Hillsborough County, Florida

1808 - 1878

Have you ever lived by a family or have you ever known one in the family that you felt was neglected. This is sort of the way I feel about John J. Pearce. For a long time I found out very little about him, but I was always finding materials written about his brother, Levi Pearce. As I tried to find more about him, I became even more distressed. It seems that he had no boys, only girls. It is so difficult to find a family especially when you have to do it through another name. As this man's history began to fall in place, there was just no one to keep his memory alive. Even his middle initial is not certain. I found the name John Jonathan Pearce once, and I am always leery about one item being used as evidence or proof of something. Since there are so many "Johns" in the Pearce family, I use the letter "J" to help identify him and it is very likely that he could have been named after his Uncle Jonathan Cain.

Compiled by Mrs. Margaret Pearce Pasteur, Editor of The Pearce Family Newsletter.

John J. Pearce was born during the year 1808 in Georgia. He was the son of John and Ann (Cain) Pearce. Nothing is known of his childhood. If you used your imagination, you could say he was "reared" on a farm. He had two brothers, James and Levi, that were Methodist ministers. On December 1, 1831 in Camden County, Georgia, John J. Pearce married Mary Mizell daughter of David and Nancy Mizell and sister to James C. Pearce's wife, Elizabeth.

Their children:

1. Elizabeth Pearce, born June 5, 1838; married Bertrand Bledsoe in Hillsborough County on 23 February 1860.

2. Sarah Ann Pearce, born 1841; married Burzilla Wood in Hillsborough County on January 20, 1867.

3. Nancy C. Pearce, born 1843; married James B. Colson in Hillsborough County on August 30, 1874.

4. Mary Pearce, born 1850; married Abe Colson.

5. Fanny Cornelia Pearce, born July 2, 1852; died April 21, 1897; married Manor L. Blount. Both buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Hillsborough County.

Prior to 1850, John J. Pearce, Levi Pearce and other relatives had settled in Hillsborough County in south Florida. In the 1850 census they were living in the Alafia area. John applied for bounty land on December 6, 1850 in Hillsborough County. When Mrs. Mary (Mizell) Pearce applied for a pension when she was 81 years old, she stated that John was a Seargeant in the company commanded by Captain E. E. Mizell, James Neiblack and others. He enlisted at Fort Lancaster, Florida, served from 1835 to 1837 and was given an honorable discharge in Newnansville, Florida. She gave a description of him at the time of enlistment as follows: age about 26, occupation of farmer, height about 6 feet, dark hair, blue eyes and light complexion. She further stated that she was married to John Pearce in the county of Camden on the 1st day of December 1830 A. D. (other records show 1831) by one George W. Thomas who was Clerk of the Court. She also stated that her husband died in Hillsborough County on October 7, 1878. He was buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

SOURCES: Masonic records, census records: 1840 Columbia County, Florida, 1850 & 1860 Hillsborough County, Florida; Mr. & Mrs. L. B. Colson, Will of John Pearce, 1827; Hillsborough County marriages; Pearl Pearce Stevens; Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

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