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Pierce of York County

A York County, Virginia, order, dated 26 March 1694, recorded a deed of gift from Frances Cobbs to her son Mathew Peirce. It mentions a gift to him in 1687 and additional items and mentions that the gift shall be given when he is 21. A later court order concerning this gift states that she was the widow of Edmund Cobb and remarried John Steward. The will of Edmund Cobb of York County, Bruton Parish, mentions his son-in-law Matthew Pierce and wife Frances. Edmund had no issue (Cobb Or Cobbs Family, William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 19, p. 51-56).

The Virginia quit rent rolls for 1704 show that Matt Pierce owned 100 acres in York County. In 1731 Matthew Pierce was one of the tobacco warehouse inspectors for Williamsburg. He was listed as one of the vestry of Bruton Parish in 1721. The will of Matthew Pierce, either the son or grandson of Frances Cobb, is dated 1737:

Matthew Pierce of Bruton Parish, York Co. 4 Sept. 1737. To my wife on condition she relinquished her right of dower to all my estate all the estate real & personal which she had when I intermarried with her and also all the profits there of which estate & profits is in the hands of Henry Tyler and she may keep my younger dau and have the use of the chamber & shed in my house until she is married or otherwise provided for. I desire Henry Tyler may be paid 50 pounds. I desire my son John Pierce may be paid 103 pounds it being the balance of my grandfather John Steward’s estate. I give to my daughter Mitchell a ring of pistole valsue. I give to my dau Marrable a ring of pistole value. I give to my son Matthew Poerce all my lansds and four Negoes, to wit , Matt, Charles, John & Old Aylce, and 1/7 pt of my personal estate. My will is that my youngest children may choose their guardians, and that they be educated and maintained out of the profits of their estate. I desire that all the rest of my estate be divided amongst my six children, to wit, John, Anne, Susanna, Richard, William, & Mildred. I desire my good friends Richard Booker, Robert Goodrich & my son in law Willam Marrable to be directors, assistants, and trustees with my executores. I appoint my sons Matthew Pierce and John Pierce executors. Wit Richard Booker, Robert Goodrich, Thomas Leigh. Proved 20 Mar 1737.

Matthew Pierce, son of above, died in 1755 when his estate was recorded in York County. A son of this Matthew Pierce was William Pierce (1753-1789) who was an officer in the Revolutionary War, was member of the Continental Congress for Georgia and attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Southampton County Chancery 1794

Southampton County Chancery Papers
Pierce’s Heirs vs Pierce, Widow 9/1794

To the worshipful the court of Southampton county in chancery/ sitting, Humbly complaining sheweth unto your worships your/ orators Michael Cobb and Martha his wife, (Spencer Pierce/ (Matthew Pierce), ^Betsy Pierce, Nathaniel Pierce, Peter Pierce, & Bolton / Pierce by Samuel Calvert — their guardian & near/ friend appointed by this court for the express purpose of carrying / into effect the premises) that sometime on or about the / ___ day of ___ in the year of our Lord 1792 a certain Rice Bolton Pierce of this county departed this life intestate/ being seised & possessed at the time of his death of a considerable/ estate both real & personal – Your orators further shew/ that they are the legal heirs & representatives of the decd/ & that they have often applied to Elizabeth Pierce the widow / & relict of the sd decedent to have her thirds in the lands &/ slaves of her sd. husband set apart & alotted her, in order that/ your orators might have a fair & equal distribution of/ the residues between them. – But so it may / it please your worships that the sd. Elizabeth Pierce the / widow & relict of the sd. Rice Bolton Pierce [torn]/ and considering with divers other (whose names when lik [torn]/ ye orators pray may be made defendant to this their bill with of [torn]/ to charge them) hitherto hath refused to comply with [torn]/ ye orators most reasonable request; pretending [torn]/ out in … that your oratores are not entitled to [torn]/ part of the lands & slaves of her late husband will [torn]/ decease — In tender consideration whereof, & [torn]/ much … orators are properly relievable in a court [torn]/ equity … the and therefore that the sd. Elizabeth / may … oath full true & perfect and [torn]/

make to all & singular the allegations of this bill & as fully as/ if the same were repeated & interrogated, but more especially/ whether ye orators are not the legal heirs & representatives of / the sd. Rice Bolten Pierce , did he not die seised & possesed/ of a considerable estate both real and personal & that she/ not refused to take or accept her thirds. had that his / worshipful court may order & secure some fit & able/ persons to alot & set apart her thirds in the lands & slaves/ of which her sd. husband died seized & possessed, & the residue/ of the sd. lands & slaves to be equally divided among your orators or make any further or other decree as my seem/ just & right, is the prayer of sd. orators, & they will/ ever pray &c —

