William Pearce

Male 1780 - Bef 1850  (~ 70 years)


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  • Name William Pearce 
    Born Between 1770-1780 
    Gender Male 
    _MILT War of 1812 Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died Bef 06 Feb 1850 
    Notes 
    • *Note All listing before 1810 may be for an older William Pearce

      1778, July 6 -- Land Warrant #195, Randolph County, NC
      John Peirce issued warrant for 250 acres located on Fork Creek
      Surveyed Feb 4, 1789 -- Wm. Pierce served as a Chain Carrier
      Grant #588 issued Nov 24, 1790
      Warrant was sol by Windsor Pearce to John Pierce on Feb 4, 1789

      1785 -- General Assembly Session Records, Petiton for Public Buildings, Randolph County, NC
      William Pearce signed a petition to erect a courthouse in the center of the county

      1788, Jan 28 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      William Sercy of Montgomery County deeded William Pierce 200 acres located North of Fork Creek on Rocky Creek

      1789, Aug 8 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      Winsor Pearce and William Pearce listed as a witness to a Deed from James Whittset to William Read of Moore County for 240 acres located North of Brush Creek

      1792, May 23 -- County Court Minutes, Moore County, NC
      Bill of Sale for Lewis Spinks, Edward Moore Jr., William Pearce and Molly Pearce was proven by Cornelius Lathum

      1793, Dec 10 -- Land Warrant #189, Randolph County, NC
      William Armstead issued warrant for 150 acres adjoining Win. Pearce /or/ Wm. Pearce
      Surveyed Apr 21, 1798, Grant #1357 issued Jan 30,1800

      1797, Feb 21 -- Land Warrant #297, Randolph County, NC
      William Pearce entered 100 acres located on Rocky Creek
      Warrant issued Mar 26, 1800, Surveyed Mar 10, 1801, Grant #1961 issued Aug 24, 1803

      1801, Apr 15 -- Land Warrant #910, Randolph County, NC
      William Armstead Esq. entered 42 acres located on Fork Creek
      Warrant issued Aug 14, 1802, Grant #2110 issued Nov 28,1805
      Surveyed Aug 25, 1802 -- Wm. Pearce served as a Chain Carrier

      1808, Aug 22 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      William Smith deeded William Pearce 100 acres located on Rock Creek of Deep River. Reuben Pearce and John Pearce listed as witnesses.

      1810 -- Census, Randolph County, NC Page 176
      William Pearce
      (26-45) 1M 1F

      1814, Apr 4 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      William Pearce deeded Reuben Pearce 250 acres located on the South Side of Deep River. Windsor Pearce & Sherwood Parrish listed as witnesses.

      1815 -- Tax List, Randolph County, NC
      William Pierce listed 385 acres valued at $500 located on Rock Creek
      William Pierce listed 10 acres valued at $40 located on Deep River

      1818, May 18 -- Estate of James Massey, Chatham County, NC
      William Pearce purchased several items

      1820 -- Tax List, Randolph County, NC
      William Pearce listed 385 acres valued at $700 located on Rock Creek
      William Pearce (for Reuben Pearce) listed 265 acres valued at $500 on Deep River
      William Pearce (for Windsor Pearce) listed 200 acres valued at $100 located on Seader Creek

      1821, Feb 12-Feb 1822 -- Estate of Russell Massey, Chatham County, NC
      William Pearce, Thomas Craven and Redding Bryan listed as administrators

      1821, Mar 21 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      Thomas Matthews deeded William Pearce several tracts (100 acres, 150 acres, 30 acres, & 350 acres) located on Rock Creek. Ollave Pearce is listed as a witness.

      1823, Aug 21 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      William Pearce deeded Hugh Moffitt 350 acres located on the North Side of Fork Creek

      1830 -- Census, Randolph County, NC Page 4
      William Peerce
      (50-60) 1M
      (40-50) 1F
      (20-30) 1F
      (15-20) 1F
      (10-15) 1M 1F
      (5-10) 1M 1F

      1839, Nov 4 -- Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty, File R3908 James Gardner
      James Gardner, 84 year old resident [born Oct 1, 1754 in Randolph County, NC] filed for pension. File contains information that James Gardner hired Winsor Pearce as his substitute. William Pearce, Jesse Larrance and Wm. Bird [Randolph County residents] submitted affidavits of support. Gardner's son, Dolphin Gardner, submitted claim on Jan 8, 1853 stating that his father, James Gardner, and his mother, Elizabeth Gardner, were both deceased.

