Emma Woodman was born about 1810. Her place of birth and baptism is not known, but the information in the 1861 census that she was born in Portsmouth in Hampshire is likely to be the most reliable, as she was head of the household at that census. In the 1851 census she is described as being from Chatham in Kent. In any event, no record of her birth has been discovered.
It is possible that her parents died when she was quite young and she may have been brought up by relatives. One of the family stories is about a family member worked for the Earl of Darnley, at Cobham in Kent (maybe as a governess?). In any event, she appears to have come from a gentile background. She was well educated and from letters she sent to her family in Australia, found the relative penury of her later life difficult to live with.
On 19 Aug 1833, at the age of 23, she married George Walter in London at St James, Westminster. The witnesses to the marriage were Christopher Nixon and his sister Emily Nixon, who remained a spinster all her life.
1861 Marylebone, London, England. Note: 6 Aberdeen Place. Emma Walter Head Widow 50 Lieut's widow Marines Hamps. Portsmouth. Caroline Dau Unm. 19 Teacher Kent Greenwich. Charles E Son Unm. 16 Scholar Kent Greenwich. James H Son Unm 14 Scholar Kent Greenwich.
Emma died of an apoplectic fit on 18 Jan 1870. At the time of her death, Emma was living at Southbridge Lane in Croydon in London. She was buried on 21 Jan 1870 St Peters, Croydon, aged 60 years.
On the 17th February, 1870, Emma's daughter, Caroline wrote to Neville Walter: "My dear brother, I hope my last letter dated 24th December has reached you for then you will be a little prepared for what I have to tell you. You may remember perhaps how I told you that our dear Mother's health was not as good as we could wish, but I little thought I should so very soon have to write you such bad news. I hardly know how to do it, for you will be grieved so much, but no doubt you have already guessed what it is. On morning of the 18th January our dear Mother entered into her last rest after only one day's serious illness. She had a stroke of paralysis succeeded by an apoplectic fit from which she never rallied. She lay quite unconscious for a whole day and died quite gently and peacefully. Dotty and his wife and Jemmy were with me or I don't know what I should have done. Dear Mother never knew any of us and never spoke for 24 hours, but I think this may be looked on as a great mercy for her to be spared the pain of parting with us. It has been so dreadfully sudden that I am only just beginning to realise it has all seemed like a dream, but I am afraid the reality will be still more painful as time goes on. I am thankful to say that my health has been good through it all and I have been wonderfully supported under the trial. I was even able to go with dear Dot and Jem to follow her to her last resting place till that day when we shall all meet again, she and all of us, her children. Dear Nevvy I trust in that day we may find mercy at the hands of our Saviour and Judge. Our Mother's sudden departure ought to make us think more seriously of the things belonging to our peace and of what will be hereafter. Your letter to me and the photo of the farm gave Mama great pleasure, she was never tired of looking at it. She was confined to bed when it came and also when Charlie's came containing a view of Edmund's place which also pleased her much. I am so glad you wrote after such a long silence, you would have been so sorry if you had delayed doing so. In your letter to me you promised to write to her and I am expecting it by every mail. Dotty, I think, is going to write to Edmund by this post, but in case he cannot, please let him and Henry and Charlie know, they will be terribly grieved I am sure. Dot and Jem feel it much. Dotty and wife are so very kind and good to me, quite like a real sister, she was such a comfort to me in my trouble. I don't know at present where or what I shall do but will write to you again soon when I have settled my plans. I shall not remain here so have asked you to address to me care Dotty. Please give my best love to all my brothers and with love to your wife. Believe me, my dear brother,. Your affectionate sister,. Carrie H. Walter.".
The Nixons were firm family friends of the Walters, and George's daughter from his first marriage married into the Nixon family. Possibly Emma is related to the Nixons but no fruitful leads have been found to support this theory.
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