Loreli, thank you so much for your help. I never thought to vary the spelling of the name!
Regarding Richard Pierse/Pearce...he and Mary had a son named John, but John was born in 1836. The John I am seeking (John Henry) was not born until 1875. Given the accuracy of the census data, I could understand a margin of error but not the 39 years between these two Johns.
I will keep looking and will use your ideas of varying names. If you would like to keep helping I would be most appreciative. Just found out a new bit of information. My father recalled that John's mother's last name was Russell, but we don't know if that was her maiden name or the name taken in a marriage subsequent to John Henry's father. There also was some talk about John Henry's parents being co-inhabitants rather than being married. The juicy things one finds out when digging into family history!
Thank you once again! Bruce