Born in 1843 at Sorell, Tasmania, Emily was the seventh child and fourth daughter of Charles RICHARDSON and Mary DUNCOMBE. She married George PATTERSON at Sorell in 1860. They had six children, of whom three sons survived infancy.
The family moved across the Derwent to Southport about 1876 and later took up land at Snake Plains. Her husband died in 1890 and she remarried in 1894, a widower and friend of the family, William SKINNER who was 21 years younger than her. Bill was born a couple of months after Emily's first [deceased] child. They continued to live at Snake Plains near her family. Emily was a midwife and kept in touch with her family with frequent letters. She also had a lovely garden. She died in 1925, age 82.