Hayward Peirce Record of Marriages

Record Book, 1798 to 1822
Gift of Donna Cooper, 2017
Ink on paper
Dims H 8 ¼”x W 6 ⅘” x D ¾

Hayward Peirce Esq (22 Jun 1753 – 18 Oct 1826) was born in Scituate, the son of Benjamin, Jr. and Jane Peirce. He was married to Judith Bailey and they had 8 children: Elijah, Becky, Bailey, Waldo, Betsey, Hayward, Silas and Jane. As a lawyer he could perform marriages and this log book is a record of the marriages he performed from 1798 to 1822.

During the American Revolution Peirce saw action early in the war in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Several members of the Litchfield family from Scituate served under him during the war and a roster of his company dated May 10, 1776 hangs in the Cudworth House. The book, General Ward’s Colonial Army, by Keith Brough and Frank Gardner, describes his military service:

“First Lieutenant Hayward Peirce held this rank in Captain Samuel Stockbridge’s (from Scituate) Company, Colonel John Bailey’s Regiment, April 19, 1775. May 10, 1776, he was commissioned Captain of the 6th (Scituate) Company in Colonel John Cushing’s Second Plymouth County regiment. December 10, 1776, he marched as Captain in Colonel Jeremiah Hall’s regiment for service in Rhode Island and served three months and two days. In September, 1777 he was Captain of a company in Theophilus Cotton’s First Plymouth County regiment for service in Rhode Island.”

Peirce served in the Massachusetts General Court as a Representative of Scituate in 1792, 1809, and 1812-1814.

Peirce was the grandson of Captain Michael Peirce who is known for his role in King Philip’s War, the armed conflict between English colonists and the Native Americans of New England. In 1676, Captain Michael Peirce led a group of militia to Rhode Island where they were ambushed by a large party of Narragansett warriors. Most of the men were killed and Peirce was one of the first to die.

Hayward Peirce is buried in Groveland Cemetery in Scituate.

This record book was conserved and digitized in 2018 by the Northeast Document Conservation Center with Community Preservation Act funds generously granted by the town of Scituate. Pages were surface cleaned and mended with Japanese paper and starch paste as needed, and a custom archival box constructed for storage.

Curriculum Connections

This Scituate Historical Society Collections Highlight connects with the following Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks:

History and Social Science Framework

3.T1 Massachusetts cities and towns today and in history
Research the demographic origins of the town or city (e.g., the Native People who originally lived there or still live there, the people who established it as a colonial town, its founding date, and the free, indentured, and enslaved women and men who contributed to the wellbeing of the town). Explain that before the mid-19th century most of the settlers were of Native American, Northern European, or African descent; describe the current population and immigrant groups of the 20th and 21st centuries and interview family members, friends, and neighbors to obtain information about living and working there in the past and present.

3.T6 Massachusetts in the 18th century through the American Revolution
Analyze the connection between events, locations, and individuals in Massachusetts in the early 1770s and the beginning of the American Revolution, using sources such as historical maps, paintings, and texts of the period.