"SOMEWHERE IN TIME"
"Within these pages there lies the lines of family ties, written each day of their lives with sacrifice and labor; in the hope of finding the peace and rest they so truly deserve. So, I write within the lines of these family ties, to bind our hearts and memories of families past, with all my love to future generations." Leslie Pierce Royce --- July 4, 1999.
The progenitor of the Lawrence, Lincoln and Copiah County, Mississippi branch of the PIERCE family was RANDALL PIERCE. Records indicate he was born in 1769 and died in 1853. A firm conclusion as to the birthplace and parentage of Randall, Sr., has not been determined at this time. It is believed RANDALL PIERCE moved from the Moore County, North Carolina area to Wilkes/Franklin County areas of Georgia. The earliest record of him there I have found is a witness to a deed in Wilkes County in 1788. Then again in a tax defaulters list for Burke County Georgia for 1790. Either because he hadn't paid or moved away. The family of Michal Whatley and some of his children also appear for this same time period in Early Records of Wilkes County Georgia, Vol. I & II. He married Mary/Nancy WHATLEY. They had eight children: five girls and three boys, born between 1791 and 1812. Sometime around 1812/1814 he and many others from that area in Georgia moved to Lawrence County, Mississippi.
They went by the "Three Chopped Way," to the Mississippi Territory and settled on Silver Creek in Lawrence County, Mississippi. And by this time Randall was considered an "Old Man," he was 45 years old, if they moved in 1814. His older children were all married and parents themselves, but they came together through the rough terrain and Indian country to the Mississippi Territory. Many other families came with them; the Bailey Loving family, Nathan Slay and his family & William Burt who was single. This can be proven by 'Passports Issued by Governors of GEORGIA 1810-1820; which documents the moves of Slay and Burt on 14th March 1810 and 31 March 1810. A passport was issued for these families to travel through the CREEK Nation of Indians. None show issued in the name of a Randall or John Pearce/Pierce. Census records for 1820 Lawrence County, Mississippi show Randel Pierce and his brother John Pierce.In 1824, he deeded his two minor children Martha and James who were ages 14 and 12, their inheritance. In later years Randall & Mary moved west of the Pearl River and settled on Big Bahalia Creek, at that time located in Copiah Co., MS. He and his wife spent their last days near their daughter Mary Pierce Furr. Randall and Mary are buried in the PIERCE-FURR Cemetery just West of the Little Bahala Church, in Lincoln County, Mississippi. The photo below is one of his many grandchildren - my great-grandfather, William Randall Pierce.
William Randall Pierce
13 Oct 1844 - 20 Oct 1906
Wife: Sarah A.H. CALLENDER
These records reflect my research efforts of the past 25 years of our Mississippi roots...that go back to Georgia and North Carolina. My beloved grandmother, Elizabeth Matilda SAXON Pierce (1887-1985), who was born in Jefferson County, Mississippi, sparked my interest in family long ago when I was a child. My grandparents knew each other as children. They often saw each other on Sundays, when folks went to church and visited friends and family. Their families lived in close proximity to each other. She married my grandfather Francis Marion PIERCE (1884-1946), who was from Copiah County, Mississippi, in December 1903 in Jefferson County, Mississippi. They first lived with his father, the gentleman pictured above. They were "Share Croppers" and they farmed a little while with him and then they moved up on Brandywine Creek. By this time, they had three children and it became harder to support a family. In 1912 my grandfather visited Dallas, Texas with friends and family during the Texas State Fair. He saw the outside world; outside central Mississippi and it offered a better way of life for his growing family. They moved from Mississippi to FALLS County, TX. My Granny had two aunts and uncles - Joshua Saxon and his wife Emma Varnado and Wm. I. Clawson and his wife Mary Jane Saxon who had moved to Texas in 1885, also for better living and farming conditions. They worked a farm in Reagan for a while, and then they went up on "Blue Ridge." They farmed there and things were okay for a time and then when the price of cotton fell in 1914; they packed up all their belongings and headed south to Port Arthur, Tx. They travelled by train and were dropped off at the end-of-the-line one night in Nov. 1914. My grandfather rode his own horse to town to find a room for the family that night. He got a job delivering groceries with his horse, pulling a wagon. They soon found a house big enough for their growing family now, which included my father who was two months old. Jobs were in abundance there since the discovery of "OIL" at "Spindletop" a few years before. The refinery was just opening up and jobs paid "A Dollar A Day." Port Arthur was just beginning as a town, and many people began moving there.
