The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma


Peirce family ancestry and allied families



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Peirce family ancestry and allied families

My sister Carol Swaim married Frederick Daniel Peirce. Dan Peirce is the son of Frederick Lovell Peirce and Mary Elizabeth (Mary Beth) Young.

Frederick Lovell Peirce was born in Palo Alto, California in 1928. Frederick Lovell Peirce was the son of Lovell Peirce and Edna Stark. Lovell Peirce was born in 1899 and lived to be 99 years old. Frederick was a geologist. His 1958 PhD dissertation was entitled “Structure and petrography of part of the Santa Catalina Mountains”.1103

Mary Elizabeth Young (Peirce) was born in Santa Rita, New Mexico (Grant County) in 1931. 1104 Mary Elizabeth Young was the daughter of Meredith McBain Young and Margaret Thorne. More details on this branch in a later subsection.

This chapter will describe the ancestry of four branches which represent Frederick Daniel Peirce’s grandparents. The ancestry will be focused on the paternal or father’s side of these four branches. The branches included are:


  • Peirce

  • Stark

  • Young

  • Thorne



Frederick Lovell Peirce (b 23 May 19281105) and Mary Elizabeth Young (b 15 Mar 1931) were married on May 6 1951 and had the following three children:

  1. Wendy Elizabeth Peirce (b 28 Dec 1952) was married to William Heider on 28 December 19741106. Wendy was born in San Diego County, California.1107
    Wendy Peirce and Bill Heider had the following children:

  1. Catherine Elizabeth Marie Heider (b 1 Nov 19781108). Catherine married Craig Wenzlick.

  2. Mark Heider (b 20 May 19811109). Mark married Danielle Johnson.

  3. Melissa Heider (b 15 Mar 19841110)



  1. Frederick Daniel Peirce (b 10 Dec 1955) was married September 15, 1979 to Carol Jane Swaim (b 12 Jun 1954) [previously described]


  2. Wesley Michael Peirce (b 9 Jun 19581111) was married in Harris County, Texas, on December 30, 19921112 to Rebecca Jeanette Eberle (b 26 Aug 19631113). Wes Peirce was born in Harris County, Texas. Jeanette Eberle was born in Travis County, Texas, and is the daughter of Erhard Frank Eberle (b 24 Jul 19371114) and Rosemarie Caroline Hoh.

    Wesley Michael Peirce and Rebecca Jeanette Peirce had the following children:



  1. Michael Peirce

  2. Derek Peirce

  3. Jason Peirce.



Figure 19 Peirce Paternal Ancestry (Part I through John Pierce b 1768)



Figure 20 Pierce Paternal Ancestry (Part II through Captain Michael Pierce)



Figure 21 Young Paternal Ancestry
    1. Peirce ancestry


The paternal ancestry of Frederick Daniel Peirce (husband of Carol Swaim Peirce) is as follows:



  • Frederick Daniel Peirce’s father was Frederick Lovell Peirce (b 1928).

  • Frederick Lovell Peirce’s father was Lovell H. Peirce (b 1898). Lovell Peirce and his parents were born in Massachusetts. Lowell Peirce’s immediate family was described previously.

  • Lovell H. Peirce’s father was Frederick Lowell Peirce (b 1869).

  • Frederick Lovell Peirce’s father may have been Michael Peirce, born in Taunton, Massachusetts or someone else and Michael Peirce may have been a more distant ancestor mentioned in family history passed down.

Frederick Lovell Peirce (b 1928) married Mary Elizabeth Young. [previously described]. Frederick Lovell Peirce was the son of Lovell H. Peirce (b 1898).

XI. Lovell Haskins91 Peirce (b 1898)

Lovell Haskins Peirce was born in 1898 in Massachusetts. In 1918 Lovell was a student at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado when he was drafted into WWI.1115 In 1920 after the war, Lovell was living with his parents in Pamona, Colorado. On the farm right next door lived Johanna Stark and her family including Edna Stark, age 20. Three years later, Lovell married Edna Stark, the girl next door. Sometime before 1924 Lovell and Edna moved to San Diego, California. In the 1930 Census Lovell’s occupation listed was “public school teacher”. Edna died in 1978 at the age of 79. Lovell died in 1998 in California at the age of 99.



Lovell Haskins Peirce (b 19 Jun 18981116, d 27 Apr 19981117) and Edna Hazel92 Stark (b 3 Jul 18991118, d Nov 19781119) were married ~ 19231120 and had the following children:

  1. H. Wesley Peirce (b 3 Oct 19241121, d 7 Nov 19941122). Born in Palo Alto, California. Wesley was a geologist. Dr. Peirce’s 1962 PhD theses was entitled “Stratigraphy of the De Chelly Sandstone of Arizona and Utah”1123. Dr. Peirce establishment a “H. Wesley Peirce Graduate Scholarship Endowment” in the Geosciences field at the University of Arizona1124. Wesley died in Tucson, Arizona (Pima County) in 1994.

