b.15 Jan 1652/3 Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
d.Aft. 22 Dec 1713
m. 24 Dec 1644
Facts and Events
There is a controversy about who Elizabeth Kendall married. Both James Pierce and Joseph Pierce had a wife name Elizabeth. Francis Kendall, the immigrant, mentions a daughter Elizabeth Pierce in his will, but since both Elizabeths were married to their respective Mr. Pierces at the time of the will, this does not help. Which Elizabeth was Francis' daughter? As evidence below shows, I think it was the one who married Joseph, not the one who married James.
An example of the confusion (notes taken from Pierce Genealogy by Frederic Beech Pierce)
p. 28: James Pierce (Thomas-2, Thomas-1), b. May 7, 1659; m. Elizabeth Kendall, b. Jan 15, 1653, d. Oct 16, 1715. He res. in Woburn and d. Jan. 20, 1742.
p. xv: Joseph, Watertown, s. of Anthony, had wf. Martha, and m. 2nd, 1698 Elizabeth (Kendall) Winship, freeman 1690, April 18. Ch. Joseph, b. 1669; Francis, b. 1671; John, b. 1673; Mary, b. 1674; Benjamin, b. 1677; Jacob, b. 1678; Martha, b. 1681; Stephen, b. 1683; Israel, b. 1685; Elizabeth, b. 1687.
This answer is largely based an article in New England Historical and Genealogical Review, vol. 55, p 443, by William R. Cutter and Authur G. Loring (1909) which seems hard to impeach. (Note: William R. Cutter published an earlier article in NEHGR 39:17 which he is correcting here.) The 1909 article is largely based on a probate document concerning the estate of Ephraim Winship, the whole text of which was published in NEHGR 36:79. The pertinent excerpt from this document:
"Ephraim Winship, late of Cambridge ffarms, dec'd intestate, ye 19th of Oct. 1696 & adm'x being granted to Eliza: ye Relict Widow of sd Ephraim Winship who afterwards Married with Joseph Peirce of Wattertowne, who after his Marriage with ye sd admistr'x proseeded to a further admist'n as to paying of debts &c.
His Hon'd ffather in law mr ffrancis Kendall at Wooburne demands that son in law Ephraim Winshep...."
The vital records of Woburn do not show any marriage for James Pierce, who was mentioned as a neighbor of the Kendalls in Francis' will. But from the births of his children, we do know that his wife's name was Elizabeth. The article above discusses the wills of Abraham and Rose Parker of Chelmsford. In particular, the will of the widow Rose, dated 17 Sep 1691, mentions her daughter Elizabeth, the wife of James Pierce. Elizabeth Parker was not married at the time of her father's will 6 Aug 1685. The first child I can find for James and Elizabeth Pierce was Elizabeth, b. 1688.
Thus, the article makes a conclusive case, using primary sources, that Elizabeth Kendall married, first, Ephraim Winship, and then, second, Joseph Pierce. The wife of James Pierce was Elizabeth Parker, the daughter of Abraham and Rose Parker of Chelmsford.