Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Richard Pierce b. 1725 and Mary Simmons b. 1723, Middleborough of Freetown, Mass.

I have a lot more research to do on this family, but here is what I have thus far…Richard Pierce (often Peirce or sometimes Pearse) was born 15 April 1725 at Middleborough, Plymouth County, Mass., the son of Thomas Pierce and Naomi Booth.  He is my seventh great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family. 

On 12 December 1745 Richard married Mary Simmons at Freetown, Bristol Co., Mass.  Mary was born 9 October 1723 at Freetown, the daughter of Abraham Simmons and Ann Lee. 

Richard and Mary had three children, first two births recorded Middleborough Vital Records:
Zilphah born 9 June 1746 m. Michael Mosher of Middleborough 30 Oct 1770
Jesse born 12 July 1747
Richard who m. first Lydia Boothe of Middleborough, 29 Aug 1776; 2nd Sarah Boothe of Middleborough, 28 Nov 1789

I descend through Jesse and his wife Ruth Perkins.

Richard was elected one of the deer wards at Freetown in 1752.  Richard Peirce appears on the roll of the company of Capt. Job Peirce in service at Rhode Island in 1777, and in Col. Theophilus Cotton's Regiment, but possibly Richard Peirce Jr. According to family, he was a sergeant in Captain Abiel Pierce's company, which marched on the Lexington Alarm, 19 April 1775, to Marshfield.  He was a corporal in Captain Levi Rounsevel's company, Colonel David Brewer's Regiment at Roxbury in summer of 1775. His son Richard also served in the Revolution.  

Apparently Richard left Mary and lived with another woman, Lois DeMaranville. Her name is from family tradition and not from records. He did not divorce Mary, so their co-habitating would have been illegal.  Family tradition states that Richard and Lois had 11 children, but I have not confirmed that with records: Abner, Naomi, Russell, Thomas, Eli, Levi, Preserved, Zadoc, Philip, Lois, and Lemuel. If all those children were in fact Richard’s, he would have been 73 when the last was born!

The town authorities of Middleborough in or before 1815, and the Overseers of the Poor of Lakeville recently, denied that Richard and Lois were ever married, or if they were, asserted it to be illegal, as Mary the first wife was alive and she and Richard not divorced while the latter was cohabiting with Lois.

Nothing was done to Richard legally for this breach of order, as people pitied him for the wrongs that he had suffered from the conduct of his wife Mary Simmons. A pauper descendant of this 2d marriage was rejected by Middleborough or Lakeville on the plea that the children of Richard and Lois were all illegitimate.

I haven’t found death information on Richard or Mary and I have not yet researched court records to see what kind of antics Mary was up to. If anyone knows about this or has some resource suggestions, I’d very much like to hear from you.

Sources Not Included Above:

Ebenezer W Peirce, The Peirce Family of The Old Colony, 1870

Ebenezer W. Peirce, The Peirce Family, printed in NEHGR in Jan., April, July 1867and October 1868

William Richard Cutter, editor, Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to Families of Middlesex County, Mass., Volume 4, 1908,  

Paul Bumpus article on Ruth Perkins in the September 2006 Mayflower Quarterly


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  3. Richard Pierce passed in 1800 at Middleborough, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Mary Simmons-Pierce passed before 1778 in Middleborough.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Could you share your source for Richard's death? Thank you! Chris

  4. Gabriella Lois DeMaranville Pierce was the daughter of Chaumont DeMaranville. His father, Louis, married the daughter of Peter Crapo. Both men had survived a French shipwreck in Buzzards Bay before 1700. Peter's wife was Penelope White with Mayflower heritage.

  5. Lois DeMaranville was not Acadian. Her father was in the French navy on a ship that was wrecked off Cape Cod around 1700. All of the crew were lost but for 4 survivors, including Louis DeMaranville (Sr.) and Peter Crapo (Piere Crapeau) the cabin boy. See DeMaranville Genealogy by Randall, pub. 1921 Mercury Pub of New Bedford, MA.


I'm now moderating comments on this blog. My apologies for any ensuing delays, but the large number of "spam" comments have made this necessary. ~Chris