Looks like my first generation of documented Pierces will begin with Edward and William. I do not know the name of the parents. Edward is my great great great grandfather. I strongly believe William is his brother based on the age of William and Edward and the age of Pierce males in the same household on the 1810 census. Naturally, I can not find the copy of the census on which I base this assumption. Arrggh!
Also, when William was murdered, Edward was one of the top buyers of all William's fishing equipment. They share the same surname, live close in Marcus Hook, share the same profession and the ages are a probable match for brothers.
1805 - 1875
Edward Pierce was born about 1805 in Pennsylvania. There is evidence that strongly links Edward to the Pierce family from New Castle County, Delaware.
Edward was a riverman or fisherman by trade. He appears in the 1840 census living in Lower Chichester near the Delaware River. He married Jane Forsythe, daughter of John and Jane Forsythe between 1832 and 1834. Jane was born May 1813 in Ireland.
In 1832 their first child, a son they named William Henry was born. By 1838 their family increased to four children. Mary Jane was born in 1834, Emma in 1835 and James F. in 1837.
In 1838, Edward’s brother William, who was also a fisherman, was killed by Thomas McLaughlin. During an argument McLaughlin stuck William Pierce in the head with a handspike. Since William did not leave a will his widow had an auction of their possessions and Edward purchased all of his brother’s fishing equipment.
The Pierce household increased to 7 when son Thomas F. was born in 1840. Edward still fished for a living and they lived in Marcus Hook borough.
Edward and Jane put their home up for sale in 1856.
Delaware County Republican, May 23, 1856
Real Estate: Dwelling House and Lot for SaleThe subscriber offers for sale very low, a two and a half story frame dwelling house and Lot of Ground, situate on the Northeast side of Welsh Street, about one hundred and seventy feet Northwest of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, in the Borough of Chester, now in the occupancy of Edward Pierce. The lot is twenty feet in front on said street, by one hundred and twenty feet in depth. The dwelling is sixteen feet by sixteen feet four inches, with a back kitchen twelve by fifteen feet, two stories high, and a close shed twelve by fourteen feet. The above property is in a good neighborhood, and if applied for soon, can be had cheap.
Real estate agent Edward Price, South Avenue, Media
January 19, 1857, at the young age of 44, Edward’s wife Jane Pierce died. She was buried in Chester Rural Cemetery.
Delaware County American, January 28, 1857
At her residence in the Borough of Chester, on Monday the 19th inst., Jane Pierce, wife of Edward D. Pierce, and daughter of the late John Forsythe, aged 44 years, 8 months and 7 days.
A few years later all of Edward and Jane’s children had moved away, either marrying or settling in their own household. Thomas, aged 19, was living in the household of Martha Kerlin. His occupation is Apprentice plasterer/ born PA. Edward appears on the 1860 census as head of the household, age 57, living with a Deborah Pierce who is 40 years old. Since relationships are not stated in the 1860 census it would be good guess that Edward was now remarried.
Edward died July 20, 1875 in Chester, Delaware Co, Pennsylvania
He was removed from Chester Rural and interred on March 22, 1878 in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Permit #2628. I wrote to the caretaker at Mt. Hope and he replied that records prior to the year 1900 were not available. There is an old section of the cemetery with faded, hard to read, grave stones. I would be welcome to take a look, he said.
Requested a will for Edward Pierce from the Registrar of Wills, Media, Pa., and received a letter stating there was "no estate" found on his name. This means if he left a will it was not probated. I received this reply on April 14, 2001.
Children of Edward and Jane Pierce:
William Henry Pierce born 1832
Died July 5, 1870
Married Susannah Harris on April 05, 1857
Mary Jane Pierce born 1832
Died March 4, 1907
Married Isaac Collison
Emma Pierce born 1836
Married Amos Gartside ?
James F. Pierce born February 1837, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania
Died January 07, 1911, Chester, Pennsylvania
Married Edna Hulmes
Thomas F. Pierce born 1840
1840 census living in Marcus Hook
1850 CENSUS Delaware Co., Pa. Marcus Hook Borough Enumerated August 25, 1850
Cemetery information from Chester Rural Cemetery and Char Clark.
Delaware County American newspaper
Delaware County Republican newspaper