This surname is variously spelled in the early records Pearson, Pierson, Person, Persons, Persuns, and is at present spelled both Pierson and Pearson by descendants of the same pioneer.
There were several of the name in New England before 1650. Rev. Abraham came to Boston before 1640 and soon removed to Southampton, Long Island, N.Y., then to Branford, Connecticut, and finally to Newark, New Jersey; "was a godly, learend man," "a Yorkshire man, pious and prudent."
Bartholomew Pearson settled at Rowley before 1641; was a prominent citizen and town officer; deacon of the church; died about 1693-94; has a numerous posterity.
(I) John Pearson, immigrant ancestor, settled in Reading, Massachusetts. He must not be confused with John of Rowley.
John of Reading was born in 1615 in Yorkshire, England, and died at Reading, April 17, 1679. He was a proprietor of the town as early as 1644, and was admitted a freeman, May 26, 1647. He was earlier of Lynn, and in 1639 was among the founders of the town of Reading, formerly a part of Lynn. He held various offices. He deposed April 2, 1661, that his age was about forty-five years. His wife was Madeline (sometimes spelled Maudlin), deposed in 1669 that she was fifty years old. Children:
1. Mary, born June 20, 1643.
2. Bethia, Sept. 15, 1645.
3. Sarah, Jan. 20, 1647-48.
4. John, June 22, 1650, mentioned below.
5. James, Nov. 2, 1652.
Later two were born in Reading.
(II) Captain John (2) Pearson, son of John (1) Pearson, was born in Reading, June 22, 1650, died 1720. He resided in Reading and Lynnfield, whither he removed about 1682, through the births of his children are all recorded in Lynn. He represented Lynn in the general court from 1702 to 1710. Was a deacon and a captain.
He married (first) Tabitha Kendall, who died July 17, 1711, daughter of Thomas Kendall. He married (second) at Lynn, Mrs. Martha Gooddin, of Bostn (intentions dated Nov. 13, 1714).
Children of first wife:
1. James, Nov. 28, 1680.
2. Tabitha, Oct. 16, 1681.
3. John, born and died 1682.
4. John, Feb. 17, 1684.
5. Rebecca, April 12, 1686.
6. Kendall, May 3, 1688, mentioned below.
7. Susanna, Aug. 10, 1690.
8. Mary, nov. 10, 1692.
9. Thomas, Nov. 3, 1694.
10. Ebenezer, Dec. 29, 1696.
11. Sarah, Feb. 26, 1698-99.
12. Abigail, Dec. 30, 1700, died April 7, 1701.
13. Abigail, Feb. 18, 1702.
14. Elizabeth, May 4, 1704.
(III) Kendall Pearson, son of Captain John (2) Pearson, was born May 3, 1688, died Feb. 2, 1767. He resided at Lynn, Woburn and Wilmington. He married (first) March 30, 1709, Lydia Boardman, who died July 10, 1737; (second) March 29, 1738, Mary Smith; (third) Mrs. Lydia Jacques, who died May 19, 1770.
Children of first wife, born at Lynn:
1. Thomas, Dec. 25, 1709.
2. Lydia, June 3, 1712.
3. Kendall, 1714; died 1715.
4. Sarah, July 7, 1716, died March 2, 1717.
5. Kendall, Aug. 3, 1717.
6. Sarah, Oct., 1719.
7. William, March 15, 1722.
8. John, Jan. 24, 1723.
9. Nathan, Aug. 14, 1725, mentioned below.
10. Mary, Jan. 2, 1728.
(IV) Nathan Pearson, son of Kendall Pearson, was born at Woburn, Aug. 14, 1725, and his will, dated Aug. 8, 1787, was proved March 12, 1788. He married (first) Jan. 16, 1746, Mary Wilson, who died April 23, 1765, aged forty-three; (second) Oct. 21, 1766, Rebecca Tay, of Woburn.
Children of first wife:
1. Nathan, born 1746, mentioned below.
2. Moses, Nov. 6, 1750, died April 25, 1751.
3. Moses, whose birth is not recorded; married (first) Hepzibah Jones, Nov. 27, 1781; (second) Lois Holt, of Andover, Jan. 4, 1785.
4. Thomas, Feb. 18, 1752.
5. Mary, Jan. 16, 1756; married Jacob Flinn.
6. William, April 6 1759.
7. Hepzibah, May 4, 1761.
Child of second wife:
8. Aaron, Aug. 22, 1767.
(V) Nathan (2) Persons, son of Nathan (1) Pearson, was born in 1746, died Oct. 2, 1795. He married, Sept. 5, 1765, Ann, daughter of Edward and Mary Morrow; she died Aug. 22, 1802.
1. Edward, born May 1, 1766.
2. and 3. Twins, June 23, 1768.
4. Ann, June 29, 1770.
5. and 6. Fannie and Tabitha (twins), the former born Sept. 29, 1773, and the latter Sept. 30, 1773.
