Yes, I think that your observation is correct, but again I don't have proof of that - only that things were tough down in the VA colonies while various Joseph and Mary descendents were having 10, 12, 14 and my all-time favorite: 19 children (he went through 3 wives to do this!) up in New England in the 1700's. Luckily, they seem to have slowed down a bit in the 1800's, or I wouldn't be able to count them all today...as it is I figure there are 3000-5000 descendants from the original Joseph to trace! Thanks for the observation...
There are a couple of posts on the Peasley forum page that show one clear lineage of the VA branch of the family and I don't have a good sense of how many other branches there are from VA. Fairly early they seem to have split up with a Peaseley spelling and maybe even a Paisley spelling, which also reduces the number of Peasley ancestors that are spelled that way. In New England, everybody seems to have kept a Peaslee or Peasley spelling. This might be a function of the religious issue as well...the NE branch were Quakers originally, who thought reading and writing to be fairly important early on (in addition to having children obviously!) while the rest of the colonists didn't pay much attention to reading and writing until the 1800's. Perhaps with higher literacy more kept their surname spelling intact? Thoughts to ponder.
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