Memoirs of Henry Davis Pearce

In the possession of Byrd Hamilton Kirkpatrick


The David Family were originaly from Wales. The first Davis came over
a young man in the early days of the colonies and setteled in Verginia
and the famly later by marage became related to the Woolf family of
whom was General Woolf of revolutionary fame also one of the Davises
was shot through the body during the revilution of the Colonies, and
the tradition is that a silk handchieff was drawn through his body.
Also Stone Wall Jackson was brother to Henry Davis'es Mother. They
lived Henry Davis & family in Harrison County VA. He was married to
Miss Annie Bush. The Bushes wer High Duch, originaly had to leave the
father Land for some political trouble they belonging to the aristocracy
and wer welthy. Henry Davis was born 1796 and Annie Bush Davis was
born June 22nd A. D. 1800. Both in Verginia.

Their oldest child Prudence Davis - Wells - Miller was born Dec 6th 1817.
George Bush Davis born July 1819.
Mary Davis Pearce born
Mahaly Davis born
Elizabeth Davis Jackson born
Francis Davis Jackson born
Marshall H. Davis born 1829.
Smanthay Davis Layhew born Sept 1831

Henry Davis & family moved to Adams Co Ill. 1832 locating near whare
Clayten was afterwards built. Henry Davis was a Baptist Preecher and
his ansesters before hime back to the Davis that came from Wales. He
moved to Texas Grayson County May 1856, locating near Furgason P. O
afterwards Farmington and died March 1870.

The first thing I can recolect is when I got into some trouble a child
that my Aunt Ellen Harkness carried me away up stars she was about 7
years the oldest. I can recolect she was a little girl. The next
thing I recolect is playing in the lane between Grandmothers and our
house which was only about a quater of a mile apart also recolect a
butting sheep that was in the pasture between the houses. The next
recolection is walking out around the house in town whare my Mother
was then living (Kingston about 5 mi from home.) and my Jawes being
tied up on account of having the mumps and there was sleet on the
ground and my Mother made me come in the house. Can recolect the
kind of cooking stove my Mother had while she was a widow a flat
stove with and oven on the back end and above something like a drum
the present time on a heting stove only across the back end I have
never seen one like it sence. When I was about 4 or five years old
about 1849 Mother married Benjeman Perkens, and sold out her interest
in the old Homestead for I do not know just how much but think 6 or
8 Hundred Dollars. Money was scarce and high at that time, just
before the Calofornia mines had been worked. They then moved up
in Ioway about 100 miles north of west of Keokuck, in a then wild
and frontier country newly setteled and among the Indians as I
recalect of seeing quite a bunch Prarrie country with skerts of
timber and I do not recolect of seeing but Log houses. We started
in some small pole cabbins and I recalect of going with my step
father at nite to lay out the place whare he was going to build a
log house by the north star setting the stakes sighting them by star
so as to get it north and south. I was very much afraid of the
Indians and wild animals wich wer plentiful. One day a large black
dogg came running over the prarrie to wards the house and Ben Perkens
hallowed to me and sister was were playng out side that a Bear was
coming we looked up and saw the dog thinking it was bear and was nearly
scared to death.

There was a school started probly a mile or mile and a half to wich
I went it was in a log house without a flower clabard door and no
glass windows. The benches wer logs split open the flat sid hued
and legss put into the round side with flat side up for seats. The
teecher had a peace of bard one side calered hung by the door by a
card one side one side donated same one out and a other could ya out
until take one out came in. One day when I was out I came very near
stepping on a snake just as I went the corner of the house which so
frightened me that I forgot that my person was exposed and run into
the house and the school had a good laugh. The teecher went and killed
the snake. I must of been 5 going on 6 year old and wend to school by
myself after staying there a year or more Perkens sold out and moved
back to Illinois and visited Grandfather Davises near Clayten. He had
a Brick two story house wich looked to me to be a very fine house.
Grandfather had a grate meny bees and the stands set along the fence of
the back yard across wich was a horse lot and the bees got disturbed
and began stinging a horse tied to the fence with a strong chane or
rape that he could not brake and they literally stung the horse to
deth before he could be got loose wich was finally done but the horse
died. That was the worst bee war that I have ever seen. They just
swarmed every whare stinging evry thing they could get at all through
the house and barn.

