Children of Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia) — Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and Husband George Rice (abt. 1743 – 1792): Wills of George and Elizabeth Rice

The Will of George Rice

In the name of god Amen, I George Rice late of the county of Frederick and state of Virginia and now in the county of Woodford Kentucky, being in low state of health but of sound mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will & Testament, Imprimis, I will and desire that of my personal estate the Whole or so much may be sold as will pay all my Just debts, and if there be not Sufficient pursonal estate for that purpose, then such part of my real estate to be sold as will make up that deficiency provided that none of my Negroes is hereby meant to be sold in any Case,

2d My will and desire is that my Father shall continue to live in the Family during his life, and that if he requires it that he be paid ten pounds per annum.

3I give and devise one Certain Tract or parcel of Land containing Sixteen hundred sixty six & two thirds Acres Lying on the Ohio & purchaced of Henry Banks Who derives his title from John Champ Carter, Also my half of Pierce Holland Land, which is one thousand three hundred thirty three & one third Acres Also sixteen hundred Acres of Land purchased of Anderson lying on the Waters of Trade Water— also an entry of twelve hundred Acres of Land on Cumberland in the State Military line warrants A∫signed to me by John Harvie & also one thousand thirty three & one third acres of Land in the name of John Slaughter the same being Surveyed and patented in the name of Andrew Waggoner And all expences, both for this and that of Pierce Nolens already paid by me to my Brother John Rices four sons and their heirs forever in payment for the Land which my said Brother John willed to be Sold, and the money to be laid out in Western Lands —

4th I give and devise all my estate in Lands lying on the Western Waters to my six Children to be equally divided amongst them and their heirs forever Provided that Should any of my said Children before he or She come of age or Marry then in that Case the part of such Child to be equally divided among the Survivors of my said Children.

5th I give and devise a Certain Tract of Land Containing one thousand three hundred thirty three and one third Acres being one half of a Tract in partnership with Robt. Hollinsworth, to my four Nieces, Mary Rice, Sary Rice, Elizabeth Boyd and Jean Sullivan now the wife of William Sullivan and their heirs forever —

6th I give and devise the Quantity of five hundred Acres of Land to my Brother Edmund Rice and his heirs forever to be taken out of the above general devise to my six children in such manner as my brother Edmund and children can agree —

7th My will and disere is that my wife Elizabeth so long as she Shall remain my widow shall remain on my plantation in the county of Fredrick and that she keep and bring up my said Children until they respectly attain the age of twenty one years upon the produce of my said Plantation & the labor of the Negroes —

8th My will and desire is that a Waggon & geers and six of the best horses be reservd (and not) for the use of the said Plantation, A[nd] I do hereby appoint and declare my said wife Elizabeth Executrix & Andrew Waggoner[,] James McDonald[,] John Miller[,] & Micajah Roach — Executors of this my last Will and Testament August 4th 1792

George Rice LS

Signed sealed Acknowledged & delivered in presence of

T. Marshall

Marquis Calmes

Daniel Preston

Codicil to the above Will 

my desire and will is that my son in Law Micajah Roach if he Chooses shall continue to Live on the place where he now is ten Years rent free 

Signed sealed acknowledged & deliverd 

George Rice LS

T. Marshall

Marquis Calmes

Daniel Preston

Examnd  Woodford County October Court 1792

The last Will and Testament of Geo. Rice deceased was proved by the Oaths of Marquis Calmes and Daniel Preston two subscribing Witnesses thereto & ordered to be Recorded

Test Cave Johnson

Some Notes about George Rice’s Will

▸ Note that the will’s opening statements confirm that George had moved not long in the past from Frederick County, Virginia, to Woodford County, Kentucky, and that he made his will (and almost certainly died) in Woodford County. My last posting states that the disappearance of the Rice family from the Frederick County tax list after 1788 suggests to me that the Rices moved to Kentucky in or just after 1788-9, with George dying there in 1792. But as the 7th stipulation of the will tells us, George and Elizabeth had retained their home plantation in Frederick County and Elizabeth was to return there following her husband’s death, where George’s father Patrick would live with her and his grandchildren up to his death.

▸ Are the Pierce Holland and Pierce Nolen mentioned in #3 the same man? As written, the names do seem clearly to be Holland and Nolen, but the replication of the given name Pierce here makes me wonder. 

