Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Laura Pierce

It's bare bones for the Laura Pierce information. I'm trying to keep track and add census, birth and death info into my FTM...but there isn't anything for poor Laura. Here is the little bit I have in front of me. I should wait until I sort through everything, but I felt bad not posting...

Laura Pierce, born October 1862. Daughter of James and Edna Pierce.

1870 Census, Delaware Co., PA.
197th District, Middle Ward Chester
Post Office: Chester, PA.
Enumerated July 7, 1870, page 31
231 dwelling; 239 family

James Pierce age 33/ Laborer / born PA
Edna age 28 / keeps house/ born England
Laura age 8 / born PA
James age 6/ born PA
Amos age 3/ born PA
Annie age 1/ born PA

1880 Census, Delaware Co., PA.
Chester City, 2nd Precinct 3rd Ward, June 8, 1880
Address: 35 Graham Street

James Pierce age 43/ Laborer / born PA/ father b. PA/ Mother b. ENG
Edna age 38 / keeps house/ born England/ Eng/ Eng
Laura age 18 / born PA works in cotton mill
James age 15/ born PA at school
Amos age 12/ born PA at school
Annie age 10/ born PA at school
George age 9/ born PA at school
Mary E. age 7/ born PA
Frances age 1/ born PA

Laura married George Slawter around 1882. They had a daughter, Mary Edna Slawter, but she died in infancy on February 17, 1883.

Mary Edna is buried at Chester Rural in Section M, lot 116, grave 5.

1900 census states George was a ship's joiner by profession. George and Laura were living in Camden NJ. Laura states that she had given birth to 1 child but it was no longer living.

More to come.............

Friday, March 21, 2008

Murder on the Delaware River

I'm not slacking...I am printing many pages of newspaper articles covering the murder trial of James Pierce Jr. and his brother Amos. There is so much more to it than I originally thought. After reading it over, and seeing new information (as the press reported)I have come to a conclusion that Amos is totally innocent. James...well...I'm still swaying back and forth on that one. It was either an accident that George Eyre was killed and he panicked OR someone else did it. If you pressed me for a verdict right this minute I'd say James was innocent too. Yes, he was having an adulterous affair but I don't think he's a murderer. Cousin Char was so right - you can read and mentally convict them, then turn around and think they were framed.

James was fooling around with a crazy woman...that much is clear in the articles. But I think her testimony was vengeful and that she was just a bad person. Mary Cowan was less than credible. Everything fell apart when she turned up to testify against him. Hell, she couldn't keep herself out of jail (arrested and held for disorderly conduct) while she was in Chester waiting for further testimony. She'd helped other parties have James and Amos' mother arrested for slander only 6 months prior to the Pierce brothers arrest.

The next set of goals is to shape up the information on James and Edna's children. The 1910 census reports Edna had 8 children. The seven we know about are Laura, Mary, George, James, Amos, Annie and Frank. To take a break from James and Amos I think I'll start with one of the girls. More later......

Monday, March 17, 2008

James Pierce Sr., 1837 - 1911

1837 - 1911

James Pierce was born February 1837 in Marcus Hook, Delaware co, Pennsylvania. He was the fourth child of Edward Pierce and Jane Forsythe Pierce. James had three older siblings: William, Mary and Emma and a younger brother Thomas.

For generations, Pierce families lived in Marcus Hook. Most of the men were fishermen or rivermen by trade. Edward Pierce, James father, was no exception, and made his living fishing from the Delaware River. According to a newspaper article, James spent a good deal of his time “gunning and fishing along the waters of the Delaware River.”

The family was enumerated on the 1850 census, living in Marcus Hook Borough. Sometime after the 1850 census was taken, Edward moved his family to Chester.

1850 CENSUS Delaware Co., Pa.
Marcus Hook Borough
Edward Pierce Age: 45 Occupation: Waterman born PA
Jane 38 born in Ireland
Mary 15 at school
Emma 14
James 12
Thomas 10

In 1862, James married Edna Hulmes. She was born 1841 in England. The same year they had their first child, a daughter named Laura. 1865 their first son, James Jr. was born, followed by babies Amos and Annie.

By 1870, James, Edna and family lived in the 197th District, Middle Ward Chester. James’ reported occupation is a laborer. They have four children ranging in age from 8 to 1. Within the next ten years James moved to 35 Graham Street in the 2nd Precinct 3rd Ward, of Chester.

By 1880 the family increased with seven children in the household. The oldest, Laura, was working in the cotton mill. James Jr., Amos, Annie and George were in school. Mary and baby Frances (Frank) stayed home and kept Edna company. Later census reports indicate Edna had another child but it is unknown when the child was born and died.

In 1900 James was making his living as a fisherman. Most of his children had married and moved close by in Chester. His youngest son Frank was a fisherman also and most likely worked with his father on the Delaware River. James, Edna, daughter Annie and Frank still lived at 35 Graham Street. Annie was a confectioner and baked and sold her pastries and cakes in Chester.

