Home > 002056. Thomas Peirce, 004112. Thomas Peirce > Memoir of Benjamin Pierce, Late Governor of New Hampshire

Memoir of Benjamin Pierce, Late Governor of New Hampshire

Source: “Memoir of Benjamin Pierce, Late Governor of New Hampshire,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 7[1853].

[page 9]

There were so many emigrants to New England in its early settlement, of the name of PIERCE, that it is not generally an easy task to trace any one bearing that name at the present time, to his emigrant ancestor.  One of the most active ship-masters in the days of the Pilgrims was Captain William PIERCE of London.  He brought over a great many emigrants to Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay.  In 1630 he commanded the Lyon of Bristol.  This ship was riding at anchor at Salem when Governor WINTHROP arrived in June of that year.  He resided a while in Boston, and made an Almanack for New England for the year 1639.  He was, according to WINTHROP, killed at Providence, one of the Bahamas, in 1641.  His name was usually spelled PEIRSE.  Captain Michael PEIRSE of Scituate was his brother; he was killed in the memorable Pawtucket fight, Sunday, March 26th, 1676.

Nathaniel PIERCE of Woburn, was in the disastrous fight at the Falls in Connecticut river, on the 19th of May, 1676.  He died before 1739.  General Benjamin PIERCE was of this stock.  “Steven” PIERCE, son of Thomas of Woburn, was among the early settlers of Chelmsford.  He was born at Woburn, on the sixteenth of July, 1651.  Hence there is not much doubt that Thomas PIERCE, of Woburn, was the emigrant ancestor of the subject of this Memoir.  He resided for some time at Charlestown, and was made a freeman of the colony there, in 1635.  He probably was among the first settlers of Woburn, and may have gone there with Captain Edward JOHNSON, the author of the History of New England, usually cited as JOHNSON’s “Wonderworking Providence,” &c.  JOHNSON came from the county of Kent, and this may be a guide to those who desire to learn the English pedigree of his companions and associates.  Thomas PIERCE died at Woburn,

[page 10]

October 7th, 1666.  Steven PIERCE, son of Steven by his wife Tabitha, was one of the purchasers of Wonalancet’s possessions southwest of the Merrimack, known as Wamesit, on which he afterwards settled.  He had sons, Benjamin and Robert, and perhaps others.  Benjamin had ten children, the seventh of whom bore his own name; and he is the subject of this sketch.  He was born at Chelmsford, December 25th, 1757. […]

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