Section 30 – Pearce/Pierce, Bentley

Written by Sandy Kinter, from Waterford Genealogical Society E-Newsletter Volume 16 Number 5

Located in western Waterford Township, Section 30 has changed from a neighborhood of farms to residential, with homes surrounding Pleasant Lake. The section is bounded on the west by Williams Lake Road and White Lake Township. On the east side of the section is Hospital Road and to the north is Elizabeth Lake Road. The quiet of the farms has been replaced by the occasional roar of a jet taking off from Oakland County International Airport, located a little more than a mile to the north, the roar of busy traffic traveling on Williams Lake Road, and even the roar of a boat engine on Pleasant Lake.

In the southwestern corner of Section 30 is a tiny slice of land owned by L. Hathaway. Linus Hathaway resided in Section 31 and the Hathaway family will have its own story with that section. The southeastern corner of Section 30 contains a 40 acre piece of property owned by F.O. Jones. Franklin O. Jones was reported with the biographies of Section 29.

The 1872 plat map of Waterford Township shows the forty acre farm of G. Pierce in Section 30, with the residence placed on Williams Lake Road. But in the 1870 census, George Pierce is a resident of West Bloomfield Township. On page three of West Bloomfield Township, 1870, is recorded, George Pierce, age 31, born in New York, wife Prudence, age 30, born in Michigan, and Elizabeth, age 1, born in Michigan. George Pearce purchased the Section 30 property in January 1866. (1) He and his family were residents of Waterford Township in the 1880 census. (2)

George Pearce was from England, not New York as stated in 1870, born 6 February 1833 or 1834. (3)(4) His death certificate has a birth year of 1834. (3) George’s entry found on the Find A Grave website, has a clear picture of his headstone which has only the dates 1833-1912. (4) George Pearce married Prudence M. Beckley, 3 December 1867, in Oakland County. (5) According to George’s death certificate, he died 28 February 1912, in Waterford Township. (3) The information found on Find A Grave says that George died 12 February 1912. (4) George’s parents could not be determined with online sources and their names are not included on his death certificate.

Prudence M. Beckley was the daughter of William Beckley and Mary Ann George who were reported on in Section 19. (6) She was born 1 February 1847, in Brandon Township, Oakland County (6) and died 23 May 1930, in Waterford Township. (6) Both George and Prudence are buried in the Waterford Center Cemetery. (4)


  1. 1880 Census, page 429B, Waterford Township, Oakland County, Michigan
  2. Oakland County, Michigan, Deed Records, Volume 85-86, 1865-1866;
    Volume 85, page 393, Image 205, #0975447, FamilySearch,
  3. Death Certificate, George Pearce, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1953, Menominee-
    Oceana, 1912, Ancestry,
  4. Waterford Center Cemetery, Waterford, Michigan, Find A Grave,
  5. Oakland County, Michigan, Record of Marriages, Volumes 1-2, 1867-1889;
    Volume 1, 1867-1883, page 4, Image 71, #0973981, FamilySearch,
  6. Death Certificate, Prudence Pierce, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1953; Oakland,
    1929-1934, Ancestry,