GENEALOGY OF THE PEIRSON FAMILY
Written by Hon. S. S. Peirson
Extracts Read by Rev. Louis A. Peirson
at a Meeting of the Historical Society.
From: The Union Gazette, Newark NY, Saturday Morning, November 17, 1917, page 3.
A few weeks since a genealogy of the Peirson family was published, which had been ably and carefully written by Hon. S. S. Peirson. This book contains 115 pages, and more than 70 fine illustrations. The Historical Society met at the home of W. T. Peirson November 3rd, and extended to the author a hearty vote of thanks for a free and much prized copy of this work. At this meeting Rev. Louis A. Peirson read copious extracts from this genealogy, in substance, as follows:
The family from which the Peirsons derive, begins with Otto, Count of Vermandois, seventh in decent (sic) through the Counts of Vermandois, and Kings of Italy and Lombardy from Pepin, King of Italy and Lombardy, who died A. D. 810. The sixth in descent from Otto was Peter, the ancestor of the Peirson family. A Scotch writer says, at a very early date the Persens, Pearsons and Piersonnes could claim to be Scottish lineage. Under the date of August 28, 1296, Wantler Piersonne signed as landowner in Berrickshire. About 1369, David Piersone and two brothers were comptrollers of customs in North Besewick, Dumfries, and Haddington, respectively.
Rev. Abraham Pierson, and his brothers, Thomas and Henry, born in Yorkshire, England, came to America in 1639. The next year they laid the foundation of the town of Southampton, Long Island, for which they paid Massachusetts four bushels of corn, and agreed to pay the Indians 16 English coats and 32 bushels of corn when they could raise it. Mr. Pierson, as the first pastor, was rigid in his desire to have the civil as well as the ecclesiastical power all vested in the church and to allow none but church members to act in the choice of officers in the government, or to be eligible as such. Later he was pastor at Newark, Conn., where at his death he was succeeded by his son, Rev. Abraham Pierson, Jr. The latter became the first President of Yale College, and his statue is to be seen today on the college grounds in New Haven.
Henry, brother of Rev. Abraham, Sr., remained in Southampton, and married Mary, daughter of John Cooper. Their fourth son, Henry, was a member of the Colonial Assembly for several years, and from 1691 to 1695 was speaker of the house. Joseph, an elder son of Henry, Sr., the ancestor through whom our Wayne County family is descended, was born about 1650. He had a son, Henry, born in 1678. In spelling the family name, many today put the i before the e; but in 1686, 18 Peirsons were enrolled in Southampton, and very (sic) name was spelled Peirson. The youngest son of Henry the second was named Samuel. He was born in 1751, and moved to Ontario Co. N.Y. after the death of his wife in 1793. He was buried in the East Palmyra cemetery. He is said to have been nearly seven feet tall. The sexton said he was by far the tallest man he ever buried. Samuel's will was found by William T. Peirson among his father's papers some 25 years since. A few extracts from this will read as follows: "I, Samuel Peirson, of the Town of Sodus and County of Ontario, weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, Blessed by God for same, do make and publish this my last will and Testament; First, I give and devise to my son, Sylvanus, one half of my real estate and the other half of my real estate to my son, Silas. I also give my wife Jerusha the privilege of living with my two sons as long as she remains my widow. My will and meaning is that my two sons maintain my daughters till otherwise provided for."
Silas, the third son of Samuel, was born in Southampton in 1786, and when in his teens was bound out to learn the carpenter's trade. When 21 years of age, he borrowed enough money of his sister, Ruth, to defray his traveling expenses, and started for the present Wayne Co., N.Y. Traveling on foot he arrived here in 1807. He purchased of Viscount Newark and others, 87 1/2 acres of land on contract for $3,140. He had ten children by a second wife (Mary Culver) eight of whom lived to a good old age. These were born on the old homestead just north of Hydesville. Silas was the first master mechanic to erect frame buildings with a square and rule. He held some town office most of the time from 1820 to 1830. In 1839, he was chosen Supervisor, his opponent being Esbon Blackmar, who later became member of Congress. At that time the keep of the town poor was bid for on Town Meeting day, and the farmer who would take them into his family for the least money, was awarded them for one year, the sum usually not exceeding $150 per annum. The poor then were quite on a par with the school master, they boarded round.
