John Harwood Pierce: Ranger of the Plains

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Captain Benjamin Pierce
Genealogy of John Harwood Pierce:
2nd Generation

[See also Carole Gardner's Capt. Benjamin Pierce document attached. Gardner has done extensive recent genealogical research. Some of her findings conflict with the information presented on these pages and shed new light on the Benjamin Pierce genealogy.]

Captain Benjamin Pierce was born in 1646 and died in 1730 at the age of 84. He and his descendants form the second American generation of Pierces in our family tree. His father was Captain Michael Pierce.

Benjamin Pierce is first in a long line of mostly first born sons all named in honor of their fathers and grandfathers. Our Pierce family line descends from the second to the sixth generation through this line of sons, all named Benjamin. With the sixth generation, our family tree splits from this pattern and, although there is another Benjamin Pierce born in the seventh generation, our line follows one of his other brother, namely John James Pierce.

NOTE: For this genealogy, it is often difficult to keep track of the six different Benjamin Pierces, especially when many were living at the same time, and in or near the same place. In order to help both the reader and the writer to keep track of these different Benjamin Pierces, each one is shown with his generation in brackets following the name. Thus the current Captain Benjamin Pierce is part of the second American generation in our family line and he appears as: Benjamin Pierce [2nd generation].

Captain Benjamin Pierce [2nd generation] settled on his father's considerable estate and managed it after his father's death in 1676. He lived the life of a wealth landowner (his lands were most probably in excess of 1000 acres). He managed these lands, no doubt, like a typical colonial plantation. In addition, he owned and ran a saw-mill that was erected on a river running through his lands.

Like his father before him, Benjamin [2nd generation] was appointed Captain of the local militia. He probably took this rank following the death of his father when he was 30 years old, not yet married, and the head of his dead father's household.

On February 5, 1678, two years after his father's death, and at the age of 32, Benjamin [2nd generation] married Martha Adams, the daughter of James Adams. They had ten children: Martha, Jerusha, Benjamin [3rd generation], Ebenezer, Persis, Caleb, Thomas, Adams, Jeremiah, and Elisha.

Benjamin's [2nd generation] first wife, Martha, died sometime between 1699 and 1718. On July 21, 1718, Benjamin [2nd generation] married Mrs. Elizabeth (Adams) Perry. They had no children.

During his 84-year-long lifetime, Benjamin Pierce saw the total population of the New England colonies grow from a sparse 16,000 persons at the time of his birth in 1646, to well over 200,000 by the time of his death in 1730.

Before his death in he executed a will, dated 13 October 1730. His will shows him to have died a wealthy landowner.

Sometime, long before his death, Benjamin [2nd generation] deeded his eldest son, Benjamin [3rd generation] (born March 11, 1883) a major portion of his land holdings to own, live on, and manage. Working from future generation backwards, it is save to say that the amount of land given to Benjamin [3rd generation] was between 400 and 600 acres.

Bejamin's [2nd generation] will made sure that his wife and all of his surviving children were well taken care of. In his final will, he appears to have favored his last child, Elisha (born Nov. 24, 1699) by giving him the greatest portion of his remaining land holdings, and making him and his brother, Thomas, the "sole executors" to his last will and testament.

Captain Benjamin Pierce [2nd generation] died in 1730 at the age of 84 on his estate in Scituate.

3. Captain Benjamin Pierce [2nd generation], born 1646, died 1730

married Martha Adams, the daughter of James Adams, on Feb. 5, 1678. Benjamin and Martha had these ten children:

15. Martha Pierce, born Nov. 14, 1679. Died before 1730. Not mentioned in Benjamin's will.
16. Jerusha Pierce, born Feb. 13, 1681. She married a Bailey and had two children: Benjamin and Ebenezer.
17. >>>Benjamin Pierce [3rd generation], born March 11, 1683. Married Mary Cowen and Elizabeth Perry.
18. Ebenezer Pierce, born April 2, 1686.
19. Persis Pierce, born June 6, 1688. Died before 1730. Not mentioned in Benjamin's will.
20. Caleb Pierce, born June 12, 1690.
21. Thomas Pierce, born. Nov. 12, 1692
22. Adams Pierce, born June 11, 1695. Died before 1730. Not mentioned in Benjamin's will.
23. Jeremiah Pierce, born Sept. 17, 1697. Married Bethsheba Littlefield.
24. Elisha Pierce, born Nov. 24, 1699. Married Sarah Edson and Mary Field.

married Mrs. Elizabeth (Adams) Perry on July 21, 1718. Captain Benjamin Pierce remained married to Elizabeth until his death. Elizabeth Pierce was well provided for in his will.

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Biography:     Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Part 6    
Genealogy:     1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th     6th     7th     8th    
Send all inquiries to the author, Barbara Case, at:  ~  Last Updated March 20, 2009