Frank, as he was called, got that job at the Gulf Oil Refinery. He was a pumper. They bought a large house with rooms upstairs for their children to sleep and they took in boarders. Mostly family and friends from Mississippi. My grandfather was quick to know a good thing. He saw the advantage to city living rather than the scrapping for a living off the land back in Mississippi. They had a milk cow, and he got some chickens for my Granny to raise for meat and the eggs. They had a garden and they worked a good life in Texas for their growing family that ended up being 2 girls and five boys by 1925. Many were the times they went back to Mississippi to visit family and tell of their good life in the Texas oil country. His brother Corneilus Callender Pierce and his wife and girls came. Also his brother James Zach Pierce and his wife Annie Barnes and children, also from Copiah County, Ms. Some of his cousins and some of my Granny's cousins came for a short time and worked and saved their money and then went back to Mississippi. Frank worked for thirty years at the refinery; from 1915 until Dec. 1945 when he retired. Their family of 2 girls and 5 boys, all graduated from "Port Arthur High" and the youngest two sons serving their country in WWII.
I can remember in the late 1940's that my Granny would phone that someone named cousin "Jessie Frank" or cousin "Willie Neal" was visiting from Mississippi. We would go to her house to see and hear the guests. I learned many of our family surnames that way. After my grandfather, Francis Marion Pierce passed away; my father would take my grandmother back to Mississippi, so she could visit "her people." I was lucky enough to be included in a few of those wonderful trips "home." The surnames stuck with me thru the years. When I began my research of "FAMILY,"it was my grandmother, who was still alive 30 years later, who was my inspiration. A couple of years later, I was able to once again, travel to Copiah, Jefferson and Lawrence/Lincoln counties in Mississippi for a family reunion. I visited those homesteads and cemeteries and I stood on that precious ground once trod by my grandfather and grandmother and their family who came before them.
This web site has been designed to assist those of us who are related to Old RANDALL PIERCE and any other families herein. I've collected information about our family and its many branches for years and like most of you have much work yet to do! Within this database are some 3,500 or more individuals....thanks to fellow researchers like you and the ease with which the Internet allows us to exchange information. As with most labors like this, it remains a work in progress. Please accept it as such. Have fun browsing through our family trees! If you find anything here which you can add to, or is in error, please e-mail me and I will make the additions or corrections. I will be correcting and adding items as time permits...Please come back often. I hope you enjoy your visit to my family pages.
Last Updated 8 May 2006
To Date, the earliest name and date obtained for each of these surnames are as follows:
For My PIERCE Line:
BYRD, Katherine "Kitty" - m. Michael Whatley
CAGLE/KEGILL, Leonhart - m. Susannah. Both were immigrant's from Germany
CALLENDER, Alexander b. 1755, NJ/NC? - d. 1819 MS/La. - m. Mary ColemanAlexander first shows up in Mississippi Territorial Census for 1792.
COLEMAN, William I. b. 1619, Wiltshire, Langley, England - d. 4/18/1680, Gloucester, MA.
PIERCE, Randall b. 1769 NC - d. 1853, Lawrence Co., MS. - m. Mary/Nancy Whatley. Randall makes his presence known in Franklin, Georgia 1790.
PERRY, Jemima b. 1818, La. - d. 1850's, Copiah Co., MS. - m Robert S. Callender. Jemima's parents are unknown at this time.
RICHARDSON, Susannah - m. Leonard Cagle/Kegil, NC.
SIMPSON, Betsey b. 1780's, Ms. - d. 1811 Jefferson Co., MS. - m. Stephen Callender. The parents of Betsey are unknown.
SWAYZE, William b. about 1595, Suffolk, England - d. 1686 Southold, Suffolk, NY.
WHATLEY, Shurley b. Jamestown, Va? d. 1782 Warren Co., NC - m. Rebecca Wharton
WHARTON, Rebecca m. about 1720 Hanover, Va. Shurley Whatley* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
My SAXON Line:
ALEXANDER, Isabella b. 1730 - d. after 1780, Mecklenberg, NC. - m. Moses Shelby
ALLEN, Lucy b. 1760's Va. - d. before 1808/10 SC/KY? - m. Joshua Saxon, Sr.
