Susan was born in Scotland to cartwright John Brown and Margaret Orr in Stranraer, Wigtown.
By the late 1870s both she and Englishman William Pepper Wilkinson were working in Rutherglen near Glasgow as a domestic servant and railway guard respectively. They returned to her home to be married on 7 June 1878.
About 1885 they immigrated to Canada with the three oldest children, settling in beautiful Lee Valley in the Sudbury District of Ontario. William was a steam railway engineer, as well as a farmer.
Additional children include:
John Alexander Brown-Wilkinson (1873-) Jessie Margaret Martin Wilkinson (1879-1966) William Alfred Wilkinson (1885-) Susan Pepper Wilkinson (1887-1918) Mary Jane Montieth "Jean" Wilkinson (1889-) Thomas Andrew Wilkinson (1891-1891) Oleandor Wilkinson (1893 – ) Mathilda May Bentley Wilkinson (1895-1968)