      1840 -- Census, Randolph County, NC Page 85
      William Peerce
      (70-80) 1M
      (50-60) 1F
      (30-40) 1M
      (20-30) 2F
      (15-20) 1F

      1842, May 2 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      William Pearce deeded Reuben Pearce 540 acres located on Rock Creek

      1842, May 30 -- Deed of Trust, Randolph County, NC
      William Pearce deeded chattel to Hugh Kelly for the benefit of Reuben Pearce. *Note - it appears that William Pearce sold several goods & chattel to pay off outstanding debts.

      1850, Feb 6 -- County Court Minutes, Randolph County, NC
      Letters of Administration on the Estate of William Pearce, decd. are granted to Jesse Murray who enters into bond in the sum of $600 with John McLeod as his security and is qualified

      1850, Feb 6 -- Estate of William Pearce, Randolph County, NC
      Jesse Murray named administrator with John McLeod as security. *No further documents found.

      1859, Feb 7-Feb 1861 -- Estate of Keziah Pearce, Randolph County, NC
      Lists heirs of deceased brother William [Reuben Pearce, Thomas M. Pearce, Polly Maness, Margaret Pearce, Jane Murray, wife of Jesse Murray] and sister Ferebee Moore, wife of Edward Moore and sister Molly Spinks, wife of Lewis Spinks. Mentioned that both Ferebee & Edward Moore and Molly & Lewis Spinks had removed from Randolph County over twenty years prior and had not been heard from since.

      1860, May 7 -- Deed, Randolph County, NC
      Estate of Windsor Pearce deeded Alfed Lowdermilk 250 acres located on Deep River. *The deed mentions petition of William Pearce & other v. the heirs of Pherebe Moore.
    Person ID I03245  Moore County Wallaces
    Last Modified 17 Jan 2016 

    DNA Tests  atDNA-158622 Living

    Father Windsor Pearce,   b. Abt 1740,   d. Bef Aug 1823  (Age ~ 83 years) 
    Mother Mary Searcy 
    Family ID F1062  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Massey,   b. Between 1775-1780,   d. Between 1840-1850  (Age ~ 70 years)  [1
    Children 
     1. Margaret Pearce
    +2. Jane Pearce,   b. 1810
    +3. Mary "Polly" Pearce,   b. 2 Feb 1811,   d. 10 May 1891  (Age 80 years)
     4. Reuben Pearce,   b. 08 May 1816,   d. 10 Dec 1888  (Age 72 years)
    +5. Thomas M. Pearce,   b. 1821, Randolph County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. c1892  (Age 71 years)
    Last Modified 2 May 2015 
    Family ID F1061  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    1792 County Court Minutes, Moore County, NC Page 356-357
    1792 County Court Minutes, Moore County, NC Page 356-357
    1801 Land Grant, Randolph County, NC #1932 - William Pearce
    1801 Land Grant, Randolph County, NC #1932 - William Pearce
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 3 - James Gardner
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 3 - James Gardner
    William Pearce's sworn testimony to James Gardner's service
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 4 - James Gardner
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 4 - James Gardner
    2nd Page of William Pearce's sworn testimony. Includes William Pearce's signature.
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 5 - James Gardner
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 5 - James Gardner
    James Gardner's sworn statement regarding his service mentioning William Pearce
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 7 - James Gardner
    1839 Revolutionary War Pension Application, Page 7 - James Gardner
    Randolph County Clerk of Court certifying William Pearce's testimony
    1850 Estate, Randolph County, NC - Estate of William Pearce
    1850 Estate, Randolph County, NC - Estate of William Pearce
    1859 Estate, Randolph County, NC - Estate of Keziah Pearce (Page 2)
    1859 Estate, Randolph County, NC - Estate of Keziah Pearce (Page 2)
    1847 Estate, Randolph County, NC - Estate of Olive Pearce (Page 2)
    1847 Estate, Randolph County, NC - Estate of Olive Pearce (Page 2)
    1860 Deed, Randolph County, NC - Estate of Windsor Pearce to Alfred Lowdermilk
    1860 Deed, Randolph County, NC - Estate of Windsor Pearce to Alfred Lowdermilk

