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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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 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 United States in the 18th Century


  • Joan Pierce, who landed in Virginia in 1705

Pierce Settlers in 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


Pierce Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Joseph Pierce, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Lewis Pierce, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Mr. James Pierce U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783

Pierce Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Pierce, who landed in Halifax or New York in 1811

Pierce Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Pierce, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Pierce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Singapore" in 1839
  • William Pierce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Bronte" in 1849
  • Robert Pierce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Midlothian" in 1850
  • William Pierce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Salacia" in 1850


Pierce Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Pierce, aged 38, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • William Pierce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ernestina" in 1865
  • John Pierce, aged 21, a groom, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hindostan" in 1875
  • James Pierce, aged 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Emma Pierce, aged 28, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875


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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. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. 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 17 March 2016 at 11:42.

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