Category Archives: My family in history

Thomas Gardner, Richard, Richard Jr, and Miriam (Gardner) Coffin

(Coastal families/Gardner branch)

The Gardner family of Nantucket

“The Gardner family of Nantucket descended from Richard and John Gardner, sons of Thomas Gardner, planter, who came from England to Salem, Massachusetts in 1626. The two brothers were originally in the fishing business, but also began accumulating property. Their descendents became captains of whaling ships, land owners and merchants. Anna Gardner (1816-1901), descended from John, had a distinguished career as a schoolmistress and reformer. She taught in Nantucket elementary schools and, after the Civil War, in the schools of the New England Freedman’s Bureau in the south.. She was also active in the causes of temperance and women’s suffrage. In 1841, she called the Anti-Slavery Convention in Nantucket.
Anna Gardner also wrote two books of poems. William Edward Gardner (1872-1965), Episcopal minister, historian and author, is particularly remembered in Nantucket for his biographies of Walter Folger, Jr., John Gardner, the Starbuck family, and the Coffin family. He also wrote memorials of Dr. Roy H. Gilpatrick, George Fawcett, Charles H. Selden, Frederick C. Sanford, Peter Folger and Moses Joy as well as “Rambles in the Historic Nantucket District.”

1.  Thomas Gardner and Margaret Frier & Damaris Sibley Shattuck
Both of Thomas’ wives are mentioned here because Thomas’ son Richard, by Margaret, married, Sarah, daughter of Damaris by her first husband and my line descends from their union.

Thomas GARDNER (ca. 1592 – 1674)  was born 1591 in Dorsetshire, England, and died October 29, 1674, buried in
Gardner burying ground, Salem MA.{1}

Thomas Gardner was born in 1592 to Thomas and Elizabeth Gardner. According to records, his home was Dorsetshire, England. His father may have been a descendant of Owen Tudor whose grand-daughter married a Gardner (ca. 1450s, England). His mother was the sister of Minister John White who was instrumental in the Dorchester Company.

a)  By his first wife Margaret Frier (c 1589 – 1659) he had nine children; six sons (Thomas, George, John, Samuel, Joseph, and ♥ Richard) and three daughters (Sarah, Seeth, and Miriam) of whom two interest us Richard and John.  Margaret died.
b)  He married for his second wife Damaris Sibley Shattuck (1597 – 28 Sep 1674), a widow.  His son, Richard, married Damaris’ daughter ♥ Sarah, by her first husband.

Thomas, wife Margaret and three sons, born in England,  landed at Cape Ann, in 1624 in the ship Charity  to form a the Cape Ann Colony at what is now known as Gloucester; around 1639 he removed to Salem, Mass.
[Image at right: Pioneer Village living attraction, Salem, MA].

•  Thomas was named an Overseer in the 1624 party that left Weymouth on its way to Cape Ann.
•  Thomas was known as a ‘planter’.
•  In 1636 he was a member of the First Church.
•  Was elected a deputy to the General Court 26 Sept 1637
•  In 1637 he was appointed to survey all ffences west of the meeting house.
•  He was also engaged by the projectors of Cape Ann settlement to oversee the fisheries.
•  Was an Overseer of the “old planters” party of the Dorchester Company
•  Is considered to have been the Governor (superintendent) of Massachusetts (for a short time), due to his being in authority in the first settlement that became the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
•  He was an innkeeper in Salem and was apparently literate as he signed his name to several petitions and inventories.

Thomas Gardner’s signature at right {2}

At the Cape Ann Colony: Mr. John Tylley was overseer of the fishing and ‘Mr. Thomas Gardner’ was overseer of the planting. After the fishing season had closed, the majority of the men sailed homeward and left Mr. Gardner with thirteen companions to pass the winter and put in a crop in the spring as they had done in the season then closing. But the men did not work well, and the land was unfit for cultivation by any methods known to Englishmen of the day; so at the following summer the Company felt dissatisfied…the Adventurers discharged Mr. Gardner and invited Mr. Conant to take the vacant position.
At the end of a second year the Company was so discouraged that they abandoned the Cape Ann project altogether.

Where Mr. Gardner was for a number of years records do not show; but he appeared at Salem (Naumkeag) which Mr. Conant and some others of the Cape Ann company had founded, when the first records of the town’s proceedings now extant were made. It is certain that he was at this time, 1635, honored as one of the leading citizens; had large grants of land; was a deputy to the General Court in 1637, and in every way received universal respect. The town chose him an officer; the Court made him a ‘freeman’ May 17, 1637; and other honors came to him.

In May 1639, Thomas received the grant of ‘a banke of upland nere the strongwatter brook to his marsh paying 5s per acre.’ In 1677 the statement was made in court that this property ‘was always called Mr. Gardner’s Hill for this thirty years.’ In March 1672 Thomas had leased a house and about thirty acres to John Pudney for sever years. Rent for the house was to be paid in cider, cord wood, butter and cheese, pork, and corn. After Gardiner’s death, Pudney was sued by the executors for falling behind in his rent, but produced an account showing he had paid £19 in produce.

Thomas was buried on Gardner Hill near present day Boston Street and Grove, in Salem, MA. {4} One hundred and fifty graves, including Thomas Gardner, were moved maybe a few dozen yards in the new, Harmony Grove Cemetery when Grove Street was expanded in the 1840s.

The will of “Thomas Gardner of Salem” was written 7 December 1668 and proved 29 March 1675 by
witnesses Robert Pease and Samuel Goldthwaite [EQC 6:31].
“Weighing the uncertainty of man’s life, I do therefore in the time of my health, make this my last will” giving to “my wife Damaris” all the estate she brought with her “according to our agreement” and £8 a year paid by my six sons provided she give up her dower in my housing and lands; to “my daughter Sara Balch” £15; to “my daughter Seeth Grafton” £15; to “my daughter Mirian [sic] Hills two daughters, Miriam Hill, & Susanna Hill,” to each of them £5 at age eight~een or marriage; to “my sons George and John Gardner” salt meadow valued at £20; to “my sons Samuel and Joseph Gardner” the other part of my salt meadow; residue divided in seven equal parts, two parts to my son Thomas, he paying “his mother in law forty six shillings by the year,” the other sons to receive one part each and pay their mother-in-law twenty-three shillings a year; sons George and Samuel
Gardner executors; “my loving friends Mr. Joseph Grafton and Deacon Horne” overseers.

The inventory of the estate of “Mr. Thomas Gardner, taken 4:11m:1674” by Hilliard Veren, Sr. and John Pickering totalled £274 16s., including real estate valued at £201: “an old dwelling house with about 10 acres of land adjoining with the orchard, fences &c.,” £31; ten acres of ground in the Northfield, £27; about 100 acres of upland and meadow, £100; about 20 acres of land lying in the woods, £3; and about 2 3/4 acres of salt marsh lying above the mill,” £40. The inventory also included “2 old barrels of guns” valued at 5s.

Following Thomas Gardner’s probate, at the November 1677 term of Essex court his sons George (“now of Hartford, Connecticut”) and Samuel sued John Pudney of Salem, husbandman, over a farm let to Pudney by lease dated 1 March 1672[/3] and described as Gardner’s now dwelling house in Salem, with all his land in Northfield, about 20 acres, also his 10 acres of meadow …for seven years from Apr. 15, 1672 at £11 per year, and two barrels of cider, said Gardner furnishing the cask, of which £4 were to be paid in wood at 8s. per cord, 40s. in butter and cheese, with one firkin of butter, 40s. in pork, and the remainder in corn. Said Pudney was not to remove any muck, and Gardner reserved the right to take the meadow near Needham’s if he so desired.{5}

Witness: Robert Pease, Samuell Golthrite. Proved Mar. 29, 1675 by the witnesses before Edward Ting, Esq. and Maj. Hathoren, Esq. and Hilliard Veren, clerk of the court at Salem. Copy, Essex County Probate Records, vol. 301, page 62.

The will of Thomas Gardner was dated 7 December 1668 and proved 29 March 1675. He gives wife Damaris all that she brought with her according to their agreement plus eight pounds for which she was to relinquish her dower rights. Daughters Sara Balch and Seeth Graafton received fifteen pounds. Daughter Miriam Hill’s two daughters, Miriam Hill and Susanna Hill, each received five pounds. Sons George and John received the salt meadow on the west side of Capt. George Corwin’s meadow; Samuel and Joseph received the meadow on the east side of Corwin. His housing and lands were to be divided equally among his six sons: Thomas, George, Richard, John, Samuel, and Joseph. George and Samuel were appointed executors. The inventory totalled £274-16-0, including £30 for the homestead and £167 of other land
(Essex County Probate, #10,667, 62:301; Essex Probate Records )

1. Thomas Gardner Planter and Some of His Descendants, compiled and arranged by Frank A Gardner, MD, 1731, Essex Institute, Salem, Mass., this source mentions the death date as given in the Town Records .
2. The signature’s Internet source:  <>
The signature’s original source = <>
3. Source <>
4.  Burial and other information: <>

2.  Richard Gardner and Sarah Shattuck

* Richard GARDNER was born in ABT 1626 in England; died on 23 Jan 1688 in Nantucket, MA; buried in Maxey Pond Burying Ground, Nantucket, MA.
Richard GARDNER married Sarah SHATTUCK in 1652 (they were step brother and step sister, not blood relatives). They had the following children: ♥ Richard GARDNER  Jr. (b. 23 Oct 1653), and nine others.

Richard Gardner came to America with his brother Captain John Gardner in 1640.

Richard’s wife Sarah was a Quaker who had considerable trouble with the Salem authorities on account of her belief.
Richard Gardner and his wife therefore decided to leave Salem and moved to Nantucket in 1666/1667, for more congenial surroundings. In 1666 the following resolution was passed at a meeting of the inhabitants of Nantucket:
A grant was made to Richard Gardner halfe accommodacons according to the grants made to Seamen and Tradesmen upon condition that hee exercise himselfe as a sea man & that hee come to inhabitt here with his ffamily before the end of May 1688 and after that his entrance here not to depart the Island in Point of dwelling for the space of three years upon forfeiture of the grant aforsaid.
Richard moved to Nantucket as a seaman and became a landowner.{D3}  His house was around Wesco, now called Lily Pond, so irregular in form as to be called the ‘Crooked Record’. The house was built on the west end of Sunset Hill (just west of the Coffin house) in 1665, where now is the residence of Eben W. Francis. {D1}
John and his wife, Priscilla Grafton, soon followed.
Source: <http mcronin111gardner.htm>

A feud broke out amongst the early settlers of Nantucket. On one side the Coffin’s and their friends, on the other the Gardner brothers (John and Richard) and their friends. The feud is thought to have developed from the divergent temperaments of Tristram and Capt. John Gardner. Tristram was a natural leader, but had tendencies to be irritable and despotic. Capt. John Gardner was a man of physical courage, rugged honesty and democratic in his dealings, traits that gained him public confidence. {D3}

An event that occurred during the feud which was prompted by the Coffin faction: Peter Folger a friend and marriage relation of the Gardner’s was arrested for contempt of court and ordered held until his bond was met. Richard Gardner’s, wife Sarah, and Peter Folger’s son, Eleazur (whom was married to Richard’s daughter, Sarah), all expressed themselves with indignation at Peter’s arrest. They were consequently ordered to answer for their statements in court, but did not appear. The court stated,”…Sarah, the wife of Mr. Richard Gardner, being legally convicted of speaking very opprobriously and uttering many slanderous words concerning the imprisonment of Peter Folger..the court thinks it fit…she shall be reproved and admonished to have care for the future of evil words to defaming His Majesty’s Court”. “Mr. Richard Gardner being legally convicted of non-appearance at Court, according to summons, the Court perceiving that it was occasioned by his mistake, do acquit him.”  Eleazur and another friend, Tobias Coleman were fined 25 shilling and 20 shillings, respectively.{D3}

Peter and Sarah Folger’s daughter, Abiah, married Josiah Franklin and became the parents of Benjamin Franklin.

The estrangement between the Coffin and the Gardner families ended soon after Tristram’s death in 1681. Tristram’s eldest grandson Jethro and Jethro’s brother, Edward, married, Mary and Anna Gardner. After 1681, James, another grandson of Tristram, married Love Gardner and later married, Ruth Gardner. Six other children of Richard Gardner married grandchildren of Tristram Coffin among these, Tristram’s grandson, Samuel Coffin, married Richard Gardner’s daughter, Miriam and became our direct ancestors.{D4)

* The Coffins are described in old Nantucket records as ‘noisy, fractious and loud’ while the Folgers are ‘knowing but lazy’ and ‘the silent Gardners are called plodding.’

Richard Gardner was Chief Magistrate in 1673 and held other town offices.
The early families on Nantucket gained a livelihood primarily by farming and fishing.

Richard Gardner appears to have been a man of considerable education and was many times Chief Magistrate and Assistant.{D3}

Richard Gardner, Tristram Coffin, Edward Starbuck and presumably their wives and others are buried at the old Maxey Pond Burying Ground. A 6+ foot high “Early Settlers Monument”  stands at the site with the inscription: “Erected AD 1881 By A Descendant of the First Settlers of Nantucket in Memory of Those Whose Remains Are Buried on this Hallowed Spot Where stood the First Church Gathered Here 1711 Since Removed to where it Now Stands as the vestry of the First Congregational Society…” The monument is inscribed with the names of ten settlers, including those mentioned above. The settlement and church /burial ground at Maxey Pond/Capum Harbor was, in the early days of the settlement, called “Sherburne”. Sherburne was located about two miles west of the present town of Nantucket.