  • Sources 
    1. [S1081] Todd Dorsett [tadorsett@comcast.net], 09 Jun 2010.
      William has always been a mystery. He's like the invisible generation between two very visible ones. I tend to believe the version that William was older, born around 1765, and that he and his first wife, assuming he was married twice, had no surviving issue. The documents pertaining to the estate settlements clearly shows that William left only Jane, Margaret, Mary, Reuben, and Thomas; therefore, if he had had any children to a first wife, they died without issue. The estate papers also indicate that Windsor left surviving him only Mary Spinks, Pharabee Moore, Olive, Keziah, and William. NOW....some researchers seem convinced that Reuben Pearce, of Clarke county, Alabama, was Windsor's son. This would certainly make sense. Reuben is a Searcy name; the one in AL died before Windsor died; and AL Reuben appears to have been childless. So...it is conceivable that when the pleadings regarding the estate of Windsor Pearce were drafted, the scribe deemed it unnecessary to mention Reuben. (Today they would mention him just to set the record straight that his line is extinct.) BUT if Reuben were Windsor's other son, then that would explain the male you discuss from the Census records, living with Windsor.

      Also, if we could determine the date of birth of Reuben, we probably could better determine the date of birth of William, because the eldest son would, without doubt, have been named for William Searcy. So, if Reuben were born in 1770, we could assume that William was born in the 1760s. &c.

      Now, I have found this rule-of-thumb very helpful: You could count on XVIII and XIX century mothers to have borne children till around age 43 or their death, whichever came first. So if we assume that Keziah was the youngest child of Windsor, we can pretty well say that Mary Searcy Pearce was born no earlier than 1737, give or take a year. It is just a fact that during that period, women produced children about every other year from the time they married (or not) until they were roughly 43. It is reasonable to conclude that Mary Searcy Pearce was born around 1737, and that Windsor was easily a few years older, thus making him old enough to be the man in the earliest land records yet not too old to have lived to 1823.

      If we assume that Mary Searcy Pearce was born around 1737, then she could easily have borne children as early as 1757. I'm not so sure that she did, but she certain bore Pharabee in 1769.

      BOTTOM LINE: I suspect that Reuben Pearce, whoever he was, is the younger man in Windsor's household. Don't forget, also, that some of those men in the household could be employees; they didn't need to be family. The four women were probably Mary and the daughters Mary, Olive, and Keziah.

      As far as William's wife, the genealogy regulars around Randolph county have suspected she was a Bennett. Consequently, I had suspected some connection to the William Bennett who purchased Windsor Pearce's SC land in 1786 (which would be, I think, near the present Bennettsville, SC). But it seems very odd that William and his wife (if Molly of 1792 was indeed his wife) had no known children prior to the birth of Janette/Jane (Mrs. Jesse Murray) around 1809.
      Furthermore, I have always suspected a relationship to the Sugg family who lived near William Pearce's family at Erect. The uncommon name Merritt comes down in both families, and there seemed to be a close bond among these family members. I have also wondered why Thomas, the son of William Pearce, was called "Thomas M. Pearce." As you probably know, when several men in a given locality had the same name, some would interpose the initial letter of their mother's maiden names as their own middle initials. So why wasn't our Thomas "Thomas B." (if his mother was Molly Bennett) or "Thomas K." (if his mother was Polly Keane)? Perhaps his middle name was Merritt? Or did his mother's maiden name start with "M"?