▸ Why does the 4th stipulation suggest that none of George’s children had married when the will also indicates in its codicil that George’s daughter Ruth had married Micajah Roach by 1792? In fact, the couple married 4 April 1786. The other children were, as the will suggests, unmarried when George made his will, and were all minors, with Elizabeth, the oldest daughter, aged 17. Ruth, the oldest child, was 23 in 1792.

▸ Robert Hollingsworth was, as previous postings have noted, the husband of George’s sister Susannah. The four nieces named in the will — Mary and Sarah Rice, Elizabeth Boyd, and Jean Sullivan — were daughters of George’s brother John Rice, who died testate in Frederick County with a will written 2 November 1782 and proved 3 May 1785.[2] As has been noted, George Rice’s brother-in-law Thomas Brooks was a witness to this will.  

▸ I’m puzzled by the insertion of “and not” following the statement in the 8th stipulation that a wagon, gear, and six of George’s best horses should be reserved for the use of his plantation in Frederick County following his demise. I cannot make hide nor hair of this statement.

▸ We’ve previously met three of the four executors George names along with his wife Elizabeth as executrix. As already stated, Micajah Roach was husband of George’s daughter Ruth. As noted in a previous posting, James McDonald appears as a defendant in a number of chancery cases in Virginia regarding George’s estate (the posting I’ve just linked provides details), and in a chancery case in Augusta County filed by Province McCormick in 1803, James McDonald is listed as one of George’s heirs — though I’ve seen no other document stating that McDonald was an heir of George Rice.[3]

As the previous posting tells us, when George began his Revolutionary service in 1775, he first served under Andrew Waggoner, who was First Lieutenant in Captain John Neville’s unit of the Virginia continental army. Andrew Waggoner provided an affidavit for George’s bounty land claims, and he and George Rice were involved together in land transactions in Virginia.

▸ Two of the witnesses to George’s will were Revolutionary officers and men of prominence who moved from Virginia to Kentucky together and settled next to each other. T. Marshall was Colonel Thomas Marshall (1730-1802), who removed from Virginia to Kentucky in 1783, establishing the Buckpond plantation near what would soon become the Woodford county seat, Versailles, which was named by Marquis Calmes.[4] Thomas Marshall was surveyor general of Kentucky in 1783 and represented Fayette County in the House of Delegates. Woodford was formed from Fayette in 1789. Thomas Marshall’s son John Marshall served as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Information about Signatories to George Rice’s Will

According to William E. Railey, Marquis Calmes served under Thomas Marshall in Virginia’s 3rd continental regiment during the Revolution, and when Marshall was seriously injured in the battle of the Brandywine, Calmes replaced him in battle and was then promoted to captain.[5] After the Revolution when both men went to Kentucky, Calmes patented 1,000 acres next to Marshall’s Buckpond plantation — the Caneland plantation on whose land Calmes is buried. These tracts of land were in the east-central part of Woodford County in what’s called the Pisgah area outside Versailles.[6]

Buck Pond historical marker near Versailles, Kentucky; photo by John Desaulniers Jr. is at the Historical Marker Database website

It should be noted that Colonel Thomas Marshall had a son Captain Thomas Marshall (1761-1817), who also lived in Woodford County and who could also be the T. Marshall witnessing George Rice’s will, but in my view, the fact that Marquis Calmes witnessed this will along with T. Marshall suggests that it was his military comrade Colonel Thomas Marshall who witnessed the will along with Calmes. Three Virginia Revolutionary officers who had gone to Kentucky and held extensive lands there were, I believe, interacting in this document.