FURR, Heinrich b. Switzerland, d. 1769 NC. - m. Russena Rosser
KEES, Jacob - m.
MORGAN, Catherine b. 1691 Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales - d. after 1754, Wales - m.
NEAL, Thomas - m.
PEARCE, Eliza. b. 1825, NC - d. 1901, Jefferson Co., MS. - m. Marcus D. Saxon
ROSSER, Russena - m. Heinrich FURRER, d. Mecklenburg, NC
SAXON, Joshua, Sr. b. 1760's Va. - d. 1817, Claiborne Co., MS. - m 1) Lucy Allen 2) Medis Ingram
SHELBY, Phillip b.1648 Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales
SMITH, Capt. Billy b. 1770's, Moore Co., NC - d. 1847, Lawrence Co., MS. - m. Delilah Kees
STUTTS, Ulrich b. 17 May 1688, Switzerland - d. NC
YANCEY, Mary - m. Samuel Saxon* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The records of this PIERCE family are sketchy. I have traced them to only very few places before 1800. Because Randall & Mary/Nancy lived to be on the 1850 US Federal Census of Lawrence County, MS., we have information to support their age and birth places. Randall gave his age as 81 and his wife, Mary/Nancy gave her age as 70. They are buried in the PIERCE-FURR Cemetery maintained by the Little Bahala Baptist Church Association. Randall's age corresponds with his grave marker, 1769-1853. Mary/Nancy's marker is 1770-1852. Meaning on the 1850 Census she should be listed as 80 instead of the 70, as reported. From a census record for their two sons who lived past 1880, we have the information found on the Copiah Co., MS., Census, which their sons John W. Pierce and James M. Pierce both state they were born in Georgia and their parents both born in North Carolina. So, we don't know exactly what county in North Carolina the PIERCE'S came from. No marriage record has been found for them. We can put them in or near Wilkes & Burke Co., Georgia in 1790. We can try to piece together some few facts concerning their whereabouts before 1800. We first find Randall Pierce (age about 20) in a record for tax defaulter's in Burke County, Georgia for the year 1790. He is listed because he, either didn't pay or because he had moved away. However, Randall appears again in a deed recorded in Burke Co., GA. 17 Mar 1796; Elisha Walker, Washington Co. Ga. to William Clark, Burke Co., 300 a. Wit.: Randall Pierse and Samuel Pierse.
We can trace Mary/Nancy's family back thru her father Michael WHATLEY and his wife Katherine "Kitty" BYRDto records in Orange Co., NC in Oct. 1777, proved in August Court, 1778; again in a Orange Co., NC Deed dated 1779 and again in Orange Co., NC, in a Will of a friend John CHRISTMAS dated 1783. With Michael & his wife Katherine in records of this time frame, the births of some/most of their children should be North Carolina. The family of his father Shurley WHATLEYand his wife Rebecca WHARTON appear in records of Hanover and Augusta Co., Va., in the years 1734 & 1742. Shurley Whatley appears next in Early NC Census for Bute Co., NC for the years 1771 and 1773. To be continued...............................PIERCE ......
More coming including newly discovered "DEED of GIFT" dated 1824, Lawrence Co., MS. from Randall PEARCE to his youngest daughter Martha PIERCE and youngest son James Mitchell PIERCE.
Finally I was able to bridge the gap and link the father of Sarah Callender (1844-1890) to Robert S. Callender b. 1810, La. to his father, Stephen Callender to his father Alexander Callender, Sr. and beyond. The family of Alexander Callender and Mary COLEMAN ties us to the large collection of families and information called "The Jersey Settlers from New Jersey to Adams Co., MS." These folks came to the Mississippi Territory about 1772 and are in many records.
William Randle PIERCE served in the Civil War from Mississippi in the 36th MS. Infantry, Co. "A" - Mount Zion Guards, from Copiah County, MS. Watch for additional information "HERE" of the battles he was in and maps of travel.