1. Nantucket Historical Association, Vol. 2, Bulletin No 1, Nantucket Lands and Land Owners by Henry B. Worth.
2. Richard Gardner’s birth year was taken from a 6+ foot tall grave yard monument at Maxey Pond Burying Ground, Nantucket, MA.
3. Nantucket Lands and Land Owners, Vol. 2., Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.
4. Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA., p. 81.
5.  Nantucket Lands and Land Owners Vol. 2, Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.

 * Sarah SHATTUCK was born in ABT 1631 in Salem, Essex, MA; died in 1724 in Nantucket, MA; buried in Nantucket, MA. She was the daughter of Samuel Shattuck and Damaris.

Sarah is listed as being 92 years old at the time of her death.


3. Richard Gardner , Jr.and Mary Austin

 * Richard GARDNER Jr
Richard Gardner, Jr. was born August 23, 1653 at Salem, MA. and died March 8, 1728 at Nantucket, MA.

Richard Gardner Jr. married Mary Austin on 17 May 1674 in Nantucket, MA, they had the following nine children: Peter, Richard, Patience, Joseph, Solomon, Benjamin, ♥ Miriam, Lydia and William Gardner.

Sea Captain

Richard Gardner II or III house (ca. 1724 Initial Construction) at 32 West Chester St., Nantucket, Massachusetts (Image from repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA)
Image published Aug 1936.

Died March 8, 1728 in Nantucket,MA

Born in 1655 Dover, Strafford, England and died July 1, 1721 at Nantucket, MA.

Richard Gardner Jr. daughter Miriam Gardner married Samuel “King Sam” Coffin, thereby merging the Gardner branch with the Coffin branch. See following:

 4.  Samuel Coffin and Miriam Gardner

* Samuel “King Sam” COFFIN was born on 12 Dec 1680 in Nantucket, MA; died on 22 Feb 1764 in Nantucket, MA.{D1}
(See also the post: My family in history/Coastal families/[Tristram, John] Coffin)

Samuel Coffin married ♥ Miriam GARDNER in 1705 in Nantucket, MA. They had the following children: Parnel, Sarah, Libni, John (b. 1708), Deborah (b. 1708), David (b. 1718),  ♥ William Coffin (b. 4 Nov 1720), Miriam (b. 1723), Mary (b. 1724), and Priscilla (b. 1730).

Samuel was referred to as “King Sam”. (See also: My Family in History/Coastal families/Coffin branch). According to one source, Samuel was “known as ‘King Sam’ because he as short and feisty, and was compared to a crowing Bantam rooster trying to be king of the yard.
As previously noted: The Coffins are described in old Nantucket records as ‘noisy, fractious and loud’ while the Folgers are ‘knowing but lazy’ and ‘the silent Gardners are called plodding.’

He was the 6th of 11 children in his family.

In 1706, Samuel Coffin, and his wife Miriam (Gardner) joined the Society of Friends.

The Friends (Quaker) records give 1763 as the date of his death.

1. Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA., p. 266.

* Miriam GARDNER
Was born July 14, 1685 at Nantucket, MA and died November 17, 1750 at Nantucket, MA.
Miriam was the mother of 10 children.
(To follow this line, see My Family in History/Coastal families/William Coffin & Priscilla Paddock)

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Abijah Coffin and Elizabeth Robinson

(Coastal families/ Coffin branch)

* Abijah COFFIN was born on 22 May 1760 in New Garden, Guilford, NC; died on 3 Oct 1793 in Guilford, NC; buried in Guilford, NC.

Records show Abijah was born on 22 May 1760, to William Coffin and Priscilla Paddock, at New Garden, Guilford County, NC.{D1}

Abijah married Elizabeth Robinson 31 May 1791 at New Garden, NC.{D1}They had the following children: ♥ Priscilla COFFIN (b. 29 Jul 1793), Mary COFFIN.

Abijah died young, at 33 years 4 months of age, leaving his wife and two daughters, Mary and  two month old Priscilla.

His Will reads, ” Item I give unto my wife my Sorrel Coalt the sattle she rides also one father bed of furnatur also one Cow & one four gallon pot to her heirs & assigns for Ever also give unto her half duson of Puter Plates & one gallon Bason & the largest Plater and all her wareing Cloaths…Item I give unto my daughter Mary all my lands & estate that my father may leave to me and also all my personal [??]…that all my Personal Estate of what name or nature be sold by my Executors hereafter named Either at Private or Publick sale at their Discrestion & the money put at Interest for my daughter Mary and it is my will that she should have it at the age of Eighteen years to her and her heirs…being still of a sound mind this 20 day of (9 or 7] mo 1793 it is my will that all that I gave to my Daughter Mary be equally divided between her & her sister Priscilla in the same manner.” Note. Priscilla was only about three months old when her father died.{D2}

1. L.D.S. Genealogical Library, Tucson, AZ., No.547, F21, North America, North Carolina, April 1984, IGI.
2. A transcript of the Will was made 24 Jun 1987 by David Coffin from the original (Ws04D00B) which is in the North Carolina Archives, Raleigh, NC.
3. Individual source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.

* Elizabeth ROBINSON was born in 1771; died on AFT 27 Oct 1804.
Dau. of Mary HUNT m. William Robenson  
Individual source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.

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Glen Kenyon Pierce and Elsie Grubb

(Settlers and migrants, Pierce family)

 * Glen Kenyon PIERCE was born on 4 Jun 1887 in Jacksonville, Chickasaw, IA; died on 2 Nov 1958 in rural Coloma, Berrien, MI; buried on 5 Nov 1958 in Lawton, Van Buren, MI.

He married Elsie GRUBB on 16 Jul 1913 in Grand Junction, Greene, IA. They had the following children: William Glen “Uncle Bill” PIERCE[1] (b. 22 Jun 1914), Jack Pershing PIERCE (b. 11 Aug 1918), ♥ Robert Francis PIERCE (b.1 Oct 1920).

BIRTH: Glen Kenyon Pierce was born to Francis Albert Pierce and Lydia Amanda Sabin 4 Jun 1887 at Jacksonville, Chickasaw, IA.{D4}

“Pictures I have of my parents as young adults show clearly that my mother was a beautiful woman, and that Dad was tall and handsome.”{D6} Glen had a dimple in his chin which was passed on to his sons and grand sons. He stood about 6′ 2″or 3” tall and was a slender, but not thin man.”{D8}

[Photo ca 1896. Glen K. Pierce, about age 9 years standing-leaning against tree, elder brother, Francis, seated on stool.]

“Glen is characterized as being patient, easy-going, clever, industrious, honest, courteous, trustworthy, and understanding. He enjoyed playing Cribbage, Pinochle and Chinese checkers. Some of the family magazine subscriptions included Reader’s Digest and National Geographic.{D7} He was quiet, serious and soft-spoken. The work he did on the farm seemed easy and natural to him; he never seem confused or perplexed by a situation, but accomplished his work with steady and quiet determination, always seeming to do the right thing. I think he almost preferred working by himself. Even when angered at the grandchildren for losing his tools, his complaint would be in a modest not angered voice. He liked watching football games on television as a diversion. He was a gentleman.” {D8}

Glen and Elsie were married by Presbyterian minister, Rev. Elmer Ankerman, in Grand Junction, IA.
At the time, Glen (age 26), was living in Chicago, IL. Elsie (age 23), had graduated from college and was again living at home with her parents.{D1}

[ca 1990 photos: Interior of the one room school that Glen attended in (old) Jacksonville, IA, during the 1890s. The building is now a museum. Photo at right shows his future daughter-in-law, Hazel (Shafer) Pierce walking amongst desks.]

[Photo at right: ca, 1910. Glen Kenyon Pierce, about 23 years old.]

1.   In 1916 Glen received $2000, plus 5-1/2% interest from the sale of his portion of his father’s farm near Jacksonville, Chickasaw Co., IA (The $2000 in 1916 had an equivalent 2011 purchasing power of $41, 631.)

1.  The family lived for a short  while in Chicago where their first son, William, was born in 1914. Then went back to the University of Iowa when Glen taught for 5 or 6 years.{D6}
2.  In Oct 1920, when their last son, Robert, was born, the family was residing at 647 Rundall Street, Iowa City, IA.{D5}
3.  While Glen taught at J. Morton High School the family lived in several different residences, one being on 56th Court right across the street from Goodwin School, Cicero, IL. The home was the downstairs of a two-story flat in a Czechoslovakian neighborhood, where most of the people were first generation Americans and could speak only broken English. They were hard-working, thrifty and peaceful.{D6}
4.  Another flat being “on the 2nd floor over ‘Jake the Barber’. This must have been just north of 26th St., near 56th”, in Cicero, IL.{D6}
5.  In the mid 1930s the family bought a 20 acre “retirement” farm to occupy their summers and earn some extra money during the school vacation. For the next 10-15 years they continually improved the farm and house. Glen retired from teaching in 1942 and moved to the farm. By this time all their sons had left home and were married.
Glen and Elsie supplemented their Social Security checks by selling fruit and raising chickens, hogs and a milk cow. Elsie had several large gardens and canned a great deal of produce, jams and jellies, chicken, pickles, etc. for personal consumption. Glen remodeled the large two-story farm house soon after they moved to the farm. I always remember this farm and that home as one of the great places in the world. There was warmth and love, and all the neat things to see, and places to play. It was a friendly home. The farm was located about 2-3 miles N.W. of Coloma, in the S.W. corner of the intersection of Little Paw Paw Road and Spring Hill Road, Coloma Township, Berrien County, MI (in the 1980-90s it was referred to by the owners as Spring Hill Farm){D8}

[The sons of Glen and Elsie Pierce, 1923, L>R:  Jack, Bob, Bill. William (Bill) was the author of Memories of my Parents text article seen below; my father in center, (Robert) ‘Bob’, is 3 years old)]

Graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in engineering.

1.  The following is quoted from an old, ca 1923 news article:
“University Instructor Studies Telephony at Hawthorne — G.K. Pierce, an instructor in the fundamentals of telephony at Iowa State University, has been spending his vacation at Hawthorne and Chicago in the pursuit of information on the latest developments in telephone work. Mr. Pierce has been particularly interested in machine switching apparatus and Long Lines transmission. Previous to his admission to the faculty of Iowa State University, Mr. Pierce was a Western Electric man, having started with our company as a student at Hawthorne in 1913. In 1914 he was assigned to equipment drafting work and entered the Equipment Engineering Department a year later. In 1918 Mr. Pierce left the Western to become an instructor in the Engineering Department of Iowa State University, at Iowa City, IA. He returned to Hawthorne last June and spent four weeks studying machine switching development. This was followed by one week with the Illinois Bell Telephone Company, getting an insight into the practical application of machine switching, and three weeks with the Long Lines Department of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, where he devoted most of his time to the problems of carrier current telephone repeaters, inductive interference, cross talk and general transmission. Mr. Pierce spent the final three weeks of his stay in our Equipment Engineering Department at Hawthorne and returned to Iowa State University the first of September.”
2.  He taught Civil and Electrical Engineering at the University of Iowa, 1918-1923
3.  Glen taught engineering at the J. Sterling Morton High School in Cicero, IL for 22 years.
4.  “The Great Depression. from 1929 on hurt my parents, but not as much as some other people. Dad kept his job at Morton High School, but took a pay cut. Times were pretty tough, but Bob, Jack and I never knew it. If anyone ate or dressed better than we did, we sure didn’t notice. With no income at all during summer months, most teachers were forced to try to find temporary summer employment. A couple of summers Dad took a job driving taxis. D6}
5.  After retiring from teaching and moving to the “retirement farm” in MI, Glen took a part-time job
with Auto Specialties, Benton Harbor.

Member of Theta XI fraternity; was a Registered Professional Engineer.

“Glen K. Pierce, 71, was found dead in bed late yesterday afternoon at his home on Route 2, Coloma (MI). He was discovered by neighbors when his wife Elsie, who had been visiting in Lawton (with son Jack’s family) for the past two and a half weeks, attempted to call him and received no answer. Harding Day, acting coroner, said death occurred about 1 a.m. Sunday. Mr. Pierce was born in Lawler, IA, June 4, 1887, and lived in Chicago until 1942 when he located on a farm northwest of Coloma (hobby, retirement farm)…”{D2}
Glen died of a Myocardial infarction.{D3}

Glen K. and wife Elsie are buried together in the Lawton Cemetery, Lawton, MI.

1.  Greene County, IA., Marriage Record Book #8, p.102. Establishes Elsie Grubb parents as George Grubb and Anna F. Anderson.
2.  Obituary from The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, MI, 3 Nov 1958.
3.  Death Certificate listed in Berrien Co., MI., Record Number #58-1064 and dated 5 Nov 1958.
4.  Birth Record of Glen Kenyon Pierce, Chickasaw Co., IA, Birth Records Book #1, p. 56.
5.  See birth record note for son Robert F. Pierce.
6.  From “The Memories Of My Parents” by, William G. Pierce, 1985, a 10 page dialog.
7.  Recollections of son Robert F. Pierce, 1988.
8.  Recollections of grandson, Larry F. Pierce, 1994.
9. Individual source: The Anderson Story, by Mrs. C. J. Davis, Mrs. Cora May Boots and others, printed in 1968. A 67 page genealogical record of the Anderson family from John & Elizabeth Horney Anderson, ca 1800 to 1968.

* Elsie GRUBB was born on 3 Oct 1889 in Maple River Junction, Carroll, IA; died on 27 Dec 1969 in Omaha, Douglas, NE; buried in Lawton Cemetery, Lawton,Van Buren,MI.