Marquis Calmes (1755-1834, portrait by Jacob Frymire (1806), Chicago History Museum; reproduced in “Gen Marquis Calmes IV” at Find a Grave, and “Marquis Calmes” at Wikipedia

Much information exists to document the life of Marquis Calmes (1755-1834). The Kentucky Encyclopedia’s biography makes him the son of a Huguenot nobleman, the Marquis de la Calmetz, who fled France due to religious persecution and settled in Virginia.[7] To my knowledge, that claim hasn’t been substantiated. Other sources indicate that it was his grandfather, also a Marquis de la Calmetz, who was the Virginia immigrant, and that the father of Marquis Calmes was William Calmes.[8]

Kentucky Encyclopedia and Thomas Kemp Cartmell both state that Marquis Calmes’s father William Calmes married Lucy Neville, daughter of George Neville,[9] whom we met in a previous posting exploring connections between the Neville, Rice, Blakemore, and McCormick families in Frederick County, Virginia.[10] Marquis Calmes was born in Frederick County, Virginia, on 26 February 1755. As a young man, he was sent to Europe to study and was there when the Revolution broke out. He then returned to Virginia and raised a military unit, joining the 3rd regiment of the Virginia line and rising eventually to the rank of lieutenant colonel.[11]

Marquis Calmes historical marker near Versailles, Kentucky; photo by John Desaulniers Jr. is at Historical Marker Database website

After moving to Kentucky following the Revolution and establishing his Caneland plantation,  Calmes represented Woodford County in the Kentucky legislature. He is buried at Caneland in a family cemetery.

About Daniel Preston, the third witness to George Rice’s will, I have very little information. In 1796, he was a justice of the Woodford County court.[12]

Information about Settlement and Disbursal of George Rice’s Estate

I have limited information about how George Rice’s estate was settled. Given the amount of land he held in Virginia and Kentucky (and Ohio, it also appears) at the time of his death, there’s room for much more research than I’ve done to follow the disposition of his property after he died. I have not found an account of the estate settlement in Woodford County records. An estate account for the period 1801 – 3 August 1812 is filed in Frederick County, Virginia, showing George’s son-in-law William McCormick, widowed husband of George’s daughter Elizabeth, making his return on the estate on 3 August 1812.[13] The return shows that in August 1809, McCormick paid shares of the estate to the following heirs: George Rice (son of George Rice and Elizabeth Brooks); George Kiger, husband of Rebecca Rice; Jehu(gh) Rice (son of George and Elizabeth’s daughter Elizabeth and under guardianship of his step-father William McCormick); Ruth Roach; Joshua Wilson, husband of Mary Rice; and William McCormick’s children in right of their late mother Elizabeth Rice.

Account of estate of George Rice, 1801-1812, Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 9, pp. 158-9

A notice of an estate sale at George Rice’s late dwelling house at Long Marsh in Frederick County was published on 14 July 1796 in the Potowmac Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser.[14] It reads,

Capt. George Rice of Frederick Co., dec’d, his ex., James McDonald and Micajah Roach, will sell his stock, HH and KF at his late dwelling house at Long Marsh, Frederick Co.

This previous posting also contains extensive information about the disposition of portions of George’s land by his legatees in the years following his death, and about lawsuits dealing with the disposition of his land. 

Final Years of Elizabeth Brooks Rice

A number of documents suggest that after George Rice died in 1792, his widow Elizabeth divided her time in her final years between Woodford County, Kentucky, where she seemed to be residing when the 1810 federal census was taken, and Frederick County, Virginia, where she made her will on 18 February 1816. The 1810 census shows an Elizabeth Rice as head of a household in Woodford County that included a female aged 45+, two males and two females aged 16-25, and three males 10-15.[15]

I don’t know of any other Elizabeth Rice who might be the Elizabeth Rice of this census enumeration, and since George Rice’s widow Elizabeth Brooks Rice does not appear on the 1810 federal census in Frederick County, Virginia, I’m assuming this is George’s widow. I’m not entirely sure who the younger folks in this household were. The number of older children, their ages, and genders, more or less fit the profile of the children of Elizabeth’s daughter Elizabeth by William McCormick, who had died before 15 April 1808, but there are three younger males in the household who could not have belonged to Elizabeth Brooks McCormick — and William McCormick is enumerated in Frederick County in 1810 with his children by Elizabeth Rice in his household. It should be noted that though George Rice’s will had mentioned enslaved persons, no enslaved persons are listed in Elizabeth Rice’s household in Woodford County in 1810.

As a previous posting states, in May 1810, Elizabeth Rice filed suit against William McCormick and his brother Province McCormick in Augusta County, Virginia, chancery court.[16] The posting to which I’ve just pointed explains what the suit concerned — Elizabeth’s complaint that, after she had moved to live with William McCormick and his wife Elizabeth in 1804-5, William McCormick and his brother had failed to honor an agreement she had made with them. 

