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It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Pearce was formed. The name was 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 surname Pearce was 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.

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Pearce include Pearce, Pierce, Pierse, Pearse, Pears, Peerce, Peers, Peirse and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearce 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 Pearce History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Distinguished members of the family include Sir Edmund Peirce or Pierse (died 1667), of Greenwich, Kent and Holborn, Middlesex, an English politician, Member of Parliament for Maidstone 1661 to 1667; Thomas Pierce or Peirse (1622-1691), an English churchman and controversialist, President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Dean...

Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pearce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Pearce 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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Pearce were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Pearce Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Pearce settled in Virginia in 1637
  • John and Judith Pearce settled in Boston in 1637
  • Anthony Pearce who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • George Pearce settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Robert Pearce settled in Barbados in 1685

Pearce Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Pearce settled in Virginia in 1761

Pearce Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Pearce, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Pearce, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Samuel Pearce, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Thomas Pearce, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • James Pearce, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
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Pearce Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Richard E. Pearce, aged 6, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • George Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Ann Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Edmond Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Richard Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863
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  • The Most Reverend George Hamilton Pearce SM, DD (1921-2015), American prelate, the first Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Apia, Samoa
  • Jordan Paul Pearce (b. 1986), American professional ice hockey goaltender
  • Stevan Edward "Steve" Pearce (b. 1947), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico (2011-)
  • Heath Gregory Pearce (b. 1984), American soccer player
  • William Houghton Sprague "W.H.S." Pearce (1864-1935), American painter
  • Alicia Pearce (1917-1966), Emmy Award-winning American actress
  • Richard Pearce (1835-1868), English Victorian plant collector
  • Ian Anthony Pearce (b. 1974), English former professional footballer
  • Krystian Mitchell Victor Pearce (b. 1990), English professional footballer
  • Stuart Pearce MBE (b. 1962), English football manager and former player who managed the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 2012 Olympics
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Pearce Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. Robert  Pearce, Canadian Cook aboard the SS Stella Maris from Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Eric Victor Pearce (1918-1941), Australian Acting Engine Room Artificer 4th Class from Carlton, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. William F Pearce (b. 1907), English Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Dugshai, India moved to Southsea, Hampshire England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Ronald J Pearce (b. 1920), English Leading Supply Assistant serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Harry R Pearce (b. 1917), English Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Arthur S Pearce (b. 1919), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Bristol, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Denis Pearce, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Pearce, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Leslie William Pearce, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Gilbert F Pearce, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Anthony F Pearce, British Engine Room Artificer 5th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
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RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Alfred Ernest Pearce (d. 1912), aged 24, English Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. John Pearce (d. 1912), aged 28, English Senior Fifth Engineer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Ernest Pearce (d. 1912), aged 32, English Third Class passenger from London who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • Pearce, Bartlett, Matthews, Smart, and Allied Families by James Alonzo Matthews Jr..
  • Pearce Pioneers in Kentucky by Marvin James Pearce.
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
    4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    11. ...

    The Pearce Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pearce 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 3 June 2016 at 20:02.

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