Friday, January 4, 2019

Daniel Pearce and Family ~ Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and Illinois

In my most recent post, I started sharing a little about my Pearce side of the family, and the part these pioneers played in settling the small town of Oswego, in Kendall County, Illinois.

I also introduced you to a newly-found 3rd cousin, who I referred to as Cousin Pearce.

When you've started writing a blog not to long after moving, cousins such as this can be a real lifesaver! I still have much of my genealogy paperwork packed away, and sometimes forget what I have accumulated so far.

After my last post (The Pearces and Warners of Kendall County), Cousin Pearce reminded me of information she had sent to me, and sent it to me once more. Thank you again!

It is from a book titled "A Partial List of the Descendants of  Daniel Pearce, born 1760" written by Charles Gilbert Pearce, assisted by Bernice Adell Pearce, in 1934.

Since there are very few copies and I cannot find a digital version on the internet, I am going to share some portions of it here to help fellow family historians, if I can.

In the last post, I claimed that the Pearce brothers travelled to, and staked a claim, in northern Illinois in 1832...and their father, Daniel, followed a little later.

My mistake lay in the fact that there are a Daniel, Sr. and a Daniel, Jr.; and that Daniel, Sr. never made it to Illinois.

Daniel Pearce, Jr., my 3x-great grandfather

As Daniel, Sr. is the father of many of the first settlers of Kendall County, I feel that it is right to start the story here. And, I also feel that it is quite fitting to do so in his descendant's words that I have transcribed here.

(A small note: I have highlighted my line in yellow. Also, I used bulleted/numbering systems, at times, for ease of reading. I am listing some basics on each of the children here from the book, and will continue following each of them in future posts.)


Daniel, Sr. - Born 1760. The early part of his life was spent in the vicinity of Elk Ridge Landing, Maryland. The "Landing" was located about 500 feet easterly from the bridge crossing the Patapsco River, at the place now called Elk Ridge, which is on the main highway between Washington and Baltimore about nine miles from the latter city. At this time (1934), the water is too low, and has been for many years but, in Colonial times the British ships came to this port with supplies for the colonists and returned to England loaded with tobacco. A sign board at the side of the highway reads as follows: -
“Elk Ridge Landing”
“An important colonial port for shipment of tobacco.
Here in 1765 Zachariah Hood, Maryland Stamp Act Agent,
was hanged in effigy.
LaFayette’s troops camped April 17-19, 1781 on the
way to engage Cornwallis of Virginia. George Washington
passed this way many times.”

               State Road Commission

Daniel enlisted in the American Revolutionary Army May 24, 1778. (See Archives of Maryland, Muster Rolls Volume I Pages 316-318). He enlisted for three years or duration of war.

  • Muster Roll for July 1778 reads:- Daniel Pearce, Pvt. Capt. Lilburn Williams Company of 2nd Maryland Regiment of Foot, Commanded by Col. Thos. Price.

  • Transferred to Capt. Davidson's Company Aug. 1, 1778.

  • Roll dated Aug. 12, 1778 at White Plains:- Daniel Pearce, Fifer etc.

  • Roll dated Oct. 5, 1778 at Fishkill:- Daniel Pierce, Drum and Fife, etc.

  • Roll dated Jan. 21, 1779 at Middle Brook:- Daniel Pierce, Drum and fife.

  • Remarks: - Hospital, Fishkill.

  • Another Roll: - Discharged Nov. 1, 1780.

  • Transferred.

Daniel married Ann “Nancy” Ankers on 5 Feb. 1782 (Pierce as recorded in List of marriages, Baltimore County). The Ankers family came from Ireland, and “Nancy” was in born 1763.

  • Daniel is said to have been an overseer on the estate of William Patterson. The estate was located about one mile from the Village of Sykesville, about 25 westerly from Baltimore.

  • Living in Maryland until 1797. Had 8 children here.

  • Moved to Hampshire County, Virginia in 1797. Had 3 more children there.

  • Moved to Champaign County, Ohio in 1808. Daniel, Sr. died here in 1830.

  • Thereafter Nancy lived with her son John who moved to Kendall County, Illinois in 1832. She died in 1840, and was buried on his farm in the west side of Fox River in Oswego.

Daniel, Sr. and “Nancy” Pearce’s children ~

  1. Ezekiel. Born 1783 in Maryland. Married Sally Provost. One daughter. Died in 1808 in Virginia.

  1. Nancy. Born 1785 in Maryland. Married Mr. Sargent. Two daughters.

  1. Elijah. Born 1787 in Maryland. Married Mary (Polly) Davis who was born 6 March 1793. Eight children.

  1. Daniel. Born May 2, 1789 at Elk Ridge Landing,Maryland. Was a soldier in War of 1812. Married Elizabeth Johnson in 1814, and had three children. Elizabeth died (year ?), and he married Sarah Burgess about 1821. Two daughters were born to them, and she also died (year ?). In 1824 Daniel married Sarah Titsworth, and they had nine children. The last five of his children were born in Kendall County.