  2. Frederick Lowell Peirce (b 23 May 1928). Born in California. Married Mary Elizabeth Young (b 1931).
    [previously described]

  3. Lucile Peirce (b ~ 19291125). Born in San Diego, California. Lucile married Herb Buck. Lucile and Herb Buck had the following children:

    • Cindy Buck. Cindy married Frank Nielsen. Cindy lives in Corona, California.

    • Jan Buck.

X. Frederick Lowell Peirce (b 1869)

Frederick Lowell Peirce was born in 1869 in Dighton, Massachusetts. Frederick was married in 1895 to Lottie May Gibbs who was born in Massachusetts. Lottie’s father was Benjamin D. Gibbs (b Oct 18341126). Lottie’s mother was Sarah Slade1127.

In 1900 Frederick L. Pierce was a shipping clerk. Frederick and his family were living in Somerset, Massachusetts (Bristol County). Lottie’s 65 year old father Benjamin Gibbs was living with them. Benjamin was a nurse. Lottie’s mother Sarah had passed away prior to 1900. The 1900 Census record lists them as Pierce rather than Peirce. I have seen this misspelling several times in censuses. Sometime near 1905 the family moved to Colorado.

The 1920 census records that by 1920 Fred and Lottie Peirce were living in Pamona, Colorado, on a fruit farm and all three children will still living with them – Alma (with her husband Ira), Lovell and Eleanor. Frederick L. Peirce died in 1956 in Grand Junction, Colorado (Mesa County) and is buried at Orchid Mesa Cemetery in Grand Junction, Colorado. Lottie Peirce died in 1970 at the age of 95 in Grand Junction, Colorado (Mesa County) from congestive heart failure with pneumonia. Her last address was 543 Gunnison Avenue, Grand Junction. Lottie was buried alongside Frederick.


Frederick Lowell Peirce (b 11 Sep 18691128, 12 Apr 19561129) was married on September 11, 18951130 to Lottie May Gibbs (b 2 May 18751131, 22 Dec 19701132) had at least the following children:

  1. Alma Cartwright Peirce (b 9 Aug 18961133, d 13 Mar 19931134), daughter. Born in Massachusetts. Alma Peirce was married September, 19171135 to Ira Alda Lindsay (b 2 Jul 18951136, d 29 Jan 19601137) who was born in South Dakota. In 1920 Alma and Ira Lindsay were living with Alma’s parents in Pamona, Colorado. Alma was a teacher and Ira worked on the farm. Ira was a 2nd Lieutenant in World War I based on his gravestone. By 1930 Ira was working as a railroad machinist. Ira died in 1960. Alma “lived in Grand Junction, Colorado and died there in her late 90’s”. Both Alda and Ira were buried in the Larger Veterans Section of Orchard Mesa Cemetery, Grand Junction, Colorado (Mesa County).
    Alma and Ira Alda Lindsay had at least the following children:

    1. Albert Lovell Lindsay (b 29 Mar 19241138, d 10 Jan 19981139). Born in Colorado.

  2. Lovell Haskins Peirce (b 19 Jun 1898, d 27 Apr 1998). Born in Massachusetts. Lovell Peirce married Edna Stark (b 3 Jul 1899, d Nov 1978).
    [Lovell Peirce and his family previously described]

  3. Eleanor L. Peirce (b ~ 19021140). Daughter. Born in Massachusetts. Eleanor was married in 1921 to Harry Felix Stark (b Oct 18941141, d 6 Jan 19771142). In 1930 they were living in Pamona, Colorado.
    Eleanor Peirce and Harry Stark had at least the following children:

    1. Lydia A. Stark (b ~ 19241143). Born in Colorado.

    2. Everett G. Stark (b ~ 19281144). Born in Colorado.

  1. Mildred M. Peirce (b 18 Dec 1903, d 7 Dec 19091145). Died as a child.1146

The majority of the following family relationships and key pieces of information was obtained from several family trees posted at OneWorldTree section of Ancestry.com. The primary tree was provided by Cindy (Buck) Nielsen. These relationships were then validated by the book, Pierce Genealogy: being the record of the posterity of Capt. Michael, John and Capt. William Pierce, who came to this country, Frederick Clifton Pierce (son of Silas A. Pierce), 1889. The Pierce book supports the ancestry of William C. Pierce back to Captain Michael Pierce and the children listed and associated dates. The use of middle names and the level of detail in both the family trees and the Pierce book indicate family sources and appear credible.

