Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Problem of Lewis Monroe Pierce:1832-1902

The above photo is believed to be of Lewis Monroe Pierce and Sarah Stringfellow.

Lewis Monroe Pierce (b. April 15, 1832, d. March 1, 1902) creates a problem for Pierce family researchers. We're not sure who his father is. Many researchers list him as the son of John Pierce.

The problem is that there are two men with the same name, the other being Louis Monroe Pierce (b. Feb. 6, 1835, d. May 25, 1927). In the 1850 census for Mobile County, Louis is living in the house of John Pierce and Lewis is living next door. But all these Pierces are probably all related.

Lewis had two wives, Sarah Stringfellow (b. abt. 1831) and Elizabeth Turner (b. May 1837).

The closely spaced buttons on the woman’s bodice suggest the photo was taken between 1870 and 1900. The center parting of her hair with it tied back was practically the only way women wore their hair before 1870 and style remained common well into the 20th century.

This is a real brick wall in my Pierce family research. Any suggestions about how to break through?

Photo Source: Original print in the possession of Virgie Holland, Lucedale, Mississippi.
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  1. I beleive that Lewis Monroe may have been a nephew of Jeremiah, I don't have any proof of anything as yet, but I am exploring the possibilty that he may have been a son of Lewis Pierce, Jr. Christopher Pierce, Mobile, AL

  2. Thanks Christopher. Please let us know what you find out.

  3. My Louis Monroe Pierce Jr. married Mary Coward on 20 June 1880 in Mobile. On the marriage Cert. Louis Monroe Pierce,Sr. was listed as a witness. I have a photo of their son, Lawrence Monroe Pierce who greatly resembles the picture you have of Lewis Monroe Pierce -- poss. a cousin or uncle .. or father? Perhaps Louis sometimes spelled his name Lewis? All very confusing. in addition, trying to run down the legend my grandfather always told that his great grandmother was an Indian. My gr grandfather (Lawrence) was a cousin to Napoleon Bonaparte(Bonie) Pierce which ties us to the Pierce's Level clan. Just wish I could get a handle on how Louis Monroe Pierce Jr. ties in to Jeremiah and company.
    Thanks for the great site,
    David Pierce

  4. David,

    Why don't you email me a scan of the photo with the info you have and I'll post it. Perhaps it will provoke someone else to help us in our research.

    Send the photo to my gmail account:


  5. We have a large number of almost-identical names in our family tree, also. If they were living next door, and so close in age, my first guess would be that they are cousins -- even if one of the fathers is deceased on the 1850 census.

    At least with the two different BD dates, you know that you probably have two different people. My only suggestion would be to track them forward through several later censuses, and any death certificates you may have. That way you can see how their two several families sort themselves out. In our state, not much info is on 1850 -- more is on later censuses.