Jane Wilhelmina Stirling was born in July 1804 at Kippenross House, near Dunblane in Perthshire, the year before the battle of Trafalgar when Nelson defeated both the French and the Spanish. She was the youngest of thirteen children. Her first sister was married by the time Jane was two years old. Her mother died when she was only twelve and her father when she was sixteen, the year after the final defeat of Napoleon by Wellington.
Sir Walter Stirling of Faskine went to sea at an early age. . . . He entered the Navy, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1745. In 1753-4 he was engaged in commerce, trading to Philadelphia [where, on October 31, 1753, he married Dorothy Willing, born August 3, 1735, daughter of Charles Willing and Anne Shippen.] . . . In 1757 he was appointed to the command of a sloop of war; in 1759 he was promoted to the rank of post captain and given the command of the Lynn, a 40-gun ship; in 1761 he was given command of the Lowestoffe.
Harriet Adelaide Stirling was the eldest daughter of Edward Charles and Jane Stirling (née Gilbert). Harriet’s father was a remarkable scholar who played a successful role in South Australian medicine, science and politics. EC Stirling helped to found the Medical School at the University of Adelaide, founded the Adelaide Museum and participated in many significant 19th century expeditions for the Museum.