Andrew Barton Paterson was born on February 17, 1864, at Narambla Station, New South Wales, not far from Orange.
Andrew was born into a family of pioneer settlers. His father Andrew Bogle Paterson, came from a long line of Scottish land owners with ancestors who had founded the Clydesdale horse breed and also helped establish the bank of England. .
His mother, Rose Isabella (nee Barton), also came from a pioneering family and with an Aboriginal nurse, bought him up along traditional lines. Three children came from this marriage: Andrew barton, Rose Florence and Emily Jessie.
When Paterson was seven years of age the family moved to Illalong, further south, on a creek near Binalong. This place he regarded as his childhood home. From Binalong, he came to the city to attend Sydney Grammar. During term, he lived with his grandmother, Emily Barton, at Rock End, on Punt Rd, Gladesville. .
At the age of sixteen Paterson left school and embarked on a legal career and was admitted as a solicitor on 28th August 1886. His Grandmother encouraged him to write poetry and whilst still a law student, his first identified work "El Mardi to the Australian Troops" appeared in the Bulletin at the age of twenty-one.
He evidently led a busy social life. A keen tennis player, he was also an excellent rower and outstanding horseman who hunted, played polo and took part in amateur horse races.
Paterson adopted the literacy name "The Banjo" after one of his family's station horses, and embarked on his literacy career. By 1889 Paterson was a regular contributor to the "Bulletin" and continued to write stories and ballads for the magazine up until the end of the century. .
Throughout the 1880's this young lawyer traveled around the countryside gathering information for his "Bulletin" poems. Then in 1889 after one of these trips out west he published "Clancey of the Overflow" at the age of 25 - this was his first really popular ballad.