The year 1900 brought tragedy to the Pierce household when sons James Jr and Amos were arrested and accused of murdering George Eyre, a resident of Chester. The family visited James and Amos in the Chester jail as much as they were allowed and publicly proclaimed their support and belief in their innocence.

Chester Times, January 25, 1900
There was a heart-rending scene at the door of the old lockup this morning early, when the father of the boys left them. He first spent some time with Amos who was on the second floor with tears in his eyes, a scene that brought tears to the eyes of some of the spectators. He said, “Goodbye, my boy, I will be with you again early in the morning.” He then turned his attention to James who was in one of the lower cells and gave him an affectionate farewell.

James was allowed to have rope to mend and weave fishing nets to pass the time. On June 11th James used the rope to hang himself, leaving behind a note for his family expressing his innocence as well as his brother Amos, and professing his love for his family.

1910 CENSUS, PA, Delaware, Chester, e.d. 103, 5-A, (T624-1338, p. 207) April 20, 1910, 35 Graham Street, HH 85/85
James Pierce, head, M, W, 73, m1, 45 yrs, PA, PA, PA, riverman, fisherman
Edna Pierce, wife, F, W, 69, m1, 45 yrs, 8 children, 4 living, ENG, Eng, Eng
Frank Pierce, son, 31, m2, 1 yr, no children, carpenter

Note: Only four children still living. Frank, George, Mary and Amos.

James died January 07, 1911 in Chester, Delaware Co, Pennsylvania.

Chester Times- Chester, Pa.,
Tuesday, January 10, 1911
DEATHS - Page 5

PIERCE--On January 7th, 1911,
James Pierce, aged 74 years.
The relatives and friends, also Post Wilde, No. 25, G.A.R., are invited to attend the funeral services, on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, at his late residence, No. 35 Graham St. Interment Chester Rural Cemetery.

Chester Times- Chester, Pa.,
Monday, January 9, 1911
Page 1.

Old Fisherman and Veteran of the Civil War Succumbs to an Operation.

The death of Captain James F. Pierce late Saturday night following an operation in the Chester hospital, came as a surprise and shock for the many friends and aquaintainces of the veteran
fisherman and soldier.
Captain Pierce located in this city when a mere boy, he having been born in Marcus Hook. Most of his life was spent gunning and fishing along the waters of the Delaware river and bay and he ranked among the oldest fishermen of this section.
Deceased served his country in the great struggle of the Civil War and was a member of Wilde Post, No. 25, G.A.R.. which organization will attend his funeral. His illness was somewhat protracted, but it
was only a few days ago that he was taken to the hospital in the hope that an operation would benefit him, but it proved too late.

Death certificate info:
James F. Pierce
35 W. Graham Street, Chester, PA
date of birth: July 1828 83 years old
born in Marcus Hook, PA
occupation: fisherman
died January 7, 1911
attended by Dr. Forwood from April 6, 1910 to January 7, 1911

Father: Edward Pierce birthplace America
Mother: Jane Forsythe birthplace America

Funeral director: N.W. Fairlamb, Chester
buried Jan. 11, 1911

1920 CENSUS, Chester City, Delaware Co., PA
Sheet 2B, Enumeration date January 2, 1920
Address: Graham Street

Edna Pierce HOH Age 79 / Widowed/ Naturalized 1861 or 1898/ Able to read and write/ Born England
Margaret F. Cloud grandchild / age 10 / single/ born PA/ father born New York/ mother born PA

Chester Times- Chester, Pa.,
Monday, July 2, 1923
Obituary - Page 12.

Mrs, Edna Pierce, who died on June 30, was the widow of James F. Pierce, and was well known in the section of the city where she had lived for years. She was 81 years old.
The deceased will be buried from the home of her son, George T. Pierce, 113 Penn St. friends and relatives may view the remains this evening.
The services will be held at two o'clock Tuesday afternoon. Interment will be at the Chester Rural Cemetery.

LAURA PIERCE, b. Abt. 1862.
JAMES PIERCE, b. January 1864.
AMOS PIERCE, b. November 23, 1867
ANNIE PIERCE, b. January 1868. died after 1900 before 1910
GEORGE TERRELL PIERCE, b. April 08, 1871
MARY E PIERCE, b. 1873.

1850 Census
1870 Census
1880 Census
1910 Census
1920 Census
Death Certificates
Chester Times Newspaper
Chester Rural Cemetery
Char Clark

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Update on William Pierce

A big shout out to my Jackson cousin, Chuck Phillips, who is very talented when deciphering old writing. Thanks Chuck! The earlier posts for William Pierce/Peirce, dated February 13th and 15th, had a few mysteries regarding the writing. The frow or froe (listed as part of William's property that was sold off) is a cutting tool. Chuck tells me it could be used to cut barrel staves or shingles among other things. And the notation VC after a few articles is actually an ampersand. Like a VC = the word "and" for "cups and" or "corks and ....". The V is an &.