____ Grubb, female was born 3 Oct 1889, 3rd child of this mother and G.E. Grubb, telegraph operator at Maple River Junction, IA.{D4}

Elsie was short, as was her mother, Anna Flora, and her grandmother, Margaret Horney. She put on weight in middle life, then lost it, becoming very thin in old age.{D4}

[Photograph left: Elsie Grubb, ca 1893, about 4 years old. Note from 2011:  Elsie’s baby doll has passed down to me, grandson, Larry F. Pierce]

She is characterized as easy to talk to and industrious, but occasionally moody. She was a good manager and conversationalist, sympathetic, understanding, sensitive, easy to anger, had musical ability and was intuitive. She loved to read and work in her gardens. She subscribed to Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal magazines.{D6} Elsie was always very loving, warm and giving to her grandchildren, but when angered by an adult member of the family, or their wives, she was quite free in speaking her mind, much to the discomfort of the offender!{D4}

[Photo right: ca 1909. Elsie Grubb, about 20 years old.]

Elsie graduated from the University of Iowa at Iowa City, it was here that she met Glen K. Pierce, who would become he husband. She had a teaching certificate.{D3}

Many nights while my family lived on the farm with Grandma and Grandpa, I’d see my Grandparents sitting at the kitchen table playing Cribbage.
Elsie loved to play cards. Her favorite card game was “cut throat” Canasta. In her later years Grandma and I played Canasta several days a week for hours at a time. At first we’d play one game to see who’d win, then it would become 2 out of 3, occasionally 3 out of 5. Grandma would often cap a winning streak with statements like, “I guess you know who your master is now!”, spoken in a way as to make you want to play another game, a grudge match for revenge. We had fun.{D4}

During her earlier years, Elsie was a math teacher and for a time the Principal of a school, whereabouts unknown.{D4}

During their retirement years, Elsie worked on  the farm, helping to pick, supervise hired pickers and sorting fruit. She also did the house work: cooking, wash, shopping, etc. When it came to selling their fruit at the Fruit Exchange, Elsie had the better personality for haggling with  the buyers.{D4}

After Glen’s death, Elsie moved to Lawton, MI to be closer to Jack’s family. The apartment she rented, at the time of her death, was essentially a three room, upstairs dwelling over Rich’s Grocery store on Lawton’s main street. The address was 110 1/2 Main Street, Lawton, MI.{D4}

Elsie’s Will simply divided her estate into 3 equal portions amongst her 3 sons, i.e.; “…I give,
 devise and bequeath my entire estate as follows…3. one third thereof to my son, Robert F. Pierce, if he survives me, in the event he should precede me, then to his widow surviving my death, and if no widow surviving my death then to his children in equal shares and proportions.”… etc.{D2}

Elsie, 80, died of a heart attack during the night while visiting her son Jack Pershing Pierce, at 3007 South 20th St., Omaha, NE, for the Christmas holidays. Jack, his second wife, Alvira and a friend were preparing to watch a football game on the morning of the 27th. When it was noticed that Elsie was sleeping in a little too long Alvira went in to waken her; that’s when they discovered she’d passed away.
The immediate cause of Elsie’s death is listed as Coronary arteriosclerosis.{D3}

[Elsie (Grubb) Pierce and son, Jack Pierce; probably on evening of 26 Dec 1969, Elsie wearing a Christmas gift dress she received. Elsie died during her sleep this night and was buried wearing this dress, from son William, and a sweater from grand-daughter Linda F. (Pierce) Trowbridge.
How little we have of those we love. We mature from childhood to adulthood, raise our own children, they too age, all pass. We who for a time remain, mourn those who we love, as they evaporate, their Being rising like the fog from a woodland meadow. All those joyous and precious moments we had together, lost in time.’ lfp]

Her body was shipped back  to MI where she was buried at the Lawton Cemetery next to her husband, Glen. Elsie was buried in a Christmas dress just given to her by son Jack. A photograph taken the evening before shows her wearing the dress and smiling at the camera. God Bless you Grandma.{4}

1. Birth Certificate, Registrar of Vital Statistics, Carroll County, IA, for the year ending 1 Oct 1890, Number 1201, Date of filing return 5 Oct 1889; establishes that the 3d born child, a female, in her parent’s family was Elsie. See also, George E. Grubb, 1900 census.
2. The Will of Elsie Pierce bequeaths her entire estate to be divided into thirds and given equally to her three sons, William, Jack and Robert Pierce; filed in Van Buren Probate Court, Van Buren County, MI, on 19 January 1970.
3. Death Certificate #154912, filed with the Omaha-Douglas County Health Department, Div. of Vital Statistics, NE. Establishes Elsie Pierce’s father as George Grubb.
4. The recollections of grandson, Larry Francis Pierce, 1994.
5. From “The Memories Of My Parents” by, William G. Pierce, 1985, a 10 page dialog.
6. The recollections of son, Robert F. Pierce, 1988.
7. Individual source: The Anderson Story, by Mrs. C. J. Davis, Mrs. Cora May Boots and others, printed in 1968. A 67 page genealogical record of the Anderson family from John & Elizabeth Horney Anderson, ca 1800 to 1968.

———————————————-  ∞ ————————————————

Memories of my parents
By William G. Pierce, May 1985
(William was an elder brother of my father, Robert F. Pierce, and my ‘Uncle Bill’)

Glen Kenyon Pierce was born on 4 June 1887, at Lawler, Iowa. Elsie (Grubb ) Pierce was born on 3 Oct 1889 in Maple River Junction, Carroll Co, Iowa. They were both in the teaching profession most of their lives. My mother had a teaching certificate, but I don’t rememberwhere she went to school She must have taken some courses at the University of Iowa, because that’s where they first met.

They were married in Iowa City on 16 July 1913. Dad received his bachelors degree in electrical engineering, and subsequently became a registered professional engineer. Pictures I have of my parents as young adults show clearly that my mother was a beautiful woman, and that Dad was tall and handsome.

[Photo right: Clinton Street businesses, Iowa City, Iowa, between 1915 and 1920]

GK took a job briefly in Chicago, where I was born, but then went back to the University of Iowa, where he taught for five or six years. My memories begin with Iowa City.
We lived in a two-story frame house at the end of Rundell Street. The corner of Rundell and an intersecting street was where street cars got their trolley reversed for the return trip uptown. Beyond this corner was a car barn where street cars were stored when not in use. Across Rundell Street from us was a Jewish family named, Yetter, whose son, Bill, was about my age. They owned, ‘Yetter’s Big Store’, a mini-department store. It’s still there I’m told.

[Photos above. ca 1910 about 5 years before Glen began teaching class and working in this electrical laboratory. Students in the Engineering Laboratory, Engineering Building, The University of Iowa, Mar. 5,  1910. Left: Students in the Engineering Laboratory, Engineering Building, The University of Iowa, Mar. 5, 1910., Right: Electrical Laboratory, The University of Iowa, Mar. 4, 1910.]

While I was still a preschooler, I can remember being taken by my parents to a University of Iowa football game; so this shows they attended some college events.

On the far back of our lot was a small creek, where I used to catch crawdaddies. Just a short ways closer to the house was a cinder driveway leading to a rickety wood barn that served as a garage for their first vehicle, a motorcycle with attached sidecar. I can remember riding in the sidecar with my mother, while Dad straddled the motorcycle and drove. I must have been 3 or 4 years old at the time.

And then there was their first radio, a crystal set that was tuned by moving a metal whisker across a crystal. It must have been an early set, because many neighbors came in to listen.

My mother started me in kindergarten in Iowa City, and I do remember some of my early classes. When I was midway through third grade, Dad took a job in Chicago with Western Electric. We moved from Iowa to a Chicago suburb, Cicero, on 56th Court, right across the street from Goodwin Grade School. Mother was told that I would either have to start third grade over again or skip into fourth grade. She wasn’t one to waste a lot of nonsense time this way, so with her tutorship, I did move up a grade and managed to hang on. Since my birthday is only a short time after school lets out, this accounts for my graduation from grade school at age twelve years and high school at sixteen. My two brothers followed me through both schools.

Our home was in the downstairs of a two-story flat in a Czechoslovakian neighborhood. Most of these people were first generation Americans and could speak only broken English, but they were hard-working, thrifty and peaceful. We three Pierce boys played with their children, who were thoroughly  ‘Americanized’. Not too far south of where we lived was an apartment owned by a well-known hoodlum, Al Capone, his brother, Ralph, and their lieutenant, Roger Toughy.

One episode which occurred at about this time comes from brother Jack. For some reason Mother told all of us boys to be home for dinner on time one night. Bob and I heeded her warning and were seated at the table on time, but Jack was late. When he finally did get home., Mom gave him a chewing out. Jack didn’t act repentant enough, so she became angrier and angrier, until finally she grabbed a plate from the dinner table and hit him over the head with it. The plate broke, and Bob and I burst out laughing. Pretty soon all of us were laughing. Jack considers himself real lucky that we laughed: otherwise he could really have been given a workout.

Fireworks were legal in Illinois at the time, and we always bought a modest amount for excitement. None of us will ever forget that July 4th evening when we set off a skyrocket. Usually we mounted skyrockets in a sturdy V trough aimed at a 45-60 degree angle, but this time we got lazy and set it in an upright milk bottle. This was after dark, of course, so the skyrocket would  leave a fiery trail across the heavens. Only this one never got to the heavens, because our milk bottle tipped over, and the skyrocket was launched parallel to the ground. Everything would have still been Jim Dandy except that there was automobile traffic on the adjoining street. Whether the skyrocket zoomed in front of a car’s windshield, as I believe, or through an open car window and out the other side, as Jack believes, is immaterial. There were screams and pandemonium, as the car ran over a curb, across a lawn and came to rest against a hedge. Our Cicero police came very quickly, but I never found out what happened next, because I wasn’t around.

Another story reflects on our parents opposite approaches to raising a family. Mother believed in punishment as a corrective measure, and her volatile nature caused her to use it a lot. Dad, on the other hand, tried to be pals with his sons and he abhorred spankings. Nevertheless, Mother called on him more than once to paddle us when we did something she perceived as wrong. Dad developed a little ploy, which he used frequently with our help. He would take us into a closed room, often a bedroom and tell us to holler at the right moment. Then he would spank the bed heavily, or us lightly, while we hollered our heads off. I’m surprised Mother never caught on, since we often laughed as loud as we hollered. Jack said he was a little surprised once when dad spanked a little harder than expected, but perhaps there was a good reason for that.

[Photo: ca 1924, Likely visiting relatives at George and Anna Flora Grubb’s  (Elsie’s parents) home in Grand Junction, Iowa. L>R inside the Willys Knight auto: Jack the Fox Terrier dog, Elsie (Grubb) Pierce, Glen K. Pierce. Sitting on dashboard, L>R (several nieces) Margaret (Grubb) Frantz; Dorothy (Grubb) Mount; son Jack P. Pierce; Florence (Grubb)___ and,  son William G. Pierce. Seated on the ground center front, son Robert ‘Bob’ F. Pierce.]

Our parent’s motorcycle had been replaced by a black, Model T Ford Touring car. They also acquired a pet dog, named, Jack, a male Fox Terrier. Jack was a very good pet, but he had two faults that often got him into trouble. He loved to chase motorcycles, and he chased cats as his duty. One weekend we had  motored out to Batavia to visit my Aunt Grace Beem  Pierce, and her two sons, Glen and Harry. We had just pulled up in front of her house when Jack spied Aunt Grace’s cat. Out through the plexiglass side curtains he sailed and disappeared around he far side of the house after the cat. A short while later they came back around that same corner, but this time the cat was chasing Jack.

Still later, inside the house, Jack took out after the cat again, no doubt trying to shine up his tarnished reputation. Aunt Grace had a beautiful upright piano with a spread on top on which  there were pictures, kewpie dolls and other knick knacks. Sure enough, the cat skiddled across the polished piano top, taking everything with him (or her) Jack was ejected from the house (you might say in dis-Grace) and I don’t think my folks were too popular in Batavia from then on.

Each summer an Anderson Reunion was held in one of the small Iowa towns, like Yale, with a park suitable for a big group. There were many Anderson descendants, some like us who drove in from other states. I can remember attending several of these with my parents and brothers. We visited with uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, and many other people I didn’t even know. Each family supplied at least one large dish of food for the buffet; and the tables with this feast were beautiful. After eating, adults sat around and became reacquainted, while kids and young adults played softball.

[Internet image left: J. Morton High School, Cicero, IL This is the same facade and structure the building had when Glen retired from teaching here in the late 1930s.]

One summer when we were driving toward this reunion, our Model T Touring car took a sudden and sharp turn to the left and overturned. Although I wasn’t hurt, Mother had her eye cut and Dad broke an arm. Everyone recovered, but that was the end of our model T Ford.

I don’t know exactly when Mother first became interested in the occult; but I must have been under ten when she introduced me to her Ouija board. This was a flat varnished board with letters, numbers and other symbols on it. A three-legged planchette would glide over the board and spell out messages. Of course the medium’s hand would have to be on it, so there was always the doubt that these were really spirit messages. At first the Ouija board was interesting, but I learned that it never worked with my hand alone.

Other practices she developed were reading cards and tea leaves and telling fortunes. She became quite good at this, and a few persons claimed that she had told them where they would find lost rings and other articles. Later in life when she was staying with Jack and Elvera in Omaha, jack reported that Mom, now a gray-haired grandmother, was the hit of a party that Elvera held for some 35 women. Grandma told fortunes and was remarkably accurate in recounting events that happened and of which she could have no knowledge. Perhaps she did have a little bit of clairvoyance.

At a little later date, Mother became interested in gambling on the horses. I don’t think she was interested in horses, just gambling. Nor do I recall her going to a track; but she did take me, at least once, to a bookie parlor in Cicero. I was probably twelve years old at the time. I don’t think her gambling affected the family finances much, one way or the other.

 My father left Western Electric and returned to the teaching profession by taking a job at J. Sterling Morton High School in Cicero. He taught electrical theory and shop. We then became friends with many high school teachers and their families. Morton used to have some very good basketball teams; and I can remember them winning the National High School Basketball Championship in 1927. Cicero and Morton went crazy for a couple of days. .