In June 1812 (again, see the posting linked in the paragraph above), Elizabeth conveyed her dower rights in a piece of land in Frederick County that George Rice had previously sold to James Thompson, who then sold it to George S. Lane, with the deed noting that Elizabeth was the relict of George Rice.[17] Elizabeth was living in Frederick County when she made this relinquishment of dower rights. 

On 2 October 1815 (see the posting linked two paragraphs above), Elizabeth deeded her dower rights in land that George Rice’s heirs Mary and Joshua Wilson, Ruth Roach, and Rebecca and George Kiger sold in August 1815 to William and Province McCormick.[18] This land was in Frederick County, and Elizabeth was living there at the time of this deed.

Elizabeth Brooks Rice made her will in Frederick County on 18 February 1816, and it was proved in Frederick court on 6 March 1816.[19] A digital image of the will is at this previous posting. The will reads as follows:

In the name of God Amen I Elizabeth Rice of the county of Frederick and state of Virginia and infirm in body but of sound and Disposing mind memory and understanding Considering the uncertainty of Death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and being Desirous to settle my worldly affairs and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please god to order me home do therefore make and publish this my last will and Testament and manner and form following that is to say First and principally I commit my soul unto the hands of Almighty god and my body to the earth to be buried at the Discretion of my Executor hereinafter named and after my Debts and funeral charges are paid I Desire and bequeath as follows —

Item I give and devise unto Emilia Luca Ried and her heirs one thousand Dollars to be paid to her by my Executor whereon she arrives to the lawful age 

Item I give and Devise Edwin Rice Kiger and George Rice Kiger two hundred and fifty Dollars each to be paid by my executor also and Lastly I give and devise unto my daughter Rebecca Kiger wife of George W. Kiger all the remaining part of my estate and Lastly I do constitute and appoint my son in law George W. Kiger to be my sole Executor of this my last will and testament Revoking and amending all former wills by me heretofore made ratifying this and no other to be my last will and testament I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 18th day of February 1816 

Elizabeth Rice (seal)

signed sealed published and delivered by Elizabeth Rice the within named testator for her list will and testament in the presence of us who at her request and her presence have subscribed our names as witne∫ses thereto —

Daniel Magruder

Eleanor Magruder

Jane Anderson (her mark)

John Rice

At a court held for Frederick County this 4th Day of March 1816

This last will and testament Rice decd  was proved by the Oath of John Rice a witne∫s thereto and a court continued and held for the county aforesaid this 6th Day of March in the year aforesaid the same was further proved by the Oath of Daniel Magruder another witne∫s thereto and ordered to be Recorded 

By the Court

Ja Keith

Regarding the witnesses to Elizabeth’s will, I’m not absolutely certain which John Rice signed the will. Elizabeth had a grandson, by her daughter Elizabeth, whose name was John Jehu Rice, and who appears in some documents as John Rice. It’s possible he’s the John Rice witnessing the will. But since John Jehu Rice was by all indications in Kentucky at this point, I think the John Rice witnessing the will is more likely Elizabeth’s nephew John, the son of John Rice (died 1785) and Hannah Roach. Hannah was a sister of Elizabeth’s son-in-law Micajah Roach.

Dr. Daniel Magruder (1757-1842) is buried with wife Eleanor Davenport Magruder at Milburn Methodist Chapel cemetery, Stephenson, Frederick County, Virginia. This church was founded in 1788 and, since the Davenports are buried in its cemetery, it seems likely they were members of this church. It’s possible that Elizabeth Brooks Rice also belonged to the Milburn Chapel Methodist church and that this explains her connection to the Davenports. Or possibly these families were neighbors in Frederick County. Stephenson is some 11 miles northeast of Winchester. If the Davenports were neighbors to Elizabeth Rice at the time she made her will, then I’d note that the will seems to suggest she was being cared for and possibly living with her daughter Rebecca and husband George W. Kiger at the time of her death.

In my next posting, I’ll share the information I have about the children of George Rice and Elizabeth Brooks and about their families.


[1] Woodford County, Kentucky, Will Bk. A, pp. 72-4.

[2] Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 5, p. 73.

