Who is Frances Ann’s Father?

I took a DNA test. My goal was to find additional cousins and expand my family tree.

One of the results says I have a cousin, Frances Ann Pierce the daughter of Richard Morgan Pierce and Lucinda S. H. Fugate.
This was exciting news, as I had never run across a Frances Ann Pierce in all of my family history research.

I found Frances Pierce, age 14, in the 1870 Federal Census in Schuyler County, Missouri. She is residing in the Caswell and Elizabeth Hamilton household.
Checking the 1860 Federal Census I find a Frances, age 4, listed as a daughter of Caswell and Elizabeth Hamilton. (I am assuming that this is the same Frances that appears in the 1870 Federal Census.)

Per the headstone in the Fugate Cemetery in Schuyler County, Missouri, Lucinda S. H. Pierce died 18 May 1857.

The headstone for Morgan Pierce states his death in 1851. However, I realized that the stone could have been misread and the date could be 1857.

My first question was one of relationship. Lucinda S. H. Fugate Pierce is the sister of Elbert Mitchell Fugate. Elbert’s wife is Nancy Clarinda Hollcroft.  Caswell Hamilton married Elizabeth Hollcroft, sister of Nancy Clarinda Hollcroft.

I appears that after Lucinda died her brother Elbert’s wife’s sister Elizabeth Hollcroft Hamilton is raising the orphan daughter of Lucinda and Morgan Pierce.

EXCEPT, Lucinda S. Pierce and her father John Fugate are appointed administers of the the estate of Morgan Pierce on 25 November 1851. Security was put up by Thos. S. Jeffries and John W. Minor.

Morgan Pierce, Lucinda’s husband, died in 1851. (NOT 1857)

I am confident that Richard Morgan Pierce is NOT Frances’ father.

Who is Frances Ann Pierce’s father?  She was born in 1856. Lucinda S.H. Fugate Pierce died 18 May 1857.

During my latest visit to the Schuyler County, Missouri courthouse I discovered the probate record of Lucinda S. H. Pierce. The document lists three children – John R. Pierce, Susan Pierce and Frances Ann Pierce.

An additional visit to the Schuyler County, Missouri courthouse is in order.

Is there GUARDIANSHIP for the children of Morgan and Lucinda? (In the 1860 Federal Census John R. Pierce age 12 and Susan Pierce age 9 are living with their grandfather, John Fugate.)
Is there any type of birth record for Frances Ann Pierce, born in 1855 or 1856?
Perhaps the marriage record of Frances Ann to William Worth Hale in 1872-1873 would indicate her parents.

One possibility – Lucinda was raising Frances because Frances’ birth mother had died during childbirth or shortly thereafter. (Not at all uncommon during the 1800s.)

I must now expand my research into the Pierce family. Perhaps Morgan had a brother that was the birth father of Frances.

More investigative work remains to resolve this issue!

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