The Great Depression from 1929 on, hurt my parents, but not as much as some other people. Dad kept his job at M.H.S. but took a pay cut; and along with other teachers, was paid in paper ‘script’ instead of real money. Script was worth only what merchants were willing to trade for it; and that was sometimes less than 50% of the face value. That’s when they bought a new car, a Willys Knight, because the rate of exchange was quite favorable. Car dealers were having a rough time of it too.

Willys Knight engines had sleeve valves instead of the more common poppet valves. Since Dad did most of his own work on the car, I got to learn quite a bit about automobile engines, even though I must have been quite a nuisance when he was busy. Gasoline in the depression days was quite cheap, sometimes selling for under 10¢/ gal. It wasn’t very good gas, and it seems to carbon up the sleeve valve ports. I think dad had to clean carbon out of the Willys Knight engine every summer.

By this time we had moved again, to a second floor flat in Cicero; and I had to carry my bicycle up the stairway to a landing outside our doorway to keep it from getting stolen. Visitors to our house had to enter this way, too, but the flat was cheap; and this was still the depression.

Even when we were little, our folks would take us on motor car vacations with them, but we didn’t stay in motels or eat at expensive restaurants. Dad bought a tent, and we slept on cots and had meals that were cooked on a Coleman stove. Camping was fun, and it took us all over the country: up into Canada, to the East coast, and out west to Colorado, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National park. I once was lectured for feeding black bears from my hand. Jack says he almost caused Mother heart failure when they caught him showing off hanging by his knees from a guard railing over Horseshoe falls. A slip would have plunged him hundreds of feet into the water and rocks below.

[Photograph at left, ca. 1934. G.K. Pierce family: L>R: youngest son, Robert Francis (my father), middle son Jack Pershing (with hat), Elsie (Grubb) Pierce, Glen Kenyon Pierce, eldest son, William Glen.]

One Sunday my folks decided they would rather press grapes for wine than attend church. And this is what they y were doing when the minister and his wife decided to find out what kept the Pierces from church.
After trudging up the stairs to the back door, they were led through the grape processing kitchen to our living room. I remember how embarrassed my parents were; and I wonder if they would mind that incident being recorder.

During the 1930s our United States suffered through another crisis called ‘Prohibition’. This encouraged a lot of people. Like my parents to make their own beer and wine, and it also encouraged illegal stills.
One of these was located in a garage only a block or so from our home. Someone must have reported the still, because one day our Cicero police raided it. About fifty f gallon tins were axed and turned over on their sides to drain. Not five seconds after the police departed, a bunch of enterprising citizen, including my parents, were salvaging what they could. This was 200 proof alcohol, so bless their hearts, I don’t blame them. I would have done the same.

Time were pretty tough through the Depression, but Bob, Jack and I never knew it. If anyone ate or dressed better than we did, we sure didn’t notice.
Teachers were poorly paid, although the script days were ended. With no income at all during summer months, most of them were forced to try to find temporary summer employment. A couple of summers dad took a job driving taxis. All I can remember about those days is that he was once held up and robbed by a passenger.

As the Depression was winding down times were getting better, we moved to a nicer neighborhood and home in Berwyn. I attended high school and Morton Junior College while living there. Dad drove to school, and I either rode with him or took the streetcar. Later, I had my own motorcycle.

However, the problems of summer income, or lack of it, persisted, and that’s why my parents bought their first property, a  twenty acre fruit farm near Coloma, Michigan.
The place  was pretty run down, there was no inside toilet, and fruit trees needed replacement, so there was plenty of work to do. When they weren’t spraying fruit trees, planting, picking, or hauling produce to market, they were digging a basement, building an inside toilet, adding two porches, finishing off the upstairs, etc. But they were more secure and happy.

Before they finally pulled up rooted and retired to the farm, our folks spent many arduous weekends and summers working it and marketing the fruit. One weekend they returned to their home in Berwyn with a cash box full of money. Jack was away at school, I was working in Michigan, but brother Bob, was still living at home. The folks had retired to bed with the cash box safely stowed underneath, when Bob returned home late from a date. Mother heard a noise downstairs and awakened Dad.

They called downstairs to learn who it was, but Bob had gone to the kitchen for a piece of pie. He either didn’t hear them or didn’t bother to answer; so Dad grabbed a glass dresser lamp for protection and started downstairs. For some unexplained reason the stairway light went out, so Dad retreated up stairs and told Mother, “They got the fuse box.”

Mother was terrified, so she grabbed the money-box and crawled out through a bedroom window onto the front porch roof,  where she began to scream bloody murder. Neighbors heard her and called the police.

In the meantime, Bob heard all this racket and wondered what was going on. So upstairs he came and tried to open their bedroom door, while Dad was trying to hold it closed from the other side. Finally the tension was broken when Bob asked what the hell was going on. Mother came in off the porch roof in her night grown, still clutching the money-box. Dad was terribly embarrassed, and the police were amused.

Since they owned this farm property for over thirty years, and eventually retired to it, they did make many improvements. This speaks well for their willingness to work hard and improve their lot in life. I’ll mention some of the improvements.
Their apple orchard was a major ground user and income producer, so our parents brought that section into top shape first. Fortunately, most of the trees were healthy, solid producers: Jonathon, McIntosh, Red and Golden Delicious, Northern Spies and several other varieties, planned so that ripening and picking were spread out over the season. Not too much replacement of trees was necessary; however the trees had to be severely pruned at first, and then annually thereafter. Deadwood was hauled to an open area, dried and burned.
[Ca 1940: The remodeled farm house with newly built enclosed porch in front.]

A pear orchard, adjacent to the apples, ran downhill from their house. These pear trees were quite aged and had to be replaced eventually with Bartlett’s, which proved to be a good investment. Adjacent to another side of the apple orchard were peaches, and most of these trees were also replaced by Dad and Mother. I don’t think I ever enjoyed the taste of a peach so much as when it was picked ripe from one of those trees.

A small orchard of Morenci cherries was located just beyond the driveway near the barn. Many of us were drafted to help pick cherries in season. And we learned why you were asked to whistle while you picked.
[Photo above, 1939. Elsie (age 50) and son, Bob (age 19), taking a break while picking cherries. This location is in front of the barn and off the driveway about 15 feet. Seen in the 1989 barn photo below, they were sitting just out of the picture on the extreme right. Ten years later (1949), I was climbing in these trees during harvest season, enjoying the sweet cherries.]
Out back was a single sweet cherry tree, and was that fruit ever large and tasty! Mother credited this to its  proximity to an outhouse, and she was probably right.

No farm would be complete without a large vegetable garden, the Pierce’s was no exception. It contained every vegetable and melon that school teachers could imagine, including sweet corn, pumpkins, squash, and watermelon. There was a smattering of berry bushes; black and red raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, and currants. There were also several huge lilac bushes.

Completing their fruit farm was a vineyard out near the county road, and vines needed pruning each year after grapes were harvested. All but four vines from each stalk were cut and hauled away. The remaining four vines were tied to horizontal wires, two top and two bottom. A commercial grease called, Tanglefoot, was smeared around each stalk near its base to  entrap crawling insects. One day a hired man told Mother that she should tie bow knots on the cords, and she did!

Way back on the extreme west side of their property was a deep dark ravine. Although visiting children were warned to stay away from this ravine because of its dangers (poison ivy, snakes, boogie men) it nevertheless remained a strong attraction. Some of the trees had long vines that seemed to be securely attached, so it was great fun to swing way out over the ravine, like Tarzan. I always thought those vines could have been more dangerous than poison ivy, but maybe that’s why we enjoyed it so much.

[Drawing above by grandson Larry Pierce: Symbols G1, G2 & G3 on map are grandmother’s gardens; #1 behind barn was a plank foot bridge across the springs wet swale; #2 where I occasionally sat looking down over the sumacs, day dreaming and making ‘Indian hunting weapons’. lfp]

Dad quickly learned to get on Michigan’s Agriculture Dept’s free mailing list. Their regular bulletins told farmers when to spray, for what, and with what. This was a tremendous help in growing healthy marketable fruit.

Among the early purchases were a small tractor, a spray rig, and a truck. This equipment was eventually replaced with better, larger models when they retired to the farm. The sprayer was towed to the tank to be filled, hen to the orchard and up and down the rows of trees. One person could do this, but it was a lot easier with two, one to drive and the other (always Dad) to spray. So Mother drove the tractor, unless one of us was there to take over. Dad walked behind and went between trees with his spray gun, which connected to a tank and pressure pump. He sent a huge plume of noxious chemicals to the highest reaches of all trees. Dad’s face, glasses and clothes were covered with spray by this time, and he looked like a ghost by the time spraying was finished.

Sorting and grading apples  by hand was a tedious job, so Dad designed and build an electric-powered grader, just like the larger commercial ones. It worked well for as long as I can remember. Lugs of apples were poured in top side and gently moved along a trough by a canvas belt. Mother would remove any bad ones that had escaped previous attention, while all other apples would gravity feed down one or another chute, depending on what size holes they could pass through. Periodically, chutes were opened and apples collected in brand new bushel baskets. Tops were fastened on and stenciled with apple brand name, size and “Pierce Fruit Orchards”. Their truck, loaded with baskets, was driven to market in Benton Harbor for sale to some Chicago fruit buyer.

Despite spraying and other care lavished on growing apples, some, like windfalls, were simply not good enough for sale at market. These were used for making cider. One day Jack drove mother and a load of culls to market in Coloma, where they were weighed and sold. A clerk asked jack to whom the check should be written. “Elsie Pierce, Jack replied, so Mother received a check made out to L.C. Pierce and was very upset However, she endorsed the check “L.C. Pierce” and collected her money at the bank, anyway.

I recall other examples of Dad’s mechanical skills. For a long while the Pierces kept a Jersey cow for its rich milk.. Of course there was also an ice-cream freezer;  and when ever company came, this manually operated freezer was pressed into service. As the cream began to freeze, cranking became harder and harder. So Dad converted it to a homemade electric freezer, the first I had ever seen. There were only about three varieties of ice-cream, but they were the best I ever had.

Besides the cow, there were also a few pigs; and the chickens that Mother took care of. A sack of corn was kept just inside the chicken house door, and that became the source of excitement one day. We were visiting Grandma and Grandpa when our children were little. Grandma took Richard, who was 7, out to show him her chickens. In the process of feeding them, the bag of corn was moved and a family of mice broke out and scurried every which way. Richard still remembers that incident.

In their front yard were two large maple trees, one of which had a low limb suitable for climbing and stunting on. I don’t recall how many times I hung from that limb by my legs and even my heels. It must have been about 7-1/2 feet off the ground.

At first there was a windmill in their back yard, and wind power pumped water into the house. After they moved out to the farm permanently, Dad motorized the pump, which made for a far more dependable water supply. Although the mill was removed, the tower remained. So did a galvanized water tank that was used for filling their sprayer.

Their original front porch was very dilapidated, so with some professional help, Dad rebuilt it into a nice screened in porch that was used frequently,, especially when there was company. One July 4th holiday when Elizabeth and I were visiting,  and most of the others were taking a nap, I decided to have a little fun. I lit a firecracker and placed it in a standing metal ashtray, expecting a little “pop”.
Instead there was  a loud explosion which blew the ash tray cover up to the ceiling, where it stuck in an acoustic tile. Everyone came running out to see who was trying to blow up their house, and I was caught red-handed and red-faced. My folks never replaced that damaged tile.

It was several years before they got rid of one hangover from depression days—rolling their own cigarettes. At first Dad rolled cowboy style, by hand; but Mother wasn’t very good at this. Her cigarettes were loosely packed allowing tobacco to fall out. After several flare-ups and a few burnt
eyebrows, dad bought a cigarette rolling machine. It now became quite simple to roll, so they would make up  several packs at a time.

Eventually they retired from teaching and moved out to the farm, as they had planned. They had both grown up in rural areas of Iowa, and now were returning to rural life, but in Michigan.

[Above, a 1989 photograph of the barn, by grandson, Larry. During the time that Glen and Elsie owned the farm, the barn was painted white. We are standing in Spring Hill Road looking WNW, the farm house is off to our left a couple hundred feet. The area in the foreground was once one of Elsie’s large gardens. The flowering bushes seen here were planted by Elsie and Glen some 50 years earlier and are still thriving. The cherry orchard mentioned by William ‘Bill’ Pierce in this mini biography and the picture above of Elsie and son Robert, working in that orchard, were found to the immediate right of the driveway that leads in toward the barn.
In my autobiography, see post ‘Chapter 1956’, there is a picture of me holding  a cat, that was taken in front of the barn ca 1946. In a later discussion (Chapter 1952) there is mention of a plank bridge we grandchildren built behind the barn…actually in the dark space seen here at the left side of the barn, down in the spring fed gully. lfp]

When I was working at Pontiac, the folks asked if I could get them a low mileage executive car. It just so happened that a friend of ours had a car he was getting ready to sell. We purchased the car and drove it out to the farm. It was a beautiful car, using General Motors large “C” body, which was shared with Olds 98, Buick Limited and Cadillac. Pontiac wasn’t permitted to use this “C” body long, but were instead paired with Chevrolet. However, it was the nicest car that Pontiac ever turned out and certainly the best my folks ever owned. They kept it for many years.

Living on a farm is not all work. Nearby were several fun places. Only three miles to the east was Crystal lake, a popular resort, and on one of its shores was Crystal Palace. This beautiful dance pavilion had big name bands, and crowds got so dense you could only stand and watch. I wonder if Crystal Palace is still there.

 Lake Michigan beaches were three miles in another direction. Clean sand dunes were wonderful for running and jumping, and they provided good spots for picnics. Lake Michigan water was  initially good for swimming, but it gradually became  polluted with effluent from Benton Harbor and ‘St. Joe’.

