John Pierce

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John Pierce, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at Norwich, Norfolk, England, about 1588.1 He died at Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 19 August 1661.2,1

John married Elizabeth Trull, daughter of Robert Trull and Mary Ladyman, at St. Edmund, Norwich, Norfolk, England, 17 April 1610.3,4

John Pierce 49, weaver of Norwich, wife Elizabeth 36, children: John, Barbara, Elizabeth and Judith Pearce, and John Gedney 19, a servant were among the passengers of the John and Dorothy out of Ipswich which sailed 8 Jun 1637. He was examined as to the proposed sailing on 8 Apr 1637.

As John "Pearce," he became a Freeman of the Bay Colony in Mar 1637/8 and took the oath of fidelity in 1652. He had 72 acres granted in Watertown as Lot #2, 10 May 1642, and purchased three more lots there two years later.

24 Oct 1654, John "Perse" the "Dromer," was paid for his services in the Watertown train band.

His daughter Elizabeth married John Ball Jr., in 1643, but went insane and died by Oct 1665 when her husband remarried; she had five children by 1658, of whom three were alive in 1660.

6 Mar 1660, John Ball resigns his three children to his father and mother "peirse" as their own and gives to them two oxen and two cows as their own; yields also his wife to said parents and the use of his house and land as long his wife continues there and if God takes her before she returns to him, the said property to be his childrens by his said wife, Elizabeth; signs by mark; ack. 31 Oct 1664, recd. 1664; wit: "Anthony peirse," and mark of William Shattuck; on the margin is stated: "Jno Ball to Jno peirse." (Middlesex Deeds, 3:81.)

He made his will 4 Mar 1657/8:

In the name of God amen the fourth day of the i mo Anno Dom 1657/8 I John Perse of Watertowne in the County of Midlesex in New England weaver, being through the Lords mercy in good health, Sound mind and of good understanding. do make and ordaine this my last will & Testamt. My poore mortall Soule I do Desire freely and humbly to leave it in the everlasting Armes of the mercies of God the father in Christ Jesus My body I comitt to the earth to be decently buried at the Discreation of my Executrix, And as for my outward estate wch the Lord hath been pleased of his goodness to blesse me with all, and for a short time to make me Steward of, My Will is that (my funeral expences and all other my just debts being first payd and fully Sattisfied) My loveing wife Elizabeth Perse shall freely have and enjoy the same i.e. my dwelling house outhouses and all my lands Cattle, corne, & all other my goods and Chattlells Debts and Dues of what wr or kind soever, out of wch, my will is that shee the said Elizabeth with in one yeare next comeing after my decesae shall pay or cause to be payd unto my Eldest sonne Anthony Perse Twenty shillings and to the rest of my Children ten shillings a peece, to be payd in Country pay, also I Do hereby nominate & Appoynt the above said Elizabeth Sole Executrix of this my last will and Testamt In witness whereof I the said John Perse have here unto put my hand & seale the Day and yeare first above written
John Pers

It was proved 1 Oct 1661, and the inventory amounted to £271-07-00, consisting of real and personal property including a homestall, dwelling house, two barns and 12 acres; also meadow and 24 acres upland, 3 acres plowland, the stock etc.5,1,6,7


Elizabeth Trull b. 13 Apr 1590, d. 12 Mar 1666/67
  • Anthony Pierce+1 b. 8 Apr 1611, d. 9 May 1678
  • Hesther Pierce1 b. 17 Aug 1612
  • William Pierce8 b. abt. 27 Feb 1613/14, d. bef. 6 Apr 1615
  • Barbara Pierce1 b. 4 Feb 1615/16
  • John Pierce1 b. 12 Mar 1617/18
  • Elizabeth Pierce8 b. 6 Mar 1619/20, d. bef. Apr 1624
  • Robert Pierce1 b. 21 Dec 1621, d. 10 Sep 1706
  • Elizabeth Pierce1,6 b. 11 Apr 1624, d. bef. 3 Oct 1665
  • Mary Pierce1 b. 26 Dec 1625, d. 26 Jan 1704/5
  • Judith Pierce1 b. 8 Feb 1627, d. bef. 2 Oct 1650
This person was last edited on16 Sep 2017


  1. [S16] Mary L. Holman, Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and His Wife Francis Helen Miller (Concord, New Hampshire: Rumsford Press, 1948), 216-219, further cited as Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy.
  2. [S1974] Historical Society, Watertown Records, Four vols. (subtitle varies) (Boston, Massachusetts: David Clapp & Son, 1894-1906), 1:3:23, further cited as Historical Society, Watertown Records.
  3. [S1639] Patricia Law Hatcher, "The Peirce Family of Norwich, England, and Watertown, Massachusetts," The American Genealogist 84 (July 2010): 177-184, at 181, further cited as Hatcher, "Peirce Family of Norwich Watertown."
  4. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1189, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  5. [S1492] Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607-1660: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 183, further cited as Coldham, Complete Book of Emigrants.
  6. [S244] Frederick W. Wead, "A Brayton-Peirce Relationship," The American Genealogist 27 (Apr 1951): 97-99, further cited as Wead, "Brayton-Pierce Relationship."
  7. [S70] Frederick Clifton Peirce, Peirce Genealogy, Being the Record of the Posterity of John Pers, an Early Inhabitant of Watertown, In New England, Who Came From Norwich, Norfolk County, England; With Notes on the History of Other Families of Peirce, Pierce, Pearce, etc. (Worchester, Massachusetts: C. Hamilton, 1880), further cited as Pierce, Peirce Genealogy.
  8. [S1639] Hatcher, "Peirce Family of Norwich Watertown," 183.