Percans bought a place up in Hancock County 6 or 8 miles out of Warsaw.
The York place as it was known and old setteled place on the prarrie.
Double Log houses story and a half high with quite and orchard and the
most peculaier arranged that I ever saw, it was set out in what we in
the army would call a hollow Squair. The outer rows the larger kinds
of trees with smaller kinds closing in to the center with hedge on out
side had Goose berryes & currents the iner rows wer currents and the
garden in the center, we must of lived there a year or more. Percans
was a worker and good trader the land was good and new he put lots of
new land in cultivation and lots of new comers ever coming in and
setteling new places some time in the spring 1851. A woman and some
childern came to pay mother a visit, when dinner came in the childern
would eat at the first table and Sister and I had to wate, and in time
mother went to return the viset taking sister and I along and when
dinner came in the same childern rased such a rackett about wating,
the table not being large enough for all to eat. That mother told us
to wate, wich we did without a word as we knew better than to disobey
not ever wer we allowed to protest, but when we got home I asked mother
bout it saying that as we wated when they came to hour house they art
to of waited when we went to their house. Mother said yes that is so
but they are bad childern and are not lerned to mind and I was satisfied.
I was six year old and sister five, we had plenty of berries when berry
time came and I recollect one day that Mother gave Sister and I a tea
spoon each to eat cream and berryes out of a saucer. Silver spoons that
she had before she married Benn Perkins. At dinner and when Ben Percans
saw it he raised a row about it and taken the spoons and threw them out
in the yard and they had quite a disagreement, the spoons wer silver
spoons bought by our father. That fall Mother was taken sick and gave
berth to a child a girl wich died and she laid sick quite a while and
died and was burried near at a grave yard whare afterwards grand Mother
Davis was burried in the mean time that same fall Grandfather Davis had
sold out near Clayton and moved to Town of Warsaw on the Mississippi
River some 6 or 8 miles distant when Mother died Sister and I wer
taken there to live Grandfather got Percans to give him $200.00 towards
our maintanence wich was all that we ever got out of our Father's and
Mothers property.

Notes made by Byrde V. Hamilton:

Page 1 - "Stonewall" Jackson was a brother of my Great-Great-Grand-
mother, Mrs. Davis, - Great-Grandfather, Henry Davis' mother.
Signed Byrde V. Hamilton
(Research has proved this to not be exactly true. "Stonewall" was a
cousin but several more times removed. Look at the DAVIS line on my
web page - Mary Love Berryman)

Written at the end of the manuscript:

100 years ago - the following entries by Byrde V. Hamilton, at
Robert Lee, Tex. May 13th 1921, A. D. at the age of 39 years.

My Grandparents on the Pearce side of the House - My Parents

William Pearce, son of Joshui and Sarah Pearce, was born Friday evening,
March 23, A. D. 1821.

Mary Davis, daughter of Henry Davis and Anne Bush Davis, was born on
Sunday, September 30, 1822

William Pearce and Mary Davis were married August 22nd, A. D. 1844,
in Adams County, Ill.

Henry Davis Pearce, (my father) was born Wednesday, the 4th day of
June, A. D. 1845. He had only one sister, Amanda Alvira.
Sarah Elizabeth Pride was born March 10th, A. D. 1852 in East Texas,
Collin Co. (Sarah Elizabeth Pride was born in Limestone, Co. MLB)

Henry Davis Pearce and Sarah E. Pride were married Sunday morning 8:00
a.m. October 11th, A. D. 1868 in Collin County, Texas, near where Van
Alstyne is now located; to this union was born the following children:

Hubert Henry Pearce, born March 11th, 1870, in Collin County, Texas.

Mary Elvira Pearce, born December 22nd, 1871. Married to Ben Smith
Dec. 25th, 1893. Five children, Laura, Elden, Tarphenus, Henry and
Frank were born. Died at Cedar Hill, on Thursday, April 19th, 1906,
of bronchial pneumonia. Buried in the cemetery at Cedar Hill, Dallas
county, Texas.

William Ivan Pearce, born January 30th 1874. Died March 16th, 1874.

Marshall Elden Pearce, born August 7th 1875. Accidentally shot, which
caused his death. The accident occurred on Sunday, in June, when he
was past 16 years of age. His remains were laid to rest in the Hayrick
cemetery, but 25 years later were exhumed and reburied in the Robert
Lee cemetery, Coke County, Texas.

Lillie Elizabeth Pearce, was born Feb. 14th, 1878, died May 10, 1879
near Brownwood, Texas, and the remains were buried in the Brownwood

Ethel Annie Pearce was born March 2nd, 1880, on Valley Creek farm in
Runnels county. Was married to William Larkin Hayley at home in
Ballinger, Texas, at 6:00 P.M. June 28th, 1898. Three children,
Hubert Albion, Zelma Elizabeth, and Henry Holiday, all born, in the
town of Bronte, Coke County, Texas.

Byrde Viola (Pride) Pearce, was born May 13th, at daybreak, 1882, at
the Pearce home in the town of Runnels county seat at that time of
Runnels county, Texas. Was married to Wm. B. Hamilton, at the family
home in Ballinger, Oct. 22nd, 1902. Capt. W. L. Touner, county clerk,
issuing the marriage license. Judge Crosson performing the ceremony.
To this union one child Ruth Pearce Hamilton was born, Oct. 18th, 1903;
Ruth married Virgil L Durnell.

Martha Newton Pearce was born Sept. 19th, 1884, at old Runnels, Texas.

Olive Edna Pearce was born July 20, 1887 at Runnels, Texas

Pride Kathleen Pearce, was born Nov. 28th, 1890, at Ballinger, Runnels
county, Texas. Died at Ballinger, Sept. 1st, 1905. Burial in the
Ballinger cemetery.