At midnight, in 1812, Mr. Peirson heard one night a loud knock at the door, "Who is there?" A voice replied, "Silas Peirson you are commanded to appear at Jessup's Corners tomorrow morning armed and equipped as the law directs. The British are burning Sodus Point." Obeying this summons, he soon after returned with several British cannon balls, which are now in the possession of the George Peirson's family.
"In 1857, Silas Peirson slept with his fathers, honored and beloved by all who knew him." He and all his family were members of the Presbyterian Church in East Palmyra.
Mary Culver, wife of Silas Peirson, was the daughter of George and Ruth Culver, one of thirteen children. Ruth was a sister of Cooper Culver.
Samuel, eldest son of Silas was born in 1812, and deid (sic) in 1893. He married Eliza Nicholoy, and they became the parents of seven children. Samuel was a successful farmer, and lived on a farm just north of his father's. He was once nominated for member of assembly. He and his wife were both members of the East Palmyra Presbyterian Church, and both are buried at East Palmyra. Ruth, their eldest child, lived in Hydesville, then with her parents later on Williams Street in Newark, and is now in the Old Ladies Home at Williamsville, N.Y. Henry J., eldest son of Samuel, married Syrena S. Prescott in 1865. He was in turn a farmer, a miller, and grocer. While keeping a grocery store, he served as Supervisor of Arcadia for one year. Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Peirson have three children, two sons and a daughter.
Andrew J., the third child of Samuel and Eliza, enlisted in the 111th Reg. N. Y. Vol., under command of Col. E. K. Burnham. He married Helen Crandall, of Fairville. He now lives in Chautauqua Co.
Martha, the fourth child, became the wife of Esbon Parker, who died about 1877, after several years spent as a miner in the far West. Their son, Samuel P., lives a mile north of Hydesville. Albert S., fifth child of Samuel and Eliza, married Lucy Sanford, who died in 1908. Their daughter, Maude, became the wife of Cecil Quinlin. Albert married for his second wife, Mrs. Mary E. Spoor, of Newark. They live at East Palmyra, on one of the finest farms in the county. Byron, the sixth child, married Jennie Chapman in 1874. They had five children, all of whom were married previous to 1908. Byron died that same year.
Hannah, daughter of Silas, married Gilbert Jessup, who was long a manufacturer and inventor in Palmyra and Chapinville. Their son was the well known W. Frank Jessup, who died in Newark in 1912. His son, R. W. is secretary of the Wayne Wheel Works.
Phebe, second daughter of Silas and Mary, married Benjamin A. Baily. The last of their four children, Antoinette, passed away from earth in October, 1917. "She never married, - like Dorcus of old she ministered to the poor."
Mary, the third daughter, married Edwin Rogers, and died in 1862. They lived near Palmyra village on a beautiful farm. Their daughter, Mary, became the wife of Fred M. Allerton.
Louisa, the fourth daughter, married Artenus (sic) W. Hyde, and died in 1892. They had three children: A. Douglas, who married Rosa Hoeltzel, William H. who lives in Colorado, and Meda L., later the wife of P. R. Sleight, and mother of Marjory and George Sleight. William C., third son of Silas, married Caroline Clark of East Palmyra, and spent his earlier life on the old homestead just north of Hydesville. Later he became owner of the splendid Jacob Lusk farm just west of the N. Y. C. station. Their three children reside in Newark: William T., cashier of the Arcadia National Bank, George C., railway mail clerk, and Mary, who was for some years a teacher of the blind in Knoxville, Tenn. George's daughter, Lucile, became the wife of Karl G. Schuman.
George H., fourth son of Silas, married Mary Wakeman, and they lived on the farm now occupied by Frank Weleber. One daughter, Frances, married the photographer, L. H. Wheat, another Myrta L., became Mrs. Ernest G. Reed, now of Brooklyn, and a third, Eve M., is Mrs. Frank Howell, of Buffalo.
