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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Pierce family come from? What is the English Pierce family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pierce family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pierce family history?

The history of the name Pierce begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from the baptismal name for the son of Peter. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Pierce has been recorded under many different variations, including Pearce, Pierce, Pierse, Pearse, Pears, Peerce, Peers, Peirse and many more.

First found in Somerset where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pierce research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1667, 1661, 1667, 1622, 1691, 1674, 1726, 1630, 1694, 1697, 1714, 1719, 1510, 1603, 1629, 1691, 1772, 1845, 1625, 1699, 1612 and are included under the topic Early Pierce History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 173 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pierce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pierce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 357 words(26 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Pierce or a variant listed above:

Pierce Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Abraham Pierce, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
  • Experience Pierce settled in Salem in 1630
  • Isaac Pierce, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1632
  • William Pierce, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633
  • Daniel Pierce settled in Boston in 1634


Pierce Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Joan Pierce, who landed in Virginia in 1705

Pierce Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edward Pierce, aged 66, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • Alex Pierce, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Matthew Pierce, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • Ann Pierce, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1821
  • David Pierce, aged 34, landed in Key West, Fla in 1837


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  • William S. Pierce (b. 1937), American cardiothoracic surgeon and chemical engineer who led development of the first pneumatic heart assist pump
  • President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), American politician, 14th American President
  • Pharmacist's Mate First Class Francis Junior Pierce (1924-1986), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945 for actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II
  • Barbara Pierce (b. 1925), First Lady of the United States (1989-1993)
  • Billy Pierce (b. 1927), American former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Bradley Pierce (b. 1982), American voice-over artist and character actor
  • Charles P. "Charlie" Pierce (b. 1953), American sportswriter
  • Charles B. Pierce (1938-2010), American film director, screenwriter, producer, set decorator and cinematographer
  • Daniel Pierce (b. 1814), American banker, founder of Daniel Pierce & Co., today known as The National Bank & Trust Company
  • George Washington Pierce (1872-1956), American physicist, professor of physics at Harvard University and inventor in the development of electronic telecommunications

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  • Eslick-Pierce Family history by Jacqueline R. Burt.
  • Fifty New England Colonists and Five Virginia Families by Florence Weiland.
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  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Pierce Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pierce Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 August 2014 at 13:10.

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