Hattie Ellen Malinda Pearce was born Aug. 16, 1892 in the town of
Ballinger, Runnels county, Texas.

My sisters and brothers all Texans.

Note in a different handwriting:

Hubert Henry Pearce and Miss Lillian Frances Gardner (born Aug 15, 1872)
were married nov. 6, 1895 at Gatesville, Texas, at the home of Mr. &
Mrs. A. Mathews. To this union was born six children:
Mary Elizabeth (Bess), Nov. 30, 1896
Katie Bell, 12-14-97 - Annie Byrd, 9-2-1900
Pauline, Aug. 16, 1902
Imogene, Aug. 29, 1904
H. Herman, June 27, 1906.


Writen Feb 17th 1901 & 18

The Pearce Family in America sprang from two Brothers who came over
from Wales in the early days of the collines; one of wich setteled in
the New Englad states; from wich brother President Pierce came; they
changing their spelling of name to Pierce; the other brother located
in Verginia from which those spelling their names Pearce came; which
was the original way of spelling the name.

Joshua Pearce my grandfather came from Indiannia to Illinois Hande
Adams county in the first setteling of that country. He was married
April 14th A. D. 1819 to Sarah Golden and died Aperial 20th 1835 aged
about 35 years. Sarah Golden was born Aug 5th A. D 1803 and died Dec
10th 1871 and both wer burried in the Pearce burrying ground on the
Old Pearce Home sted three ms east of Liberty Adams County Ill.

Grandfather Pearce left Seven children as follows,

William Pearce (my father) born March 23rd A. D. 1821 and died July
6th 1847 and was burried in the Pearce burrying ground on the homested;
having married Mary Davis of Clayton, Ill and leving two childern
Henry Davis Pearce (myself) born June 4th 1845 and Amandia Alviria
Pearce born Sept 18th 1846 and now lives in Sherman, Texas husband
J. M. Buchanan.

2nd Peter Pearce born Nove 5th 1822 and died October 2nd 1844 without

3rd Catherine Pearce born Jan 5th 1829 and married John L. Adams,
6 boys and five girls a large famly of childern, Samuel Adams was in
the sive war in the northern side and acidentaly killed himself by
accident - 1868 a few years after the war. Mary E. Adams married
Wallas in Misoria Shelberia, P. O. J. L. Adams moved to Mosuria
1875 and died ther and Aunt Catherine Adams died December 7th 1890,
Shelby County, MO.

4th/3rd (on first page says for - second page says 3rd MLB) Elisiabeth
Pearce born Nov 16th 1824. Married William Barnard and lived near
the old Homested. Died Feb 1895. Raised three boys two girls. One
boy Henry Barnard who lives on or near the old place.

4th George W. Pearce born Oct 12th 1826 and Married nov 12th 1872.
Always lived on the old homsted had six boys living Nov 11th 1889.

5th Catherine Pearce born Jan 5th 1829. Married John Q. Adams.
Died December 7th 1890 in Shelby County, MO after her husband living
5 boys and 5 girls all are married. (Same as listed as 3rd - MLB)

6th Susan Pearce born July 28th 1831 was married to a Barnard and
living 4 or 5 ms from the old home in 1866 had some childern.

7th Mary A. Pearce born May 7th 1833 and was married to a man by the
name of Deihl.

8th Sarah E. Harkness born March 30th 1838 daughter of Sarah Golden
Pearce by a susquient marage to Harkness; was married to William Bacon
when I was in Adams County 1866 and had a little girl Emma Bacon.

Joshua Pearce Cr my grate grandfather died 1823 Deborah Pearce my Grate
Gran Mother died 1820.

Peter Golden Grate Grand Father died 1816. Elisibeth Golden Grate Grand
Mother was born A. D. 1784

Grand father Joshua Pearce was public man belonged to the Masonic
fraternety made up a company and went to the black Hawk Indian War as
Captain Also commanded a company when the Illinoiens drove the Mormans
from Warsaw and made them go west; built a Mill at the old Homested
some sign of wich I can remember when I was a small boy he also had a
distelery and a store in connection and when Butz out from Penselvania
when a young man worked for him puling a saw to saw of saw Lawgs.


Great Great Grandfather of Byrde Viola Pearce Hamilton.
Great Great Great Grandfather of Ruth Pearce Hamilton
On the Pearce side of the family.

Entry by Byrde V. Hamilton.

Copied from a copy of the original on January 27, 2000 by
Mary Love Berryman

Adams County Records!

Who are we?

  • Dennis Partridge

    County coordinator for ILGenWeb. Do you have content to share? Do you have questions, comments, or to report a broken link or other issue, contact Dennis Partridge at [email protected]. Some questions may be answered on our FAQ page.

  • ILGenWeb

    ILGenWeb isn’t an ordinary genealogy website. Ordinary websites are those where text and sometimes pretty pictures are present, but trying to get in touch with a real person to help you with your research… impossible. The strength of ILGenWeb is its many volunteers, some of whom have spent over a decade assisting others with their Illinois research.

  • USGenWeb

    A group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone.