Children of Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and Husband George Rice (abt. 1743 – 1792): Elizabeth Rice (1770/1775 – bef. April 1808) and Husband William McCormick (1768? – 1819 or 1824)

What We Can Establish about Elizabeth’s Life (and the Life of William McCormick)

If Elizabeth was George and Elizabeth Brooks Rice’s second child, she would have been born after 1769, the year that can be established as her older sister Ruth’s year of birth. We can also fairly solidly infer that she was born prior to around 1777, since we know from several pieces of evidence that Elizabeth had a son whose name appears as John in some records and Jehu in others, and who was likely named John Jehu Rice, who was born in 1793 or 1794. The 1850 federal census gives John Rice’s age as 56 (so born in 1794), and the 1860 federal census shows him as aged 67 (pointing to a birth year of 1793).[3] John was living in Greenup County, Kentucky, when both censuses were taken.

To have borne a child in 1793, Elizabeth Rice would almost certainly have been born by or prior to 1777. If she was the next child of George and Elizabeth Brooks Rice following Ruth, I’d be inclined to think she was born between 1770 and 1775 — perhaps closer to the latter year than to the former. Though I have not found their marriage record, a number of sources state that William McCormick married Elizabeth Rice in Frederick County, Virginia, on 10 January 1795.[4] But if William and Elizabeth married in January 1795, then I wonder why the 20 April 1796 will of Elizabeth’s brother Edmund Rice in Frederick County, discussed in a previous posting, refers to her as “my sister Betty Rice” as he bequeaths his property to her son John Rice.[5] Perhaps because she was Betty Rice at the time her son was born, and Edmund was bequeathing his property to his nephew John Rice, identifying him as Betty’s son?

I have not done exhaustive research to establish a probable year of birth for William McCormick. A number of researchers of the McCormick family appear to think that he was born in or around 1768, though I haven’t seen any source cited to substantiate that claim.[6] I do note that William McCormick first appears on the tax list in Frederick County in 1789, and this may well support a birth year around 1768. If that year of birth is correct, then it appears also to fit well with a probable birthdate of 1770-1775 for Elizabeth Rice.

As I’ve just noted and as was discussed in a previous posting, the 20 April 1796 Frederick County, Virginia, will of Elizabeth’s brother Edmund Rice states that Edmund was bequeathing all the landed property in Frederick County to which he was entitled by his father’s will and all of his landed property in Kentucky and elsewhere to John Rice, son of his sister Betty Rice. William McCormick witnessed this will.[7]

We know from the August 1802 list of children of George Rice found in the case file of the Province McCormick’s chancery case against George’s executors that William McCormick and Elizabeth Rice were definitely married by that date, since the list enumerates “William McCormick and Betsey his wife.”[8]

We also know that Elizabeth had died by 15 April 1808, when Bartholomew Smith’s complaint initiating his suit against George’s executors and heirs states that Betsy had married William McCormick and was now dead.[9] This document also gives us valuable information about Elizabeth’s children by William McCormick: it names them as Province, Polly, Harriet, and Anna, all with surname McCormick, and tells us that all are under 21 in April 1808. We also learn from this case file that up to 2 March 1808, George Rice’s executor James McDonald had been guardian of Elizabeth Rice’s son John Jehu Rice, and that McDonald had died by 2 March 1808, when William McCormick became administrator of George Rice’s estate and guardian of Jehu. Note that James McDonald became sole executor of George’s estate following the death of his co-executor Micajah Roach in Bardstown, Kentucky, in June 1805.

In addition, William McCormick’s 29 September 1808 answer to Smith in the same case file affirms that he is now guardian of Jehu Rice and of his four children by Elizabeth Rice. Then it adds, “the sd Jehu Rice being the son of Betsy Rice now decd who was a Daughter of George Rice.” 

The complaint filed by Elizabeth Brooks Rice in May 1810 as she filed suit in Augusta County chancery court against her son-in-law William McCormick adds other pieces of important information.[10] Elizabeth tells the court that she moved in 1804 or 1805 to live with the family of William McCormick, who was apparently living on land contiguous to hers that he had acquired from George Rice’s estate. Elizabeth claimed that when she made this move, she had entered an agreement with William and his brother Province McCormick to manage her plantation and to share its profits with her, but they had reneged on the promise. Note that if Elizabeth Rice McCormick had died by 1804-5, the four small children she left motherless would have needed their grandmother’s guidance and attention, and that may have been a motive for Elizabeth Brooks Rice’s move to live with the McCormick family at this time. William McCormick would remarry, but not until 21 November 1812, when he married Mary, a Widow McDonald in Frederick County (was Mary the widow of James McDonald?).[11]

In another previous posting, we learn that as he was administering the estate of George Rice following the deaths of executors James McDonald and Micajah Roach, William McCormick paid shares of the estate to various heirs in August 1809. The accounting of those shares appears in an estate return McCormick filed in Frederick County on 3 August 1812.[12] This states that William McCormick had paid a share of George Rice’s estate to his children in August 1809, their mother being deceased.

