Frederick Lyman Batchelder was born on January 17, 1815, in Andover, New Hampshire, the son of Odlin Batchelder (1775-1860) and his wife, Huldah Searle (1776-1846). In 1827, he moved to Holliston, Massachusetts, where his brother lived, and worked for a local shoemaking business. He attended Brown University between 1837 and 1839, and Andover Theological School from 1839 to 1842. Following his ordination as a Baptist minister, he briefly led a congregation in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, before moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he worked as a traveling preacher along the Grand River. In 1852, he moved to Stafford, Connecticut, where he presided over the local Baptist church and later served as a probate judge. He married Eliza Hall Willey (b. May 14, 1833) on January 1, 1862, and had two children: Frederick Prescott (b. October 24, 1864) and William Brainard (b. July 25, 1867). He died in East Milton, Massachusetts, on January 15, 1910.