Emily Dickinson’s Siblings: Inside the Lives of Vinnie and Austin

Emily Dickinson’s Siblings: Inside the Lives of Vinnie and Austin

Emily Dickinson is a renowned American poet who had a close-knit family that significantly influenced her life and work.

Although little is known about her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.

She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830, into a prominent family with strong ties to the community.

Emily attended Amherst Academy and, afterward, went to Mount Holyoke College to pursue a higher education.

She lived for 55 years and died on May 15, 1886.

In this article, we will look deep into Emily Dickinson’s siblings and other close family members.

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An illustration of Emily Dickinson’s Siblings

Who are Emily Dickinson’s parents?

Emily was born to Edward Dickinson and Emily Norcross.

Her father was a lawyer who attended Northampton Law School. In addition to practicing law, he was also involved in politics in Amherst.

Her mother attended Monson Academy for basic education and later joined New Haven, Connecticut, for one term.

Emily married Edward on May 6, 1828. They were blessed with three children, namely: Emily, Lavinia, and William Austin.

Let us now look deeper into the lives of Emily Dickinson’s siblings.

William Austin Dickinson

William was the older brother of the poet Emily Dickinson.

He was born on April 16, 1829, in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.

He was educated at Amherst Academy and Williston Seminary in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

William Austin graduated from Amherst College.

He pursued teaching as a career for a short time before getting fully into law, following in his father’s footsteps.

He married Susan Huntington, and they were blessed with three children.

They had a close relationship with his sister, but not until he moved with his wife to Evergreens.

His attention was pulled in other directions; therefore, he had less time to interact with his sister.

He died on August 16, 1895, aged 66 years.

Lavinia Norcross Dickinson

Lavinia Norcross Dickinson, alias “Vinnie,” was the younger sister of Emily Dickinson.

She was born on February 28, 1833, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Together with her sister, Emily, they began attending Amherst Academy.

After studying for eight years at Amherst Academy and two terms at Ipswich Academy, she settled into an active social life in Amherst for several years.

Despite many proposals from potential spouses, Lavinia remained single, just like her sister.

Though Lavinia and Emily had different personalities, they remained close.

She died at age 66 on August 31, 1899.


Did Emily Dickinson have a sibling?
Yes, Emily had two siblings, Lavinia and William.
Did Emily Dickinson’s sister ever get married?
No, Lavinia was never married.
What was strange about Emily Dickinson?
Emily was considered strange by most people as she took to wearing white clothing much of the time, as well as for her reclusive nature.
How old was Emily Dickinson when she died?
Emily died on May 15, 1886, aged 55 years.


Vinnie and Austin were more than just siblings to Emily Dickinson; they were pillars of support and inspiration.

Their roles in her life shaped her into the iconic poet we admire today.

In addition to her siblings’ support, her parents also supported her in different ways.

Thank you for reading, and do not forget to come back to our blog page for more.

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