George Thomas Little.

Genealogical and family history of the state of Maine; (Volume 3) online

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as 1643 ' ^'^^ assessed there in 1645 ! served

as a selectman in 1660-61-62-65-66; in 1671
was one of four appointed to confer with the
selectmen to build a new church, the same to
cost about $2,226 ; was a member of the com-
mittee having charge of the division of the
common lands, and for this service he received
thirty-seven acres of make meadow or swamp
land. March 28, 1667, he was chosen one of
the "Rights proprietors" by the town, and in
the following year was appointed by the gen-
eral court a member of a committee formulated
for the same purpose. He is frequently re-
ferred to in the early records of Woburn as
Sergeant Pierce. His death occurred No-
vember 6, 1683. On May 6, 1635, he married
Elizabeth Cole, daughter of Ryse and Arrold
Cole ; she died March 5, 1688 ; Ryse Cole was
the ninth on the first list of thirteen inhabi-
tants of Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1629.
Children of Thomas and Elizabeth (Cole)
Pierce were: Abigail (died young), John,
Thomas, Elizabeth, Joseph (died young), Jo-
seph, Stephen, Samuel (died young), Samuel,
\\'illiam, James, Abigail and Benjamin.

(Ill) Thomas (3), second son and third
child of Sergeant Thomas (2) and Elizabeth
(Cole) Pierce, was born in \\'oburn, Massa-
chusetts, June 21. 1645, died Decembers, 1717.
He was in the Narragansett expedition dur-
ing King Philip's war, and participated in the
battle known as the Swamp Fight, December
19, 1675, under Captain Prentiss and Lieu-
tenant Oaks. Flis will was dated November
26, 1717, and named Timothy Pierce and
David Roberts, his son-in-law, executors. He

married (first) about i66g, Eliza , and

had children: i. Thomas, born February 12,
1670, married, February 27, 1692, Mary Wy-
man. 2. Timothy, see forward. 3. Elizabeth,
born January 5, 1676, died February 15, 1699.
He married (second) March 24, 1680, Rachel
Bacon, born June 4. 1652. They resided in
Woburn and had children: i. Rachel, born
July 24, 1681, married Jesse Osmer. 2. Abi-
gail, born April 14, 1685, married David Rob-
erts. 3. Isaac, born December 2^. 1686, died
December 28, 1686. 4. Ebenezer, born De-
cember 10, 1687, died May 25, 1688. 5. Phebe,
born February 13, 1689, died July 12, 1707.

(I\") Timothy, second son and child of
Thomas (3) and Eliza Pierce, born in Wo-
burn, January 25, 1673, died in Plainfield, Con-
necticut, May 25, 1748. He went to Plainfield
with his brother, Thomas Pierce, about 1690,
and was one of the most prominent and re-
spected citizens of Windham county. He was
ensign of Plainfield's train band in 1708, and
when the town attained to the dignity of a



full train band in 1711, Timothy Pierce was
made lieutenant. He was tavern keeper in
1716, one of the committee on the new meet-
ing house in 1718. and this being ready for
occupancy in September, 1720, he was one of
those chosen to attend to the sealing. Those
over fifty years of age were seated according
to the number of their years, and others ac-
cording to their estates. So arduous were the
duties of this committee that they were al-
lowed one pound sterling for their care and
services. Timothy Pierce succeeded Thomas
Williams in 1723 as captain of the train band,
and in 1739, when the military companies in
the towns of Plainfield, Canterbury, Pomfret,
Killingly and \oluntown were constituted the
Eleventh Connecticut Regiment, he was ap-
pointed colonel. He was representative from
1 71 7 to 1726; justice of the peace in 17 18;
justice of the quorum for New London county;
judge of the probate court in the Windham
district in 1725. The first court of common
pleas within and for the county of Windham
was held at Windham Green, June 26, 1726,
and Timothy Pierce, previously judge of pro-
bate, was appointed by the general assembly
judge of the county court. He was appointed
to inspect the Canterbury bridge in 1722, and
was one of those to consider the building of a
state house in 1729. He was town clerk from
1725 to 1748, when his son Ezckiel, who was
a captain in the French and Indian wars, be-
came clerk and continued for twenty-five years.
He was also a member of the governor's coun-
cil. One of his commissions as judge of pro-
bate, dated 1734, is in the possession of Charles
S. Pierce, and another one is owned by George
W. Pierce, of Albany. He executed the mani-
fold duties of all his offices with such diligence
and care as to be above criticism, was a father
to the town, a promoter of the-^mmon wel-
fare, and of an extraordinarily good, pious
and christian character. The following lines
are of undoubted interest: "In Memory of
the Hon. Colonel Timothy Pierce, Esq., who
was an assistant in Flis Majesty's Colony of
Connecticut for twenty years, and was Chief
Judge of the County of Windham for nine-
teen years, and Judge of the Probate for this
district of Windham twenty-two years, all of
which honorable trust he discharged with
great fidelity and justice and to the great sat-
isfaction of all ; who departed this life May
the 25th, 1748, in the 74th year of his age."

