Nancy's parents were Thomas and Mary Winter.
Her mother died when she was young, and her father re~married. He was a sailor and was away from home for long periods of time. Once while he was gone, Nancy's stepmother put Nancy and her brother James John in an orphanage. When her father returned home, he got the children from the orphanage and brought them back home. Nancy's father died when she was 14.
Nancy worked as a nursemaid in a home. The lady she worked for, was kind to her. She taught her to cook and sew and keep house.