Janet O'Connor was educated at the Military College, Bath. She married Daniel O'Connor in 1851 and on arrival in Australia settled firstly in Ballarat, Victoria. After her move to Queensland, she became the first headmistress of Brisbane Girls' Grammar School (1875-77). O'Connor was also the founder of 'Duporth' Girls' School, Oxley, conducted by her daughters after her death. Her 'Address Written for the Inauguration of the Burke and Wills Statue' (in verse, date of writing uncertain) was printed privately by her son, Thomas O'Connor, in 1910.