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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN BISBING, of an old and highly-respected family of Chester county, was born January 15, 1833. Being reared on a farm, his opportunities for education at that day were somewhat limited, but he made the most of them, and acquired knowledge that has enabled him to make his way in the world without difficulty. Mr. Bisbing is the son of Peter and Nancy A. (Fush) Bisbing, both of Chester county.

Peter Bisbing was the son of Frederick Bisbing, of the same vicinity, the family being of German descent, mostly tillers of the soil, and attached to the Lutheran church. Peter Bisbing (father) was by trade a spinning-wheel maker, which occupation he pursued for many years, varying it with the duties of farming. During the latter part of his life his health was poor, and he confined himself entirely to farming, not venturing beyond the beaten pathway of life to seek official or other honors. He died in 1848. His wife survived him, making her home with her children, and dying in 1862. Mrs. Bisbing was the daughter of Frederick Fush, also of German descent, the family being among the early settlers of that section of Chester county. Their children: Betsy, twice married, being first Mrs. Neiman, and next Mrs. Freese; Hannah (Mrs. Ortlip); Nancy A, (mother); George and Frederick.

The children of Peter and Nancy A. Bisbing: Mary (Mrs. M. Griffith), who died soon after her marriage; Susan, died unmarried; Sarah (Mrs. Jacob Umstead); Hannah (Mrs. Heebner); Eliza (Mrs. S. Garner); Henry, who died in Germantown; John (subject of this sketch); Ellen (Mrs. Jonas Amole); Catharine (Mrs. D. Diffenderfer). All are now deceased except John Bisbing.

John Bisbing remained with his parents until he was fifteen years of age, when he went from home to work on a farm, in order that he might assist in supporting the family, continuing to work in this way after his father’s death to help his mother, who was left with a large family to rear and educate as best she could. He married and made a home for his mother in 1858, where she resided with the exception of brief intervals the remainder of her life. Mr. Bisbing rented a farm for several years before his marriage, his mother and two of his sisters keeping house for him. After his marriage he continued renting for a time in Chester county, but ultimately removed to the locality where is now Royersford, and rented a farm of Daniel Latshaw, so continuing for twenty years. Mr. Bisbing was employed about a year in assisting in the construction of the Pennsylvania & Schuylkill Valley Railroad, furnishing several teams. This was in 1884, about which time he began work in general as a contractor, furnishing horses and carts where they were required for hauling, grading, etc. This business he has ever since continued, carrying, it on very extensively and very successfully as well. He also runs a stone quarry, and furnishes brick and other materials where they are needed by his patrons. He was also engaged in the construction of the extension of the Schuylkill Valley Traction Company’s trolley line to Trappe and beyond that borough. He has been a builder, owning about twenty-five dwellings which he built himself in Royersford. These are mostly brick houses, consisting of residences, offices, etc. In 1891 he erected a handsome residence in Royersford, where he lives; giving most of his time and attention to building and contracting, and has assisted very greatly in improving and building up Royersford.

Although often urged to accept public position, he has steadily refused to do so, partly, perhaps, because his hearing is somewhat defective. In politics Mr. Bisbing is a strong Prohibitionist, voting often the ticket when his was the only ballot of that description cast at his polling place. He is always ready to advocate the principles of his party, believing that they are calculated to promote the best interests of the community. He has served as constable, tax collector, and member of the town council. In religious faith he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has served as a member of the board of trustees for several years, and he rendered effective aid by liberal contributions and otherwise in the erection of the new church building of that denomination at Royersford, it being a large and handsome stone structure.

Mr. Bisbing is emphatically a self-made man, commencing life as it were at the bottom of the ladder, and working his way by his own efforts to an honorable and influential position in his community. An affectionate son, he enjoys the reward of the full performance of duty to his parents, being fortunate in all his enterprises. Having cultivated for many years the land on which a great part of the borough of Royersford stands, he has had the satisfaction of seeing a prosperous town grow up around him, his own efforts contributing very materially to the results which have been achieved in a few years.

Mr. Bishbing married Miss Mary A. Potts,. who was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, in 1834. She is the daughter of Amos and Sarah (Reifsnyder) Potts, both of Berks county. Amos Potts was the son of Edward Potts, who was born four days after his parents reached this country from Germany. The children of Edward Potts were: Amos (father of Mrs. Bisbing); William, Jacob, Daniel, Elizabeth (died young), Maria (Mrs. A. Reed), Anna (Mrs. D. Schrack), and Eliza, died unmarried.

Amos Potts was reared as a farmer, and, in accordance with the custom in Berks county in his day, was taught also the trade of shoemaking. After his marriage he purchased a farm which he managed for some years, but later retired from active work, and ten years afterwards, in 1896, he died at the old homestead, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. He was a careful farmer, attending strictly to the tillage of his acres, and never aspired to public position, although an active and exceptionally successful business man. His wife died in 1891, and he married (second wife), Mary Spice. She preceded him in death, leaving no children. Sarah Reifsnyder, Mr. Potts’ first wife, was a daughter of Samuel Reifsnyder, of Berks county, a prominent, practical and successful farmer. The children of Samuel Reifsnyder were: Samuel, Joshua, Lydia (Mrs. Fox), Betsy (Mrs. J. Bickel), Mary A. (Mrs. T. Bickel), Sarah, mother of Mrs. Bisbing.

The children of Amos and Sarah Potts were: Henry, of Douglassville; William (deceased); Andrew, residing on the homestead; Mary A. (Mrs. John Bisbing); James, died young.

Mr. and Mrs. John Bisbing have had six children, as follows: Clara (Mrs. J. Fleming); Ella (Mrs. L. Brownback), who died in 1898, leaving two children; Anna (Mrs. H. Brownback), who has one son; John, who is a contractor like his father; William, who has a livery stable in Royersford; Emma, died at the age of thirteen months.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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