Benton Harbor did have an attraction, though—the ‘House of David’. Men of this religious order never shaved, so they were an attraction by themselves. They also operated a narrow gauge steam-powered railroad that carried visitors around their park: to the zoo, domesticated animal farm, refreshments, rest rooms, and picnic area. One time Mother was running to catch a train that was already starting up, when she fell. It scared the dickens out of us, but only her dignity was hurt.

We had lots of company: local friends, Chicago area friends, and relatives. Two of my pals from Berwyn, John Lofgren and  Glen Strand, were frequent visitors. They came mostly for fun, but in weak moments could be talked into helping. I remember, for instance, when Johnny and I drove a load of furniture and appliances out from Berwyn. John’s married sister, Margaret, lived on another fruit farm only 20 miles away.

Often when there was company, a card game would ensue. If there weren’t over four people, the game might be cribbage. Whenever I returned for a visit, out came the cribbage board. Both my parents loved to beat me, and I suppose the same was true of my brothers. However, their favorite game was poker. Dad was a pretty good player, but Mother always preferred the wildest games she could think of. Baseball was one of her favorites. No matter how much she played, she could never remember relative values of hands—“Does a straight beat a pair?” When they were alone, Dad and Mom had a running game of cribbage going. At one point Dad was several hundred dollars in the hole.

In their later years Dad and Mother became interested in Arizona and spent several winter vacations there. A Michigan fruit farm doesn’t offer much in winter, so the warm dry climate of Arizona beckoned. Besides that they had a niece, Dorothy Mount, who lived with her family in Tucson. The Superstition Mountains with the legendary Lost Dutchman gold mine had a particular fascination for Mother. She bought more than one “secret” map showing where the mine and hordes of gold coin could be found. I think she half believed all this.

In 1958 I was living with my family in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and working for A.O. Smith. On November 2 brother Jack telephoned that Dad had passed away during the night. Mother had gone to spend the night with Jack and family, and Dad was to have followed the next morning. When he didn’t show, they called neighbors, who found him in bed. Brother, Bob flew in from Arizona. We all attended church services and his burial at a quiet little cemetery in Lawton, Michigan.

Mother sold the farm and moved into an upstairs apartment in Lawton.
The outside stairway to her apartment became slippery in winter, so she didn’t stay there too long. While she did, though, she managed to get a job substitute teaching in Lawton and  Matawan. She also generated another interesting story. It may not have been mentioned before, but Mother wasn’t the best driver in the world. In fact she was downright lousy, and we were all afraid to ride with her. One night she was playing poker with Jack, Julie and friends. When it was time for her to leave, she said her,
“Goodnights” and started driving home The other four continued playing, when all of a sudden their lights flickered. Next day they learned that Mother had driven off the road and hit an electric pole.

Since Jack lived close to both parents in their later life, many of these memories are from him, including the following. Mother made arrangements to fly out to Arizona and visit son, Bob and daughter in law, Hazel. Jack drove her to Kalamazoo, where she was to catch a connecting flight to Chicago. Besides her traveling bags, she had two hand-carried sacks which were packed with canned fruits, veggies and meats. Jack warned her that they were too heavy, but she insisted on carrying them on board. Instead of taxiing out to the runway then, the plane’s door opened and a flight attendant escorted Grandma down the steps and into the terminal. She was bringing too much weight on board and had to dispose of most of it.

As Mother grew older, her health began slipping. She went to a couple of nursing homes where she could receive at least a minimum of health care. One of these was associated with a little hospital in Paw Paw, about 7 miles north of Lawton. Although the medical care there was good, she needed someone to talk to. Instead she was left alone most of the time. Elizabeth and I brought her home to live with us in Milwaukee, with the understanding that she would alternate staying with us, and with brother jack in Omaha, and Uncle Bill in Grand Junction, Iowa. She seemed to flourish with this environment. We even permitted her to smoke, proved she went to the kitchen to  do it. This was against doctor’s orders, but we weren’t too happy with her progress under the doctor’s supervision, anyway. I had about 12 prescriptions to fill, when we brought her home, and the cost from our local drug store was over $50.

After about a month with us in Milwaukee, it was decided she night want to spend some time with jack and Elvera in Omaha. Jack showed her prescriptions to his doctor, who advised eliminating some of them as redundant. She was still allowed to smoke in Omaha, but like us they required her to go to the kitchen. This may seem a little strange to an outsider, but Grandma was constantly dropping hot ashes, burning holes in many of her robes and dresses, and sometimes in the carpeting.

At Christmas, 1969, Grandma received many nice presents from her family and friends, including a nice dress from us. Just after Christmas, [on the morning of Dec 27th] Jack and a friend were preparing to watch a  football game on T.V., when Jack noticed that it was late for Grandma to be coming downstairs. So Elvira and their little dog went up to awaken her. The dog jumped on her bed, then gave a scared yelp. She, too, had passed away during the night.

Her body was shipped back to Lawton, and she was buried in her Christmas dress next to dad. She had lived a little over 80 years.

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Filed under My family in history, __2. Settlers and Migrants

Anthony Snow & Abigail Warren

(1620 Mayflower lineage, Warren branch)

*  Anthony SNOW was born in England; died AFT 8 Aug 1692 in Marshfield, Plymouth, MA; buried in Marshfield, Plymouth, MA.

Anthony SNOW married Abigail WARREN on 8 Nov 1639 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA.
They had the following children: Josiah SNOW,♥ Lydia SNOW (b. ABT 1640), Abigail SNOW (b. ABT 1650), Sarah SNOW (b. Jun 1651), “son” SNOW (b. 25 Mar 1655), Alice SNOW (b.18 Jan 1657).

The first record of Anthony Snow in New England is seen on 7 May 1638, with his request for three acres  of land {D3}

Anthony is on the list  of Plymouth men able to bear arms in 1643.{D3}

Anthony Snow mentions “my welbeloved  wife Abigall” and “my daughters Lidia, Sarah…” in his  Will.{D2}

On 9 Jan 1639, in consideration of marriage
between Anthony Snow and Abigail Warren, Anthony received from Abigail’s  mother, the widow Elizabeth Warren, a house and eight acres of adjoining land at Wellingsly, alias Hobs Hole, MA.{D1}

[Memorial monument to the Early Settlers of Green Harbor, Marshfield, MA.]

Anthony Snow was a feltmaker by trade. He farmed and fished, served as a constable and a deputy to the court, contributed a barrel of beef toward the purchase of Bulkley’s parsonage and served as one of the towns first selectmen on 5 Apr 1667.
Shortly after marriage Mr. Snow removed to Marshfield, where he became one of the leading citizens of the town:
•  was surveyor of highways in 1651, constable 1652,
•  representative to the General Court of Plymouth Colony in 1656 and
•  20 years following, selectman in 1666 and afterwards several years,
•  collector of the excise 3 June 1668, and
•  member of the Plymouth Council-of-War for Plymouth Colony in 1675.

Buried at the Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

Anthony’s Will, dated 28 Dec 1685, lists his  properties, including: 1) A house and barn, orchards and land at or near South River; 2) two oxen, 4 cows, and other cattle to be divided into four parts; 3) about 60 acres at Mattakeset; 4) land at Namasket; 5) ” other lands”; 6) mare, sheep, swine; 7) about 114 and 17 shillings in money; 8) considerable value in household goods.{D2}

Anthony’s Will names wife, Abigaill, daughters Lidia, Sarah and Alis, also other family members and friends.{D3}

Mayflower Families  Through Five Generations Vol 18 Part 1 Third Edition The will of Anthony Snow of Marshfield dated 28 Dec 1685, codicil dated 8 Aug 1692, sworn 3 Jan 1692/3, names wife Abigal; grandson James Ford; son Josias Snow, daughters Lidia, Sarah and Alis (no surnames); dau, Abigall’s children; “daughter in law my son Josias wife”; grandchildren James, Hannah and Abigall Ford; brother Joseph Warren and friend Capt. Nathaniel Thomas to be overseers. On 3 Jan 1692/3 Abigal Snow, widow of Anthony Snow, swore to the inventory. The inventory was dated 12 Nov. 1692.

Marshfield A Town of  Villages 1640-1990 by Krusell and Bates
“Anthony Snow’s will dated 8 Dec 1685 is in possession of the Connecticut Historical Society at Hartford, CT. Anthony Snow was one of the last Marshfield downtown settlers for whom Snow Road is named. He received one-half of the Thomas Prence grant in 1649. The parcel included a part of Cedar Grove Cemetery that Snow gave to the town and the swamp (Snow’s Swamp) where much of the shopping and parking areas are today. It also included land along Ocean Street easterly as far at the Bourne grant (near Bourne Park Avenue) this flat land between the rivers were meadows and streams, wetlands, and swamps. Anthony Snow was a felt maker by trade. He farmed and fished, served as a constable and a deputy to the court, contributed a barrel of beef toward the purchase of Bulkley’s parsonage and served as one of the town’s first selectmen on 5 Apr 1667. Many of downtown Marshfield businesses today are built on the land that belong to Anthony Snow.”

1. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Deeds , Vol. I, 1620-1651, edited by David Pulsifer, 1861, Boston; reprinted 1968, AMS Press, NY, p. 53.
2. The Mayflower Descendant, Vol. V, Jan. 1903, article Anthony Snows Will and Inventory. The Will is in the possession of the Connecticut Historical Society at Hartford, CT. The Will and inventory are also recorded in the Plymouth County Probate Records, Vol. I, pages 156-158
3. Mayflower Families In  Progress – Richard Warren…, published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987, p. 4

*  Abigail WARREN was  born in ABT 1618 in England; died on AFT 3 Jan 1692/1693 in Marshfield, Plymouth, MA; buried in Marshfield, Plymouth, MA.

Abigail Warren came to America with her mother, Elizabeth and four older sisters on the Anne, in 1623. Her father, Richard Warren, came on the Mayflower in 1620 as one of the original Pilgrim colonists.{D1}

On 9 Jan 1639,  Abigail received her “marriage portion” from her mother. On 8 November 1639 Abigail married Anthony Snow.{D1}  Her marriage to Anthony produced six children, one of whom died in infancy.{D1}

Richard Warren of the Mayflower, and some of his Descendants” NEHGR vol 55
page 76
Abigail, when she married Anthony Snow of Plymouth, received as a marriage portion from her mother, 9 Jan 1639, a deed for her “house situated near the place called Wellingsley (alias) Hob’s Hole, with the eight acres of land thereunto adjoining.” Shortly after marriage Mr. Snow removed to Marshfield, where he became one of the leading citizens of the town; was surveyor of highways in 1651, constable 1652, representative to the General Court of Plymouth Colony in 1656 and twenty years following, selectman in 1666 and afterwards several years, collector of the excise 3 June 1668, and member of the Plymouth Council-of-War for Plymouth Colony in 1675. Sometime before his death he gave to the town a piece of land near the meeting-house for a grave yard, where he is buried and which is still in use. His will dated 28 Dec 1685, with codicil of 8 August 1692, named wife Abigail, and children given below. Inventory of his estate taken 12 Nov 1692.

Abigail died in Marshfield on 3 January 1692/3, at about 74 years of age.{D1}

1.  Mayflower Families In Progress – Richard Warren…, published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987, p. 4.
2.  Individual source: Mayflower Families In Progress: Richard Warren of the Mayflower and His Descendants for Four Generations, compiled by Robert S. Wakefield and others, Published by
General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987.

Note: All of Richard Warren’s children survived to adulthood, married, and had large families: making Richard Warren one of the most common Mayflower passengers to be descended from.  Richard Warren’s descendants include such notables as Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Alan B. Shepard, Jr. the first American in space and the fifth person to walk on the moon.

1 . Mayflower Families In  Progress – Richard Warren…, published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987, p. 4.
2.  Mayflower  Families In Progress: Richard Warren of the Mayflower and His Descendants for Four Generations, compiled by Robert S. Wakefield and others, Published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987.

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Filed under My family in history, __1. 1620 Mayflower lineage

Stephen Skiffe and Lydia Snow

(1620 Mayflower lineage, Warren branch)

*  Stephen SKIFFE, Captain, was born on 14 Apr 1641 in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; died  8 Jun 1710 in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; buried in Sandwich, Barnstable,MA.

Stephen SKIFFE married Lydia SNOW in ABT 1665 in Plymouth, MA. They had the following children: Abigail SKIFFE (b. 2 May 1666),  Deborah SKIFFE (b. 14 Jul 1668), ♥  Marcy (Mary) SKIFFE (b. 13 Nov 1671), Lydia SKIFFE (b. ABT 1675), Steven SKIFFE (b.4 Feb 1685).

Stephen Skiffe, son of James and Mary Skiffe, was born at Sandwich, Barnstable Co., MA on 14 April 1641.{D1}

A ship’s captain. {D2} He also was Justice of the Peace and Rep. to General Court 1676 and after.{D3}

In his Will, dated 7 May 1701, Stephen names wife Lydia,  daughter ♥ Marcy (Mary)  Chipman and other  immediate family members.{D1}

DEATH: In the inventory of his  personal belongings, it was stated that Stephen died on 8 June 1710.{D1}

Old Town Cemetery Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.
[Photograph: Stephen Skiffe’s marker]

1. Mayflower Families in Progress – Richard Warren…, published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987, p. 21.
2. The Chipman Family: A Genealogy of the Chipmans In America  1631-1920 by Bert Lee Chipman, 1920, Winston -Salem, NC.
4. Individual source: The Chipman Family: A Genealogy of the Chipman’s In America 1631-1920 by Bert Lee Chipman, 1920, Winston -Salem, NC.


