When Harriet Forrester was born on 14 February 1851 in Cheswardine, Shropshire, her father, James, was 43, and her mother, Mary, was 20. Harriet was deaf & dumb form birth and must have had great difficulty in communicating. Her early years were spent on the family farm in Cheswardine but this soon changed about 1865 she is living in Liverpool. There she had one son (Hugh Grant Forrester) to her uncle Mark Grant. Later she married George Fowler and they had four children together. She had two brothers and three sisters (she was the only girl to survive into adulthood).