Throughout Prince Edward Island, there are people everyone turns to when they want to know more about the genealogy of their families or potential relatives. In the Eastern Kings area, that person is Gordon “Gord” Pierce.
Pierce is one of the most active contributors to genealogy and family history in that area of P.E.I. He became the custodian of the genealogical records formerly held by the late Waldron Leard, and in the years since Leard’s death, Pierce has lovingly and diligently added to those records.
Pierce’s interest in genealogy began with the book Historical Sketch of Eastern Kings, by Erma Stewart and Mary MacDonald. And he comes by his interest honestly, as his father’s first cousin – Bob Pierce, a certified genealogist – was the force behind a PEI Genealogical Society project that saw information collected from tombstones across the Island.
When studying at UPEI, Pierce found out about his own family history and was hooked. In 1987, he created his own database with about 1,000 names. That fuelled his interest, and he began looking at the history of his (now) wife’s family with records in Quebec. He estimates that the database currently has 100,000 names from 2,300 families, and he is continually adding to it. He uses the database to answer queries from people from all over the country.
He has helped hundreds of people to find out more about their roots, including cousins, family members, friends, university classmates, and strangers. He is a firm believer that the data that he holds related to the history and genealogy of Eastern Kings is owned by the community, not by himself.
For his efforts to gather and share information about genealogy in Eastern Kings, Gordon Pierce has been awarded the Mary Cornfoot Brehaut Genealogy Award.