Rebecca Green Biggar lived within earshot of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and all night listened to the roar of the cannons and muskets and the cries of battle, fearing for her husband William, who was fighting. It is said in the morning she set out to find him, but with no success. Distraught, she returned home to find William waiting for her! Having taken different routes through the woods, they had unknowingly passed each other.
United Empire Loyalists
Amos Biggar, whose family was United Empire Loyalists served in the war of 1812 with the West Lincoln Regiments alongside his father and brothers. Amos is listed on the roll of the 5th Lincoln Militia when it was first established in April 1816.
The Biggars were Scotch Covenanters who fled to the North of Ireland about 1660. Between 1730 and 1740 one of the family emigrated to Philadelphia. His son James, lived in New Jersey, married Elizabeth Litel, had two sons, John and William, and lost his life in defending his home from a forest fire. John Biggar came to Canada in 1790, settled at Grimsby, married twice (his first wife was a Petit), raised twenty-one sons and two daughters, and died in Trafalgar township in 1841, aged 80 years. Here is the grave of the other brother:- “William Biggar, Sen., died May 14, 1858, aged 81 years, 3 months and 5 days.” One record says that he came to Canada in 1787,- another that he came in 1798. Lands in this vicinity were taken up by William Biggar as early as 1792.
William Biggar, 1777 - 1858, went from New Jersey to Pennsylvania where he learned the tailoring trade. He was a United Empire Loyalist who walked from Bucks County PA to the Niagara area, arriving in Niagara County, Ontario, Canada on 20 May 1797. He crossed the Niagara River at Queenston, with a shilling in his pocket and a pair of scissors in his knapsack. William at first settled at Grimsby, Ontario. During the War of 1812-14, William fought on the side of the British in the battles of Queenston Heights, Stony Creek, Beaver Dams, Chippawa, and Lundy's Lane as a member of the 5th Lincoln Militia. He was a tailor by trade, and also owned a large farm a quarter of a mile north of Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Biggar home became headquarters for the Methodist saddlebag preachers, as well as for British officers. ...(Ref: C. L. Biggar Scrapbook; One hundred and fifty years on Lundy's Lane by J. T. Rule)
One of the first persons he met in Canada was Rebecca GREEN, in front of her home on Lundys Lane where he stopped, rested, and made inquiries on how to reach his brother John BIGGAR who was at Grimsby.
John BIGGAR had brought peach pits with him from New Jersey and was the first to grow peaches in Canada. William Biggar stayed with his brother John and married Rachel PETIT, a sister of John Biggar's wife. Rachel died in 1802, leaving a son James Biggar.
William returned to Lundys Lane, where he again met Rebecca GREEN and married her in 1805. They settled on a farm on what is now the east side of Dorchester Road, where 11 children were born to them, nine of whom lived to maturity.
William Biggar was a tailor by trade and ran a shop with a good business. William fought in the War of 1812, as a Sergeant in the 2nd Lincoln Militia (in Captain Thompson's company), and was cited for bravery in the Battle of Chippawa.
Notes for WILLIAM BIGGAR: William Biggar was a Sargeant in Captain Burch's company of the 2nd Lincoln Militia and was engaged in several actions, including the battle of Lundy's Lane, between 1812 and 1814.
...................................................................More About WILLIAM BIGGAR:
Burial: 16 May 1858, Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Welland Co., ON., Canada
Immigration: 20 May 1797, From Bucks Co., PA., USA
Occupation: 20 May 1797, Tailor
Residence: 14 May 1797, Arrived in Canada at Queenston, Lot 21, Conc 1, Grimsby Twp., Lincoln Co., ON., Canada
John BIGGAR had brought peach pits with him from New Jersey and was the first to grow peaches in Canada.
2nd Flank Company
5th Regiment Lincoln Militia
Robert Biggar along with his wife Mary Lauder came to Canada in 1806 from Scotland U.K. Biggar along with his sons fought in the War of 1812 in the 2nd Flank Company 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia under Captain James Durand. Biggar was awarded a land grant and came to the Mount Pleasant area in 1816.
He established a tannery in Brantford and began to accumulate more land. Biggar built a bridge across the Grand River after the original one was destroyed in a flood. He called it after himself, Biggar’s Bridge.
In 1827 when there were 200 to 300 settlers in the area the subject of naming the settlement came up. Biggar suggested Biggartown, while two other gentlemen suggested other names. In order not to offend anyone, the settlers wanted to keep the name of Brant’s Ford. Within a short period of time, the “s” was dropped and the name just became Brantford.
Robert and Mary had 11 children but sadly Mary died ten years after their arrival in Mount Pleasant and never lived to see the success that her family enjoyed.
Robert died in 1836 at the age of 75 years and is buried beside his wife Mary in a family plot on private property.
(Source: The Work of Our Hands by Sharon Jaeger. From the writing of Peggy (Margaret) Smyth)
Private, 2nd Flank Company 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia
Place of Birth: Irongray, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Death: 23 APR 1836 Mount Pleasant, County of Brant, Ontario, CAN
Cause of Death: Old Age