Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was born Baltimore, Maryland, February 6 1785, the eldest of 13 children . Known as “Betsy”, she was the daughter of a Baltimore, Maryland merchant, the first wife of Jérôme Bonaparte, and sister-in-law of Emperor Napoleon I of France.
Elizabeth’s father, William Patterson, had been born in Ireland and came to North America prior to the American Revolutionary War. He was a Catholic, and the wealthiest man in Maryland after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Elizabeth’s brother, Robert, married Carroll’s granddaughter, Marianne Caton.
Married on December 24, 1803, at a ceremony presided over by John Carroll, the Archbishop of Baltimore. Betsy quickly became known for her “risqué” taste in fashion, starting with her wedding dress.
Maryland, Church Records, 1668-1995, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F4ZX-N4M : 24 February 2016), Elisabeth Patterson, 03 Apr 1785; citing Christening, , Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland, United States, various libraries, churches, historical and national societies, private and public records; FHL microfilm 13,699.
"Maryland Marriages, 1666-1970," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F4NL-HM6 : 12 December 2014), Jerome Buonaparte and Eliza Patterson, 29 Oct 1803; citing Baltimore, Maryland, reference P 11 #239; FHL microfilm 13,693.
"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MN33-9VJ : 17 October 2014), E P Bonaparte in household of Maria Peters, Maryland, United States; citing p. 82, family 589, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,074.