7. Nathan, Jan, 1775, died young.
8. Kendall, July 6, 1777.
9. Polly, Nov. 23, 1778.
10. Nathan, March 13, 1781; mentioned below.
11. Kevet, Nov. 3, 1783.
12. Clara, June 22, 1787.
13. Ruel, married (first) Rhoda _____; (second) Widow Morris.
(VI) Nathan (3) Persons, son of Nathan (2) Persons, was born March 13, 1781. He married, April 17, 1804, Betsey, born Nov. 28, 1786, died March 13, 1856, daughter of Daniel Hardy.
1. Elvira, born Feb. 24, 1805.
2. Lavinia, Aug. 24, 1806.
3. Salina, June 20, 1808.
4. Christopher Greenleaf, May 2, 1810.
5. Sophronia, Dec. 22, 1812.
6. Edward Nathan, Aug. 30, 1814, mentioned below.
7. Alonzo E., April 28, 1818.
8. Elihu B., July 28, 1820.
9. Sophronia E., July 25, 1823.
(VII) Edward Nathan Persons, son of Nathan Persons, was born at Henderson, Jefferson county, N.Y., Aug. 30, 1814, and died Aug. 27, 1903. For fifty years he ws a river navigator, and sailed into Chicago when it was a town of but three hundred inhabitants. He witnessed, and was an active participant in all the wonderful development of lake craft, from the canoe to the palatial steamer of today.
He married (first) March 16, 1841, Mary Guile, who died March, 1842; (second) Jan. 21, 1846, Mary M. Burditt.
Child of the first wife:
1. Byron, March 4, 1842.
By second wife:
2. George Ransom, Aug. 14, 1848; married Sept. 7, 1886, Mary Louise Kruse, who died March 26, 1908; had Mary Louise, Edna Gertrude, George Kruse and Dorothy E.
3. Fannie Elizabeth, June 13, 1851; married Feb. 16, 1870, Henry I. Proctor (See Proctor VII).
4. Charles Edward, Aug. 14, 1853; died Feb. 9, 1907.
5. Joseph Kirk, March 10, 1858; married June 25, 1889, Bessie James and had Lois, Marion and Mildred Kirk.
6. Alice Marion, March 17, 1868; died Aug. 8, 1868.
The surname Persons is identical with Pierson, Pearson, Parsons and various other forms which have been and are still in use. England was the original home of the family.
(I) Reuben Persons settled in McGraw, Cortlandt county, New York. [transcriber's note: there is no 't' on the end of Cortland].
(II) Philander, son of Reuben Persons, was born March 8, 1811, at McGraw. He was educated in the common schools, and learned the trade of tanning and shoemaking when a young man, serving an apprenticeship of three years, but, not liking the business, he left it and devoted himself to the study of theology, to which he was greatly inclined. He fitted himself for the ministry and was ordained in the church of his native town of McGraw. He gave many years of his life to the service of God and his fellowmen. His first pastorate was at Antwerp, Jefferson county, New York, where he was well received and dearly beloved by his parishoners. Afterwards he was located at Richville, St. Lawrence county, N.Y; at Boonville, Oneida county, Trenton Falls, Lowville and Denmark, Loraine, Antwerp and Fowler. Finally he had to retire on account of ill health. In order to secure the exercise and outdoor life that seemed to be needed, he took up some wild land near Castorland, N.Y., intending to clear it and make a home there. But his age and ill health prevented him from carrying out this plan; instead, he bought a modest little home in Castorland, where he spent his declining years.
He was a member of the Baptist demonination, and of large influence among his people. He was devout, sympathetic, kindly and sunny in disposition, always making friiends who still cherish his memory. His influence was strong on the side of good, not only in the church but in public affairs.
He died Dec. 10, 1898.
He married, August, 1842, Eliza Ann, daughter of Abel Stearns. She was born Sept. 27, 1819, died Oct. 7, 1876.
1. Rollin, born May 13, 1852, died at McGraw, Sept. 27, 1883.
2. Boardman, mentioned below.
(III) Boardman, son of Rev. Philander Persons, ws born at Richville, St. Lawrence county, N.Y., Sept. 9, 1843. He attended the public schools, the Antwerp high school and the Lowville Academy. He enlisted in the Union army at the age of nineteen and served three years in the civil war, remaining with his regiment to the end of the war. He was in the Light Artillery, but was transferred to Company C, Tenth New York Heavy Artillery. he was in the first engagement at Petersburg, Virginia, 1864, and took part in many other engagements of importance.
After the war he completed his education at the academy. He care for and supported his parents in their last years. He is an uncompromising Republican, active in politics and public affairs, and influential in his party and town. He was appointed postmaster at Castorland by President McKinley and still holds that office, giving the utmost satisfaction to the patrons of the office.
He is a member of G. D. Bailey Post, No. 200, Grand Army of the Republic. He is active and prominent in the Baptist church, of which he has been a member for many years.
He married, Dec. 29, 1874, Ellen M., daughter of Jacob and Mary (Stilson) Plank, of Castorland. She was born Dec. 3, 1849, died March 12, 1894.
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