Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Pearce Family [Gen. 1]

This one was an adventure! For years I had one member of the family, Patience Pierce, wife of John Wall. Now Patience's parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have been added to the mix, along with another handful of Rhode Island families.
First Generation
1.  John Pierce / Pearce12 was born circa 1632 in probably Wales.1 He died on 20 Aug 1691–26 Apr 1692 at the age of 59 in Portsmouth, King's Province, Rhode Island, British America.1 Pearce family tradition holds that John arrived in America about 1660 and was a native of Wales. He may have been part the Baptist congregation of John Myles of Swansea, on the southwest coast of Wales. Myles' congregation settled in Rehoboth in 1662/3 and then established the town of "Swanzey" [Swansea] in the Plymouth Colony.

John relocated to Portsmouth in 1666 and was made a freeman there on 5 July 1666. In testimony given 7 May 1673 concerning the death of Rebecca Cornell, John gave his age as 41, establishing his birth about 1632. He was a mason by trade.

When John, the son of Richard Pearce, came of age in 1668, the elder Pearce became identified with his trade - John Pearce, mason. When the younger John moved to Tiverton in 1683, John the mason became John Sr. His own son John had reached the age of majority by 1679 and became John Jr.

Pearce purchased a dwelling house and 38 acres from William Corry [Corey] on 14 April 1668. On 299 September of that year, he leased 68 acres from Corey for a period of seven years.

John Pearce, mason, was made a freeman of the Colony from Portsmouth on 4 May 1675. He was one of 48 men granted 5000 acres of land at East Greenwich by the General Assembly on 31 October 1677 for their service in King Philip's War. On 12 June 1678, Pearce was granted permission to dispose of his 600 acres of East Greenwich property to Henry Matthewson.

Both John Sr. and John Jr. were selected for jury duty on 16 March 1685 in Newport. On 5 March 1686, he was a member of a coroner's jury held at the home of James Sweet, Jr. on Prudence Island. Major John Greene, on 23 February 1691, deeded and at Natick to John Pearce, mason. John and Mary deeded the land to their son Daniel on 20 August.

John Pearce, Sr. made his will on 23 September 1689; the will being proved 26 April 1692 at Portsmouth. He left his "worldly estate" to his three children, John, Daniel and Mary [wife of Robert Hill]. John was to receive 5 shillings, a mare, a cow and his father's gun. Daniel's legacy was a mulatto boy. Mary was to receive a negro named George. Wife Mary was to receive the rest of the estate. John named John and Jeremiah Smith as overseers. Willian Allin, Jonathan Hill, Philip Sweetand John Gereardy were witnesses.

Mary Pearce made her will on 17 September 1711 [proved 15 October 1711].
She left 40 shillings to the poor of the Church of Christ. The remainder of her estate was divided among heer three children.

It is  believed that John and Mary Pearce were buried in the Pearce Burying Ground on the southern end of Prudence Island. During World War II, the US Navy took over that part of Prudence Island for an ordinance depot. The burial ground was paved over. The US Government has since returned the property back to Rhode Island.

John Pierce / Pearce and Mary [Pearce] were married circa 1656 in probably Wales.1 Mary [Pearce]12 died on 17 Sep 1711–15 Oct 1711 in Portsmouth, Providence Plantations, Rhode Island, British America.1 She was born probably Wales.1 Although offered without documentation, the Find a Grave entry for Mary, wife of John Pearce, offers the following: Mary Gubtail, died 1711. Parents: Thomas Gubtail [1650 - 1695] and Mary Abbott [1662 - 1705]. Thomas died in Rockingham Co., NH and Mary in York Co., ME. The geography involved makes the connection suspect. gives a list of Berwick, ME marrieges. On 11 Feb 1724 there was a marriage between John Pearce and Mary Gubtail. This marriage took place after John and Mary of Rhode Island had died.
John Pierce / Pearce and Mary [Pearce] had the following children:
i. John Pierce / Pearce1 was born circa 1658 in probably Wales.1 He died circa 1737 at the age of 79 in Prudence Island, Rhode Island, British America.1
2 ii. Daniel Pierce / Pearce Sr., born ca 1662, Prudence Island, Rhode Island, British America; married _______ [Pearce], ca 1683–1685, Portsmouth, King's Province, Rhode Island, British America; married Elizabeth Tucker, 13 Dec 1703, Portsmouth, Providence Plantations, Rhode Island, British America; died aft 1744, North Kingstown, Kings, Rhode Island, British America.
iii. Mary Pierce / Pearce1 was born circa 1666 in Portsmouth, King's Province, Rhode Island, British America.1

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