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 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. That research earned her a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1998 and several publications.