  1. Elizabeth. Born 1791 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Married about 1821 in Champaign County, Ohio to James Titsworth. Six children born in Ohio.

  1. Matilda. Born 1793 in Maryland. Died young.

  1. Edward. Born 1794 in Maryland. Died young.

  1. Israel. Born 1796 in Maryland. Died young.

  1. Walter. Born Jan 10, 1798 in Hampshire County, Virginia. He had married first Jan. 1st, 1818, Perlina Davis, mother of seven of his children. She died in 1843, and Dec. 27, 1854 Walter married Josinah Kimball. Two children were born to them.

  1. Rebecca. Born 1800 in Hampshire County, Virginia. Married about 1821 to William Smith Wilson.

  1. John. Born 1802 in Hampshire County, Virginia. Married about 1824, Nancy Conroy.
** Stay tuned for mor information about the Pearce family!


Pearce, Charles Gilbert; assisted by Bernice Adell Pearce. A Partial List of the Descendants of  Daniel Pearce, born 1760. Compiled 1934.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Pearces and Warners of Kendall County, Illinois

This month, I discovered, marked the 200th anniversary of Illinois statehood. In recognition of this momentous occasion, I thought this might be a good time to introduce you to my mother’s side of the family, and therefore, my Illinois heritage.

My mom, Kathy, grew up in a small town in Kendall County, Illinois, called Yorkville. Although her mother, Mathilda Steffen, had grown up in Iowa; her father, Gerald Pearce, had lived in Kendall County his entire life. However, my mom knew almost nothing of his family history. He was in his late 50's when she was born, and had died when she was just 21 years old.
Gerald Pearce and Mathilda Steffen
She had always wanted to know more about the Pearce side of the family. And, before she passed away several years ago, I was able to give her the name of her grandparents, Orsen Seth Pearce and Frances Severance.

...And then I ran smack into a brick wall!

Whenever those brick walls get the best of me, my plan of attack is to always go back to what I know. So, I visited the one place where I knew I could find Pearce family.

I am fortunate in one way, that many are not. My Pearce side of the family actually has a Pearce Cemetery in Oswego, Kendall County. But, other than my grandparents and a small handful of other relatives, I had no idea who anyone else in the cemetery was. I had only been to this cemetery a few times in my lifetime.

On my next visit to see my cousins, I stopped at the Pearce Cemetery to pay my respects to my grandparents. I also took the time to study, and write down, many of the names on the gravestones. And, I took what I discovered to the internet.

I not only learned quite a bit on my own, but my research also led me to a FB group for Onondaga County, NY Genealogy. And, by asking a question on there, led me to a 3rd cousin back in Illinois I never knew! She has been researching our Pearce/Warner lines for a long time, and was a veritable gold mine of information! (To protect her privacy, I will refer to her as Cousin Pearce)

I have also discovered a book, History of Kendall County, Illinois, from the Earliest Discoveries to the Present Time, written in 1877. Within its pages, I have found some of the county’s earliest settlers, such as John Pearce (Orson’s father), Walter Pearce and William Wilson. Walter was a brother to John, and William was his brother-in-law.

On pg. 98, I read,

“In August, 1832, John and Walter Pearce and William Wilson arrived with their families. They were from the Mad river country, Ohio, and started almost the moment they heard the [Blackhawk] war was over, with horse teams, driving their cattle and sheep before them. It was a tedious journey, and the prospect, when they reached the quaking swamps around Chicago, anything but inviting. But from that point they struck out for Fox River, and after a day’s travel in that direction were better pleased. They touched the river at Aurora, though there was not one solitary cabin then to mark the spot, and passed on down the south bank to the present site of Oswego. There Mr. Wilson drove his stake, while the Pearces crossed the river and made their claims on the other side. Oswego is therefore, by a few months, the oldest inhabited town in Kendall county…”

On pg. 104,  I also found a small entry regarding their father, Daniel Pearce, and his arrival in Oswego. My only regret when reading the following paragraph, is that the year of his arrival was not included.

“June 1st, Daniel Pearce and family arrived at Oswego, having come all the way with ox teams. They had a tedious journey, for the season was wet and the mud very deep. They often met droves of cattle knee deep in mud. Mr. Pearce at once took up his present farm - one hundred acres of prairie, surrounded with timber, on Waubonsie Creek.”

