Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce c. 1860, portrait by Mathew Brady. Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division, cwpbh.02545. Restoration by Adam Cuerden

Date of Birth: November 23, 1804

Place of Birth: Hillsborough, New Hampshire, U.S.

Date of Death: October 8, 1869

Place of Death: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, as well as distant Welsh

Franklin Pierce was an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 14th President of the United States, from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857. He was elected to the position in 1852.

He was previously a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Hampshire, from March 4, 1833 to March 3, 1837, and a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, from March 4, 1837 to February 28, 1842.

He was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1856.

President Pierce was the son of Anna (Kendrick) and Benjamin Pierce, Jr., who was Governor of New Hampshire, from 1827 to 1828, and again from 1829 to 1830. His brother was career army officer Benjamin Kendrick Pierce. President Pierce was of entirely Colonial American descent. His ancestry was English, along with distant Welsh. He was married to Jane Means (Appleton) Pierce, with whom he had three children. Jane was the great-great-great-great-aunt of author Ann M. Martin.

President Pierce’s paternal grandfather was Benjamin Pierce (the son of Stephen Pierce, Jr. and Esther Fletcher). Benjamin was born in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Stephen was the son of Stephen Pierce, whose father was English, and of Tabitha Parker. Esther was the daughter of William Fletcher, whose father was also English, and of Sarah Richardson.

President Pierce’s paternal grandmother was Elizabeth Merrill (the daughter of Abel Merrill and Sarah Bodwell). Elizabeth was born in Methuen, Essex, Massachusetts. Abel was the son of John Merrill and Lucy Webster. Sarah was the daughter of Henry Bodwell, who was born in London, England, and of Bethiah Emery, whose father was English.

President Pierce’s maternal grandfather was Benjamin Kendrick (the son of Caleb Kendrick and Abigail Bowen). Benjamin was born in Newton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Caleb was the son of John Kendrick, Jr., whose father was English, and of Esther Green or Hall. Abigail was the daughter of John Bowen, whose father was Welsh, from Gower, Glamorgan, and of Hannah Brewer, whose father was English.

President Pierce’s maternal grandmother was named Sarah Harris (the daughter of Stephen Harris and Mary). Sarah was born in Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Stephen was the son of Timothy Harris and Phebe/Phoebe Pearson.

President Pierce was a fourth cousin, four times removed, of U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush (born Barbara Pierce). His great-great-great-grandparents, Thomas Pierce, Jr. and Elizabeth Cole, were also Barbara’s seven times great-grandparents. Thomas Pierce was born, c. 1618, in England.

Sources: Genealogies of President Pierce –

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