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Abstract

Born June 6, 1824 in Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, Isaac William Wierman Worley Pearson was the son of Isaac and Mary (Wierman) Pearson. By the time he was fourteen years old both of his parents had passed away. In 1848 he began the study of medicine under the tutelage of Dr. Hiram C. Metcalfe of York Springs, Adams County. He completed his medical education at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia during the winter of 1849 – 1850.

He returned to Adams County in 1850 and when the federal census was taken on September 25, 1850, the now Dr. Pearson was residing in Petersburg [York Springs] with the family of Dr. Metcalfe. He practiced medicine with Dr. Metcalfe for four years before striking out on his own.

On March 2, 1854 he married Mary Caroline Beales, daughter of Caleb and Eveline Beales. They were married by the Rev. Henry Aurand.3 Isaac and Mary Caroline became the parents of six children, Mary E., Charles G and Isaac W, [twins], Harry B., Francis W., and Charles E. Charles G. and Francis W. died as infants. Isaac W., Jr., at the age of nineteen, became the owner and editor of the York Springs Comet newspaper.
Dr. Pearson died September 29, 1900, at 11:30 p.m. at his home in York Springs. He wrote a will on March 25, 1889, witnessed by C. E. Meyers and Edward Criswell. He bequeathed $500 to each of his four surviving children, with the remainder of the estate going to his wife. His eldest son, Isaac Jr., and his wife were named executors, though his wife renounced her right as executrix. His will contained one specific instruction: “I positively direct that there shall be no appraisal or inventory made of any part of my estate.” He was buried in Sunnyside Cemetery, near York Springs.

The surviving effects of Dr. Pearson’s practice include two notebooks in which he had recorded the births he attended during his long practice. The entries begin on July 9, 1854 and continue until December 24, 1894. Location of the original notebooks is unknown but photocopies of the books are held by the Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Adams County Historical Society, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Some pages from the originals may not have been photocopied as there are occasional gaps in the records. On the first page of the first notebook, Dr. Pearson entered his full name, Isaac William Wierman Worley Pearson. On the first page of the second notebook he wrote Dr. I. W. Pearson.

Following is a report of the over 1000 births recorded by Dr. Pearson. Extraction and translation of these records was difficult due to Dr. Pearson’s penmanship. His records contained the sex of the child, one parent’s name [typically the father], and the date of birth. On occasion he notated the child’s name or a comment about the birth, which is included, if legible. [excerpt]

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