The Merrill Newsletter - Volume 6, Number 1 - January, 2000 - Page 3

Correction - First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush

Edited by Deane Whitney Merrill

It has come to our attention that, in The Merrill Newsletter (, Vol.1, No.2, pg.5 (October 1991), we published an article by Don A. Merrill entitled "Nathaniel in the White House" in which there was an error. The article stated: "President Franklin Pierce is Barbara Bush's third great uncle and therefore [she] is descended from Franklin Pierce's brother (??? Pierce b.abt.1785?) whose grandmother (Elizabeth b.1727/8) was a Merrill." The preceding statment is incorrect.
Thanks to Richard L. Pierce for his contribution of the following source:
From Frederick Clifton Peirce [sic], Esq.'s book Pierce Genealogy published in 1882, Barbara Pierce Bush's correct Pierce ancestry is deduced as follows:
Thomas1 PIERCE 1583-4? -1666 m. Elizabeth WORTINGTON b.1595-6
Thomas2 PIERCE 1618-1683 m.1635 Elizabeth COLE d.1688
James3 PIERCE 1659-1742 m.bef.1688 Elizabeth KENDALL 1653-1715
James4 PIERCE 1690-1773 m.(2)bef. 1711 Phebe UNKNOWN d.1776
Joshua5 PIERCE 1722-1771 m.(2)1753 Esther RICHARDSON 1727-1819
James6 PIERCE 1768-1849 m.1795 Mary STACY 1774-1847
Gen. James7 PIERCE Jr. 1810-1874 m.1839 Chloe HOLBROOK 1816-1886
Jonas8 James PIERCE 1839-1913 m.1865 Kate PRITZEL 1841-1931
Scott9 PIERCE 1866-aft.1930 m.1891 Mabel MARVIN 1869-193?
Marvin10 PIERCE 1893-1969 m.(1)1918 Pauline ROBINSON 1896-1949
Barbara11 PIERCE 1925- m.1945 George Herbert Walker BUSH, President, USA 1924-
George Walker BUSH 1946- m.1977 Laura WELCH 1946-
and President Franklin Pierce's ancestry is as follows:
Thomas1 PIERCE 1583-4? -1666 m. Elizabeth WORTINGTON b.1595-6
Thomas2 PIERCE 1618-1683 m.1635 Elizabeth COLE d. 1688
Stephen3 PIERCE 1651-1733 m.1676 Tabitha PARKER d.1742
Stephen4 PIERCE 1679-1749 m.1707 Esther FLETCHER 1681-1767
Benjamin5 PIERCE 1726-1764 m.1746 Elizabeth MERRILL b.1727/8
Gen. Benjamin6 PIERCE 1757-1839 m.(2)1790 Anna KENDRICK 1768-1838
Pres. Franklin7 PIERCE 1804-1869 m.1834 Jane M. APPLETON 1806-1863
So Barbara PIERCE Bush 1925- is a fourth cousin four times removed (4C4R) of President Franklin PIERCE 1804-1869, and not a third great grandniece as we reported. Since the latest common ancestor is Thomas2 PIERCE 1618-1683 who predates Elizabeth MERRILL b.1727/8, Barbara PIERCE Bush 1925- does not have (known) Merrill ancestors.
Sources:(by Deane W. Merrill
MERRILLs from A Merrill Memorial, Samuel Merrill, 1928.
PIERCEs from Pierce Genealogy, Frederick Clifton Peirce [sic], Esq., 1882;
Burke's Presidential Families of the United States (2nd edition) page 265,
cited by Kees van den Berg,, emails of 11/20/99 and 12/2/99;
Michael E. Pollock, unpublished work concerning the ancestry of Barbara Bush, cited by Kees van den Berg,, email of 12/2/99;
William Addams Reitwiesner, cited by Kees van den Berg,, email of 12/2/99;
Richard L. Pierce,, email of 11/10/99;
Kees van den Berg,, emails of 11/8/99, 11/15/99 and 12/2/99;
Further detail may be found on Deane Whitney Merrill's website at which was the source for most of the above information.
We sincerely apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this error may have caused.