The family tree source is referenced under one end-note shown at the end of this section. Each generation has an end-note describing the Pierce book source information. Additional end-notes have been indicated for information obtained from other sources during my research. - Editor

IX. William Clarkson Pierce (b 1823)

William Clarkson Pierce was born in 1823 in Bristol, Massachusetts (Somerset County). William Clarkson Pierce (b 8 Aug 1823) and Sarah M. Haskins (b 4 Dec 1827, d 19 Mar 1872) were married 30 Jun 1847. Sarah Haskins was the daughter of Henry and Abigail Haskins. In 1850 William and Sarah Pierce and their two year old son Henry W. Peirce were living with Sarah’s parents in Taunton, Massachusetts.1147 In the 1860 Census, William was living in Somerset, Massachusetts and his occupation was listed as “Cooper”.1148 In the 1870 Census William was living in Dighton, Massachusetts and his occupation was listed as farmer. 1149 In the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses William and Sarah’s last name appears to be listed in the censuses as “Pierce” although the handwriting is not clear on that point.

William and Sarah Pierce had the following children:


  1. Henry William Pierce (b 17 Mar 1848). Listed in 1850, 1860 and 1870 Censuses. In 1880 Census Henry W. Pierce was listed in the 1880 Census as living in Dighton, Massachusetts with wife Mary and children Henry A., Frank W., Clifford, and Clarence.

  2. Charles H. Pierce (b 14 Jun 1853, d 27 Oct 1857). Not listed in 1860 Census of William Pierce.

  3. Arthur T. Pierce (b 4 Jul 1854). Listed in 1860 and 1870 Censuses of William Pierce.

  4. Clarence I. Pierce (b 26 May 1856). Listed in 1860 Census of William Pierce.

  5. Ida M. Pierce (b 27 Jan 1858). Listed in 1860 and 1870 Censuses of William Pierce.

  6. Stephen H. Pierce (b 7 Jul 1859, d 7 Oct 1860). Listed in 1860 Census of William Pierce. Not listed in 1870 Census of William Pierce.

  7. Frank C. Pierce (b 20 Jun 1861, d 23 Jun 1861). Not listed in 1870 Census of William Pierce.

  8. Herbert H. Pierce (b 18 Jun 1862, d 5 Dec 1864). Not listed in 1870 Census of William Pierce.

  9. Albian E. Pierce (b 7 Jan 1864). Not listed in 1870 Census of William Pierce.

  10. Edwin E. Pierce (b 6 Sep 1865). Listed in 1870 Census of William Pierce.

  11. Melzar M. Pierce (b 15 Nov 1867). Listed in 1870 Census of William Pierce.

  12. Frederick Lowell Peirce (b 11 Sep 1869). Listed in 1870 Census as 11 months old.
    The marriage license for Fred L. Pierce states that his father was William C. Pierce and mother Sarah M. Haskins (the printed license lists William I. Pearce but that was an incorrect transcription of the handwritten ledger I was also provided that clearly looks written as “William C. Pierce” to me). [previously described]

VIII. David Peirce (b 1792)

According to family information, David Peirce was born in 1792 in Somerset, Massachusetts (Bristol County).

According to Lucile Peirce, this is the generation where the spelling of the surname changed from Pierce to Peirce (at least for this branch).

“… We were also puzzled over the spelling of Pierce - Peirce. My Grandfather, Frederick Lovell Peirce, changed the spelling when he heard that David C. Peirce said it was spelled that way. He would be my Grandfather, Frederick's, Grandfather. GP's own Dad, William Clarkson Pierce, did not spell it the same way as his own Father. … I think our direct line is pretty clear (spelling was consistently Pierce) until David C. changed it to Peirce, William Clarkson is Pierce then our Grandfather changed it to Peirce because of David C.”1150

Lucile’s daughter Cindy Nielsen has performed significant research and believes the spelling of Peirce goes back another generation to David’s father, John Peirce.

“… As far as the spelling of Pierce/Peirce, I have a birth record of John Peirce b. 1768 and his son David Peirce b. 1792 spelled "ei". William Clarkson b. 1822 may have spelled it Pierce?, and his son Frederick Lovell spelled it Peirce.”1151



David C. Peirce (b 11 Aug 1792) and Sarah Butts were married on 22 Sep 18191152 and had the following children:1153

  1. Stephen Peirce (b 22 Jun 1820). Born in Somerset, Massachusetts (Bristol County). Listed in the 1850 Census. “Went to California; supposed to have died in New Mexico.”

