Pearce #2720

John Pearce (1632-1692)

Born in England, or possibly Wales (as a family tradition holds).  It is not known exactly where or when he arrived in New England, but it was most likely Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

Mary Makepeace (1636-1711)

Born in England. It is not known where or when she arrived in New England, but it was most likely Massachusetts or Rhode Island.  She eventually settled in Rhode Island.

Pearce #2720

The first of the Pearce line in America is John Pearce. Not much is known of him, aside from his vital dates, and that he eventually settled in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  John was born about 1632 and died in Portsmouth, Rhode Island on 16 Apr 1692.  In 1655, in Portsmouth, he married Mary Makepeace, of whom we likewise know little.  Mary is said to have been born in England in 1636.  She died at Portsmouth, Rhode Island on 8 Oct 1711.

Mary is probably related in some way to Thomas Makepeace (born in England, 1592), who was a resident of Boston, Massachusetts in 1639, at which time he was informed by the Court that Because of his novile disposition they were weary of him unless he should reform.  Thomas had a daughter, Mary, who is known to be the wife of a Lawrence Willis of Bridgewater.  However, in his will dated 30 Jun 1666, among his bequests Thomas mentions a kinswoman, Mary, wife of John Pearce of Rhode Island, [1] to whom he bequeathed three pounds.  The exact relationship between Thomas and Mary the wife of John Pearce is unknown, but it is for this reason that many researchers suppose that Mary’s family name is Makepeace.

The son of John and Mary is Daniel Pearce, who was born 1662 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and died 15 Mar 1731 in North Kingston, Rhode Island.  Few family records can be found of him, and the names of his children given have been recovered from deeds and other legal papers.  The records of his public service are quite full and cover the period 1694-1731.  He was made freeman of the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island on 6 Jun 1692 and resided in Portsmouth up to 1720, subsequently taking up residence at Kingston, Rhode Island.  From 1701-1730 he was deputy to the general assembly of Rhode Island, from 1707-1720 he was a justice of the peace, and in 1724 he was overseer of the poor of his town[2].  In 1683 he married Mary Weaver.  She was born 1662 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and died 1693 in Kingston, Rhode Island.  The children of Daniel Pearce and Mary Weaver are:

  1. Daniel Pearce, see below
  2. Margaret
  3. John

Daniel’s children by his second wife, Elizabeth Tucker, are Benoni, Nathan and William.

Daniel Pearce (Jr.) was born 1687 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and died 1758 in Kingston, Rhode Island.  He was made freeman of the town of Portsmouth on 6 Jun 1715 and resided on Prudence Island.  In 1724 he was made a freeman of the colony from Portsmouth.  After 1737, he seems to have lived in North Kingston.  He owned a large tract of land.  He was deputy to the general assembly for Portsmouth in 1722-23.

In October 1705 he married Patience Hill, who is believed to be the great granddaughter of John Hill (1602-1664) of Dorchester, Massachusetts, discussed under his own heading. She was born 1689 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and died 1758 in Prudence Island, Rhode Island.

The son of Daniel and Patience is Daniel Pearce (3rd) was the third born of nine children on 22 Oct 1717 at Prudence Island, Rhode Island and died 1789 in Kingston, Rhode Island.  On 15 Aug 1742 he married Mary Langworthy, who was born 6 Feb 1721 in Exeter, Devon, England and died 1765 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  Mary’s father, Lawrence Langworthy, is discussed under his own heading.

The son of Daniel and Mary is John Pearce, born 4 Oct 1756 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island and died 1792 in Kingston, Rhode Island.  In January 1777 he married Freelove Dyer, who was born 28 Mar 1759 in North Kingston, Rhode Island and died 1831 in Sandy Creek, New York.

The daughter of Freelove Dyer and John Pearce is Phoebe Pearce, born 25 Sep 1779 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island and died 28 Sep 1872 in Sandy Creek, New York.  In 1803 she married John Clarke, who was born 22 Sep 1780 in Exeter, Rhode Island and died 29 Jun 1865 in Sandy Creek, New York.  They are known to have been resident in Sandy Creek, New York at the time of the 1850 census.  Their lineage continues under the heading of Joseph Clarke (1618-1694).

[1] Charles Henry Pope. Pioneers of Massachusetts, a descriptive list drawn from the Records of the Colonies, Towns and Churches, and other Contemporaneous Documents. (published by the author, Boston, Massachusetts, 1900).

[2] Information was compiled from William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Family History of Western New York: A Record of the Achievements of her People in the Making a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation (Lewis Historical Publishing Company) 1912.


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