Henry R., second son of Silas, married Calista, daughter of Samuel B. Reeves. When a boy, Henry told the master of the Hydesville school he was going to study grammar. The teacher asked why,- "are you going to be a doctor, lawyer, or a minister?" "Probably not." "Then you don't need that book, and you can carry it back." The master was strong enough to thrash the boys, but probably not able to instruct them in grammar. Mr. Peirson lived for a time on the O. M. Clark farm. Later while in Newark he bought and sold Western live stock, in company with D. A. and W. O. Sherman. He died in the house now owned by S. F. Price and was buried at East Palmyra.
Silas S., eldest son of Henry R., was born in 1841, just north of Hydesville. He was in ___ a farmer boy, clerk, miller and banker. He started the Peirson bank in 1866, and in 1872, C. B./H.(?) Perkins became his partner in the banking and also the produce business. They were the first to introduce evaporated apples into the United States and Europe. They sold peppermint oil at home and abroad. Mr. Perkins especially did much to make Newark the best market, and most progressive village in the county. Mr. Peirson was married in 1864 to Armeda Van Wagenen, by Rev. G. H. Shumway. Their five children are S. Ray, Ernest V., Lewis A., Mary Armeda, and Winifred (now Mrs. M. L. Sheffer, of Rochester). Rev. Louis A. preached first at Tuscarora, N.Y., and a short time ago he completed fifteen years of service as pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Castile, N.Y.
In November, 1883, S. S. Peirson was elected to represent the Western district of Wayne County in the Legislative (sic). Theodore Roosevelt sat only three seats distant from him.
Among the bills introduced by Mr. P. was one to establish permanently the N. Y. State Custodial Asylum for Feeble Minded Women at Newark, N. Y. The opposition of Syracuse members desiring it for their own city prevented the passage of the bill at this session. The next year his successor, Hon. E. K. Burnham, represented this district and at his request introduced the same Asylum bill. The Democrats were in a hopeless minority, the bill went to the committee and was laid upon the table, and his efforts to get it before the House were unsuccessful, and he thought it was hopeless and towards the end of the session, he came to Mr. Peirson, as did others of our towns people, and urged him to go to Albany with him and use his influence with Republican friends, to get the bill out of the committee's hands, and before the House. The committee claimed they were afraid of the prestige it would give Mr. Burnham, and make him a Wayne County Judge (such is politics). Hon. Jas. W. Husted was Chairman of the Committee. At Mr. Peirson's solicitations, and claiming that the bill was his own and not Mr. Burnham's, he reported it the next morning. The Speaker lending his influence, and the necessity of such a State charity in the country commending itself to the country members, it was passed by a large majority. It then went to the Senate where Hon. Thomas Robinson took it in charge, pushed it through at railroad speed, and the following day it was in Gov. David B. Hill's hands, and received his signature. There was established permanently a State Institution in Newark which was to be of financial benefit to the community.
For 35 years Silas S. was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and in 1892 was a delegate to the Gen. Assembly which met at Portland, Oregon. In 1902, he and his wife visited Athens, Constantinople and the Holy Land, and on their return spent two months in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, France and Great Britain. The winter seasons from 1905 to 1916 have been spent by Mr. and Mrs. Peirson and two daughters, in Sea Breeze, Florida. In 1914, Mr. and Mrs. Peirson's golden wedding was celebrated in a fitting manner.
Two twin sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Peirson. One, Adelbert, died at the age of 17, and the other, Adelman, who married Lizzie O. Crosby, died at the age of 30.
Adelaide, daughter of Henry R., was educated in the Newark High School and Lima Seminary. She lived with her parents and cared for them in their old age, until they died. She married Rev. M. V. Willson, formerly the much loved pastor of the Newark Baptist Church. She removed with him to Penfield, where he died in 1903.
Sarah L., younger daughter of Henry R., completed her education in Tracy Seminary, Rochester. She married Seward F. Price, and lived for some years on his fine farm south of the village. Their three sons are George H., Harrison B. and Seward Peirson Price.
As a rule, the descendants of the pioneer families in this vicinity, now living, reside for the most part outside the bounds of Wayne County.
NOTE: descent information in the confusing fourth paragraph conflicts with information elsewhere on line.
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