*  Lydia SNOW was born in ABT 1640 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; died on ABT 17 Mar 1713 in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA; buried in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA. (Grand-daughter of Mayflower ancestor, Richard Warren)

BIRTH: Lydia Snow was born to Anthony Snow and Abigail Warren at Plymouth, MA, about 1640.{D1}

MARRIAGE: 14 April 1641, Lydia married Stephen Skiffe. Their union produced five children, Abigail, Deborah, Marcy (Mary), Lydia and Steven.{D1}

HOME: Lydia and Anthony apparently lived their entire married life in Sandwich, MA.

EVENT: Lydia’s father, Anthony Snow, mentions her in his Will, stating, “…Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughters Lidia Sarah & alis & to my Dater Abigalls Children all the
 Rest of my neat Cattle To be Equally devided into four parts & each sister
 to have one part & Abigalls Children to have one part only…I give unto my
Daughter Lidia ten pounds in money & to my daughter Sarah ten pounds in

Burial: Old Town Cemetery Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.
[Photograph: Lydia (Snow) Skiffe’s marker]

1. Mayflower Families In Progress
– Richard Warren
…, published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987, p. 21.
2.  The Mayflower Descendant, Vol. V, Jan. 1903, article Anthony Snow’s Will and Inventory. The Will is in the possession of the Connecticut Historical Society at Hartford, CT. The Will and inventory are also recorded in the Plymouth County Probate Records, Vol. I, pages 156-158
3. Individual source: Mayflower Families In Progress: Richard Warren of the Mayflower and His Descendants for Four Generations, compiled by Robert S. Wakefield and others, Published by
General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987.

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Coffin family: John and son, Samuel Coffin

(Coastal families/Coffin branch)

John Coffin and Deborah Austin

* John COFFIN, Lieutenant, was born on 13  Oct 1647 in Haverhill, Essex, MA; died on 5 Sep 1711 in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard; buried in Tower Hill Burying Ground, Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

John Coffin married Deborah AUSTIN in 1668 in Nantucket, MA. They had the following children: Hannah COFFIN, Tristram COFFIN II, Deborah COFFIN, Elizabeth COFFIN, Lydia COFFIN (b. 6 Jan 1669), Peter COFFIN (b. 5 Oct 1671), John COFFIN (b. 10 Feb 1673), Love COFFIN (b. 23 Apr 1676), Enoch COFFIN (b. 1678), ♥ Samuel “King Sam” COFFIN (b. 12 Dec 1680), Benjamin COFFIN (b. 28 Aug 1683).

John was the 8th of 9 children in his family.

In 1677, Tristram Coffin gave his son, John, an interest in Nantucket. While at Nantucket, John lived on his father’s lot. Housing lots of the original settlers were approximately 1000 feet on a side (roughly 25 acres), but often quite irregular shaped properties. Tristram’s lot was bordered on the north side by Capum Harbor, now a landlocked pond. After Tristram died, John moved to Martha’s Vinyard, where he lived the rest of his life.{D1}

His move from Nantucket to Edgartown, on Martha’s Vinyard, occurred ca. 1682-83.

John died 5 September 1711 at Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard

John Coffin was buried at Tower Hill Burying Ground. Directions: Take Katama Road south out of Edgartown. Stay on Katama Rd. at the first fork (Herring Creek Rd goes off to the right), and take the first sand road to the left (east toward Katama Bay) after the fork. Follow it for 0.2 miles and you will be at Tower Hill Cemetery.{D2}


Compiled by Christie Ann (Hill) Russell

Tristram’s son, John, our second generation ancestor was born 30 October 1647 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He was the seventh of nine children born to Tristram and Dionis. John Coffin was the progenitor of most of the Martha’s Vineyard Coffins. He was about 13 years old when his family moved from the mainland to the town of Sherborn on Nantucket. In 1668, a young man of 21 years, he married at Nantucket, Deborah Austin, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Starbuck) Austin of Nantucket. On Nantucket John was a blacksmith and held a few minor offices. In Tristram’s will, he gave John “… his new dwelling house, with all other houses adjoining unto it etc” to be John’s property to be his immediately upon the decease of Tristram and wife, Dionis. We learn, however, that John removed to Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, a year after his father died and two years before his mother died. That was in 1682 when John was 36 years old. Martha’s Vineyard was then a part of New York.

It is believed that Thomas Mayhew asked John to come to Martha’s Vineyard as there was a need for a blacksmith. Mayhew reportedly sold John 8 acres for $1.00 fronting on Edgartown Harbor and running back in a wide swath to Peases’ Point Way. This lot was purchased from Thomas Paine’s estate. Paine, Governor Thomas Mayhew’s stepson and son-in-law, was lost at sea in 1657, along with Thomas Mayhew, Jr., on a voyage to England.

John built his first home on that property in 1682, a one story structure 24′ X 32′ with a shed roof and faced the harbor. The original portion of the house is buried by much enlargement and modification. It was on this property that he had his blacksmith shop. The blacksmithing trade must have been very profitable for John Coffin became the owner of much real estate on Martha’s Vineyard. In the 1700’s, the house was owned by various craftsmen, tailors and coopers among them. Today the address is 55 South Water Street. Looking East from this property today, one sees the Yacht Club, Town Dock, Chappy Ferry, and Chappaquiddick Island.

1.  John and Deborah’s second house on Martha’s Vineyard was built in 1703. Today the address for this house is 22 North Water Street, Edgartown. The house was occupied by John’s descendants for many generations until it was taken over by the North Water Street Corporation in 1946 to preserve it. It, like the Desire Coffin house, is now maintained by the Preservation Society and is occupied by antique and decorator’s shops.

Among the many who have lived in the house was the famed Dr. Daniel Fisher. He married Grace C. Coffin, John’s great-great-granddaughter in 1829 soon after coming to the Island. Her dowry, it is said, was her weight in silver. We don’t know how much she weighed, but no doubt enough to help Dr. Fisher begin his many business enterprises. Dr Fisher built his own sidewalk from the front door to the corner of Main Street so he wouldn’t get muddy shoes. The house sat much closer to the street, then a mere cart path, and when it was widened, the house was moved back and it appears that the rear addition was turned 90 degrees and reattached. There are eight other Coffin homes on the Walking Tour of Martha’s  Vineyard which were built and owned by John’s descendants. [The greatly renovated John Coffin & decsendants house at 22 North Water Street, Edgartown, Martha’s Vinyard. The original house is encased within the much expanded home seen here.]

2.  John and Deborah had eleven children of whom nine grew to be adults. Four sons and three daughters were mentioned in his will dated 1 Sept 1711. In his will probated 17 April 1712, he leaves sheep on Nantucket, now in possession of son Peter, to wife Deborah. (It is wondered if son Peter lived in the house deeded to John by his father?) He also mentions sons, Samuel, Enoch and Tristram and daughters Hannah Gardner, Deborah Macy and Lydia Thaxter. Daughters Love and Elizabeth may have died young or as spinsters prior to 1711. John Jr. and Benjamin probably died young.

After John died 5 September 1711 at Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Deborah returned to Nantucket where she died 4 February 1718. The will of Deborah Coffin (wife of John ) dated 13 March 1717/18 probated 13 May 1718 names son Tristram who received land in New Hampshire and was executor; and daughters Hannah Gardner and Deborah Macy.  See
for a picture of John’s tombstone and genealogy of The Coffin Family of Martha’s Vineyard at

[Internet image Map of Martha’s Vinyard above, from the Massachusetts State Atlas of 1891]

John and Deborah were the parents of our third generation ancestor, Samuel, “King Sam”. In 1706, Samuel Coffin, and his wife Miriam (Gardner) joined the Society of Friends. Two years later his parents (John and Deborah) joined. His sister Deborah joined in 1711 and Samuel’s brother Tristram and wife Mary (Bunker) joined the Friends in 1715. This was in the very early days of the Quaker movement on Nantucket, for it was in 1700 that Tristram’s daughter, Mary (Coffin) Starbuck, sister to John, had become a Quaker.

[Manuscript deed of sale (November 14, 1685) of Nashowamoiasuk, now Neck Point of the Edgartown Great Pond, by “Mr. Harrie, Indian of Nantucket” to John Coffin for six pounds.]

1.  Nantucket Lands and Land Owners Vol. 2, Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.
2.  Epitaph and Icon : A Field Guide to the Old Burying Grounds of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket by Diana Hume George and Malcolm A. Nelson.
3.  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA.
4.   Nantucket Lands and Land Owners Vol. 2, Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the  Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.

* Deborah AUSTIN, died on 4 Feb 1724 in Nantucket, MA; buried in Nantucket, MA.

Deborah was the 4th of 5 children born to Joseph Austin and Sarah Starbuck.

Deborah produced 11 children during her long marriage to John Coffin.

Samuel Coffin and Miriam Gardner

* Samuel “King Sam” COFFIN was born on 12 Dec 1680 in Nantucket, MA; died on 22 Feb 1764 in Nantucket, MA, at age 83 years.{D1}

Samuel Coffin married Miriam GARDNER in 1705 in Nantucket, MA. They had the following children: Parnell COFFIN, Sarah COFFIN, Libni COFFIN, John COFFIN (b. 1708), Deborah COFFIN (b. 1708), David COFFIN (b. 1718), ♥ William COFFIN (b. 4 Nov 1720), Miriam COFFIN (b. 1723), Mary COFFIN (b. 1724), Priscilla COFFIN (b. 1730).

Samuel was referred to as “King Sam”.

He was the 6th of 11 children in his family.

According to one source, Samuel was “known as ‘King Sam’ because he was short and feisty, and was compared to a crowing Bantam rooster trying to be king of the yard. He was a Quaker.”
[Contrubuted by Elaine Coffin Rebori]

John and Deborah were the parents of our third generation ancestor, Samuel, “King Sam”. In 1706, Samuel Coffin, and his wife Miriam (Gardner) joined the Society of Friends. Two years later his parents (John and Deborah) joined. His sister Deborah joined in 1711 and Samuel’s brother Tristram and wife Mary (Bunker) joined the Friends in 1715. This was in the very early days of the Quaker movement on Nantucket, for it was in 1700 that Tristram’s daughter, Mary (Coffin) Starbuck, sister to John, had become a Quaker.

The Friends (Quaker) records give 1763 as the date of his death.

Will of Samuel Coffin, probated March, 1764. Estate given to children John, William, David, Deborah Starbuck, Miriam Pinkham, Mary Barnard, Priscilla Coleman and the heirs of a deceased daughter, Sarah Pinkham.

1.   Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA., p. 266.

* Miriam GARDNER
Miriam Gardner was born on 14 JUL 1685  at Nantucket, Massachusetts. Died: 17 SEP 1750 at Nantucket Island, Massachusetts 


Filed under My family in history, __3. Coastal families

The Paddock family: 6 Generations from Paul Paddoc to Priscilla (Paddock) Coffin

(Coastal families/Paddock branch)

1.  Paul Paddock and Francoise Traillour

* Paul PADDOC was born in 1507 in Le Cateau, France; died in 1589.
Paul married Francoise TRAILLOUR. They had the following children: ♥ John PADDOCK (b.1550).

The family’s official surname changed from Paddoc to Paddock.
Source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.

* Francoise TRAILLOUR was born in 1519; died in 1607.
Source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.

2.  John Paddock and Jane Jennings

* John PADDOCK was born in 1550 in Le Cateau, France.
John married Jane JENNINGS. They had the following children: ♥ Robert PADDOCK (b. 1584).
John became a Huguenot and fled to England in 1580, and then to Ireland, settling near Killany, Barony of Ardee, County Louth.{D1}

He was a blacksmith.

Source:  The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.

* Jane JENNINGS was born in France.
Source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.


3.  Robert Paddock and Mary Holmes

* Robert PADDOCK was born in 1584; died in 1650.
Robert married Mary HOLMES. They had the following children: ♥ Zachariah PADDOCK (b. 20
Mar 1636). Robert Paddock was the immigrant ancestor.

Robert was married three times, each wife’s name was Mary.

Like his father, Robert was a blacksmith and a Huguenot.
Source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.

Source:  The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.
4.  Zachariah Paddock and Deborah Sears

* Zachariah PADDOCK was born on 20 Mar 1636 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; died on 1 May 1727 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA.
Zachariah married Deborah SEARS in 1659. {D2} They had the following children: ♥ Nathanial PADDOCK (b. 22 Sep 1677), Zachariah PADDOCK.

He was a deputy of the General Court in 1706.

1.  The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.
2. Americans of Royal Descent, 1883 by Charles H. Browning, now 7th Ed, 1986 reprint by Genealogical Publishing Co.;., Baltimore, MD, See pedigree of Mr. Theron Royal Woodward and his wife for lineage of Zachariah Paddock back to Emperor Charlemagne.
3. Source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.
4.  Colonial American Genealogical Library, #4 American Pedigrees 751 – 1500, LDS Library.

* Deborah SEARS was born in Sep 1639 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA; died on 17 Aug 1732 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA.

Deborah Sears, is given as the daughter of Richard Sears and wife of  Zachariah Paddock. {D1}{D2} Deborah’s genealogy was traced in the category post: Genealogy/Old world/ From Royal Grace to frontier colonist.

1.  The Anderson Story by Mrs. C.J. Davis and others, printed in 1968, a 62 page family genealogy.
2.  Americans of Royal Descent, 1883 by Charles H. Browning, now 7th Ed, 1986 reprint by Genealogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore, MD, See the pedigree of Mr. Theron Royal Woodward.
3.  Colonial American Genealogical Library, #4 American Pedigrees 751 – 1500, LDS Library.

[Internet image: Typical American colonial city and environs, ca 1700]

Nathanial Paddock and Ann Bunker

* Nathanial PADDOCK was born on 22 Sep 1677 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA to the family of Zachariah Paddock and Deborah Sears{D1}; died in Aug 1756.
Nathanial married Ann BUNKER on ABT 15 Oct 1706. They had the following children:  ♥Priscilla PADDOCK (b. 18 Sep 1722), Paul PADDOCK.