Cousin Char has met another Pierce cousin who lives in Boston. We'll have to share all our info and see where we are on brick walls. Today the plan is to add to James Pierce's information and get it formatted to post tomorrow. After James we can move on to his children and the murder trial. Lots of good reading in those old newspapers. Stay tuned.....

Later today the Shibas will need a ride to the pet store for more food, new bowl and good walk around the lake.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

1870 Census Emma Pierce Gartside

1870 Census - Chester, Pa.
Amos Gartside 39 MW Manufacturer ENG
Emma Gartside 33 FW Keeps House PA
Lizzie Gartside 9 FW PA
Mary Gartside 4 FW PA
Alice Johnson 21 FW Domestic Servant PA

This census and the one for 1900 was missing from the research. Thanks Char for the 1870 census info!
I was totally sidetracked with new research databases to try. First I started with the 7 day free trial of footnote.com. It has many good features and if you need pension info or military records it's fabulous. Unfortunately I could only access it for a few days. The reader wouldn't load up so I canceled the trial early before I was charged. Next one I am currently trying is called Genealogy Bank. It's 30 days for 10 bucks and it's a bargain. I have printed so much from other lines and I'm afraid I've gotten rather distracted from the Pierces. So, I am back to listing my goals for each Pierce generation.

Books - I finished Chocolate and Zucchini and it was a good recipe book. Didn't get too many out of it but it was great to read. Geraldine Brooks novel The People of the Book was very good in my opinion. One of the reasons I like old used books is the mystery of where they've been. Still plugging away at The Rebels of Ireland by Rutherfurd. I love Ireland. Maybe one day Doug and I can go back and see where his Culbertsons lived in the north.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Emma Pierce

This will be a two-parter as my "Emma info folder" is divided between my desk at work and my file cabinet at home. That's what I get for trying to review info during down time at work. Ha... Here are some of the basics and I'll add to this info tomorrow.

Emma Pierce
1835 - 1892

Emma Pierce was born February 25, 1835 in Chester, Pennsylvania to Edward and Jane Pierce.

She married Amos Gartside around 1855.

1860 Census - PA Delaware Co. South Ward p232 2nd St.
Amos Gartside 39 MW manufacturer ENG
Emma Gartside 24 FW PA
Kate Gartside 02 FW PA

*John Gartside was born October 1856 but he is missing in the 1860 census. Must have died young.

1880 Census - PA Delaware Co. Chester ED18 p338 2nd St.
Amos Gartside self M MW 52 Mfg ENG ENG ENG
Emma Gartside wife M FW 46 PA PA PA
Bessie Gartside dau S FW 19 PA ENG PA
Mary Gartside dau S FW 14 PA ENG PA
Bertie Gartside dau S FW 02 PA ENG PA

Emma died April 28, 1892 in Chester, Pennsylvania and was buried May 01, 1892 in Chester Rural Cemetery.

Amos died May 05, 1895 in Chester, Pennsylvania. He is buried in Chester Rural Cemetery.


JOHN GARTSIDE, b. October 1856

Other notes on Emma provided by Char Clark:
On July 7, 1870 James Pierce bought lot N116 at Chester Rural Cemetery. Emma Gartside
bought lot N117, evidently to bury Henry Pierce who died 7/5/1870. Thomas and Jane were moved to this lot from another cemetery 5/15/1876.

The Gartside family owned most of section N, lots 4,5,6,29,30,and 31.
Emma and Amos are buried in one of those lots. Her residence at time of death
as 2nd and Fulton St. Chester, PA.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The latest

It's been awhile since I could post anything. I got side tracked with a cool website that I just discovered called Find-A-Grave. Evidently it's been around awhile but it's new to me. So I posted some of my families burial information at Lawn Croft Cem. in Linwood, Upland Baptist Church cem. in Upland and Chester Rural cemetery. Some of the sites I was able to successfully upload photos and others I evidently didn't follow directions and got a nicely worded rejection email from Find-A-Grave. Oh well...I'll figure it out.

Then I discovered www.footnote.com and have been going crazy trying to get as much info as possible within my 7 day free trial. Today the "reader" wouldn't load so I couldn't get anything.

Also, we've had some really rotten weather here lately and have been under flood watch for quite some time. Lots of limbs down in the yard...not tiny branches but big limbs. Last but not least - the past weekend Doug and I went over and over the pros and cons of buying this very nice house in Tallahassee. It has a huge kitchen and many amenities that we longed for. But in the end, we looked around our home and well....it's home. So, Squirrel Head Manor is secure for the time being. Maybe we'll want to move in years to come or when we retire..but we just aren't ready now.

As for the Pierce documentation I am still going ahead with rounding off the bios fro Edward's children. I have Emma and James to finish up that generation. On the plus side, the printed info is coming out nicely and I've added scans of many of the original (copies of the originals) documents. Once Emma and James are done I'll mail a draft off to Cousin Char. We make a good team.