PEIRCE, George (or Pearce, as the name appears to have been written by him), of the parish of Winscom, in the county of Somerset (England), and Ann Gainer, of Thornbury, in the county of Gloucester, were married the 1st day of 12th month, commonly called February, 1679. George, with his wife and three young children, emigrated from Bristol, the seaport nearest his residence, in 1684, and the same year had a tract of 490 acres of land surveyed to him in what is now Thornbury township. Thornbury being the name of a district of country from which he obtained his wife, and a desire on his part to keep up the old associations most dear to him, probably suggested the name of the township. He arrived at Philadelphia prior to 9th month 4, 1684, upon which day he presented two certificates to a meeting of Friends held "att the Governor's house." One of these certificates from "the Monthly Meeting at ffrenshay, in the County of Gloucester." The other was from "Thornbury Meeting."
He may have settled on his new purchase in 1685, but his name first appears as an active member of Chichester Friends' Meeting in 1686; shortly after which meetings were sometimes held at his house. Besides being strict in his attention to his religious duties, he gave a share of his time to civil affairs, and of his means to the improvement of the country. He represented Chester County in the Provincial Assemble in 1706, and was one of a company who erected "the Concord mill," the first mill erected in his neighborhood. He died in East Marlborough about 1734, having removed to that township two years before.
The children of George and Ann Pearce were:
Joshua Perice married first, 8,28,1713, Ann Mercer, daughter of Thomas and Mary, of Westtown; second marriage 9,15,1722 to Rachel, daughter of Joseph and Hannah Gilpin, of Birmingham. He settled in the eastern part of East Marlborough. The children by the first wife were:
By second wife:
From these have descended hundreds, if not thousands, of our citizens. In some branches the name is written Pierce, and by others Peirce, which is thought to be the orthography of the early generations succeeding the immigrant.
Moses Pierce, son of Caleb and Hannah Pierce, was born in Chester County, June 18, 1782. his mother was a sister of Dr. Moses Marshall, and a niece of Humphrey Marshall, the botanist. he studied medicine with his brother-in-law, Dr. James Gibbons of West Chester, attended a course of lectures in the University of Pennsylvania, and without graduating commenced the practice of physic in West Chester as the successor of Dr. Gibbons, whose residence he purchased in March, 1805.
Dr. Pierce was soon disabled from practice by pulmonary consumption.
He died June 18, 1808. He was never married. He was a man of great
energy of character and the most stoical fortitude. He contemplated his approaching
dissolution with singular calmness, and in the spring of 1808 calculated
the number of weeks which he thought he could live with surprising accuracy.