Henry Greggs Farish was born in Brooklyn, New York on 18 June 1781, the son of Henry Greggs Farish of Whiteheaven, England and his American wife. The family had immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1775 where Farish Sr. was Commissary-General. The family moved to Shelburne, Nova Scotia in 1784, but were forced, through illness, to return to the United States. Once back in the United States, they made their home in Norfolk, Virginia. Henry studied medicine with a family friend, Dr. Perry, who lived with the Farish family. Once his apprenticeship was complete, Dr. Farish secured an appointment as Surgeon Assistant on the HMS Asia and HMS Cleopatra during the Anglo-French War. In 1803 Dr. Farish established a medical practice in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in partnership with Dr. Bond, who was a friend of his mentor and teacher, Dr. Perry. During this time he also held many public offices. These included: collector of excise, registrar of deeds, land commissioner, justice of the peace, judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and Postmaster. He married Dr. Bond's daughter and three of the couple's sons, James, Joseph and Henry later became doctors, trained first by their father and then they studied at the University of Pennsylvania and London Hospital. Dr. Farish died in Yarmouth on 1 April 1856.