Did Mary Sisson 1684-1734 (daughter of James Sisson 1652-1734 and Lydia Hathaway 1662-1714) marry and have children?

+1 vote
I’ve traced my ancestors thru the Pearce family to John Pearce b 11 Jan 1687 in Rhode Island, died 01 Jan 1755. According to secondhand records I’ve found, he was married to Mary Sisson, born 26 feb 1685, died 14 feb 1726. I cannot find definite proof that this is the same Mary Sisson, daughter of James Sisson 1652-1734 and Lydia Hathaway 1662-1714 who is descended from Richard Warren and Francis Cook of the Mayflower. Can anyone shed light on this for me?
in Genealogy Help by Tana Sechrest G2G Rookie (160 points)
retagged by Tana Sechrest
The poorly sourced profile for James Sisson is here (and there is an unsourced dupe in pending merge): https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Sisson-204

Tana, I will try to come back to your question a bit later today or tomorrow.

~ T Stanton, Rhode Island Project Coordinator
Also, please edit your question and add the tag rhode_island below the question box where it asks for tags. That will get other appropriate eyes on your question.

2 Answers

+1 vote

Tana, please also edit the tags to include Mayflower. I've already asked Bobbie Hall of Mayflower Project to have a look at the profile of Mary Sisson. I have now placed birth citations on the profile and under Research Notes what I have found by way of a marriage record between a John Pearce "of Tiverton" and Mary Sisson "of Dartmouth."

What's unusual is that the marriage is in 1727 when Mary would have been 42 years of age (and John 39 or so) if it is the Mary born 1685. Have you seen indication this was a second marriage for either of them? And, what are the secondary sources you mention looking at? The marriage record does call her Mary Sisson and not the name of a first husband as would be usual. So, it all seems just a little unusual. Is the Mary who married Pearce meant to have had children? If so, how many and born in what years?

 I've not found a profile in WikiTree that appears to represent the husband in the 1727 marriage record. Did you find one?

Still researching...

by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (205k points)
The John Pearce born 11 Jan 1687 has his surname spelt Peirce in available period record transcriptions. Son of Giles and Elizabeth Peirce. Source: Arnold I:138, Kent County Births.
The John Peirce b 1687 with father Giles is represented by this profile: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pearse-359  This profile shows him married to a Susannah Nichols in 1709 (there is a marriage record but by itself this does not prove that John is the son of Giles). Also caution as the Pearse-359 profile is also citing the work of noted fraudster F C Pierce.
Thank you for your help. Based on Bobbie Hall’s comments below, it appears that there must have been two Mary Sisson’s who lived about the same time in the same area. I described the records I’ve found for John Pearce who was married to Mary Sisson in 1726-7 in my comments to Bobbie Hall below. Again, thank you!
I think there's enough info now to explore the 'other' Mary Sisson. I would look for someone, perhaps in the same general family, just one generation later. That's what the existing records sort of point my gut toward. I didn't find anything useful in Austin. The Sisson family is very tangentially related to me but I found nothing in my general files that was of any use. There seem to be a number of 'uncharted' family units in the larger family and I am guessing she fits into one of those.
0 votes
Hi Tana,

I checked the 1996 edition of the ''Mayflower Families through Five Generations Volume 12, Francis Cooke,'' which I happen to have in hand this week from the library. In it, no mention of anything later is made on Mary after she was named in her father's will dated 15 June 1734. I've added that to her profile.

I'll see if I can find anything else.
by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (209k points)
Based on her father's will, Mary Sisson was alive and unmarried in June 1734, which seems to prove she was not the same woman as the one who was married to John Pearce, or who died in 1726. Her married sisters were named with their married names in his will, so I doubt he would have called her by her maiden name if she was married. There is also mention in his will of a deceased daughter, also married, so he did make provisions for surviving grandchildren, too. I think you'll have to look elsewhere for another 'candidate' for your ancestor's line. Sorry!
Thank you very much. I thought it was a long-shot, but it seemed a bit too coincidental for me to disregard. I’ve tried for years to determine if the two Mary’s were the same. You seem to have resolved the problem for me. I’d like to send you three attachments that I was able to find, which may or may not be of interest to you, but which caused me some confusion. One is the Millennium file for John Pearce b. 11 Jan 1687 showing him married to a Susannah Nichols...first marriage perhaps? The second is a Sons of the American Revolution membership application for George Shore (or Shove) Holmes citing John Pearce and Mary (immigrant from Wales). And the third is a listing in Rhode Island Vital Extracts 1636-1899 listing 2-182 John of Tiverton and Mary Sisson of Dartmouth (also 3-103) married Feb 14, 1726-7. All interesting as potentially my ancestor, but based on your information, not related to Mary Sisson of the Mayflower. Again thank you!
Happy to know it was helpful. I think your best route for now is as Todd suggests above. I tend to not put much weight on the 'Millenium file', and dig into original source records. SAR I'd look at more closely and see what sort of sources are listed on the application. You may be able to find other Sissons in her hometown and follow them for a generation or so. Also check any land records and probate files that her potential relatives may have been involved in. There's probably a clue somewhere.

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