  2. Sara B. Peirce (b Jun 1822). Not listed in the 1850 Census of David Peirce.

  3. William Clarkson Peirce (b 8 Aug 1823) [previously described]

  4. Horatio Peirce (b Apr 1824). Not listed in 1850 Census of David Peirce.

In 1827 David Peirce remarried to Mary Chase. This record is captured in Massachusetts Marriages, 1633-1850. In this marriage record, David’s name is spelled Peirce. Presumably Sarah, his first wife, had passed away sometime between Horatio’s birth in 1924 and August, 1827. The 1850 Census lists David and Mary Peirce living in New Bedford, Massachusetts with Stephen, David B, and Lydia A. Pierce. The 1850 census spells his name Pierce, however, as stated before, census records can not be trusted for precise spelling. The children’s ages match the family information. Another family was living in this household – John R. and Ann Houghton with two children, William H. and Anna B. Houghton.

David Peirce and Mary Chase (b ~ 17971154) were married on 9 Aug 18271155 and had the following children:



  1. David B. Peirce (b ~1829). Listed in the 1850 Census for David and Mary Peirce.

  2. Lydia A. Peirce (b ~ 1831). Listed in the 1850 Census. “Lovell Peirce thought that Lydia Peirce raised Fred Peirce”. The Peirce book states “lived in Somerset, Massachusetts.” There are 1890 and 1891 Fall River, Massachusetts City Directory entries for a “Miss Lydia A. Peirce” located at 45 Pine Street.

I do not have information regarding when David Peirce died.



VII. John Pierce (b 1768)

John Pierce was born in 1768 in Somerset, Massachusetts (Bristol County). John died in 1855 in Fall River, Massachusetts (Bristol County).

John Pierce (b 1768, d 1855) and Annie Chase (d 1827) had the following children:1156


  1. David Peirce (b 11 Aug 1792). Married Sarah Butts (1) and Mary Chase (or Chace).

  2. Asa Pierce (b 6 Jun 1795). Married Lydia Chase

  3. Stephen Pierce (b 28 Feb 1799).

  4. John Pierce (b 7 Dec 1805). Lived in Providence, Rhode Island.

  5. Hiram Pierce (b 24 Mar 1808). Married C. Gibbs(1) and Mary Slade(2).

John Pierce may have remarried Abby (unknown) (b ~ 17951157). The 1850 Census has a listing for a John and Abby Pierce in Fall River, Massachusetts and his date of birth is close to that of John Pierce and his location (Fall River) matches the location where he supposedly died in 1855. They were living in the household of Daniel and Maria Lewis. However, based on his listed age of 85 in the 1850 Census, that would place this John Pierce’s birth in 1765 not 1768. So if this is the same John Pierce, then either the Census age listed was not accurate or the original 1768 date of birth shown for John Pierce was in error.

VI. Jonathan Pierce (b 1725)

I do not have much information on this generation other than the family sources. Jonathan Pierce was born in 1725 in Swansea, Massachusetts (Bristol County). Jonathan Pierce died in Somerset, Massachusetts (Bristol County).

Jonathan Pierce (b 2 Apr 1725, d 1820) and Susannah Moott were married 11 Apr 1745 and had at least the following child:1158


  1. John Pierce (b 1768) [previously described]

V. David Pierce (b 1701)

David Pierce was born in 1701 in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts.

David Pierce (b 26 Jul 1701, d Jan 1767) and Mary Wood (d Aug 1768) were married on 26 Nov 1719 and had the following children:1159


  1. Patience Pierce (b 10 Oct 1720). Married Obadiah Baker on 26 Feb 1740/41.

  2. Jonathan Pierce (b 2 Apr 1725) [previously described]

  3. David Pierce (b 14 Jan 1726). Married Elizabeth Baker on 31 Oct 1754.

  4. Mary Pierce (b 22 Feb 1726/7). Married John Law on 28 Aug 1748.

  5. Hannah Pierce (b 1 Jan 1730). Married Samuel Law on 14 Feb 1754.

  6. Elizabeth Pierce (b 2 Jan 1734). Married Thomas Thurston on 1 Jan 1756.

  7. Preserved Pierce (b 17 Aug 1736). Married Hannah Case on 23 Apr 1760.

  8. Phebe Pierce (b 27 Jan 1738/39). Married Isaac Upton on 30 Dec 1763 in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts.

IV. Ephraim Pierce, Jr. (b 1674)

Ephraim Pierce, Jr. was born in 1674 in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts. Ephraim also lived in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.1160

Ephraim Pierce, Jr. (b 1674) and Mary Low (b ~ 16711161) had the following children:


  1. Ephraim Pierce. Married Mary Stevenson on 2 Sep 1733.

  2. Deacon Mial Pierce (b 24 Apr 1693, d 18 Oct 17861162). Married Judith Ellis.

  3. Mary Pierce (b 16 Nov 1697). Married Benjamin Norton on 14 Jan 1722/23.

  4. David Pierce (b 26 Jul 1701) [previously described]

  5. Elizabeth Pierce (b 30 May 1703). Married Jeremiah Eddy on 30 Jul 1724.

  6. Clothier Pierce (b 24 May 1728).

III. Ephraim Pierce (b 1642)

Ephraim Pierce was born in 1642 in Massachusetts. Ephraim died in 1719 in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County).

