Saturday, June 28, 2008

Christy and Bagshaw info - Nice surprise!

This week has gone by so incredibly fast. Vacations always do.... I started reading The English American and it's a good read so far. I really have to recommend this one to my friend Barb in Pennsylvania.

Other nice things that happened was the unexpected arrival of family documents from the Archives in Media. That really surprised me. Although it isn't Pierce information, it is related to the Christy side of my family, it was a great surprise! I have a newly found Christy cousin in South Carolina who will get a copy of the arrest data.

Someone one said well behaved ancestors don't make history and I am thankful for some of the wild ones in the family tree. They get documented and lead you on to lots of other info.

Also I received a much welcomed email to an inquiry on the Bagshaws. We know Annie Pierce worked for William Bagshaw at his shop on Edgemont Avenue. Poor William was caught up in the arrest of Annie's mother in September 1899. More than likely he was a witness to the "affray and disturbance of the peace" between Edna Pierce and her accuser. But who knows. The connection between the two families had to been more than employer for one of the Pierce daughters. William must have been a close family friend or Mary wouldn't have named two sons after him.

Other than some genealogy I have been playing Guild Wars until I dream about it. Better take a break!! Doug grilled tuna last night and we paired it with an Alice White Cabernet Sauvignon. He's off riding right now. Tristan is supposed to return tonight for the car and leave his bike. And of course, it's hot. So mostly we stay in except to walk the shibas.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I'm on vacation and it's great. Sleeping in, no alarm, doing whatever...
We decided to skip St. George Island because of gas prices and the heat.

This morning's mail drop gave me a moment of suspense and hopefulness that was dashed almost instantly upon opening the large yellow envelope from NARA. It was just thick enough to contain the Navy pension record I sent for. Well, it was indeed a Navy pension record and it was for a James Pierce from Pennsylvania...but it's not our James. I swore a storm like a longshoreman with Touretts as I had paid $25 for this pension. First of all, I specifically stated his address, where he'd lived almost all of his life. Date of death in 1911, and the name of his wife being Edna as a first or middle name. I even gave them exact dates he served.

What I got was a pension for James F Pierce married to Sarah Robinson of Delaware and that he died while in the Navy in 1877. Also our James died in Chester and this James died in NC. So, I don' think I can get my money back and if that's the case, maybe I'll see if there are descendants of this James and pass the paperwork on to them. I did something like that with an old photo I got at an antique shop. Found the descendant by looking at city directories and census - they were tickled to have the old photo and it was lots of fun for me.

Anyway, I guess we are back to square one on James military record. How frustrating!

I finished the Picoult book - really a good read - and am waiting on a reserve from the library so I haven't started anything new yet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Project Update and Anniversary

Last night Doug and I went to the Melting Pot for our 24th anniversary dinner. It's a very nice fondue restaurant with a wonderfully intimate atmosphere. The restaurant is very dark; when you enter through the stone flanked foyer it takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust to the low lighting. There is a very large oak wine cabinet which blends gracefully and elegantly with the decor. We were escorted back to a table with a C shaped leather booth tucked into the wall. The table top was tiled and the mounted fondue pot was well within reach for both of us. You couldn't see anyone else dining which gave the illusion of being alone except for the hushed murmurs of others' conversation. They have all the tables set up this way so each dining couple has total privacy. Very cool and totally relaxing.

We had a cheese fondue made with white wine, Fontina, Buttermilk Bleu and Butterkase cheeses. The dippers were slices of apple, various breads and veggies. Then they bring a salad. Wow...I could have made a meal of that alone. My salad was piled with spinach, portebella mushrooms, shallots and bacon. This was served with a warmed Burgundy shallot vinaigrette. Doug had the house salad with greens, Swiss Emmenthaller cheese, cucumber and eggs.

The main part of the meal consisted of a large tray of teriyaki marinated sirloin, fillet Mignon, chicken, shrimp and pieces of Mahi. Also a tray of vegetables, most notable were the mushrooms which you stuff with a creamy Boursin type cheese then batter....mmmmmmmmm. There were various sauces to dip all the meats and seafood in after they had about 2 minutes time in the hot oil. Sadly, we were too full to get the chocolate fondue for dessert but plan to go on our vacation. We'll just get coffee and the chocolate fondue. It definitely is a celebration place - not a restaurant that you'd frequent on a regular basis. But it was a special night and I am so happy we went there. Just like at home when we have wine with dinner, we sat, talked and nibbled for an hour and half. Relaxing.

As for the project, I have been diligently merging the finished biographies into one big document. I read it over this morning and it bothers me that we thought we had Edward's last days all figured out but in actuality...we do not. There were a few Edward Pierces around the late 1850s and 60s. I may leave his information the way it's written up and just asterisk it, give a detailed theory in the end notes.

Another section I have is called Unknown Connections is just a collection of Pierce data from old newspapers. The Pierces mentioned are not, as of yet, a known connection to the line being worked on. However some may be cousins and having it at the end of the bios can't hurt. Maybe in 5 years I'll look at it and slap my forehead, immediately seeing a family connection.

Nothing else new here....Got a few packages off in the mail yesterday afternoon. Tristan rode his bike out yesterday and stayed gone quite awhile. He had fun riding with friends and saw a movie. He loves that Triumph. Tristan and Doug will trade insults about each other's bikes - something about a Harley and Triumph rivalry. But I think Tristan would like to ride his Dad's bike and try it out.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It's been incredibly hot here and most of my activities have been indoors. The Ruth Reichel book was good and there are some cool recipes in it. As soon as I get copies of the chocolate cake and roasted leg of lamb recipes, I will pass this one on to someone else. I just started reading a Jodi Picoult book entitled Plain Truth. It's about an Amish family and so far most of the plot seems to take place around Paradise.

