Monday, March 18, 2019

Pearce: All Signs Point to Oswego, Illinois

Lately, I have been working on my Pearce family line...and decided to take a trip home to delve a little deeper.

It is not my hometown, but it was for many, many years for the Pearce family. My 3x-great grandfather, Daniel Pearce, settled here with three of his siblings in 1833. They were the first permanent settlers in the area. 

I have heard rumors that a good portion of this large town is built on land that once belonged to Daniel, or his siblings (Rebecca Wilson, John & Walter Pearce).

But, I am not sure... 

I am not seeing any signs that this is true. LOL

What do you think?

This is a restaurant, along with a golf course,
that sits on Daniel Pearce's land. 
All joking aside, it was wonderful seeing all this Pearce history all around me. I met with my 1st cousins on the Pearce side while in the neighborhood, and I enjoyed telling them about what I had discovered. My seventeen-year-old cousin lives here and even learned a few things from me.

I made a point to stop in at both the Oswego and Yorkville public libraries to see what I could uncover. Let's just say, I spent a small fortune on copies! Lol

I have fallen down the rabbit hole!!
Next stop was to the Kendall County Courthouse, where I was able to retrieve my mother's birth certificate, my grandfather's birth certificate, and my great-grandfather's death certificate. 

If you have been reading my posts recently, you know that I have discovered a 3rd Pearce cousin on a FB group a fews years ago. Cousin Pearce has helped me tremendously, but we hadn't been able to meet up yet.

No photos to show, as I would like to protect her privacy. But we had a very enjoyable visit, comparing notes and just getting to know more about our our families.

As I am attempting to join the DAR eventually through Daniel's father (also a Daniel), Cousin Pearce has said that I can join through her. I would only have to prove to where our families converged, and then her application proved back to Revolutionary War veteran, Daniel Pearce.

I have my birth certificate, my mother's, and my grandfather's, all in my possession, but I still needed to prove my great-grandfather, Orson Seth Pearce, was the son of John Pearce.

Sometimes, you find help in unexpected places! I stopped in the Little White School Museum on their "Research in the Archives" day, hoping I might find a thing or two.

The Little White School Museum 
The staff there were wonderful! They were able to find 1842 and 1870 plat maps, obituaries, newspaper articles and so much more. Also, this museum had been a Methodist church first, before it was used as a schoolhouse. I discovered that it happened to be the church were Daniel, John and Orson Seth would have worshipped during their lifetime!

While they found so much for me, I was still on the trail of something that would prove Orson Seth Pearce was John Pearce's son. Bingo!!!  I discovered a will for Orson Seth's sister, which listed all the children (and a few grandchildren) of John Pearce.

So, with this piece of the puzzle, I can now prove that I am a descendent of the Daniel Pearce, a Revolutionary War veteran, and start my application process with the DAR.

What a wonderful vacation!  Over the course of a week, I was able to visit with 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, and a newly-found 3rd cousin! I visited the Pearce Cemetery, and paid my respects to my grandparents.

I found the missing puzzle piece for my DAR paperwork and got a tremendous amount of research done. I was able to walk on their land, and walk into the same church building that they had once walked, too.

What a remarkable week! How was yours?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Are They My Cousins Too, Or Just Yours?

Where do you go on vacation when you want to visit relatives, do some genealogy work and pay your respects to your ancestors?🤔🤔🤔

With these temperatures, I wish I could tell you Hawaii or Florida! 🌡⛄🌊   Lol

But, this coming week, I am heading up north to Kendall County, Illinois to do just that. 🚗🚗🚗

By now, you are asking what does this have to do with the title of  my blog post, right? Why in the world would I pick that title?  ❓❓❓

The title of this post actually comes from conversations I have had over the years from my relatives in Oswego and Yorkville in Kendall County, Illinois.

I have three different sides of my family tree all represented here in these towns where my mom grew up,...but my dad had never lived.

Let's climb aboard a time machine 🚀, and jump back to where these trees started growing in Kendall County.