The paternal ancestry of Barbara (Pierce) Bush, wife of U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush, can be traced back to Ephraim Pierce.

Ephraim Pierce (b 1642, d 14 Sep 1719) and Hannah Holbrook (b ~ 1644, d 1719) had the following children:1163



  1. Azrikam Pierce (b 4 Jan 1670/1). Born in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County). Azrikam married Sarah Heywood on 31 Dec 1696.

  2. Ephraim Pierce (b 1674). Born in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts.
    [previously described]

  3. Michael Pierce (b 1676). Born in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County).

  4. Rachel Pierce (b 1678). Born in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County). Married (unknown) Peet.

  5. Hannah Pierce (b 1680). Born in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County). Married (unknown) Martin.

  6. Experience Pierce (b 1682). Born in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County). Married (unknown) Wheaton.

  7. John Pierce (b 1684, d 1705). Born in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County).

  8. Benjamin Pierce (b 1686, d 9 Aug 1698). Born in Warwick, Rhode Island (Kent County).

II. “Captain” Michael Pierce (b 1615)

Michael Pierce was born in 1615 in St. George, Dorsetshire, England1164.

The following information is from the Pierce Genealogy by Frederick Clifton Pierce:

“Captain Michael Pierce, who was born in England, emigrated to America not far from 1645. Locating first in Higham in 1646, the following year he removed to Scituate, where he resided when he met his untimely death. Savage says of Higham, 1646. Farmer locates him in Scituate in 1647.

In Scituate he purchased land in the Conihassett in 1647. His house was on the Cohasset road, one mile from the present North Meeting-house, at the well-known place formerly owned by Elijah Pierce, of the sixth generation that has possessed it. There is no record of Captain Pierce's family in Scituate. Hobart's journal records, "Persis, daughter of Michael Pierce, baptized 1646," also, "Michael Pierce's daughter born 1662, and Michael Pierce's wife died 1662." His first child may have been born at Higham. Persis married Richard Garrett, 3d, 1695, Abigail married Samuel Holbrook, 1682. He had a son Ephraim, who removed. Benjamin married Martha, daughter of James Adams, 1678, and succeeded to his father's residence. His children, Martha, Jerusha, Benjamin, Ebenezer, Persis, Caleb, Thomas, Madams, Jeremiah, Elisha, born from 1679 to 1699. John (also son of Captain Michael) settled north of the Conihassett burying-ground. He married Patience, daughter of Anthony Dodson, 1683; his children, Michael, John, Jonathan, Ruth, Joel, David, Clothier, born from 1684 to 1698. Hayward Pierce, Esq., late of Scituate, descended from Captain Michael, through Benjamin (who married Martha Madams), Benjamin (who married Mary Cowen and Elizabeth Perry), Benjamin, who married Charity Howard, and Jane Howard of Bridgewater, 1742 and 1750, daughters of Thomas. The sons of Hayward, Esq., were Hayward, of New Orleans; Waldo and Bailey, of Frankfort (Maine); Elijah of Scituate (on the paternal residence); Silas of Boston, - and his daughters, the wives of Mr. Lincoln of Cohasset, Mr. Nathaniel Cushing, and Mr. Walter Foster of Scituate. Benjamin and Jonathan, brothers of Hayward, Esq., removed to Chesterfield. Captain Michael has left evidence on record, in the town of his usefulness in public affairs. But his memory is to be forever honored for the brave manner in which he fell in defense of his country.

He was in the Narragansett fight in Dec. 1675, and escaped with his life, but to fall in a more terrible conflict in Mar. following. His will is dated 1675, and the preamble is in these impressive words: " Being, by the appointment of God, going out to war against the Indians, I do ordain this my last will and Testament: and first, I commit my ways to the Eternal God," &c. He then gives "to wife Ann [she was a second wife] the house which I last built, etc. To son Benjamin my present dwelling-house. To son John all my lands in Higham; to son Ephraim, £5; to daughter Abigail Holbrook, £5; to daughters Elizabeth, Deborah, Ann, Abiah, Ruth, Persis, £50 each." [Deane's History of Scituate.]

Captain Michael Pierce of Scituate was a brother of Captain William Pierce of London. [Drake's Indian Chronicle, pp. 307, in News from New England, 1676.]