The parents of William Randall Pierce were James Mitchell Pierce (1812-1881) and his first wife the widow, Mrs. Anna Smith (1810-1852), as stated on their marriage document. They were married in Copiah Co., MS in 1837. Much has come to light for me after not knowing her maiden name for more than 2 decades. I acquired a faded old typed piece of paper from our PIERCE family bible from my cousin in Houston, Tx back in 1978. It listed the birth and deaths of many of this PIERCE family. Listed among the records were the births of five SMITH children. Since the marriage of Mrs. Anna Smith to James Mitchell Pierce, these appeared to be her children by a first marriage. I did not find the family in Mississippi records. However, due to one entry from the Bible, it directed me to research records in Catahoula Parish, La. Thus, I found the family of James Pierce and his wife Anna listed in the US Census for 1850, Catahoula Parish, La. pp.088; with the children of their marriage. The above photographed gentleman "William Randall Pierce" is listed as Randall, age 5, born MS. No Smith children were living in the home. Then, taking a big leap and confirming that the SMITH children in the PIERCE BIBLE had a father named SMITH. I needed to do more research! Soooo.....many SMITH"S in this part of Mississippi. And finally after 20 years of looking and not looking, and with help from others, I located the first marriage of MARY ANNA CAGLE to Everitt SMITH in Lawrence Co., Ms. Comparing the dates of birth for the children and the birth of the last child. The story began to unfold and take some shape. Seems that Mary Anna (Aline) CAGLE married to Everitt Smith in 1827 in Lawrence Co., MS. and his father Ely Smith signed as Bondsman. Interesting sentence at the bottom of the marriage license, is "I William Cagle, Farther, of Anna give consent for marriage." This Wm. Cagle belongs to the family of "Leonhart Kegle/Kegill/Cagle of Germany," who came America and eventually to North Carolina.
James Mitchell Pierce was married a second time in 1853 in Copiah Co., MS. to Mrs. Malinda Cook, a widow whose maiden name was Short. They had one son, James David Pierce, 1855-1921. He never married.
James Mitchell Pierce was married a third time in 1876 in Copiah Co., MS. to Mrs. Sarah Rigsdell, also a widow, with one son, Francis Marion Rigsdell, b. 1855. Sarah's maiden name was Anderson. After James Mitchell's death, Sarah and her son moved to Limestone County, Tx. and are buried there in Dew Cemetery.
This web site produced 03 Jul 1999 by Ancestral Quest, a product of The Hope Foundation.
1) Randall Huckaby Pierce and His Descendants, privately published by Luther A. Pierce, Chicago, Ill. 1976.
2) History of the Furr, Dry, Stallings, Teeter and Tucker Families. Rev. William Thomas Albright, (Deceased). Privately published 1950, Greensboro, NC.
3) Supplement To The History of The Furr Family, Rev. William T. Albright(Deceased) privately published 1956, Greensboro, NC.
4) Mellye Pierce Furr(Deceased) Hollandale, MS. Personal letters from 1977 - 1982.
5) John Paul Smith, Brookhaven, MS. Personal Letters 1996 - current.
6) Family Trails Quarterly. (Various Volumes) published by the Historcial and Genealogical Association of MS. Jackson, MS.
7) Mississippi Cemetery & Bible Records, (Various Volumes)first published in 1954. The Mississippi Genealogical Society, Jackson, MS.
8) Descendants of Captain Billy Smith (The Four Pennies) Gregory S. Smith, Rt. 4 Box 18, Bogue Chitto, MS. 39629. Privately published 1984.
9) Special Aids To Genealogical Research on Southern Families, National Genealogical Society, Publication #15. NGS, Washington, DC. 1962
10) Colonial Georgia Genealogical Data 1748-1783, National Genealogical Society Publication #36. NGS Washington, DC. 1971.
11)Pierce Family Bible, of James Mitchell Pierce (1814-1881)typed copy from entries. Currently in the possession of a Pierce cousin, Houston, Tx.
12) Christian Furr Family Bible, MS. State Archives & also published on Rootsweb.com.
13) Stutts Families & Their Descendants from Jacob Stutts of Moore Co., Nc., Fred MeLeod, Dudley, NC. Privately published. No date.
14) Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Ut. and various Family History Centers in Texas, California and Washington. Microfilm, microfiche and book research.
15) FamilySearch Internet; including but not limited to Ancestral File, the IGI and Pedigree Resource Files.
16) History of the Cook-Pierce family by Cook & Ratcliff, 1980, privately printed, Jackson, Ms.