Finally, as we review previous postings for information about Elizabeth Rice and husband William McCormick, we find that the 12 August 1816 quitclaim deed the heirs of Edmund Rice made to Jehu Rice, as they relinquished interest in Edmund’s Kentucky landholdings, states that William McCormick was acting on behalf of his deceased wife Elizabeth Rice as he quitclaimed her (and his) interest in Edmund’s estate.[13]

Various published sources also provide valuable information about William McCormick and his family. According to J.E. Norris, who gives William’s date of death as 29 July 1824, he and his brothers lived in the part of Frederick County that later became Clarke County and were “men of great strength of character, energetic and enterprising,” all with valuable farms.[14]

William McCormick’s homeplace in what is now Clarke County was called Upton, according to Rose M.E. MacDonald.[15] MacDonald indicates that Upton was built on part of a Lord Fairfax grant to William’s father-in-law Patrick Rice about 1800. Photos of Upton in 1958 and in 1996 are available for viewing at the website of the Clarke County Historical Association. This source states that Upton was built in the last quarter of the 18th century, originally as a log house and later covered by imitation brick, with a two-story, two-bay addition to the original house as an ell on its back.

Lorraine Myers, Stuart Brown, and Eileen Chappel tell us that William McCormick died either on 29 July 1824 or 31 March 1819, and married (1st) Elizabeth Rice, whose father was a captain in the Revolution, and (2nd) Mrs. McDonald of Princeton.[16] He owned a landed estate near what is now West Virginia. By his first marriage, he had one son and three daughters, this source indicates.

History of Virginia’s Virginia Biography volume states the following about William McCormick:[17]

William McCormick, a planter and slaveholder, owned a landed estate about four miles south of Summit Point and just inside the limits of the present Clarke County. January 10, 1795, he wedded Elizabeth Rice, whose father was a captain in the Revolution.

In contrast to J.E. Norris, who gives William McCormick’s death date as 7 July 1824, Hugh Milton McIlhany states that McCormick died 31 March 1819.[18] I am not sure how to account for the discrepancy in death dates or which of the two dates is accurate.

Note that History of Virginia‘s information about William McCormick and Elizabeth Rice’s children is not correct in key respects (see the image at the top of the posting). Their daughter Ann married William Lindsey Pogue, not a Biggs. It was Ann’s half-brother John Jehu Rice who married a Biggs. And Ann’s sister Mary married John Culver, not Henry Pogue.

The Children of William McCormick and Elizabeth Rice

If Bartholomew Smith’s 15 April 1808 complaint initiating his suit against George Rice’s executors and heirs cited above names William McCormick and Elizabeth Rice’s children by order of birth, then these children fall into the following order by birth: Province, Polly, Harriet, and Anna. Province’s date of birth is known with certainty: it was 10 September 1799. As we’ll see in a moment, a number of sources state that Harriet was born 22 June 1801. If Ann was born after Harriet, then her likely birth year would seem to have been around 1802 or 1803.

Robert Bell Woodworth, comp., The Descendants of Robert and John Poage, Pioneer Settlers in Augusta County, Va., etc., vol. 1 (Staunton, Virginia: McClure, 1954), p. 139

However, the 1958 lineage book of the Cincinnati chapter of the Ohio Society of Sons of the American Revolution gives Ann a birth year of 1797.[19] If this is correct information (and I see no proof of it in this source), then Ann may have been the first-born of the children of William McCormick and Elizabeth Rice. Robert Bell Woodworth’s history of the Poage family states, however, that Ann was born 16 January 1801.[20] If that’s a correct birthdate, note that it conflicts with the 22 June 1801 birthdate other researchers have assigned to Ann’s sister Harriet.  

Ann McCormick married William Lindsey Pogue (the surname is also spelled Poage), son of Robert Poage, first surveyor-general of Greenup County, Kentucky, and Robert’s wife Jane Hopkins.[21] I find two different dates and places of marriage for William L. Pogue and Ann McCormick: 12 September 1822, Cabell County, Virginia (now West Virginia); and 8 November 1824, Greenup County, Kentucky.[22] Ann McCormick Pogue had died prior to October 1839, when William Lindsey Pogue married Caroline Ann Roach in Greenup County, Kentucky. As noted in a previous posting, Caroline was a daughter of Griffin T. Roach and Mary Wingate; Griffin was a first cousin of Ann McCormick, a son of Ann’s aunt Ruth Rice Roach. 

As another previous posting indicates, in May 1858 in Lewis County, Kentucky, William L. Pogue filed for divorce from wife Caroline Ann, claiming she had committed adultery. According to Christiane Station at her well-researched Pogue Family in Black and White website and to Daniel Layman at his Layman family tree at Ancestry, William Lindsey Pogue died in Ashland, Kentucky, on 31 March 1881. Daniel Layman says that Caroline Ann died in California in 1905. Christiane Station’s website has valuable information about William L. Pogue, including that he sold a large tract of land in Greenup County, Kentucky, to the Means and Russell Iron Company in 1826 and in the same year formed a company with others to build Bellefonte Furnace. In 1841, this partnership was ended and George Poage, William’s relative, bought the furnace for $36,666.66. Station also states that in 1829, William L. Pogue was among a group who built the Amanda furnace at Russell, Greenup County, Kentucky. William named the furnace for his daughter Amanda. Daniel Layman’s tree indicates that letters of William L. Pogue’s mother Jane and a census listing show that he had a legal education at an institution of higher learning, though it appears he did not practice law. 

Thomas Condit Miller, West Virginia and Its People, vol. 3 (Chicago: Lewis, 1913), pp. 871-2
Alexandria Gazette (11 July 1873), p. 2, col. 5
Alexandria Gazette, (23 July 1873), p. 2, col. 5

Province McCormick, son of William and Elizabeth Rice McCormick, was born 10 September 1799 in Frederick County, Virginia, and died 4 July 1873 at Berryville, Clarke County, Virginia. Province was an honor graduate at Princeton in 1820.[23] He married Margaretta Holmes Moss, daughter of William Moss, on 10 November 1831. Margaretta was born 28 September 1812 and died 26 November 1865. Province was the commonwealth attorney for Clarke County from 1840 to 1866.[24] His obituary in Alexandria Gazette, 21 July 1873, describes him as “the leading citizen of Clarke County” and notes his influence in the county’s affairs.[25] Province and wife Margaretta are buried in Grace Episcopal cemetery at Berryville, Virginia.[26]

Tombstones of Province and Margaretta McCormick are from Province McCormick’s Find a Grave memorial page, Grace Episcopal cemetery, Berryville, Clarke County, Virginia, created by Jeanie, with tombstone photos by Krista Al Qirim

Mary McCormick married John Culver on 2 September 1817 in Frederick County, Virginia.[27] When William Lindsey Pogue and his business partners started the Amanda furnace near Russell, Kentucky, in 1829, as mentioned above, John Culver was among the partners.[28] John Culver died in 1858 at Catlettsburg in Boyd County.[29] The 1850 federal census, showing John enumerated in Greenup County, indicates that he was born in 1790 in Maryland.[30] This census entry does not show him with wife Mary, but with his later wife Charlotte Welkins, whom he married at Nashua, New Hampshire, on 10 August 1838.[31] It appears that Mary had died prior to August 1838. 

Historical marker for Amanda Furnace, Greenup County, Kentucky, at the Historical Marker Database website, with a photo by J.J. Paris, September 2018

Harriet Melvina/Malvina McCormick was born 22 June 1801 in Frederick County, Virginia, and died 4 August 1856 at Hampton, near Berryville, Clarke County, Virginia. Harriet married Alexander Ross Milton on 21 April 1819 in Frederick County. Alexander was born 30 April 1798 at Milton Valley in Frederick County and died at Hampton on 4 February 1862.[32]

As noted above, prior to marrying William McCormick, Elizabeth Rice had a son John Jehu Rice, whose birth year is indicated as either 1793 or 1794 on the 1850 and 1860 federal census.[33] Information about John Jehu is in this previous posting. In addition to what that posting tells us, John Jehu married Mary Elizabeth Biggs, daughter of Andrew Biggs and Judith Robertson in Greenup County, Kentucky, on 11 August 1821.[34] Mary Elizabeth had died by 1850, when the federal census shows John Rice living in the household of his brother-in-law R.M. Biggs.[35] She died at some point after 1833 when their daughter Ann was born. John Jehu appears to have died between 1860 and 1870, probably in Greenup County, Kentucky, where he appears on the federal census in 1870.

In my next posting, I’ll share what I know about George Rice and Elizabeth Brooks Rice’s daughter Mary and husband Joshua Wilson, who were already featured in a previous posting, and about George and Elizabeth’s son George.


[1] Province McCormick vs. Exrs. of George Rice, Augusta County, Virginia, Chancery Court 1808-143, case 10.

[2] Bartholomew Smith vs. Exrs. of George Rice, Augusta County, Virginia, Chancery Court 1810-127, case 49.