The Narragansetts early in the spring of 1676 had committed ravages in Rhode Island; parties had even penetrated to Plymouth and killed a number of inhabitants. On this alarm, Capt. Michael Pierce of Scituate, with a company of fifty Englishmen and twenty friendly Indians from Cape Cod, was ordered to pursue the Indians toward Rhode Island. He proceeded without any re-encounter near to Pawtucket, in that part which has been called Attleboro Gore, when he discovered that there were Indians near him, but not suspecting that Canonchett was there. He, therefore, ventured to cross the river and commence the attack, but soon found himself in the presence of an overwhelming force. To fly was impossible, and to retreat in order, before such an enemy was equally desperate. His only resource was to fall back to the river's bank, in order to avoid being surrounded, and make the sacrifice of himself and of his brave men as costly as possible to the foe. But the Indians, having a large force, soon sent a party across the river to attack in the rear. This surprise only induced the captain to change the front of his company, and place them back to back and in this position they fought until nearly every man fell, and with a bravery like that at Thermopylae, and deserving of as great success.

Capt. Pierce fell earlier than many others; and it is due to the honor of one of his friendly Indians, called Amos, that he continued to stand by his commander and fight, until affairs were utterly desperately, and that then he escaped by blacking his face with powder as he saw the enemy had done, and so passing through their army without notice. Mather and others relate also pleasing anecdotes of two or three other of Capt. Pierce's friendly Indians, who escaped by equally curious artifices and presence of mind. One who was flying and closely pressed by a hostile Indian sought the shelter of a large rock. Thus the two waiting in awful suspense to shoot each other. Capt. Pierce's Indian putting his cap on the end of a stick or his gun, gently raised it to the view of his enemy, who immediately discharged his gun at the cap, and the next moment was shot dead by the friendly Indian. Another in his flight pretended to pursue an Englishman, with hostile demonstrations, and thus escaped; this was a disastrous blow to Scituate. It was generally believed that every Englishman was killed, but such was not the case…”1165

The following is an excerpt from the book Genealogy and History of Representative Citizens from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

“… Michael bought land in the Conihassett grant at Scituate in 1647. He had previously lived for a time at Hingham, as is shown by the record of his baptism there in 1646 of his daughter Persis. He belonged to the military force of Scituate, was commissioned Captain in 1669, and was slain with a number of his men in an encounter with the Indians near Rehoboth, in March 1676, being overpowered by numbers.” 1166

Michael died in 1676 at the age of 60 in Central Falls, Rhode Island in King William’s War.



Michael Pierce (b 1615, d 26 Mar 1676) and Hannah James (b 1615, d 1662) were married in 1663 and had the following children:

  1. Ephraim Pierce (b ~ 1642). Married Hannah Holbrook. [previously described]

  2. Persis Pierce (b 7 Jan 1644/45). Born in Higham, Massachusetts. Married Richard Garrett, 3rd on 3 Dec 1695.

  3. Benjamin Pierce (b 1646, d 3 May 17301167). Born in Higham, Massachusetts. 1st marriage to Martha Adams, daughter of James Adams, on 5 Feb 1678. 2nd marriage to Elizabeth Adams.1168

  4. John Pierce (b ~ 16501169, d Jun 1738). Married Patience Dobson in 1683.

  5. Elizabeth Pierce

  6. Deborah Pierce

  7. Anna Pierce (b 9 May 16651170).

  8. Abiah Pierce

  9. Ruth Pierce

  10. Abigail Pierce (b ~ 16541171, d 29 Sep 17231172). Born in Hingham, Massachusetts. Married John Holbrook (b ~ 16511173, 3 May 17311174) in 1682. John Holbrook died in Scituate, Massachusetts.

Michael Pierce was born in England around 1615.

According to one popular genealogy, B. L. Colby, Thirty-one Generations, a Thousand Years of Percy and Pierce:

“Richard Percy founder of Pierce Hall in Yorkshire had a son who called himself Richard Pierce. Richard Pierce (Sr.) apparently moved to the area of Bristol circa 1580 and produced four sons: Richard (jr., b. 1590), John, William (b. 1595) and Michael (b. 1615). Although John and William may well have been brothers, the age spread between Richard (b. 1590) and Michael (b. 1615) suggest that they may have be cousins and not necessarily first cousins.

John Pierce was a leader in the Plymouth Company. He is the one who (on 12 February 1620) bought the New England section of the Plymouth Patent, which was known in England as “Mr. Pierce’s Company.” John Pierce intended to use the Pilgrims as his tenants for the necessary settlement of the colony and he planned to simply act as an absentee landowner and lord. The Pilgrims arrived in New England on 9 November 1620 on the Mayflower under Capt. Christopher Jones, which may have been owned (at least in part) by John Pierce or his brothers or one of the other members of the Plymouth Company (e.g., Thomas Goffe, Esq.) .

