Thomas Peirse apparently did not come from the area around Steinort, his family was the only one of that surname there in three centuries. He may have had ancestors from Britain as two of his sons’ first names suggest. Like many on Lehndorff’s estates, he worked in a changing capacity. During the 1850s and 1860s he took care of the horse stables, produced wheels or wagons in the workshop as an adjuster and helped as a day labourer or instmann wherever work was in the offing.
His wife Maria, neé Böhme, was almost two decades younger than him. The eldest child of the two, Maria Anna, who was born in 1853 or 1854, died at the age of five, and the second daughter Agnes Elisabeth, born in 1859, died when she was 16. In addition, the Peirse couple had at least five other children, all boys: William James in 1856, Gustav in 1859, Carl Gottlieb Richard in 1861, Henry in 1864 and Johann in 1866. The baby of the family Johann was obviously a particularly clever child. He was sent to high school, which was rather unusual at the time.
The grave cross of the two parents, donated by their children after the death of Marie, who had spent the second half of her life as a widow, is adorned by one of the few individual sayings in the cemetery of Groß Steinort: “Love never ceases”.