[3] Province McCormick v. Exrs. of George Rice, Augusta County, Virginia, Chancery Court 1808-143, case 106.

[4] See E. Polk Johnson, A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, vol. 3 (Chicago: Lewis, 1912), pp. 1273-5; W.E. Railey, History of Woodford County, Kentucky (Frankfort, Kentucky: Roberts, 1938), pp. 178-181; John A. Steele, “General Marquis Calmes of ‘Caneland,’ A Revolutionary Hero of Woodford Co., Ky.,” Register of Kentucky State Historical Society, vol. 4,10 (January, 1906), pp. 47, 49-51; and William E. Railey, “Woodford County (Second Installment),” Register of Kentucky State Historical Society, vol. 18,53 (May, 1920), p. 77, who states, “General Marquis Calmes was a distinguished Virginian who came to Woodford County about the same time that Col. Thomas Marshall came.” See also the brief history of the Marquis Calmes chapter of the DAR at Versailles at the Kentucky DAR website, citing a manuscript of John Andrew Steele which says that Marquis Calmes came to Woodford County in 1783 with Colonel Thomas Marshall and patented 1,000 acres adjoining Marshall’s Buckpond.

[5] William E. Railey, “Woodford County (Second Installment),” p. 77. See also John A. Steele, “General Marquis Calmes of ‘Caneland,’ A Revolutionary Hero of Woodford Co., Ky.,” pp. 49-51.

[6] See the National Register of Historic Places’ Multiple Properties Documentation Form for Pisgah area of Woodford County (1988), online at the website of the National Parks Service.

[7] John E. Kieber, ed., The Kentucky Encyclopedia (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1992), p. 153.

[8] See, e.g., History of Union County, Kentucky: A Complete Account of the Settlement, Organization, and Government of the County, etc.(Evansville, Indiana: Courier, 1886) p. 274.

[9] Thomas Kemp Cartmell, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants: A History of Frederick Co., Virginia (Winchester: Eddy, 1909), p. 470.

[10] Marquis Calmes’s father had a Northern Neck grant on 24 March 1760 on Bullskin Run in Frederick County adjoining Captain George Johnston, Dr. McCormick, and his own land, with Colonel George Washington as surveyor: Virginia Northern Neck Grant Bk. K, p. 86. John McCormick was father of William McCormick, who married George Rice’s daughter Elizabeth. A Northern Neck grant to Henry Garner, heir of John Garner, near Bullskin in Frederick County on 23 January 1767 notes that his land adjoined David Mankin, William Hiatt, Lord Fairfax, Marquis Calmes, Dr. John McCormick, and Major Washington: Virginia Northern Neck Grant Bk. O, p. 19.

[11] In addition to sources cited supra in n. 48-54, see also Marquis Calmes’s Revolutionary pension application S12674, with an affidavit he gave 9 August 1832 in Woodford County Says he was in 2nd Virginia Regiment under General William Woodford; “Gen Marquis Calmes IV” at Find a Grave, which has biographical information as well as a digital image of Jacob Frymire’s 1806 oil portrait of Marquis Calmes and of an historical marker with information about his tomb; and “Marquis Calmes” at Wikipedia.

[12] See Governor James Garrard’s executive journal for 1796, p. 95.

[13] Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 9, pp. 158-9.

[14] This information and the transcript of the estate sale notice is by Sandy Salyers at the now defunct Rice-Southern discussion list at Rootsweb, 2 January 2003. Salyers notes that Patrick Rice’s sons were “early military men in Frederick County” who obtained extensive land grants in Kentucky due to their military service. Further notices of sales of George Rice’s estate are apparently in Bowen’s Virginia Centinel and Gazette, 8 July 1796, and Winchester Gazette, 2 January 1799. I have not read either of these.

[15] 1810 federal census, Woodford County, Kentucky, p. 383.

[16] Elizabeth Rice v. William McCormick, Augusta County, Virginia, Chancery Court 1810-44, case 46.

[17] Frederick County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 33, pp. 491-2.

[18] Ibid., Bk. 37, pp. 338-345, 431-9.

[19] Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 9, pp. 535-6.

3 thoughts on “Children of Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia) — Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and Husband George Rice (abt. 1743 – 1792): Wills of George and Elizabeth Rice

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