      There was a lady a few years ago who asked whether there were any Pearces buried in Old Mount Olivet Cemetery. She specifically mentioned our Reuben and Thomas, and speculated that they were sons of one Elizabeth, daughter of James Massey, of Chatham county, who died in 1818. Apparently, this particular James Massey was the father of none other than Sarah, wife of Joel Sugg, who was the mother of Warren Sugg (Wake county), Merritt A. Sugg, and Russell M. Sugg (the latter two from Erect, Randolph county). And James Massey apparently mentions in his will his daughter Elizabeth PEARCE. James Massey also had children THOMAS, Russell, Margaret, and Mary, the latter two daughters having married Bryans. This is not ready to submit to the jury; however, I believe the circumstantial evidence is convincing. It all certainly answers positively many questions I have had over the years. And the Chatham county connection may explain why we could never before find a marriage we knew was positively our William Pearce. The Chatham records from that period seem sketchy...Apparently James Massey was a substantial citizen of Chatham, and he seems to have married Miss Jane Poe, daughter of one of the Simon Poe fellows who were likewise prominent in Chatham in the late Eighteenth century. Consequently, the Massey and Poe families should not be too difficult to trace.

      When William Pearce got old and could no longer generate income, he deeded everything to his son Reuben, a carpenter, who was the sole bread-winner for the family at that time. So Reuben ended up with around 800 acres of land, and Thomas M. got nothing. Then Reuben married Elizabeth Gatlin but never had children. From all I have seen, Elizabeth was a good wife, daughter, sister, and aunt to the Pearces (I think she had been a teacher.). But when Reuben died and left the choice portion of his estate to Elizabeth, the Pearces were infuriated. Even though Reuben divided the farm fairly equitably amongst his widow, nieces, and nephews, and gave Thomas and Edith life estates on the part of the farm they occupied and cultivated, Thomas and his sisters' families still challenged the will. Of course, they lost, and the portion of the estate which would have come to the Pearces, Manesses, and Murrays, etc., had to be sold to pay the costs of suit, etc.

      Interestingly, Reuben made no mention of Uncle Alex in his will, and Alex was not party to the subsequent nonsense. I have to wonder what my great-grandfather, John, must have been thinking when he joined in that suit. He was comfortably situated in Davidson county, and had, from nothing, amassed a respectable estate of his own (which my grandmother then spent trying to get cured of tuberculosis). Had they not contested the will, they would have inherited small portions of a large farm. And "Aunt Elizabeth" might have looked kindly upon them still. Instead, they got nothing, and Thomas M. died in the process.

      Now back to the Bill of Sale in 1792. We assume that Tommy Pearce was William's youngest child; at least he is the youngest of whom we know anything. He was born around 1820/1821; therefore, if we use the rule that his mother could not have been more than about 43 when he was born, his mother was born no sooner than 1777/1778. If Molly Pearce of the 1792 Bill of Sale was William's wife, she was not likely Tommy's mother; for she would have been but 14 or 15 at the time she signed the Bill of Sale. Not impossible but unlikely.

      At the same time, Janette/Jane Murray is the eldest child of William of whom we know anything, having been born around 1809/1810. Between Jane and Tommy there is a fairly tight succession of siblings:
      1. Jane 1809/1810
      2. Polly 1811
      3. Margaret c1813
      4. Reuben 1817
      5. Tommy 1820/1821

      These five were probably full siblings. If they were not, someone certainly would know that. Thus Jane was probably the first-born or nearly so, making her mother born probably in the 1784-89 range. That is the correct range for Elizabeth, daughter of James and Jane (Poe) Massey; it also comports with the 1830 Census enumeration. (Note that there must have been a daughter about Tommy's age who died young; also that the 1830 Census lists William as born 1770-80, which may or may not be correct. Transactions which would require him to have attained his majority occurred as early as 1788, making him born no later than 1767. That fits perfectly for his being Windsor and Mary's eldest son, born immediately prior to Pharabee.)

      According to "Ancestors of Bonnie Patricia Hackney," by Bonnie Partin, the estate of Mark Sugg, administered in Chatham county, was sued (November 1824) by the following group: John Newton, Burrell Olive, Richard Johnson, Edmund Price, William Lynch, Ann Mitchell, and Joseph and William Pearce. Mark Sugg was a brother of Joel Sugg who married Sarah Massey, sister of Elizabeth, whom I presume to have been the wife of William Pearce.

      Also per Bonnie Partin: On September 26, 1821, land belonging to Russell Massey, deceased, was sold at Pittsboro (county seat of Chatham) by William Pearce, administrator.