Timothy Pierce married (first) May 27,
1696, Lydia Spaulding, who died March 23,
1705. They had children: i. Timothy Jr.,
born October 7, 1698, married, June 12, 1723,

Mary Wheeler; was killed in the Wyoming
Massacre, 1778. 2. Nathaniel, born June 3,
1701, married (first) February 20, 1723, Eliza-
beth Stevens; married (second) Mrs. Si-
monds ; he died 1775. 3. Jedediah, born Feb-
ruary 23, 1703, died February 2, 1746. 4.
Lydia, born March 10. 1705, married Dr. Jo-
seph Perkins. Timothy Pierce married (sec-
ond) October 12, 1709, Hannah Bradhurst,
born December 14, 1682, died April 2, 1747,
daughter of Ralph and Hannah (Gore) Brad-
hurst, of Roxbury ; Ralph Bradhurst was one
of the grantees of Leicester, Massachusetts, by
the Indians. 1686; he was a member and clerk
of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Com-
pany ; he married, June 13, 1677, Hannah,
born May 15, 1645, daughter of John Gore.
Mr. and Mrs. Pierce had children: 1. Benja-
min, see forward. 2. Ezekiel, born January
8, 1712, married, February 11, 1736, Lois
Stevens. 3. Phebe, born February 19. 1714,
married John Smith. 4. Hannah, born May 8.
1717, died September 3, 1727. 5. Abel, born
June 17, 1720, died September 4, 1736. 6.
Jabez, married, January 27, 1748, Susannah

(V) Benjamin, eldest child of Colonel Tim-
othy and Hannah (Bradhurst) Pierce, born
June 7, 1710, died in Brooklyn, Connecticut,
February 7, 1782. He was appointed ensign
of the I'"ifth Company, Eleventh Regiment of
Connecticut, in 1750, and appointed captain in
1757. Pierce Genealogy speaks of Benjamin
Pierce as a captain in the revolutionary war ;
his record is in the archives at Hartford, Con-
necticut. He enlisted for a short term in the
First Regiment, July 12, 1776, becoming a
member of Captain Smith's company, Brad-
ley's battalion, which was stationed during the
greater part of the summer and early fall at
Bergen Heights and Paulus Hook. In Octo-
ber it moved up the river to the vicinity of
Fort Lee, then under the command of Gen-
eral Greene, and in the following spring the
greater part of the regiment went across the
river to assist in the defence of Fort Wash-
ington, and upon the capitulation of the fort
were made prisoners with the entire garrison.
Captain Pierce received his discharge Novem-
ber 16, 1776, and re-enlisted for a short term
in 1779, and again July 1, 1780, receiving his
final discharge December 9, 1780. He served
as deputy for Canterbury, 1758-59. He mar-
ried (first) Hannah Smith, who died Septem-
ber 25, 1736. She was the daughter of Ne-
hemiah, born 1673, and Dorothy (Wheeler)
Smith, granddaughter of Nehemiah, born 1646,
and Lydia (Winchester) Smith, and great-



