Winifred Catherine Hodnett was born at Emerald Hill, Victoria, in 1874, a daughter of Joseph Hodnett and his wife Winifred Mary Gallagher. It appears that Winifred had a twin sister Sarah Ann who died aged three months. Another brother John Phillip, who was born in Adelaide about 1868, died aged seven in 1875.
For many years Winifred's mother was a stewardess for the Union Steamship Co., sailing mostly on ships trading to Launceston. These included the Flinders, and for a period of 20 years from 1884, the Pateena. On 21 May 1887 Winifred M Hodnett was a witness at the wedding of Charles Arthur Morris and Sarah Ellen Beaven at the Independent Chapel, Tamar Street, Launceston. Charles is pictured in the Launceston Family Album. In Aug 1907 Winifred's mother was washed overboard from the Kawatiri when it was wrecked off Macquarie Heads. She and three passengers drowned.
Winifred's brother James Joseph Hodnett, a porter, born in 1871, also died suddenly when, in Jan 1908, he swallowed his false teeth whilst asleep. He contracted pneumonia from the internal injuries he received when the teeth became stuck in his oesophagus.