The Pilgrims seemed to be making a go of it after two years and John Pierce decided to visit his private colony in December 1622 on the ship Paragon. The Paragon made two aborted starts from England, which almost bankrupt John Pierce. As a result, he eventually sold his patent to the Plymouth Colony (i.e., the Pilgrims). The Pilgrims, thus, saw the work of God in the tribulations of John Pierce and the Paragon. In any event, William Pierce was the captain of the Paragon on her third departure. John Pierce, however, stayed in England and never saw America.

Capt. William Pierce became well known and beloved by the Pilgrims. He is said to have made at least nine trips in the Mayflower. He brought the Anne to New England in 1623. He brought Governor Winslow and the first cattle to New England in the Charity (1624). He brought the Jacob in 1625. In 1630, he brought Roger Williams on the Lyon. In 1631, he brought John Elliot on the Lyon. He brought Governor Winthrop on the Lyon in 1634. He brought cotton from the West Indies (1633) and sweet potatoes (1636). He published a book in Boston in 1638. Some people even credit him with articulating Thanksgiving Day (which up until 1631 was little more than a harvest feast) as a religious holiday of thanks to God. He set a record of 23 days for the voyage to London in the Desire (1638). He met his death on the Desire in a sea battle with the Spanish while trying to relocate deserters from Massachusetts to the West Indies in 1641.

Richard Pierce (Jr., b. 1590) moved from Bristol (England) to the new Rhode Island Colony (Providence ) in 1654 onboard the Lyon.

Michael Pierce (b. 1615) came to Boston about 1647 and became a leader of the militia. He was killed in 1676 when he led about 50 men into an ambush during King William’s War.”

There are many researchers who have purported to portray Michael Pierce’s ancestry. Some have claimed to develop it back 15 generations. I have also seen some claim skepticism that any of it is provable beyond Michael Pierce. I will present what is known about Michael’s parentage and Captain William Pierce and John Pierce, who were supposedly Michael’s brothers or cousins and played a significant role in early American history.

Some believe Michael Pierce’s father was Richard Pierce. One such reference to Michael Peirce’s father being a Richard Pierce is included in family history at Ancesry.com with the original source listed as

“Edmund West, comp. Family Data Collection - Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2001.”

Another source is B. L. Colby, Thirty-one Generations, a Thousand Years of Percy and Pierce. Another source is Percy Family in England. In the following section I will include some information I have found describing Michael’s possible ancestry. This information is provided in the event others are able to verify more fully whether a connection from Michel to Richard actually exists.

The following section is written based on the theory that Richard Pierce (or Pearce) is Captain Michael Peirce’s father.

I. Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce was born in England and his wife is unknown.

Richard Pierce had at least the following children:


  1. Richard Pierce (b 1590). Married Martha (unknown) (K1129, see "KINGMAN ANCESTRY"). Lived in Bristol, and came from there in 1654 in the ship "Lyon" to America, settling in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

  2. William Pierce (b ~ 1595). Captain William Pierce was reportedly either a brother or cousin of Captain Michael Pierce.

    From B. L. Colby, "Thirty-one generations, a thousand years of Percy and Pierce":

    "The regard in which he was held is indicated by this excerpt from Bancroft's History of the United States: "The captain of the Mayflower (on its first voyage), named Jones, had agreed to take them (the Pilgrims) only across the Atlantic. He is said to have been bribed by Virginian and Dutch colonists not to bring the Pilgrims to Virginia or New Amsterdam. Capt. William Pierce would have landed them where they wished, and if he had commanded the Mayflower on that voyage New England might have been settled in Virginia or New York. The Pilgrims had planned to go to the Hudson River."

    "Although it was not until her second voyage that he was captain of the famed Mayflower, Capt. William had more than his share of "firsts". He brought the first cattle to New England from England (ship Charity, 1624). He brought from the West Indies to New England the first cotton (1633) and the first sweet potatoes (ship Desire in 1636). He published the first bound book in English to be printed in North America - Pierce's (Peirse's) Almanac of 1639 calculated for New England and printed by Stephen Day, "an exceedingly illiterate printer," on a press brought to Boston in 1638 by the Rev. Mr. Glover, English clergyman."

    "Although the first Thanksgiving Day is commonly considered to have been the celebration following the first Pilgrim harvest in 1621, it has been suggested that Captain William Pierce was instrumental in bringing about the first real Thanksgiving observance ten years later!"

    ”The winter of 1630-31 was severe, game was scarce, the corn supply was nearly gone, even acorns and ground nuts were concealed by heavy snows. Women of the Colony were set to digging clams; a ration of five kernels of corn a day for each person was ordered. The Colonists were on the verge of starvation and had designated Feb. 22, 1631, as a fast day of prayer."