granddaughter of Nehemiah Smith, born in
England about 1605, one of the first settlers
of Norwich, Connecticut, 1660. Captain and
Mrs. Pierce had children: i. Nehemiah. see
forward. 2. Hannah, born February 5, 1733,
married, 1764, Isaac Burton; died 1841. 3.
Oliver, born June 27, 1736, died unmarried in
Coventry, June 26, 1837, ^^ the age of one
hundred and one years. Captain Benjamin
married (second) July 15. 1737, Naomi Rich-
ards, who died July 20. 1757. They had chil-
dren: I. Olive, born March 29, 1738, mar-
ried Abbott. 2. Rufus, born Septem-
ber 27, 1740, died December 23, 1741. 3.
Rachel, born February 19, 1742, married, De-
cember 28, 1760, John Gilbert; died 1827. 4.
Lyte, born April 23, 1745, died September 21,
1804. 5. Delano, born November ig, 1748,
married, November i, 1770, Abigail Ham-
mond ; died October 28, 1835. 6. Timeus, born
June 3, 1751. married. May 4, 1779, Elizabeth
Grosvenor, died September 27, 1802. 7. Ru-
fus, born September 7, 1753, married Sarah
Whitney; died August 10, 1784. 8. Diadema,
born April 14, 1756, married Timothy Prince.
Captain Benjamin married (third) August 31,
1738, Sarah Mills. He married (fourth) Jan-
uary 28, 1762, Sarah Holt.

(\T) Nehemiah, eldest child of Captain
Benjamin and Hannah (Smith) Pierce, born
May 27, 1730, died October 12, 1783. His life
was spent in Plainfield and Coventry, Con-
necticut. He married, May 3, 1759, Lydia, born
in October, 1731, died October 22, i8og,
daughter of David and Lydia (Meachman)
Sheppard, granddaughter of Samuel and
Elinor (Whitney) Sheppard, and great-grand-
daughter of Isaac Sheppard. Nehemiah and
Lydia (Sheppard) Pierce had children: i.
Daniel, born July 24, 1760, died April 22, 1769.
2. Benjamin, born September 4, 1762, married,
December 24, 1786, Lydia Gurley ; died Oc-
tober to, 1838. 3. Hannah, born May 10,
1766, married, 1784, Isaac Barton; died 1841.
4. Frederick, born July 22, 1768, married, 1802,
Rebekah Blood ; died March 29, 1845. 5. Ne-
hemiah, see forward. 6. Lydia, born Decem-
ber 4, 1774, married Aaron Loomis; died 1847.
7. Lucy, twin of Lydia, died young. 8. Lucy,
born May 30, 1776.

(\'II) Nehemiah (2), fourth son and fifth
child of Nehemiah ( i ) and Lydia ( Sheppard )
Pierce, born May 10, 1771, died at Monmouth,
]\Iaine, May 6, 1850. He removed to Bath,
]\Iaine, from Coventry, Connecticut, in 1807,
and to Monmouth the following year, and was
known as one of the most industrious and pro-
gressive farmers of the state. He was the

pioneer in the field of systematic dairying in
Maine, and is reputed to have been the most
extensive manufacturer of cheese in the east-
ern section of New England. He 'was a
strong factor in educational work, and as sec-
retary of the board of trustees of Monmouth
Academy, when it was classed with the first
schools of New England, became widely
known in educational circles. As president of
the Monmouth Mutual Fire Insurance Com-
pany, a corporation known as the largest of the
kind in the state, he was brought into public
notice as a man possessed of more than ordi-
nary executive ability, and as a result of his
success in that field, received appointments to
many offices of trust and responsibility from
the chief executive of the state. Among these
was that of state commissioner of public roads,
an office for which he was excellently adapted,
having had considerable experience as a road
builder, notably in the construction of the mil-
itary road from Bangor to Houlton, and the
turnpike from Bath to Brunswick, a piece of
work he had superintended in 1807. Mr.
Pierce was an exemplary Christian, and a man
with distinct and firm views upon the temper-
ance question. He built the brick house, still
standing in 1825, and i\Iarch 4, the day John
Quincv Adams was inaugurated, Mr. Pierce
opened it to the public with a grand celebra-
tion. With raw "West India" for fireworks
and the old brass cannon for the speaker of the
dav, the occasion wanted nothing but an ex-
change of snowdrifts for a high temperature,
to pass muster as the Fourth of July. It is
but justice to state that the liquid firewater
which enlivened this occasion was not fur-
nished by Mr. Pierce. He has the honor of
being the first citizen of Monmouth to be an
aggressive temperance advocate, his being the
first house raised in that town without the aid
of liquor. When the first broadside was raised
the men paused for the customary treat, and
it came in the form of coffee, steaming hot.
They looked at each other in amazement and
then the leading spirits ordered a general
strike. Mr. Pierce expostulated, and the men
were undecided. On the one hand, if they
left the frame, they would incur the displeas-
ure of one whom they all liked, whom they
profoundly respected, and to whose good will
they w-ere not indifferent; on the other, if
they proceeded with the work, they would es-
tablish a precedent which might become locally
universal. Better nature and the advice of a
few level-headed ones triumphed, and they
raised the other broadside. Another instal-
ment of hot coffee brought on another strike.



