Born in New York, William (11) 'Bill' Colville Emmet, was Jane (Patten) and Thomas (1) Addis Emmet (TAE)'s last child. He often visited his older brother John (5) in Virginia, and served as his "groomsman" in 1827 in Charlottesville. He attended the University of Virginia, where John (5) Patten Emmet was a professor, and then studied law in New York; he was admitted to the bar, but seems never to have practiced.
Bill, his widowed mother, Jane and his older sister Margaret all went down to visit John (5) Patten and his wife Mary in the fall of 1832. They returned to Virginia in the spring of 1834, this time accompanied by Bill Emmet's new wife, Laura. All of the older brothers and sisters are unanimous in their descriptions of the youngest brother as amiable, happy, and fun-loving. He is said to have had an excellent voice and a limitless supply of Irish songs. No one in the family could tell a better story. With a large store of comic tales at the tip of his tongue, and a fondness for wearing outrageous costumes, Bill was usually the center of attention at social gatherings.
A few years after his marriage to Laura Coster, the Emmets bought a large estate on the Hudson River called "The Locusts," named for the many black locust trees on the property.
The Emmets remained at "The Locusts" until 1855, enjoying their children, their activities and their many friends. Bill was a man of leisure, seeing his friends and neighbors, raising money for famine relief in Ireland and developing his estate with new plants and gardens.
The Emmets lost a 7 year old boy, Henry and a two year old daughter Laura while living at "The Locusts." The family, now including eight children, spent the summer of 1855 at Long Branch and then moved to Paris where they lived for the next fifteen years so that their sons could receive a "suitable" education.