Miss Dollina Margaret Ford was born in Hadlow Down, Sussex, England on 13 June 1891 and later baptised on 23 August that same year in St Mark's Church where her parents had married the year previous.
Named after a maternal aunt, she was the eldest child of Edward Ford (b. 1858), a farm worker originally from Fletching, Sussex, and Margaret Ann Watson (b. 1857), who hailed from Bracadale on the Isle of Skye in the inner Hebrides in northern Scotland. Her parents were married in Hadlow Down, Wealden, Sussex, England on 17 June 1890 and besides Dollina had four other children: Frances Mary (b. 1893), Edward Watson (b. 1895), William Neal Thomas (b. 1897) and Robina Maggie (b. 1904).
Dollina first appears on the 1901 census living in the hamlet of Mark Cross in Rotherfield, Sussex. She attended Rotherfield Council School where she was enrolled in the main school on 1 May 1899. The school register gives her birth as the 12th of June 1891. She received a certificate for good attendance whilst at the school and achieved the six Standards required by the Education Board before leaving after May 1906. Her family are still in the same locale by the time of the 1911 census but Dollina is listed elsewhere as an unmarried parlour maid to a wealthy family in Gillhams Birch, Rotherfield.
Dollina's father Edward later reportedly deserted the family leaving her mother to eke out an existence as a poultry farmer. Her eldest sister Frances had emigrated to the USA in 1911 and worked as a domestic servant with a wealthy Long Island family, and so impressed her family back home with tales of a better life that the family decided to leave their home in Rotherfield and settle in America. Travelling with them was her aunt Elizabeth Johnston and her family and a family friend, Phoebe Alice Harknett. The Fords bought ticket W./C. 6608 (which cost £34 7s 6d) and they boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers and were destined for New London, Connecticut where her uncle Thomas Watson lived.
The entire party of ten were lost in the sinking. None of their bodies were identified amongst those recovered after the sinking. Her father Edward later filed a claim for the loss of his family and was awarded five shillings per week. What became of her father is not known but it is possible he remained in Rotherfield and died in 1933.