Thomas was born about 1684, probably in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, the son of the son of Isaac and Alice (Chartley) Pierce and grandson of Abraham Pierce, the first of the line in Plymouth Colony. His family later left coastal Duxbury for the inland town of Middleborough. Although his birth record is not found, Thomas is mentioned in his father Isaac’s 22 January 1722 will, receiving land Isaac received for his service in the Narragansett War. His last name was often spelled Peirce or Perse but I use to Pierce since I’m an “i before e” kind of girl! Thomas is my 8th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis' side of the family. I also descend from the Pierce family (through Abraham's daughter Mary as well as his daughter Alice) on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins' side of the family. It is often unsettling in how many ways my grandparents were unknowingly blood relatives!
|Map showing the towns where Naomi and Thomas lived|
On 16 April 1714, Thomas Pierce married Naomi Booth in Middleborough (Middleborough VR). They were married in a joint wedding with Naomi’s sister Rachel.
Naomi was born 31 July 1691 at Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, the daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Sutton) Booth. Her name is sometimes spelled Naoma and Naomy.
Their children: (Shadrach, Jonathan, Richard and Hilkiah’s births recorded Middleborough VR):
1. Thomas who married Rebecca Jones
2. Shadrach born 8 July 1717, married Abigail Hoskins
3. Naomi 1 October 1719, married Josiah Jones
4. Jonathan born 23 March 1721/22
5. Richard born 15 April 1725 who married Mary Simmons and Lois DeMaranville
6. Hilkiah born 19 Oct 1727 who married Hannah Briggs
I’m uncertain of what proof exists that Thomas and Naomi are their children, although they are included in the Pierce genealogy and the names certainly fit. I do need to do more research on the family. I descend from their son Richard and his first wife Mary Simmons.
Thomas was an Anabaptist as early as 1737 in Middleborough. Anabaptists are Christians who believe in delaying baptism until the candidate confesses his or her faith.
William Richard Cutter’s work includes a statement from a family historian on Naomi: “Like the creaking wheel of the fable, Naomi was always complaining; sick, sick, always sick, too feeble to attend to a house-keeper's legitimate cares; too feeble to cook a meal and indeed too feeble to get out of bed till it was cooked and fully prepared for eating. But, though destitute of a proper sense of shame, she lacked nothing in that of smell. And as the savory odor of tempting viands reached her olfactories, a surprising change quickly came over the spirit of her sluggish dreams, when crawling from her bed, she came to the table to astonish all beholders with her surfeit and gluttony. The mulish Isaac Pierce, Jr., was probably as innocent of instituting means which conspired, by and through the assistance of his model wife, to make his life a success, as was his more intelligent brother Thomas incapable of resisting the downward and destructive tendency in his, encumbered and ever discouraged as he was by this burden like a mill-stone about the neck." My goodness! Not sure how information like that would have come down through the generations, but it’s certainly entertaining.
Thomas and Naomi signed a quitclaim deed in April 1746. I have not found their death dates or burial locations so only know they died after that date.
If anyone has some resources on the family I have missed, I’d very much appreciate hearing from you.
Sources Not Mentioned Above:
Ebenezer W. Peirce, The Peirce Family, printed in NEHGR in Jan., April, July 1867 and October 1868.
William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Mass., Volume 2, 1910
Malcolm A. Young, The American Genealogist, July 1999, The Two Wives of Benjamin 2 Booth of Early Scituate and Middleborough, Massachusetts