followed by more arbitration and temperance
oratory, which at last prevailed, and the roof
went up without further remonstrance. This
house was later held open as a public tavern
for several years. Xehemiah Pierce was one
of a committee of three in 1810 to take meas-
ures to prevent the spread of smallpo.x. This
was "A committee for superintending the
inoculation for the 'cow-pox,' " which appar-
ently was then raging. The task of this
committee was a difficult one at the time, as
vaccination was then an innovation and was
looked upon with a feeling of intense distrust.

Mr. Pierce married (first) April 14, 1794,
Clarissa, born February 15, 1772, died July
27, 1842, daughter of Dr. Jesse Williams, of
Mansfield, Connecticut, born 1737, grand-
daughter of Captain William Williams, born
1690, married a daughter of Joseph and De-
liverance (Jackson) Wilson, great-grand-
daughter of Lieutenant Isaac Jr., born 1661,
and Mlizabelh (Hyde) Williams, great-great-
granddaughter of Captain Isaac, born 1638,
and Martha (Parke) Williams, and great-
great-great-granddaughter of Sir Robert, born
1608, and Elizabeth (Stalham) Williams. The
Williams family was one of the most cele-
brated in the section in which they resided.
Nchemiah and Clarissa (Williams) Pierce had
children: i. Oliver W., Iwrn April 2, 1795,
married (first) June 20, 1826, Rebecca Carl-
ton; married (second) November 10, 1855,
Mrs. Delia Morris; died January 19, 1871. 2.
Bela, sec forward. 3. Jesse, born December
4, 1798, married, CJctober 22, 1822, Catherine
Johnson: died .April 13, 1842. 4. Clarissa,
born August 8. 1801, married, April 30, 1829,
Guy Carlton: died March 10, 1842. 5. ^lilton,
born September 22, 1803, died June 10, 1827.
6. John, born November 25, 1805, married,
November 2, 1840, Chloe McLellan ; he is a
physician. 7. Daniel, born April 5, 1808, mar-
ried, April 18, 1833, Caroline Shorcy. 8.
Nehemiah. born June 10, 1810, died February
17, 1821. 9. Mary W., born June 12, 1814,
married, June ir, 1839, William Grows. Ne-
hemiah Pierce married (^ second) January 8,
1844, Nancy Ladd.

(Vni) Bela, second son and child of Nche-
miah (2) and Clarissa (Williams) Pierce,
born in Wales, Maine, January 2, 1797, died
in the same town, March 26, 1882. He was
the owner of a large farm in Monmouth,
which he cultivated with great success, and
was for some years a member of the board
of selectmen. His political affiliations were
with the Republican party. First man in
Wales to vote anti-slaverv ticket. Fic was for

many years a deacon in the Baptist church.
He married, March 27, 1822, Elizabeth, born
May 8, 1799. died January 19, 1886. daughter
of John Wilcox, of Woolwich, Maine, and
they had children: i. Clarissa W., born Feb-
ruary 7, 1823, married, June 8, 1847, William
L. Small ; had children : Charles W., Chester
W., Chester W., Frederick W. and Edward
P. 2. Charles H., see forward. 3. Elizabeth
M., born February 18, 1827, died September
15, 1831. 4. William, born April i, 1830,
married (first) August i, 1865, Jane Brown,
and had children : William B. and Edward
E. ; (second) March 19, 1878, Lena C. Al-
len; died September 12, 1879. 5. Elizabeth,
born August 20, 1832, died May 21, 1864. 6.
Edward P., born October 7, 1834, married,
June 5, 1873, Nellie F. Kenney, and has one
child : Edward E. 7. Ann ^L, born Alarch 17,
1836, married, November 30, 1871, Thomas
H. Sprague. and has children : Edward B. and
Alice P. 8. Meribah T., born F'ebruary 8,

