Pearce Family Ties

Family Ties
Mark Pearce in the cemetery | photo by gisela horner
By Gisela Horner

Not everyone can claim they have a family cemetery!

Mark Pearce’s children are proud they could during school’s ‘Show and Tell’, with some of their ancestors dating back to the First Fleet.

Mark’s great, great, great grandparents Matthew and Martha Pearce left English shores as free settlers on the convict transport “Surprize” on May 2 in 1794.

They had lost a child 4 years earlier, but another tragedy befell them on the voyage, along the coast of Rio de Janiero, losing their second child, a son.

Once they arrived in the colony, their lives improved. The following year, Matthew was awarded a government grant of 160 acres and they set up their farm in the Toongabbie district, naming it Kings Langley Farm, raising sheep, cattle and crops.

They had five children who lived – three daughters followed by two sons, William being

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