Friday, May 8, 2020

52 Ancestors - Week 329: #540 John Peirce (1673-1744) of Waltham, Massachusetts

John Peirce (1673-1744)  is number 540 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #541 Elizabeth Smith (1674-1747) in 1702 in Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their son #270 Samuel Peirce (1712-1772) who married #271 Abigail Stearns (1715-1796) in 1739.
*  their daughter #135 Abigail Peirce (1750-1776) who married  #134 Jeremiah Knowlton (1745-1785)  in 1771.
*  their daughter #67 Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855) who married #66 Nathan Gates (1767-1830)  in 1790.
*  their daughter, #33 Abigail Gates (1797-1867) who married  #32 Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)  in 1817.
*  their son #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) who married #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884) in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                           John Peirce[1–7]    
*  Alternate Name:           John Pearse[8]

*  Sex:                              Male    

*  Father:                         Joseph Peirce (1644-1713)    
*  Mother:                       Martha --?-- (1647-1698)  
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                          27 May 1673, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1-3,8]    

*  Deed:                         21 March 1739 (age 65), Waltham, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[5]    

*  Will:                          29 November 1743 (age 70), will written; Waltham, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6]    

*  Death:                       26 April 1744 (age 70), Waltham, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[7]    
*  Probate                     21 May 1744 (age 70), will proved; Waltham, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1.                  Elizabeth Smith (1673-1747)    
*  Marriage 1;               5 November 1702 (age 29), Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1-4]    

*  Child 1                     John Peirce (1703-1774)    
*  Child 2                     Jonas Peirce (1705-1776)    
*  Child 3                     Ezekiel Peirce (1709-????)    
*  Child 4                     Samuel Peirce (1712-1772)    
*  Child 5                     Elizabeth Peirce (1716-1743)    
*  Child 6                     Daniel Peirce (1719-????)    
*  Child 7                     Jonathan Peirce (1724-????)  

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

The Pierce Genealogy book by Frederick Clifton Pierce[1] provides a brief family sketch on page 38.  Henry Bond's Watertown book[2] provides a brief family sketch in Volume 2, page 17.

John Peirce was born 27 May 1673 in Watertown, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph and Martha (--?--) Peirce[1-3,8].  

He married Elizabeth Smith (1674-1747) on 5 November 1702 in Watertown[1-2,4].  She was the daughter of Daniel and Mary (Grant) Smith.  They had seven children, all recorded in the Watertown town birth records:

*  John Peirce (1703-1774), married 1728 Rebecca Fenno (1697-1783).
*  Jonas Peirce (1705-1776), married 1727 Abigail comee (1707-1749).
*  Ezekiel Peirce (1709-????), married 1731 Mercy Wellington (1711-????).
*  Samuel Peirce (1712-1772), married 1739 Abigail Stearns (1715-1796).
*  Elizabeth Peirce (1716-before 1743)
*  Daniel Peirce (1719-????), married 1752 Martha Godding (1732-????).
*  Jonathan Peirce (1724-????), married 1745 Abigail Blanchard (1726-1764).

After his marriage, John Peirce settled in Waltham with his wife on his father's land, which was initially in the town of Watertown[1].

On 21 March 1739, John Peirce, husbandman of Waltham, sold land in Waltham to his son, Samuel Peirce, husbandman of Waltham, for 100 pounds[5].  The land was 6 acres and was part orchard, part mowing and part pasture land being part of John Peirce's homestead in Waltham with all housing and buildings on the land.  The deed was recorded 7 May 1744.

John Peirce died at age 71 on 26 April 1744 in Waltham, Massachusetts[7].  There is no burial record for John or Elizabeth (Smith) Peirce in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  

