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Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

File # Sct. 99

Descendant of Herbert Biggar 



The first ascertainable member of the Kirkcudbrightshire family. On 10th March 1614, John, Archbishop of Glasgow, received from the Crown confirmation charter of certain lands in the Barony of Bishop Forest, Parish of Kirkpatrick-Irongray, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, among them being the lands of Captainton,


Son of

Scotland - Canada

BIGGAR, Charles Murray Twp. Esquire 29/6/53 MS 638, Reel 40

In 1806 Robert Biggar from Biggartown, Scotland, came to Canada and was located in the Niagara Region. Three of his sons were in the War of 1812 and after that event Biggar migrated to this county (Brant)in 1816, securing 100 acres near Mt Pleasant. He had married in Scotland, Amelia Lauder, and they had a family of 11 children, the sons becoming prominent in the affairs of the village and the county.


Herbert was born in 1809 and after assisting his father on the farm he came to Brantford and engaged in mercantile pursuits. It is stated he drove the first team that ever crossed a bridge over the Grand River at Brantford. Later he bought a farm on Whiteman's Creek but returned to the old homestead when his father died. He was a member of the Township and County Councils, as well as Reeve(1852) and as a staunch Reformer, sat in the Upper Canada Parliament from 1854-61. Brant County had been fully constituted only the year before and had 2 constituencies - Biggar represented the West Riding.


Biggar married in 1831 Jane Ellis of Mt Pleasant (a Cutcliffe great aunt of mine from Mt Pleasant married an Ellis boy). They had 7 children. His second wife Mrs Marion Long of Brantford he married in 1874.

His brother Hamilton became a minister in the Episcopal Methodist Church and established the Indian Mission for the Chippewa tribe at Rice Lake in 1827. He was treasurer of Cobourg College for 2 years and settled in Brantford when he retired in about 1852. He became the first Treasurer of the County of Brant

in 1853-66 and was followed by Charles R. Biggar(a son?) 1866-75.


In Mt Pleasant was a grand house owned by Abraham Cook and one of their 3 sons, Charles, married a Miss Biggar and they moved to Toronto where he was a doctor. their only daughter Mary. Sir John Beverley Robinson.


A trade directory of 1862 shows H. Biggar, one of 13 dry goods merchants.


When the County was organized in 1853,a Board of Examiners was formed as a licensing body to approve prospective teachers. The first session of the Board was attended by H.Biggar, along with 4 others. In June of that year, they interviewed 30 candidates who wished to teach in the various constituent townships..

Robert Biggar
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 Brant’s Ford 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)

Veteran Summary

Robert Biggar
Private, 2nd Flank Company 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia
Place of Birth
Irongray, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Place of Death
Mount Pleasant, County of Brant, Ontario, CAN
Died on: 23 APR 1836
Reason: Old Age
Location of Grave
Family Plot, 579 Mt Pleasant Road
Brantford Township, ON, CAN
Latitude: 43.0935N Longitude: -80.3059

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