Following is information relating to the origins of the Piersols who lived in Chester County, Pa., during the 18th century.
"The History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family in England and America," edited by Clarence Pearsall, links the family to the Pearsalls of Long Island, N.Y., and then to England. However, those links do not hold up to scrutiny.
Updated: August 2005
+ From a biographical item on John C. Peirsol of Monroe Township, Monroe County, Mo., in 1884: "Mr. Peirsol comes of an old and highly creditable family of the country, tracing his lineage back through a line of ancestors who have brought no reproach on the name he bears, but have always held worthy positions in the communities in which they lived. The family has been settled in this country for nearly 200 years. His father’s great-great-grandfather Peirsol was one of three brothers who came from England to America in 1683 and settled in Pennsylvania, whence the name has radiated into different States." – "History of Monroe County [Missouri]" 1884.
+ From an account of the Peirsol family of Beaver County, Pa., in 1914: "This name, spelled Piersoll, Peirsoll and Peusell, was anciently borne by a Protestant family of France, who fled that country to escape religious persecution, finding asylum in the mountains of Wales. This was during the seventeenth century, and in 1717 three of the family came to America, settling in Chester county, Pennsylvania, where Sampson Peirsol, the founder of the Beaver county family, was born." – "Genealogical and Personal History of Beaver County, Pa.," by John W. Jordan, 1914, page 506.
+ From an account of the Piersol family of Fayette County, Pa., in 1912: "This name, spelled both Piersol and Peirsel was borne by an ancient Protestant family of France who fled from that country to escape religious persecution and found asylum in the mountains of Wales. From thence in 1717 a branch came to Chester county, Pennsylvania, where William Piersol was born in 1748." Under Peirsel: "This family, originally of France, and Protestant in religion, fled from their native country with thousands of persecuted Huguenots, and in the seventeenth century settled in Wales. In 1717 three of the family came to the province of Pennsylvania, settling in Chester county. The name is found both as Pearsol and Peirsel, among the descendants of William Peirsel, of whom further." – "Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania," by John W. Jordan, 1912, pages 835 and 848.
+ From a biographical item on Lewis Piersol of Tredyfrin Township, Chester County, Pa.: "The Piersol family originally came from Wales, but have been natives of Pennsylvania for many generations. Jeremiah Piersol, paternal grandfather of Lewis Piersol, was born in Honeybrook Township, this county, on the old homestead, where he passed his life and died. He was a federalist in politics, and engaged exclusively in farming and stock raising. He married and reared a large family of sons and daughters who became useful and respected members of society. On the home farm in Honeybrook township Daniel Piersol (father) was born in 1788, and reared and educated there." – "Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County, Pennsylvania," by Winfield S. Garner, 1893, page 704.
+ From a history of the descendants of Jenkins Davis of Lancaster County, Pa.: "Jenkins Davis immigrated from the parish of Killkennen, County of Cardigan, Wales, early in 1700. … Dinah, the second daughter of Jenkins Davis, named above, married John Piersol. We have not been able to go farther back in the Piersol line, which we think is Welsh, though we are unable to fix it with certainty. It may be Scotch-Irish or Huguenot." – "Biographical Annals of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania," by J.H. Beers & Co., pages 1519 and 1520.
+ Jeremiah, John and Richard Piercell appear in records of a congregation of Seventh Day Baptists in Nantmeal Township, Chester County, Pa. The following occurs amid a description of the events of 1725. "It was about the same time as the German revival movement, which has just been described, that the English Sabbath-keepers in Newtown, Providence, Easttown, and Tredyffrin townships of Chester County became more or less restless, on account of persecutions from their more orthodox neighbours, and migrated to the upper end of the county, where they took up land at the falls of the French Creek in Nantmeal Township, and there founded a settlement and congregation, destined for years to come to be the largest and most influential body of Seventh Day Baptists in the Province. Among the names of these early pioneers, who were mainly Welsh, are to be found a considerable number who in later years appear on the Ephrata register, and whose remains await the general resurrections in the old burying-ground at Ephrata. Following is a partial list of these early Seventh Day Baptists: Owen Roberts, William Iddings (Hiddings); Richard, Jeremiah, and John Piercell (Piersoll); John Williams; William David; Philip Roger (Rogers); Lewis David; and Simon Meredith." From a second passage: "… revivals were held among the English and Welsh Seventh Day Baptists who had settled in the French Creek Valley, in Nantmeal, Chester County, Pennsylvania. This settlement of Sabbath-keepers dates back to the first quarter of the eighteenth century, and was the results of a desire on the part of the Providence Seventh Day Baptists for a community of their own, where they could live undisturbed and exercise the dictates of their own consciences according to their own laws. For this purpose, a number of families of the Providence (Newtown, Delaware County) Church had surveyed to them, in the year 1717, large tracts of land on the north branch of the Brandywine, and French Creek. Prominent among those who settled upon their lands here were the following: Lewis David, William David, William Iddings, John James, Mordecai Lincoln, Simon Meridith, Samuel Nutt, Jeremiah Peircell (Piersol), John Peircell (Piersol), Richard Peircell (Piersol), William Phillips, David Roberts, Owen Roberts, Philip Roger, and John Williams. A few years later, the infant colony was re-inforced by a number of families from the Great Valley Baptist Church. … In after years the cordial and fraternal feeling between the Ephrata Celibates and the English Seventh Day Baptists at Nantmeal was an unbroken one. The English settlement, as time went on, increased by converts from among the Quakers as well as from other denominations." – "Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America," Vol. II, 1910. The first passage is from pages 980 and 981. The second passage is from page 1111.
NOTE: "The History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family in England and America" states that the progenitor of the Chester County Peirsols came from Long Island, N.Y., to southeastern Pennsylvania and allied himself with the forces of Lord Baltimore, who claimed part of what is now Pennsylvania. However, there is no mention of anyone named Peirsol (or any of its various spellings) in the property or estate records of Cecil County, Md., which abuts Chester County, Pa. Since Cecil County records start in 1673, it seems that George Pearsall or any other Peirsol who allied himself with Maryland would appear in records of that county.