According to my newly-discovered cousin, Daniel’s house not only is still standing, but rests on the edge of a golf course! She said that all of the golf course had once been his property.

Daniel Pearce's House (Courtesy of Cousin Pearce)
John, and his wife, Marietta Marion Warner, had seven children. William Wallace, Alice A., Charles Wesley, Orson Seth, Julia, Carrie, and Mariette Marion (Ettie).

I have no photos of my great-grandfather, Orson Seth, but my newly -discovered cousin has a few of Orson's baby sister, Ettie.

The photos below are of Ettie and her family (she will later have one more son, Ralph),...

Clockwise: Marietta (Ettie) Pearce, Glenn Pearce Andrews, Frank Andrews, Burton Everett Andrews (Courtesy of Cousin Pearce)

...and of Ettie in her later years.

Ettie Pearce Andrews
Since these are the only photos I have from the Pearce line, I have merged the photos of Ettie, and her nephew, Gerald Pearce.  Without a photo of Orson's father, this is the closest that I can get to looking for a resemblance.

What do you think?

Ettie Pearce Andrews, and her nephew, Gerald Pearce

I have also started some research into John's wife line, too.  Maretta Marian Warner was born in Camillus, Onondaga County, NY to Joel Warner and Clarissa Foster. 

According to the Kendall County book, (p. 171) "Joel Warner settled one mile east of Oswego, and afterward removed to Newark."

According to census records, Marietta and seven of her siblings were born in New York, but the last three in Kendall County, Illinois. So, I knew that they had to have migrated somewhere between April 1833 and December 1835. I have heard rumors that the newly-built Erie Canal in NY ran fairly close to the property of Joel's parents, Seth Warner and Lois Squire. 

Besides looking closer into the Pearce and Warner families, I think that my next trail to follow would be how the Warners might have gotten to northern Illinois in the 1830's.

My guess would be the Erie Canal, and the Great Lakes. But, how would they do this in the early-1830's? 

Would anyone like to help me with this? Have any of you done much research into this route of migration?


Hicks, E.W.  History of Kendall County, Illinois, from the Earliest Discoveries to the Present Time. Aurora, IL: Knickerbocker & Hodder, Steam Printers and Blank Book Makers, 1877.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

My Entry in the Tenth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge

An interesting feature of small town newspapers is the sense of humor that tends to get injected into the stories.

Add to that the "everyone knows everyone" factor usually involved, and this can make for some very interesting reading!

The town of Moores Hill, Indiana is a small town founded by my 4th-great grandfather, Adam Moore.  Adam, and his wife, Judith, had several children. Two of his sons were John C. Moore and my 3rd-great grandfather, Levin Smith Moore.

I am still doing some research into these two families, but I do know a few facts already.  I have seen several records that list Indiana Ruth Dowden as the wife of John C. Moore. Also, I know that Levin was married to a Dowden, before his marriage to my ancestor, Mary R. Sparks. I have not discovered yet how the two Dowdens were related. They might have been sisters or cousins, I am still researching this.

I found this short poem in a book entitled Cotton's Keepsake: Poems on Various Subjects. The author/poet wrote on several topics in various forms, but he had a chapter that he titled "Hymeneal Punnings".
Title page of Cotton's Keepsakes
Andrew Johnson Cotton

According to the book, Alfred J. Cotton was both a preacher and a judge. With these two occupations in a small town, I am sure that his name was on many of the marriage records!  In fact, he is listed as the justice of the peace on Levin & Mary Ann's marriage records.

This paragraph, found at the beginning of the chapter, sums up how these "punnings" were a regular part of the marriage process in Moores Hill!

             ~ "Judge Cotton, of Dearborn County, Indiana, has for many years enjoyed a very liberal hymeneal patronage. The young people flock to him to be joined in one, and he does the business with a grace and ease that does honor to him. After it is over, he writes out the marriage notice and sends to the paper for publication, often appending very happy remarks."  (p. 131) ~

Below, you will find the "punning" remarks that he had to say regarding the Moore brothers, and the Dowden ladies:


         These fair young ladies, full well I know,
                Had goods and cash in store,
         In great abundance one would think,
                but still they wanted MOORE.

          Well, more they got, I know that, too, but still as 'twas
           They were unhappy all the time unless they could have
           My saucy muse now I don't choose to hear "one single word
           If you don't mind, right soon you'll find yourself kicked out
                     the door.    (p. 141)

In conclusion, I have to say that this poem might mean just a chuckle or two to other people. But for the descendants of Adam Moore's sons, this is quite a treasure! In fact, I think that this poem, matted and framed might just make a nice Christmas present.

What do you think?


Cotton, Alfred Johnson. Cotton's Keepsake: Poems on Various Subjects. Applegate & Co., 1858.