Just reading the beginning two chapters, when she mentions Philly and the Lancaster county makes me smile. I loved going to Blue Ball, Epherta and other places in the Lancaster area when I was a kid. My father always drove. The car would be packed with my mom, my two grandmothers (Pierce and Jackson)and me. Occasionally it would just be me, Mom, Dad and Nana Jackson .......but the trips were always the same theme. We'd go to some outlets and shop; we'd stop at the Akron restaurant and eat the most amazing honey fried chicken and red velvet chocolate cake....I'm salivating just thinking of it! Dad would kindly pull off and stop near a farm so I could look at the pigs. I would run to the fencing and as the smell grew stronger, enveloping me in a funk so sour that I would be gagging, I'd soldier on so I could see the enormous hogs furrowing around the mud. Ok, it doesn't sound like fun but to a 10 year old who loved animals it was quite a treat. There was actually another motive to pull over at this farm. The family sold eggs and vegetables. They were just sitting there on a table with a box for the money. It was the honor system, something I'd bet doesn't still exist in that area today. My father would put a few dollars in the box and take the goods he selected.

But I digress...the Picoult book is just started and it's the third one I've read by this author. They certainly aren't "feel good" or chick lit books but she has a great descriptions of what life is really like.

I sent a package to a Navy guy in Afghanistan and recently learned he's been out of touch for over 60 days so they removed him from the list on AnySailor website. So now I have a female soldier stationed in Iraq that is requesting magazines, lotion, etc. The flat rate boxes at the post office are great for shipping lots of heavy books and magazines. I will get that out this weekend.
Also this weekend I will surprise my lovely cousin Char with a package I'd meant to send out two weeks ago.

Tristan is enjoying his motorcycle very much. He already has over 725 miles on it. He bought me Guild wars expansion pack for my birthday...he's a thoughtful young man :o) So now we all have that game loaded on our computers. And we can play together so that's a lot of fun. I gave Doug my software and loaded the expansion pack Tristan got me. So far I have 4 characters created and you wouldn't believe how much fun it is just trying to get an original name. We all sat around laughing when we tried every Monty Python character name and saw they were taken. I mean, even "huge tracts of land" was taken so that's a real fan..As were names like Zoot of Anthrax, Dingo of Anthrax, Tim the Enchanter....the list goes on. It was as much fun seeing the names as it was playing. To my chagrin "Anthony Bourdain" was taken...

Next up on the Pierce project is Mary E. Pierce Newton's bio. She isn't the next sibling after Annie, but I did it out of order and wrote up George Pierce's bio on the January 28th entry. I need to contact cousin Mark and see if he has any additional info on Mary as he is her direct descendant. After Mary I just have to work on Frank Pierce. That's it for that generation. I sure wish i had some photos of these people.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Annie Pierce

Annie Pierce
1868 – Died between 1900 and 1910

Annie was born in January 1868 to James and Edna Pierce. At this date I do not know if her given name is Ann, Annie or Hannah. Annie grew up in Chester and lived at 35 West Graham Street for all of her life.

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

Annie is listed on the 1888-89 Chester city directory as a Saleslady. She worked at Bagshaw’s Confectionary shop on Edgemont Avenue. The newspaper depicts her to be a warm and generous woman who was devoted to her family.

She was very vocal regarding her brothers James and Amos innocence during their incarceration and subsequent trial. After her brother James’ suicide it was reported she ordered over $300 worth of flowers to be arranged at his funeral service. This was a good sum of money in the year 1900. Other items stated she nursed her brother Amos when he was ill with fever brought on by the stress of the arrest and accusations. “You are killing him,” she stated to the Chester Times reporters. “He is innocent, he has done nothing!”

Sadly all the information I have for Annie is limited to census records and the few mentions of her in the newspapers. There has not been evidence that she ever married. Searches for an obituary have been fruitless but the pursuit continues.

1900 Census, Delaware Co., PA.
Chester City, 2nd Precinct 3rd Ward, June 9, 1900
Enumerator: Charles Smedley; Supv. District 2; Enum Dist. 147
Address: 35 Graham Street

James F. Pierce HOH b. Feb 1837; age 63; married 38 years PA/ PA/ PA
Edna wife b. Aug or Oct.1841; age 58 ; Had 8 children, 7 still living ENG/ ENG/ ENG
Annie daughter b. Jan 1868; age 31 PA/ PA/ ENG
Frank son b. 1879; age 21
Annie's occupation: Confectioner

The 1900 census is the last one which Annie appears. She died between June 1900 and before the 1910 census was taken. The name Annie Pierce does not appear in the grave listings with her family. Perhaps her name was Hannah. There are three Annas and three Hannahs in Chester Rural Cemetery but none seem to match up with her parents and other siblings who are all buried together. The permit numbers are way off for a possible death date however, the permits are issued when bodies are moved to another plot or another cemetery. Just to list them, in case one is our Annie Pierce, here goes:

1. Anna E. Pierce buried Section F lot 167, permit #24590 which means the permit was a burial between (1951 – 1956).
2. Ann Pierce died between 1880 – 1884
3. Anna May Pierce, Section B107, permit 26066 (1961 – 1966)
4. Hannah A. Pierce, Section B107, no permit number
5. Hannah Martin Pierce, Section B107, permit 787 (1866- 1869)
6. Hannah R. Pierce, Single Grave Row 40, permit 12855 (1910 – 1913)

The only good possibility is Hannah R Pierce as she died close to when the 1910 census was enumerated and our Annie was dead by the time it was taken. But if this is her, why would she be in a single grave instead of with her parents or siblings? That doesn’t make sense.

I hope I find more on Annie. She sounded like a good person and someone who would be fun to know.