John Peirce died testate, and his probate records are in Middlesex County Probate Records, Packet #17,496 [6]. The will reads (transcribed by the author):
"In the Name of God Amen,  The twenty ninth Day of November In the Seventeenth year of His Majesties Reign Anno Domini one Thousand Seven Hundered and Forty three.  I John Peirce of Waltham In the County of Middlesex In his Majesties province of the Massachusets Bay in New England Husbandman.  Being very sick and weak in Body but In Perfect minde and memory Thanks be Given unto God, Therefore taking unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die Do make and Ordain This my Last Will and Testament That is to say Principally and first of all I Give and Recommend my soul into the hands of God that Gave it and my body I Recommend to the Earth to be buried in Deceant Christian burial at the Discretion of my Executrix hereunto Named Nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I Shall receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God, And Touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me in this life I Give Demise and Dispose of the same in the following manner and forme. 
"Imprimis  I give and Bequeath to Elizabeth my Dearly beloved wife whom I also Constitute make and Ordain my Sole Executrix of this my last will and Testament All my Personal Estate, and the Sole Improvement of all my Real Estate During her natural life.
"Item  I give to my well beloved Son John Peirce and to his Heirs for Ever one Hundered Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old tenor or Equivalent In the New to be paid by my son Samuel Peirce withing one year after my wives Decease.
"Item  I give to my well beloved Son Jonas Peirce and to his Heirs for Ever one Hundered Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old tenor or Equivalent in the new to be paid by my son Daniel Peirce within two years after my wives decease.
"Item  I give to my well beloved Son Ezekiel Peirce one Hundered Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old tenor or Equivalent In the New to be paid by my son Samuel Peirce to the said Ezekiel or his Heirs within three years after my wives Decease 
"Item  I give to my well beloved Son Jonathan Peirce and to his Heirs for ever one Hundered Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old tenor or Equivalent in the new to be paid by my son Daniel Peirce within foure years after my wives decease 
"Item  I Give and Bequath unto my said sons Samuel and Daniel and to their Heirs and assigns for ever they paying out as is before Specified, and after my wives Deceas, all my Real Estate to be Equally Devided Between them, provided allways that what I have given my son Samuel be accounted as part of his halfe though given him by a Deed before. 
"And I Do hereby utterly Disalow revoke and Disannull all and every other former testaments wills Legacies and Bequeaths and Executors by me in any ways named willed and bequeathed. 
"Ratifying and Confirming This and no Other to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness Whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal the Day and year above written.
                                                                                John   X   Peirce   (seal)
"Signed Sealed Published                                     
pronounced and Declared                               
By the Said John Peirce                                     
as his Last Will and
Testament In the Presence
of us the Subscribers
Sam-ll Hasting
Joseph Hastings
Samuel Livermore"
On 21 May 1744, the will was presented to the Judge of Probate of the Court at Cambridge by
Elizabeth Peirce, widow of John Peirce late of Waltham, husbandman[6].  The will was proved on
that date.  A bond of 200 pounds was posted by widow Elizabeth Peirce and Samuel Peirce,
Gentleman, both of Waltham.  There is no inventory, distribution or account records in this estate
probate packet.  


1. Frederick Clifton Pierce, Pierce Genealogy; Being the Record of the Posterity of John Pers, an Early Inhabitant of Watertown, in New England ... with Notes on the History of Other Families of Peirce, Pierce, Pearce, Etc (Worcester, Mass., Press of Chas. Hamilton, 1880), page 38, John Peirce family sketch.

2. Henry Bond, M.D.,  Family Memorials: Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts (Boston, Mass. : Little, Brown & Co., 1860), Volume 2, page 17, John Peirce family sketch.

3. Henry Bond, M.D., Family Memorials: Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, page 36, John Peirce birth entry.

4. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, indexed database and digital image, (, "Watertown, Births, Marriages, Deaths," page 16 (image 191 of 3991), John Peirce and Elizabeth Smith Marriage record.

5. "Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (, Middlesex County, "Deeds, 1742-1744, Vol 43-44," Volume 43, page 633 (image 400 of 830), John Peirce to Samuel Peirce, dated 21 March 1739, recorded 7 May 1744.

6. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed, 7 May 2020), Packet 17496 (8 images), estate of John Peirce, 1744.

7. Vital records of Waltham, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New-England Historic Genealogical Society, 1904), Deaths, page 282, John Peirce death entry.

8. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988, digital images,, "Watertown Births, Marriages and Deaths," page 74 (penned), image 157 of 3991, John Pearse birth entry.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2020 for a seventh year to 364 Ancestors in 364 Weeks.  The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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