The answer of Elizabeth Pierce widow & relict of Rice/ Bolton Pierce decd. to the bill of complaint of Michael/ Cobb and Martha his wife, (Spencer Pierce, Matthew Pierce/ Betsy Pierce, Mathaniel Pierce, Peter Pierce & Bolton/ Pierce, exhibited against her. This defendant now & at all / times hereafter saving & reserving to herself all & all manner / use of benefit & advantage to the many untruths, imperfec=/ tions, & indeficiences in the complainants sd bill …/ complaint contains, for … thereto, or to …./ she is advised in material for her to make answer unto/ answeres & says, That true it is she is the widow & relict/ of Rice Bolton Pierce decd., & he died somtime/ on or about the time in complainants bill mentioned/ & that he was seised & possessed of a considerable estate/ both real & personal. – This defendant denies/ all combination or that she has any objection/ to have her thirds in the lands & slaves …/set apart to her…. And if there is any other [torn]/ matter or thing in the complainants sd. bill [torn]/ & not answered or denied the respondent is igno [torn]/ of, & pray to have dismissed with her reaso [torn]/ … this be half sustained.

At a court of quarter session held for the county of Southampton/ the 14th day of March 1794
In Chancery

Michael Cobb and Martha his wife, & Spencer Pierce/ Elizabeth Pierce Nath. Pierce Peter Pierce & Bolton/ Pierce (which sd. Spencer Elizabeth Nath. Peter & Bolton/ are under the age of 21 years) by Saml. Calvert their guardian


Elizabeth Pierce widow & relict of Rice B. Pierce decd.

This cause being docketed by consent of the parties/ was this day heard on the bill of the complainants & answer of the / defendant On consideration whereof it is decreed & ordered/ (Saml. Calvert being first apponted guardian to the complainants who/ are infants) that Thomas Gray Saml. Kello Joseph Vick & / Matthew Calvert or any three of them do allot assign & set apart/ the dower of the defendant Elizabeth in the lands & slaves whereof/ Rice Bolton Pierce died seized & possessed and make an equal division of the remaining land and slaves among the compl./ & make report in due order to a final decree.

In obedience to an order of the worshipful court of Southampton/ hereto annexed We the subscribers have alloted and set apart/ the dower of Elizabeth Pierce the widow of Rice B. Pierce decd./ in the slaves of the sd. Rice B. Pierce and divided the remaining / slaves amng the complainants in the following manner

Viz. To Mrs. Pierce her dower (10 slaves) Will Nanny & her child/ Dinah, Jenny, Jacob, Eve, Gaby, Slyvia & Charlotte valued to pds 291..13.4/ & to receive from the complainants pds 1..17.1 1/4 } 293..10.5
To Spencer Pierce negroes Ned & Milbe valued to pds 91..10/ & to receive pds 6..7.1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Michael Cobb & Martha his wife Sampson & Mason valued to pds 107..10/ & to pay 9..12.11 1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Elizabeth Pierce Sam and Bob valued to 87..10/ & to receive 10..7.1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Nath. Pierce Rachael & Adam valued 90/ & to receive 7..7..1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Peter Pierce Betty her child Annita & Ned valued to 102..10/ & to pay 4..12.1 1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Bolton Pierce Easter & Cook valued to 110 / & to pay 12..2.11 1/2 } 97..17.1/2

We further report that after repeated attempts to divide / the lands among the complainants & lay off the dower of / defendant We have not been able to effect owing to the / difficulties atending the diveision & the evidend injustices that/ some of the partis would receive
Southampton May 1794 Sam Kello, Ja. Vick, Matt. Calvert

In obedience to an interlocutary decree passed South-/ ampton August court 1794. We have divided the / land & slaves belonging to the estate of Rice Bolton/ Pierce deceased in the following manner to wit:/ To Bolton Pierce the tract of land known by the name/ of “Calthorpe’s” containing 228 acres & negroe Jacob/ & he to receive twenty one pounds & 4d: – to Spencer/ Peirce the tract of land known the name of/ the “Home tract” containing 226 acres & negro Will/ & he pay seventy nine pound nineteen shilings/ & 8d: – To Elizabeth Peirce the tract of land known / by the name “Spivey’s” & negros Jimmy & Sylvia/ & she receive sixty four pounds & 4d:- / To Nathanial Pierce the tract of land known by/ the name of “North side of Chappels” containing/ 163 acres ^ two negroes Nanny & Dinah & he pays two pounds two shillings & 8d:/ To Michael Cobb the tract of land known by the name / of “the remainder of Chappels” containing 163 & negro/ Eve & pays two pounds two shilings & 8d: – To/ Peter Pierce the tract of land known by the name/ of “Simmon’s tract” containing 162 acres & negros/ Gaby & Charlotte & he to pay fifteen shillings & 8d. Given under our hands this first day of September/ in the year of Christ 1794
Sam Calvert, Tho. Butts, William Willons