(IX) Charles Flenry, eldest son and second
child of Bela and Elizabeth (Wilcox) Pierce,
born in Monmouth, Alaine, July 8, 1824, died
in Springvale, IMaine, January 19, 1908. He
received his education in Monmouth and was
graduated from the Monmouth .Academy, after
which he taught school for several years. His
first school duties took him to Webster, and
he received the magnificent salary of ten dol-
lars per month. He resided on the home
farm until he was about thirty-five years of
age. He abandoned teaching for photogra-
phy in i86i, estabhshing himself in Bruns-
wick, Maine, and later removing to Bath,
where he continued in the business until 1876,
when the chemicals necessary for his work
had so poisoned his system that he abandoned
this calling also. He engaged in the drug
business at North Berwick, Maine, and in
1881 removed to Springvale, where he opened
a new drug store and conducted it up to the
time of his death. For many years he was
president and superintendent of the Spring-
vale Water Company, the success of which
undertaking was largely due to his individual
efforts : he was manager of the Western Union
Telegraph office for more than twenty-five
years; and surveyor of wood and lumber for
twenty-five years. He was a deacon of tiie
Baptist church in Rath, and a trustee of the
Cemetery Association for two years. In De-
cember, 1859. he was made a Master Mason
of Temple Lodge, Winthrop, Alaine. He
married, November 12, 1863, Sarah M.
Sprague, born at Topsham, Maine, March 9,



1839. died at Springvale, October 24, 1903.
She was the daughter of Willis ( born at Tops-
liam, 1800, died 1867) and Mary (Foy)
Sprague. who were married in 1821. The di-
rect line of descent is as follows: Willis, Jo-
seph. James Jr., James, Samuel, William, Ed-
ward. Edward was a resident of Upaway,
Dorset county, England, and died in 1614.
William, the immigrant ancestor, was one of
three brothers who came from England in the
ship "Abigail" with Mr. Endicott in 1628.
Everett says they were the founders of the
settlement of Charlestown, and were men of
character, substance and enterprise. William
is mentioned as of Salem, ^Massachusetts, in
1629. Charles H. and Sarah ]\I. (Sprague)
Pierce had children: I. Mary Elizabeth, born
September 24, 1865. 2. Clara S., born March
8, 1867. 3. Charles S., see forward. 4. Ruth,
born July 17, 1882, died February 24, 1890.

(X) Charles Sprague, third child and only
son of Charles Henry and Sarah I\I. (Sprague )
Pierce, was born in North Berwick, Maine,
July 7, 1880. His preparatory education was
acquired in the schools at Springvale, and he
entered Hebron Academy at the fall session of
i8g6, and was graduated in 1898. He then
took a three years' course in the Massachu-
setts College of Pharmacy, at Boston, Massa-
chusetts, after which he went into the drug
business with his father, taking charge of the
business in 1905, and remaining associated
with his father until the death of the latter,
since which he has carried on the business
alone ; succeeded his father as manager of the
Western Union Telegraph Company. He has
always given stanch support to the principles
of the Republican party, and has served as a
member of the board of health, is trustee of
the Public Library and Riverside Cemetery
Association, and is superintendent of the
Water Works. He is a member of the Bap-
tist church, and non-commissioned officer of
Company F of the National Guard of the
State of Maine, First Regiment. He is con-
nected with the following organizations :
Member of St. Amand Commandery, No. 20,
Knights Templar, of Kennebunk. jMaine; Kora
Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine, of Lewiston, Maine ; Maine
Society Sons of the American Revolution;
New York Society Order of Patriots and
Founders ; Maine Pharmaceutical ^Association ;
several local clubs ; and is a thirty-second de-
gree Mason. Mr. Pierce married at Stone-
ham, Massachusetts, December 21, 1903, Lena
Rose, born at Stoneham. October 30, 1881,
daughter of Oliver Parker and Caroline Au-

gusta (Chase) Webber. She is a member of
the Daughters of the American Revolution,
her descent being from William Wooster, who
served in the Continental army. The children
of Mr. and x^Irs. Pierce are: i. Aubrey Roger,
born December 9, 1904. 2. Gerakline, Septem-
ber II, 1906.