    "Governor Winthrop, anticipating a hard winter, had sent Captain Pierce to England for provisions in the ship Lyon the previous fall. Pierce was delayed when he came upon the ship Ambrose, dismasted, and towed her home to Bristol. The Colonists had about given up hope of his return when the Lyon was spied, in the words of Cotton Mather, "just as Winthrop was distributing the last handful of meal in the barrel."

    ”The Lyon was loaded with beef and pork, wheat, peas, oatmeal, cheese, butter, suet and lemon juice. The scheduled fast day was joyfully turned into a Thanksgiving day. Mary Lowe in Thanksgiving, edited by Robert H. Schauffer, calls this "the first Thanksgiving day of which any written record remains in the Colonial records of Massachusetts" and adds, "We may justly claim this as the origin of Thanksgiving day." Lincoln writes: "This appears to have been the origin of Thanksgiving day." W. deLoss Love, Jr., in Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England, calls the 1621 celebration "a harvest festival....not a Thanksgiving at all....not a day set aside for religious worship, but a whole week of festivity." Mary Lowe agrees, stating many deny the 1621 celebration was the first Thanksgiving day and pointed out the lack of any religious service during this week of feasting."

    "Described as the most celebrated master of ships to come into the water of New England during the Colonists' early history, Captain William was an intimate and confidant of both Gov. William Bradford and Edward Winslow, a founder of the Colony, thrice governor and later commissioner of the United Colonies of New England."

    "According to Lincoln, Captain William was master of the Mayflower on nine different voyages. He certainly was captain was these ships: Paragon, 1622, (owned by brother John); Anne, 1623, third ship to arrive from England; Charity, 1624, carrying Winslow and the first cattle from England; Jacob, 1625; Mayflower, 1629: Lyon, 1630, with Roger Williams and wife; Lyon, 1631, with John Elliot and Governor Winthrop's wife; Lyon, 1632, with Winthrop; Rebecca, 1634; Narragansett, 1634.”

    "He was in the West Indies in 1635 and the same year rescued refugees from the Connecticut Valley. He sailed to Block Island in the Desire in 1636 and the next year took supplies from Boston to soldiers fighting in the Pequot war. He sailed the Desire from London to Boston in 1638 and the next year sailed her back to London in a record 23 days. In 1641 in the same ship he commanded an expedition carrying dissenters to the West Indies. The Spaniards were hostile and he turned back, stopped at New Providence, an island in the Bahamas, to bring away a congregation there."

    "Says Colonel Pierce in his Pierce Genealogy: "Though finding the Spaniards already in possession he stood gallantly in, hoping to rescue his countrymen. When the enemy opened upon him with cannon, he sent his people into the hold for safety, retaining on deck but one man to aid in working the ship. While lying in the caboose watching the sails, the captain and this sailor were fatally wounded by the same shot (July 13, 1641). The Desire headed for home, her noble master finding a fitting grave in the blue sea upon which so much of his life had been spent. His death was much lamented in the two colonies, which had so long known him as a skilful navigator and a Christian gentleman.""

    "One of the "two colonies" referred to certainly was Massachusetts, and the other may be Virginia. Lincoln states that Pierce lived briefly (1623-4) at James City, Va., with his wife Jane and 34 servants and that he served as Burgess from James City to the Virginia general assembly, later moving to Boston. Colonel Pierce, however, gives as William's addresses only Bristol, England, Boston, and Providence in the Bahamas."


  3. Michael Pierce (b 1615). [previously described]




  4. John Pierce (b
    From B. L. Colby, "Thirty-one generations, a thousand years of Percy and Pierce":

    "Some sources indicate that John Pierce owned the famous Mayflower. A newspaper clipping of a recent year pictures Sally Pierce of Seattle and describes her as a lineal descendant of "Capt. John Pierce who owned the Mayflower." William Ensign Lincoln states flatly and unequivocally that John Pierce was the owner of the vessel. Other sources add that Thomas Weston was his agent, suggesting that it may not have been known even at that time that Pierce was the real owner."

    "John Pierce certainly was the "recognized representative" of the Merchant Adventurers and Weston just as certainly acted as agent for Pierce and his company in engaging Capt. Christopher Jones to make the voyage and in procuring Pierce's patent. Thus a statement that Weston was his agent insofar as the ship herself was concerned is certainly not illogical."

    "Ames in The May-Flower and Her Log, presents a good circumstantial case to support his statement that the owner of the Mayflower was "probably" Thomas Goffe, Esq., a ship-owner and one of the adventurers. He makes a convincing argument, but it still remains that the ownership of the famous vessel is one of those vexing questions which history has not settled. It apparently would be just as difficult to prove that John Pierce was not the "silent" owner of the Mayflower as it would be to prove he was.”








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