Susanna (or Susan) Perrins was born in Kidderminster, England, in 1810. Also in Worcestershire during the early 1800’s, the chemist William Perrins was hard at work developing a condiment. Together with fellow chemist John Lea he created the aptly named Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. Even with the time, location and obvious possibilities, a connection between the two Perrins is not yet established.
John Biggs was baptized in Stourport, Lower Mitton, England, on 9 February 1812. He was the second child of Edward and Ann Biggs. Between 1816 and 1819, Edward, a sawyer, moved his family to Kidderminster as the local economy changed. Here John met Susan Perrins, and they married on 22 July 1832.
They traveled to Ribbeford, England, for the ceremony. The reason is not known, but it was around that time that their first child, Matilda, was born. Living conditions in Kidderminster were unhealthy and dangerous at that time. John and Susan lost their first three children, Matilda, Edward and Charles, by 1840.
They had the following children:
1. Matilda Biggs was christened on 22 October 1832 in Kidderminster, England. She died before she reached ten years old.
2. Edward Perrins Biggs was christened on 31 March 1834 in Kidderminster, England, and died two years later in 1836.
3. Charles Perrins Biggs was christened on 31 March 1836 in Kidderminster, England, and died the same year.
4. Edwin James Biggs was christened on 31 October 1837 in Kidderminster, England, and immigrated to America as a child with John and Susan.
5. William John Biggs was christened on 9 Jan 1840 in Kidderminster, England, and immigrated to America as a child with John and Susan. He died in Pennsylvania before 1850.
6. George W. Biggs was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June of 1846.
Traveling on Ship United States, captained by Alexander Brittan out of Liverpool, John brought Susan, Edwin and William to New York on 10 May 1841. At some point during the next ten years, John settled in Pittsburgh where he worked as a confectioner. In 1850 the Pittsburgh family included John, Susan, Edwin and George. William died during the 1840’s and George was born in 1846.
The cause is unknown, but on 29 February 1852 John died at the age of 42. He was buried in Division One, Sections D & F, of the Union Dale Cemetery, located in Allegheny City, along Brighton Road on the north side of the city of Pittsburgh. Of the original family, only Susan, Edwin and George remained.
By 1860 Susan married John Beesley, a pawnbroker born in 1801 England. Edwin was single living separately in the 1860 census, but was married in the mid 1860s, having one son in 1867, Louis Vandergrift Biggs. George was living with his mother, and probably working in his stepfather’s pawnshop, learning the jewelry business.
By 1870 George emerged as a jeweler in his own right, living separately. John Beesley died on 3 August 1871, at the age of 70, leaving Susan alone, and was buried in the plot next to John Biggs in the Union Dale Cemetery. The space between them was saved for Susan.
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