Select Pearson Miscellany

Here are some Pearson stories and accounts over the years:

The Pearsons of Kippenross

James Pearson, the minister at Dunblane, brought a successful civil suit against James Kinross of Kippenross for arrears of vicarage dues in 1626.  With the proceeds, he built a comfortable house over the ancient tower of Kippenross, which was gradually extended over time.

However, a descendant William Pearson, who had got into financial difficulties, lost the freehold to one John Stirling of Kippendavie in a game of dice or cards in 1778.  It was, as someone recalled at the time, on the night of the worst storm in years.  But that was nothing compared with the storm that erupted when he told his wife.

Pearsons in Rotherham and Stainton

Dr. George Pearson, the well-known physician who popularized the cowpox vaccination, had been born in Rotherham in 1751.  His grandfather Nathaniel for years had been vicar in the nearby village of Stainton.  He died there in 1767 at the age of 88.  Contemporary Pearsons in Stainton were Thomas Pearson who held the Car House Farm and Joshua Pearson who had held the Holme Hall Farm until his death in 1722.

His uncle George, after whom Dr. Pearson was named, had been a wine merchant in Doncaster and twice mayor of the town. 

Pearsons in Golcar

The name of Pearson features prominently in a display at the Colne Valley museum at Cliffe Ash at Golcar, a Yorkshire village on the outskirts of Huddersfield.  A row of three cottages, known as Spring Rock and built into the hillside, was put up by James and Sally Pearson, independent cloth manufacturers, in the village between 1840 and 1845 and have now been restored.  The datestone, which is located on the chimney stack of the end cottage, is inscribed J&SP 1845.

They were weaver's cottages.  The museum provides an insight into what life was like for a weaver in the early 1850's. The museum includes a clog maker's workshop, a handloom chamber, a spinning room, a cropping room, kitchen, and living rooms.

In 1851 James and Sally Pearson lived in one cottage, together with their five unmarried children.  One married son, Edwin, lived nearby.  All the children were hand-loom weavers, but later became power-loom weavers.  The other two cottages were occupied by relatives - including Henry Pearson, a grand nephew of James and Sally Pearson, with his wife Hannah and their seven children.

James's son John stayed with the textile industry and made an unusually good living out of it.  He managed to buy a part share in Victoria Mill and by the close of the century his four sons jointly owned the whole mill.

The Rev. Abraham Pierson at Branford and Newark

In 1647 the Rev. Abraham Pierson with part of his congregation attempted a settlement on the Connecticut shore where they organized and formed the town of Branford.  There, for 20 years, he "enjoyed the confidence and esteem not only of the ministers, but the more prominent civilians connected with the New Haven colony."  It was said that he early interested himself in the Indians, made himself familiar with their language, and prepared a catechism for them that they might know of God. 

However, in 1665 he opposed the union of the two colonies of Connecticut and New Haven.   Consequently he departed Branford with most of his congregation including his nephew Thomas Pierson for the Passaic river in New Jersey where they purchased land from the Indians and laid the foundations for the town of Newark. 

During 1666 and 1667 some sixty five men came from Branford and two neighboring towns to Newark.  Each man was entitled to a homestead lot of six acres.  They brought their church organization with them from Branford, which became the First Church of Newark, and afterwards became a Presbyterian church.  At Newark, for 12 years, Abraham led his flock of devoted followers.

A Quaker Pearson Line

Lawrence Pearson of Pownall Fee in Cheshire was an early follower of George Fox.  His son Thomas and wife Margery came to Philadelphia in 1683, one year after William Penns arrival.  Their descendants migrated to Virginia in the 1730s and later to Newberry county, South Carolina where there was a Quaker colony. 

However, South Carolina was a slave state and Joseph Pearson uprooted his family in 1809 because of his religious convictions and moved them to southwest Ohio.  Pearsons are still to be found there.

Pearsons in America by Country of Origin


Pearsons from Sweden in Iowa

Many Pearsons from Sweden settled in Iowa in the early 1900's, including:

  • Peter Pearson who came to America in 1877 and was subsequently living in Clinton, Iowa.
  • Magnus Pearson who arrived in America in 1887.  In the 1900 census he was recorded as a railroad track foreman in Cherokee, Cherokee county.
  • Oatal Pearson who immigrated in 1895 and appeared as a farm laborer in the 1900 census in Silver Creek township, Ida county.
  • Lars Pearson who arrived in 1904 and in 1918 as a janitor in Denison, Crawford county.
  • Olof Pearson who was registered as a laborer in Denison, Crawford county in 1909 when he filed a declaration of intention for citizenship.  
  • Peter Pearson who came to America in 1913.  He was recorded as a farmer in the 1920 and 1930 censuses in Liberty township, Cherokee county.  He died there in 1952 at the age of 63.

Alfred J. Pearson, born in Sweden in 1869, was a Professor at Drake University in Des Moines and subsequently served as US Minister to Poland and Finland in the 1920's.  The Pearson Distinguished Professorship in Swedish Studies at Bethany College in Kansas was endowed by a generous gift from Gerald Pearson of Okoboji, Iowa (whose parents were Swedish immigrants).

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