1.  One Hundred Sixty Allied Families by John O. Austin (1893) Reprinted 1982, Genealogical Pub. Co., Baltimore.
2.  Source: The Colonial Genealogist, pages 195-198.
3. Colonial American Genealogical Library, #4 American Pedigrees 751 – 1500, LDS Library.

* Ann BUNKER was born in 1686; died in 1767.

The Estate Probate of Thomas Bunker, d. unmarried Sept 1721, names Ann Bunker, dau. of William, as wife of Nathanial Paddock.

Their daughter Priscilla Paddock, married William Coffin.
See category post: Genealogy/Coastal families/Coffin branch,  William Coffin and Priscilla Paddocks’s genealogy and life summary.

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Ancient Family: Royal Grace to frontier colonist

Thomas of Woodstock

♥  Edward II  +  Isabel Count of Hainault  +   ______
           ♥ Edward III   + Philippa of Hainault
                                               ♥ Thomas Plantagenet of Woodstock  [1]

Thomas, the seventh and youngest son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, was born 7 January 1355 AD at the Royal Manor House, Woodstock. Thomas took his surname, Woodstock, from his place of birth.

In 1376, at age twenty one, he married Alianore de Bohun. Alainore was born in 1363 and was thirteen or fourteen years old at the time of the marriage. She  was daughter and Coheir of Humphrey IX de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Essex and Northampton. Alainore was seventh in line of descent from Henry de Bohun, a Surety to the 1215 Magna Charta of King John. [Image left: Thomas of Woodstock. Image right:  Alianore de Bohun, brass grave rubbing.]
Their marriage produced one son and four daughters. One branch of our family descended from their eldest daughter, Anne Plantagenet. Of the other three daughters, two died young and the last became a nun.

King Edward III   +  Philippa of Hainault
Eldest son, Edward,     ↲ “The Black Knight” 7th & youngest son, Thomas of Woodstock
↲ King Richard II Anne Plantagenet  ↓
↲ Monarchy My family line  ↓

Thomas was Constable of England before being advanced to the position of Earl of Buckingham. He was a commander in foreign wars for several years and advanced to Duke of Gloucester.
He was also Earl of Essex and Northampton, as well as a Knight of the Garter.

Thomas was one of the five Lords Appellant, who brought about the disgrace and banishment of King Richard II favorites, particularly de Vers and ordered the execution of Chief Justice Tresitian. As can be seen in the accompanying pedigree, Thomas was uncle of King Richard II.

Some years later, King Richard had Thomas ambushed and arrested. Thomas was taken out of England to Calais, France where at the request of the thirty year old Richard, he was either strangled or smothered under a feather mattress. Thomas was murdered on 3  September 1397 at age 42 years.

Thomas’s wife, Alainore became a nun and died two years later on 3 October 1399 at age 36 years.

Also in 1399, two years after Thomas’ murder, King Richard was deposed by his cousin Henry Duke of Lancaster, who became King Henry IV.

Anne Plantagenet

 ♥  Edward III   +   Philippa of Hainault Humphrey de Bohun  +   Joan
           ♥  Thomas of Woodstock   + Alainore de Bohun
                                                              ♥  Anne Plantagenet [2]

Anne, the eldest daughter of Thomas of Woodstock and Alainore de Bohun was born in 1383. At age 9 years Anne was betrothed to Thomas Stafford; however, Stafford died in 1392, before the marriage was consummated. Her second husband, Edmund Stafford was killed in the Battle of Shrewsberry when she was 20 years old.
Thirdly, in 1404, Anne married, Sir William Bourchier. Their union produced four sons and one daughter. This branch of my family line descends from their fourth son, John Bourchier.

During her life, Anne held the position of Countess of Stafford and Eu. Her husband, William, distinguished himself in the French Wars and was granted the entire county of Eu in Normandy, France—during the reign of the English King, Henry V.

Sir William Bourchier died in Troys on 28 may 1420.
Anne died on 16 October 1438 at age 55 years of age.

John Bourchier

 ♥  Thomas of Woodstock  +   Alainore de Buhun
                       ♥  Anne  Plantagenet   + William  Bourchier
                                                           ♥  John  Bourchier [3]

John Bourchier was born to Anne Plantagenet and Sir William Bourchier in 1420. John was Knighted on 19 May 1426 at age six years. He married Margery Berners, daughter of Sir Richard Berners and Philippa.

My branch of this family line descended from their fourth son, Humphrey Bourchier.

John was a member of English Parliament from 1455 to 1472, a period of seventeen years.

John became the first Baron Berners and was titled Lord Berners; he was also Second Earl of Bath. On or about 23 April 1459, he joined the Knights of the Garter.

From 1461 until 1474 he was Constable of Windsor Castle.

John fought for Queen Margaret, but afterwards changed sides and like his brothers was in high favor of King Edward IV.

Sir John Bourchier died on 16 May 1474, at fifty four years of age. His wife Margery died, 18 December 1475.

Humphrey Bourchier

 ♥  Anne Plantagenet   +   William Bourchier Richard  Berners   +   Philippa
                      ♥  John Bourchier   + Margery Berners
                                                          ♥  Humphrey Bourchier [4]

Humphrey was born the fourth son of  Sir John Bourchier and Margery Berners. He married Elizabeth Tylney, daughter of Sir Frederick Tylney of Ashwellthorpe County, Northfolk. Their son was John Bourchier.

Sir Humphrey Bourchier became the Earl of Buckingham and was later slain in the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471. Because Humphrey died before his father, he did not succeed to the title of ‘Barron Byrners’, which went to his young son, John.

Humphrey’s wife, Elizabeth, died years later, in 1497.


John Bourchier (II)

 ♥  John Bourchier   +   Margery Berners Frederick Tylney
             ♥  Humphrey Bourchier   + Elizabeth Tylney
                                                            ♥  John Bourchier [5]

John Bourchier (II) was born to Humphrey Bourchier and Elizabeth Tylney. John grew and married Catherine Howard, daughter of Sir John Howard and Margaret Wyfold. This branch of the family descends from their daughter Jane (Joan) Bourchier.

John became on of the Knights of Bath in 1477-78, was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1516-1527 and inherited the title Second Baron Berners from his grandfather. He was a learned translator of Froissrt. Sir John was Lieutenant of Calais, France (the coastal city captured by Edward III during the ‘Hundred Year War’) where he died on 3 March 1532. His wife Catherine died a few years later, on 12 March 1536-37.

Jane Bourchier

 ♥  Humphrey Bourchier   +   Elizabeth Tylney John Howard + Margaret Wyfold
                       ♥  John Bourchier   + Catherine Howard
                                                 ♥  Jane Bourchier [6]

Jane Bourchier was born to John  Bourchier and Catherine Howard.

Jane married Sir Edmund Knyvet (also spelled Knevit). Sir Edmund Knyvet, born in 1490, was Sergeant Porter to King Henry VIII and Lord (Esquire) of Ashwellthorpe County, Northfolk. Their marriage produced three sons and three daughters. My family line descends from their daughter Anne Knyvet.

Sir Edmund Knyvet’s ‘Will’ was dated 24 June 1537 and probated 1546. Edmund died 31 May, at about 50 years of age.

Jane’s ‘Will’ dated 8 April 1560, was probated in 1561. Jane died 18 February 1561 and was interred in the church of Ashwellthorpe under the following inscription,
“Jane [Bourchier] Knyvet resteth here, the only Heir by Right of Lord Berbers, that Sir John Bourchier height. Thwenty years and three a Wydoo’s life she ledd, Always keeping Howse, where Richard and Pore were fedd; Gentill most quyet, voyd of Debate and Stryf; Ever doying Good. Lo! Thus she ledd her life; Even to the Grave, where Erth on Erth doth ly, On whos Soul, God grant of his abundant Mercy” The xviii of February MDLXI

Anne Knyvet

 ♥  John Bourchier   +   Catherine Howard
                ♥  Jane Bourchier   + Edmund Knyvet
                                                                 ♥  Anne Knyvet [7]

Anne Knyvet was born to Jane Bourchier and Sir Edmund Knyvet. She married Richard Sayer, son of the Mayor of Colchester. They refused to recognize Henry II as spiritual head of the church and were banished to Holland.
In Amsterdam, their son, John Sayre, was born.

John Sayre

 ♥  Jane Bourchier   +   Edmund Knyvet Mayor ofColchester
               ♥  Anne Knyvet   + Richard Sayer
                                                               ♥  John Sayre [8]

John Sayre, son of Anne Knyvet and Richard Sayer was born in Amsterdam, Holland in 1528. He married Elizabeth Hawkins, who was born in 1532 and died about age 63 in 1595. Their son was John Bourchier Sayers.

John Bourchier Sayres

 ♥  Anne Knyvet   +   Richard Sayer
                  ♥  John Sayre + Elizabeth Hawkins
                                                        ♥  John Bourchier Sayers [9]

Both John Bourchier Sayres and wife, Marie Lamoral Egmonte, were born in England, but had moved to Holland during the Protestant Reformation and were married in Holland in 1585. They returned to England on or before 1590 when Richard Sears was born. John died in 1629. Their son was Richard Sears.

Richard Sears

 ♥  John Sayre   +   Elizabeth Hawkins
         ♥  John Bourchier Sayres   + Marie Lamoral Egmonte
                                                              ♥  Richard Sears [10]

Richard Sears, son of John Bourchier Sears (Sayres), was born in 1590. He is recorded as having been a member of Robinson’s Leyden Congregation before coming to Plymouth (MA) in the New World during 1630; he was  a Puritan by religion. Richard married Dorothy Thatcher. Their children were, Paul, Silas and ♥ Deborah. It is through daughter, Deborah Sears that this colonial line is descended.

Richard Sears first appeared in Plymouth records in the tax list of March 25, 1633. His name did not occur in the 1634 tax list, and he may have moved to Marblehead by then, although the first record for Marblehead places him there in January 1637/8. Richard was living in Marblehead, MA in 1637 and was one of the founders of Yarmouth, MA. He moved again, to Yarmouth, by 1639. He was appointed assessor for Yarmouth on March 1, 1658/9, and constable on June 6, 1660.
Richard died September 26, 1676(1676-09-26) Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony, at about 86 years of age. His wife Dorothy, died in the year 1680.

Deborah Sears

 ♥  John Bourchier Sears   +   Marie Lamoral Van Egmonte  George Jones   +   Agnes
                          ♥  Richard Sears   +  Dorothy Jones
                                                             ♥  Deborah Sears [11]

Deborah Sears, daughter of Richard Sears and Dorothy Jones, was born in Sept. 1639, died 17 Aug. 1732 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA.; married Zachariah Paddock. Their son ♥ Nathanial Paddock was born in 1677.
10(3)1667, Richard Sares made his will, to which he added Feb 3, 1676(sic), a codicil, which with the inventory are recorded in Plymouth Record Book 3, Part 2, pp 53-55. Therein he names, “wife Dorothy, elder” and “eldest son paule Sares, youngest son Sylas Sares,” and “daughter Deborah, son-in-law Zachery Padduck,” and “Ichabod Padduck,” and requests “brother Thacher with his sons as friends in
trust,” etc. (This Will proves the line of Zachariah Paddock)

Son-in-law, Zachary, served on a coroner’s jury to investigate the death of a child of Nicholas Nickerson 24 Oct 1667. He was assessed for King Phillip’s War, Yarmouth 1676. He was granted 50 acres at Seaconnet, part of Tatamanuck’s land, 7 Jul 1680, and later that year he was again on the grand jury.

Zachariah Paddock was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 20 Mar 1636, died in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, 1 May 1727, aged 91. However his obituary stated, “He was born in the beginning of the year 1640″ and died “in the 88th year of his age” having “retained his Reason to an uncommon degree, until his last Sickness, which lasted but a few Days. He was married in 1659 to Mrs Deborah Sears, born in this town, and now survives him, having lived together about 68 years, and by her, God blest him with a numerous offspring, especially in the third and fourth generations, having left behind him of his own posterity, 48 grand-children and 38 great grand-children, and of this latter sort no less than 30 descendants from his second son. The old gentleman, his wife, one of his sons and his wife lived for a considerable time in a house by themselves, without any other person, when their ages computed  together, amounted to over 300 years. Mr Paddock had obtained the character of a righteous man, and his widow, now near fourscore and eight years old, is well reputed for good works.”[“N.E. Weekly News Letter.”]

Nathanial Paddock

♥  Richard Sears   +   Dorothy Jones Robert Paddock   +   Mary Holmes
               ♥  Deborah Sears   + Zachariah Paddock
                                                         ♥  Nathanial Paddock [12]

See “Late Coastal Families” (Paddock family branch): Deborah Sears married Zachariah Paddock, their granddaughter, Priscilla Paddock, married William Coffin [of Nantucket Isl. moved to North Carolina, 1600s-1700s]. Their genealogical descent continued through the Anderson family branch in the 1800s and along the Pierce branch in the 1900s.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
The soul that rises with us, our life star,
Hath elsewhere had its setting,
And cometh from afar
… William Wordsworth

[1] References:
•   Americans of Royal Descent by Charles H. Browning, J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, PA.
•  Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists, fourth edition, by Dr. Frederik Lewis Weis, © 1969, Genealogical Publishing Co.,Baltimore,MD, page 7.
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid
[5]  Ibid, also,
Peerage of England, by Sir Egerton Brydges, K.J., Vol IX, 1812. First AMS edition, 1970, AMS Press
Inc., NY, NY 10003, page 468.
[6]  Ibid, also,
•  Americans of Royal Descent by Charles H. Browning, J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, PA.
Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists, fourth edition, by Dr. Frederik Lewis Weis, © 1969, Genealogical Publishing Co.,Baltimore,MD, page 7.
•  Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England, Ireland and Scotland, by John Bernard Burke, Esq., publ. 1841; Republished 1977 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, page 294.
•  Peerage of England, by Sir Egerton Brydges, K.J., Vol IX, 1812. First AMS edition, 1970, AMS Press Inc., NY, NY 10003, page 468.
[7] Americans of Royal Descent by Charles H. Browning, J.B. Lippincott Co.,Philadelphia, PA.
[8] See previous Footnote.
[9] See previous Footnote, also, Complete American Armory and Blue Book by John Matthews, republished 1965, Heraldic Publishing Co., Inc, page 68.
[10]  Ibid
[11]  Ibid
[12]  Ibid

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Coffin family: Peter Sr., Nicholas, Peter Jr.

