Hi, Regarding your James Pearce b Norfolk ca 1841.
I've researched a particular Pearce family in Norfolk, whose James Pearce disappeared from the British censuses after 1851, and I've suspected he emigrated somewhere. Might be yours. Might not.
According to his birth certificate, this James Pearce was born in the village of Stoke Holy Cross in Norfolk in October 1839. His mother died in 1844. In 1851 he and his brother were with their grandparents who had large accommodation in Stoke Holy Cross, and his father lived next door to them.
They were a blacksmithing family.