First stop ~ My maternal grandfather, Gerald Pearce, was born in 
                     Oswego where his great-grandfather, Daniel Pearce, was
                     one of the first settlers. Gerald had been married with a 
                     daughter, and widowed, before meeting my 
                     grandmother. His one daughter had 12 children.

Gerald and Tillie Pearce

Second stop ~ My maternal grandmother, Mathilda Steffen, and her 
                     younger sister, Alice, moved from Iowa to Kendall 
                     County. Grandma "Tillie" married Grandpa Gerald and     
                     raised my mother and uncle in Yorkville. The 12       
                     children above (their half-neices/nephews), were     
                     approximately their age range and went to school with

Third stop ~ My paternal grandmother, Ethel, was born and raised
                    southeastern Indiana along with her eight siblings. One
                    of her sisters, Clara, married and moved to Kendall
                    County. Clara and Tillie became good friends. When my
                    Grandma Ethel and family would visit, my mother got to
                    got to meet my father.

(L-R) Clara, Ethel Gladys and Loren Haessig

I truly hope that I haven't completely confused you yet! It was honestly has made for some interesting conversations with relatives over the years.

I am related to the Goins families in Kendall County, because my Great-aunt Clara moved from southeastern Indiana and raised her family there.

But the rest of my Illinois relatives are related to them in any way.

My Grandma Tillie Steffen married Grandpa Pearce, so I am related to all the Pearces in the area.

My Great-aunt, Alice, had moved from Iowa with big sister, Tillie. She stayed and raised a family in Kendall County, also. I am related to her children here. But, only my immediate family and closest Pearce cousins are related to them, also.

What makes all of this quite interesting is the fact that Yorkville and Oswego are small towns. They know each other as neighbors and classmates.

We, however, are in a unique position to call everyone: FAMILY!!! 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Elusive Ezekiel Pearce & His Sister, Nancy Pearce Sargent

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.

In today's post, I wanted to share a little information about two of Daniel Pearce's (Sr.) older children that did not travel to the Illinois area with the rest of the family....That I am aware of!

I have been transcribing a few pages at a time of 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 had decided to continue sharing some portions of it here to help fellow family historians, if I can.

(I 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. 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.

Today, I will concentrate on the two oldest of Daniel and Nancy's children, and their families.

1.) Ezekiel was born in 1783, while the family stll resided in Maryland. Married Sally Provost. One daughter. Sally Pearce was born about 1807 in Virginia. Ezekiel died in 1808 in Virginia. No further record. (pp. 3, 8)

In this day and age of having everything at our fingertips, I would love to tell you that I have found more information on Ezekiel and Sally. I am a researcher by nature, and love solving a good mystery.

However, all my tried and true magic tricks for conjuring up ancestors have still brought me up empty-handed. If anyone finds more information on the elusive Ezekiel Pearce and his family, I would be eternally grateful!

2.) Nancy. Born 1785 in Maryland. Married Mr. Sargent. Two daughters. (p. 3).

On page 8 of our Descendants book, the author gives us only the information that Elizabeth Sargent married a Waller and had six children.

He then states that her sister, Sally Sargent, married a Davis and had five children.

On page 18, we are given a list of these eleven grandchildren of Nancy Pearce Sargent. With notes included from the book, they are as follows:

*Frances Ann Harbour

* Mary A. Waller

*Sarah J. Waller

*Luke Eldridge Waller

*Elijah Waller

*Elisha Waller

(Above six lived from about 1820 to 1890.)

*Colvin Davis

*Hulda Davis

*John Davis

*Tabitha Davis

*Elizabeth Davis

~ (Above five lived from about 1820 to 1890. Said to be cousins of Noah Davis.
A Noah Davis lived in Champaign County, Ohio, and a Judge, Noah Davis
presided at the trial of "Boss" Tweed, in New York) ~

As you will see when we move on to Ezekiel and Nancy's siblings, the author
of this book does a fairly thorough job of reporting what he know on each
generation. When he was given additional information at a later date, it was
added as an addendum.

So, the fact that Ezekiel's family ends with his immediate family and his
sister's family ends with her grandchildren leaves me puzzled. In addition,
the fact that I am having absolutely no luck in finding anything more leaves
me completely baffled.

** Stay tuned for more 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.