(Coastal families/Coffin branch)

Peter Coffin and Mary Boscawen

* Peter COFFIN gent, died in England.

Peter COFFIN married Mary BOSCAWEN. They had the following children: ♥ Nicholas COFFIN, Tristram COFFIN, Phillip COFFIN, Lionel COFFIN, Thomas COFFIN.

The family,” according to Sylvanus J. Macy, “is one of those which have always  used (a coat of ) arms in this country, inherited from ancestors ranking among the gentry of England. The family sent off branches into different parts of Devonshire, the Coffins of this country  are descended from one such branch. Peter is believed to be the father of Nicholas Coffin and great grandfather of Tristram Coffin.

Individual source:  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA.

* Mary BOSCAWEN was born ABT 20 Jan 1551 in Penkivel, Cornwall,  England; christened in Penkivel, Cornwall, England; died on 4 Sep 1622 in Penkivel, Cornwall, England; buried in Penkivel, Cornwall, England.
[Image: Smugglers cottage on the Tregothnan estate has been home to the Boscawen family since 1335.]

Mary was born to the family of Hugh Boscawen and Philippa Carminowe.

Mary Boscawen was a 11th  generation descendent of Boscawen’s and Carminowe’s that lead back to a Roger Carminowe. Roger Carminowe held a Knight’s Fee in 1173 AD and was a Witness in 1220.

Mary was buried at St. Michael’s Church in the rural village of Penkivel, between Falmouth and Truro, and 40 miles from Plymouth, Cornwall. The church is small and usually open and unattended. Mary is buried beneath the floor, her grave marked by a seventeenth century brass  plate, which shows a full body likeness of her and states;


1. The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA, p. 84.

Nicholas Coffin and Johan ___

* Nicholas COFFIN, died AFT 12 Sep 1613 in Butlass, Brixton Parish, Devon, England.

Nicholas Coffin married Johan (Joan). They had the following children: ♥ Peter COFFIN II (b. ABT 1588), Ann COFFIN, John COFFIN, Nicholas COFFIN.

The Coffins of Portledge, Alwington parish, Devonshire, near Bideford, 45 miles north of Plymouth and Brixton, have resided at Portledge Manor at least since 1254 AD, and even earlier according to a boundary deed seen by the Rev. John Prince who wrote his treatise on “Worthies of Devon” about 1690.
It was written in Saxon, says Prince, “About the time of the Conquest” by the Abbot of Tavistock, granting certain lands to Richard Coffin. Tavistock is 15 miles directly north of Plymouth and 30 miles south of Portledge.{D1}  Portledge Manor is now owned by the British government and operated as a resort hotel.{D1} [Internet image below: 1907, Portledge manor, Alwington parish, Devonshire, England.] I should point out that although the Coffin family maintained ownership of the manor and its estates, our branch of the family has come down a line that, while propertied, was certainly not wealthy.

In his Will, Nicholas mentions son, Peter, and grandson, Tristram, stating, “…Itm I give and bequeth to Peter  Coffyn my eldest sonne my greatest brass pann and my minde is that my Wief shall have the use thereof during her lief. Itm I give and bequeth to Tristram Coffyn my sonnes Sonne one yearling bollock…I give and bequeth to Johan Coffyn my wief one bay nag wch we use to call Rowse…”{D2}

1.  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA., p. 82.
2.  Early Settlers of Nantucket by Lydia Swain Mitchell Hinchman. The original Will is to be found in the District Registry attached to the Probate Division of the Court of Justice of Exeter (in the Arcdeaconry Court of Totnes), England. “The Will of Nicholas Coffin.”
Individual  source:  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA

* Johan (Joan) last name unknown.

Individual source:  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA.

Peter Coffin II and Johan Thember

* Peter COFFIN II was born in ABT 1588 in Brixton Parish, Devon,  England; died BEF 13 Mar 1627 in Brixton Parish, Devon, England; buried in Brixton Parish, Devon, England.

Peter Coffin married Johan (Joan) THEMBER. They had the following children: ♥ Tristram COFFIN (b. 1609), John COFFIN, Johan COFFIN, Deborah COFFIN, Eunice COFFIN, Mary COFFIN.

The family name was spelled Coffyn in England and later Coffin in the America.

Peter was  the 3rd of 7 children born to his parents, Nicholas Coffin and Johan (Joan).

Peter Coffin’s Will , mentions his wife, son Tristram, son John and four daughters, Johan, Deborah, Eunice and Mary, all four under twenty years of age.
The Will is dated 21 Dec 1627 and was proved 13 Mar 1627/8. {D1}.

The Will states, “…Item I give and bequeth unto Tristram Coffyn my Sonne one feather bedd pformed my best brasen panne and my best brasen crocke. Item I give and bequeth unto Johan Coffyn my wife y issues pfitts and comodities of all my lands tenements & hereditaments wth y sayd Parish of Brixton dureing her widdowhood she yeelding & paying therefor yearly unto the said Tristram my sonne his heirs and assignes the summe of Fifty shillings of lawful English money at y four usual feasts of the year and also sufficient meate drinke & clothes and convenient lodgings unto y sayd Tristram according to his degree and calling dureing her Widowhood…Item I doe give unto Sonne Tristram All my lands rents reversions services & hereditamts with the appurtenances whatsoever sett lying & being wth in the sayd Parish of Brixton or elsewhere wthin y sayd County of Devon…Item All y rest of my goods chattels and cattells nor before given nor bequethed I doe give and bequethe unto Johan Coffyn my wife…”{D2}

1.  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA.
2.  Early Settlers of Nantucket by Lydia Swain Mitchell Hinchman. The original may be found in the District Registry attached to the Probate Division of the Court of Justice of Exeter (in the Arcdeaconry Court of Totnes), England.
Individual source: The Anderson Story, by Mrs. C. J. Davis, Mrs. Cora May Boots and others, printed in 1968. A 67 page genealogical record of the Anderson family from John & Elizabeth Horney Anderson, ca 1800 to 1968.

* Johan (Joan) THEMBER was born in ABT 1584; died on 30 May 1661 in Boston, MA; buried in Boston, MA.

Johan’s maiden name is variously spelled Thember and Thumber.

Johan died at age 77 years.

Individual source: The Anderson Story, by Mrs. C. J. Davis, Mrs. Cora May Boots and others, printed in 1968.
Individual source:  The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA.

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Perez Chipman Sr. & Perez Chipman Jr.

(1620 Mayflower lineage)


* Perez CHIPMAN Sr. was born on 28 Sep 1702 in Sandwich, MA; died in 1781 in Sussex, DE; buried in Sussex, DE.

Perez CHIPMAN married (1) Margaret Hinckley,  (2) Margaret Wheeler in 1725, (3) Judith Draper in 1740.
In the marriage to Margaret WHEELER, they had the following children: John CHIPMAN, Sarah CHIPMAN, Betsy CHIPMAN, Kezia CHIPMAN, ♥ Perez CHIPMAN Jr. (b. ABT 1730), Benjamin CHIPMAN, Love CHIPMAN, Draper CHIPMAN, Mellicent CHIPMAN, Mary CHIPMAN.

Perez lived the last years of his life in Sussex Co., DE, but is believed to have lived in some other New England state for a considerable time.

The children of John Chipman spread out in the colonies as noted by their half brother Handley Chipman in his short family history, “They scattered much in their Settling in families.”{D1}

Handley continued writing about his half brothers, which included Perez Chipman Sr., stating, “They were mostly of more than middling size. James was a clothier by Trade, Perez was a blacksmith as was also Ebebezer, John was a farmer and Stephen a cooper by trade…” {D1}
Blacksmiths, or “smiths,” were key contributors to American colonial society. Manipulating  iron for everything from shoeing horses to manufacturing and repairing tools and  utensils, blacksmiths were involved in all aspects of colonial life. The high colonial regard for labor along with the utility of the business made  blacksmithing a reputable and worthy occupation. [Internet image left: Colonial blacksmith. Image below right: Examples of blacksmith metal work.]

1.  A Chipman Family History by Handley Chipman (1717-1799) of Newport, RI and Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. Reproduced and printed by “The New England Historical and Genealogical Register”, 1937, Vol. XCI, Published by the Society at the Robert Henry Eddy Memorial Rooms, Boston.
•  Individual source: The Chipman Family: A Genealogy of the Chipmans In America 1631-1920 by Bert Lee Chipman, 1920, Winston -Salem, NC.
•  Individual source: Mayflower Families In Progress: Richard Warren of the Mayflower and His Descendants for Four Generations, compiled by Robert S. Wakefield and others, Published by
General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987.

* Margaret WHEELER  was born 1702 in Sussex Co., Delaware and died in 1739 Somerset, MD
Individual source: The Chipman Family: A Genealogy of the Chipmans In America 1631-1920 by Bert Lee Chipman, 1920, Winston -Salem, NC.


* Perez CHIPMAN Jr. was born April 1730 in Sussex, DE; died on 13 Mar 1801 in Deep River, Guilford, NC; buried in Deep River, Guilford, NC.

Perez Chipman Jr. married Margaret MANLOVE on 3 Oct 1751 in Camden, DE. They had the following children: Eunice CHIPMAN (b. 20 Jun 1752), ♥ Harriet Hannah CHIPMAN (b. 11 Nov 1753), Mary CHIPMAN (b. 27 Jul 1756), Deborah CHIPMAN (b. 31 Dec 1758), John CHIPMAN (b. 24 Mar 1761), Paris CHIPMAN III (b. 11 Sep 1763).

Perez signed his name as “Perez” on his Will, but the writer of the Will spelled his name “Paris”, both spellings were considered correct in the 18th Century.

Perez lived, from 1749 to about the close of the Revolutionary War, in Camden, DE, and then moved to Deep River, Guilford Co., NC.

1. A manumission deed for Kent County, DE, dated 24 May 1766, shows Paris and Margaret Chipman freeing a Negro boy named Thomas.{D3}
2. “While the British army had control of Delaware, a party of their soldiers came to get from him what plunder they could, but, from respect for the non-combative principles indicated by his coat, agreed to divide the bacon in his meat-house equally with him. He looked on quietly until the division was made, then his manhood rising to energy, he pitched them all out of doors with his own hands.”{D2}

Perez was a leading figure in a religious group known as the Nicholites, a Quaker like group that formed in  Kent County, Delaware. “Chipman was one of the first Nicholites to leave Maryland-Delaware area where upon he and another settler bought 640 acres in Guilford Co., NC in 1775.”{D3} See genealogy posts: a) Jeffrey Horney III and b) William Coffin for further details about the Nicholite religion.

In Guilford Co., NC, a “Nicholite Meeting House” was built. (In 1994 this location is just NW of High Point Reservoir.) Perez lived 2.6 miles north of the meeting house. His son-in-law William Horney and daughter, Hannah Chipman, bought land and resided about 0.7 mile north of the meeting house.{D4}

Perez Chipman Jr was a  “fuller” or clothier. {D2}

“CHIPMAN, Perez, born ca. 1730, d 13 Mar 1801, m Margaret Manlove, Patriot Service, NC.”{D1} Services rendered in the establishment of American Independence: “For sundries furnished the militia of North Carolina Virginia and South Carolina as allowed by Bruce and Baggee Auditors to
Perez Chipman”{D5} Both Perez Chipman Jr. and his father Perez Chipman furnished sundries for the Colonial soldiers.

“I give and bequeath unto my Loving wife Margaret. The full use and Priviledge of my house During her Lifetime, and also what income is to be paid by my Two sons Together with as much of my stock and movables as she Sees proper to have and one Hundred Pounds in hard money to be paid by my Executors to be here after mentioned…that my land Called farlow shall eaqually Devided by my two Sons John & Paris…The residue of my Estate both Real and Tomporal to be appraised and Devided in three parts one third to my son John, and one third to my son Paris, and the other third to be Equally Devided Between my Two Daughters, ♥ Hannah Horney & Mary Horney…” Signed by Perez Chipman on 13 Jan 1797.

1. DAR Patriot Index, Washington, 1966, p. 129.
2. The Chipman Family: A Genealogy  of the Chipmans In America  1631-1920 by Bert Lee Chipman, 1920, Winston -Salem, NC.
3. Joseph Nichols and the Nicholites: A Look at the ‘New Quakers’ of Maryland, Delaware, North and South Carolina by Kenneth Lane Carroll, 1962, published by The Easton Publishing Company, Easton, Maryland.
4. “18th Century Historical Documentation Map”, Guilford County, NC
5. Account of the U.S. with North Carolina, War of the Revolution, Book A, Page 272. See also NSDAR
National Number 336008.
6. Individual source: The Chipman Family: A Genealogy of the Chipmans In America 1631-1920 by Bert Lee Chipman, 1920, Winston -Salem, NC.

* Margaret MANLOVE daughter of William Manlove and Elizabeth Browne was born in 1728; died on 23 Feb 1803 in Deep River, Guilford, NC; buried inDeep River,Guilford, NC.

Individual source: The Chipman Family: A Genealogy of the Chipmans In America 1631-1920 by Bert Lee Chipman, 1920, Winston -Salem, NC.

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