This surname is of English

BENSON origin, and has been used as
long as any surname. It was
derived obviously from the name Benjamin,
in the same manner as Jackson, Robinson,
Watson and Dickson. So far as can be dis-
covered from registers, the Benson family '
were tenants of Fountains Abbey (one of the
largest and best preserved monastic edifices
in the \\'est Riding of Yorkshire, three miles
southwest of Ripon. Founded in 1132 and
completed in the sixteenth century, it pre-
sents examples of every variety of style, from
the Norman to perpendicular) and were for-

John Benson ( i ) held a toft from the ab-
bey at Swenton, by Masham, as long ago as
1348. His descendant, Sir John Benson (2),
was chaplain to Lady Scrape, of Marsham,
1480. Thomas Benson (5) was forester at
Bangor House, a forest lodge which still
exists as a farm in the township of Dacre.
The property then descended to John's eldest
son. John Benson ( 10) married Ellen Ridd,
in 1622, and died in 1649, leaving Bangor
House to his eldest son. John (11) married
Mary Yates in 1649, and died in 1706. The
line comes down to Edward White Benson,
who attained the supreme honor of the Eng-
lish Church, being made Archbishop of Can-
terbury in 1883.

"We must conclude that the Bensons were
a large and ancient family of no great pre-
tensions, living in Alasham from about 1300,
and at first within the liberty, and in the
service of the Abbey of Fountains. The Ben-
sons are a stock perhaps best described in
the words of Michael Angelo, 'Simple persons
who wore no gold on their garments.' "
(From Genealogy of Benson Family of Ban-
gor House by Arthur Christopher Benson,
M. A., son of Edward White Benson.)

(I) John Benson, immigrant ancestor of
the American family of Benson, was born
in England, doubtless at Coversham, Oxford-
shire, whence he came in 1638 in the ship
"Confidence," to Boston. He gave his age at
that time as thirty, indicating that he was
born in 1608. He settled in Hingham, Mas-
sachusetts, where he had his first grant of



land in 1638. He marrieil Mary .

Children: i. John, mentioned below. 2.
Mary, came with her parents.

(II) John (2), son of John (i) Benson,
was born in England, about 1630. He settled
at Hingham and Hull, Massachusetts. Chil-
dren: I. John, mentioned below. 2. Joseph,
married Prince; (second) Mary Cur-
tis, of Scituate; (third) Alice Pickets, daugh-
ter of Nathan, of Scituate ; John Benson, of
Bridgewatcr, was doubtless his son.

l_III) John (3), son of John (2) Benson,
was born about 1660. He settled in Roches-
ter, Massacliusetts, and married Elizabeth

. Children, born in Rochester: i.

Mary, March 10, 1689. 2. Sarah, July 15,
1690. 3. Ebenezer, March 16, 1693. 4. John,
July 10, 1696, settled perhaps at Newport.
Rhode Island. 5. Joseph, March 16, 1697.
6. Benjamin (twin), March 16, 1697, mar-
ried, March 17, 1714-15, Elizabeth Bryant, of
Plympton. 7. Bennett, September 10, 1698.
8. Martha. March 5, 1703. 9. Joshua, Jan-
uary 29, 1705. mentioned below. 10. Caleb
(twin), born January 29, 1705. 11. Samuel,
March 22, 1707, removed to Wareham, thence
to Middleborough ; married, November 21,
1728, at Plympton, Kcziah Barrows; (second)
in 1769, Agnes Tinkham, born 1721, who
married (first) Joseph Tinkham and (third)

Mackfun, or Ma.xwell ; was a member

of the Middleborough church early. Several
of this family settled in Wareham and Middle-
borough. Ebenezer joined the Wareham
church, -April 17, 1743, and children of Eben-
ezer and his wife Joanna Benson were bap-
tized at Wareham, May 22, 1743. viz.: Elisha,
Joanna, Benjamin, Thankful. The wife Jo-
anna died March 12, 1769. Ebenezer died
July 16, 1767. Samuel and Keziah were at
Wareham ; Samuel was baptized May 30. 1742,

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