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Rosanne Higgins was born in Enfield Connecticut, however spent her youth in Buffalo, New York. Her experiences traveling in both the United States and in Europe as a child resulted in a love of history from an early age. She knew from the time she was in fourth grade that she wanted to be an Anthropologist and went on after earning her BA to graduate school at the University at Buffalo. Combining her two interests she studied the Asylum Movement in the nineteenth century and its impact on disease specific mortality. This research focused on the Erie, Niagara, and Monroe County Poorhouses in Western New York and earned her a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1998 and several scholarly publications.
After six years as an assistant professor, Rosanne focused on her family, husband Bob Higgins, and sons, Max and Charlie. She also opened a successful business, tapping into her love for animals with a doggy daycare. This led to charitable efforts in animal rescue. During this time, she also turned her attentions to a more personal fundraising effort following the tragic death of her older son, Max, from a rare pediatric cancer at age 11. This event inspired in her the ability to imagine the previously untold stories of personal and private sufferings.
In the Spring of 2012, she was invited to join the Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery Project, undertaken by the Department of Anthropology at the University at Buffalo. While writing her dissertation in the mid 90's, Rosanne had gotten to know many of the inmates of the institutions mentioned above as she pieced together what little could be told of their lives while researching their deaths. For over 20 years, she had a desire to tell the other side of the story in a way that would be accessible to more than just the scholarly community. Rosanne's need to tell their tale has resulted in her first novel, Orphans and Inmates, which is the first in a series chronicling fictional accounts of Poorhouse residents inspired by the historical data.