, joined her. She died aged 70 on 27 Jun 1920 at the residence of her daughter Mrs Josie Sharman, 5 Paterson Street, Brunswick. Collan Nicholas died aged 72 at Mackay on 5 Nov 1909.
Emily was the sister-in-law of Richard Nicholas, the official photographer at the Tasmanian Exhibition in Launceston. Two of her children, Edmund and Emily, are pictured in the Family Album, as well as other Nicholas family members.