Barbara Collins was born on 15 February 1836 in Waterloo County, Ontario. She was the daughter of William Collins and Jean Anderson who had immigrated from Scotland some years before.
Barbara married James Riesberry in 1853 and the couple had four children. They moved from Ontario to Iowa but after James died in1898, Barbara moved to Manitoba to be near family.
Barbara died on 20 April 1921 in West St. Paul, Manitoba.