[3] 1850 federal census, Greenup County, Kentucky, district 2, p. 163b (dwelling and family 97/97, 27 July), household of R.M. Biggs; and 1860 federal census, Greenup County, Kentucky, Oldtown, p. 775 (dwelling and household 520, 13 July). 

[4] See History of Virginia, vol. 5: Virginia Biography (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1924), p. 317; D.E. Payne and M.N. Kangas, comp., Frederick County, Virginia, Wills & Administrations, 1795-1816 (Baltimore: Geneal. Publ. Col, 1983), p. 16, citing “Fdk. Co. Marrs.”; and Jordan Dodd, comp., Virginia Marriages to 1800, at Ancestry’s database Virginia, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1660-1800.

[5] Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 6, pp. 281-2.

[6] See, e.g., J. Michael Frost’s Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families website

[7] See supra, n. 5.

[8] See supra, n. 1.

[9] See supra, n. 2.

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

[11] See Lorraine F. Myers, Stuart E. Brown, and Eileen M. Chappel, Some Old Families of Clarke County, Virginia (Berryville: Virginia Book Co., 1994).

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

[13] Frederick County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 39, pp. 150-5. This deed is also recorded in Kentucky Court of Appeals Deed Bk. R, pp. 161f, with an abstract in Hattie M. Scott, “Heirs in Court of Appeals Deeds,” Register of Kentucky State Historical Society 42,140 (July, 1944), p. 256.

[14]J.E. Norris, History of The Lower Shenandoah Valley: Counties Frederick, Berkeley, Jefferson, And Clarke, etc. (Chicago: A. Warner, 1890), pp. 627-8.

[15] Rose E. MacDonald, Clarke County, a Daughter of Frederick: A History of Early Families and Homes (Berryville: Blue Ridge Press, 1943), p. 53.

[16] Myers, Brown, and Chappel, Some Old Families of Clarke County, Virginia.

[17] History of Virginia, vol. 5: Virginia Biography, p. 317.

[18] Hugh Milton McIlhany, Some Virginia Families Being Genealogies of the Kinney, Stribling, Trout, McIlhany, Milton, Rogers, Tate, Snickers, Taylor, McCormick, and Other Families of Virginia (Staunton, Virginia: Stoneburner & Prufer, 1903), p. 224.

[19] Ohio State Society of Sons of the American Revolution, Cincinnati Chapter, The 1958 Lineage Book of the Cincinnati Chapter, Ohio Society, Sons of the American Revolution, p. 206. The information is extracted from Province M. Pogue’s 5 June 1930 application for membership. The same date of birth for Ann appears in Thomas Lightfoot Pogue’s 1 November 1929 application for SAR membership in the Cincinnati Chapter.

[20] Robert Bell Woodworth, comp., The Descendants of Robert and John Poage, Pioneer Settlers in Augusta County, Va., etc., vol. 1 (Staunton, Virginia: McClure, 1954), p. 139.

[21] See Ella Warren Harrison, A Chapter of Hopkins Genealogy, 1735-1905 (Chicago: Lakeside, 1905), p. 284, stating that William Lindsey Poage, son of Robert Poage and Jane Hopkins, married 1) Ann McCormick and 2) Caroline Roach (name given as Beach here). On Robert Pogue, first surveyor general of Greenup County, see E. Polk Johnson, A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians (Lewis Publ. Co., 1912), vol. 3, p. 1307. 

[22] Jordan Dodd, comp., Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, at Ancestry’s database U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1740-1850; and Dodd, comp., Kentucky Marriages to 1850, at Ancestry’s database Kentucky, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1802-1850. Note that Woodworth, ibid., gives yet another date for the marriage: 22 December 1822.

[23] See MacDonald, Clarke County, a Daughter of Frederick, p. 53.

[24] For biographical information about Province McCormick, see Thomas Condit Miller, West Virginia and Its People, vol. 3 (Chicago: Lewis, 1913), pp. 871-2; Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Men of Mark in Virginia: Ideals of American Life; A Collection of Biographies of the Leading Men in the State, vol. 3 (Washington, DC: Men of Mark, 1907), p. 241; McIlhany, Some Virginia Families, p. 224; Norris, History of The Lower Shenandoah Valley, p. 628; and Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, vol. 3 (Chicago: Lewis, 1915), pp. 323-4. 

[25] Province’s obituary is in Alexandria Gazette (11 July 1873), p. 2, col. 5; and (23 July 1873), p. 2, col. 5.

[26] See Province McCormick’s Find a Grave memorial page, Grace Episcopal cemetery, Berryville, Clarke County, Virginia, created by Jeanie, with a tombstone photo by Krista Al Qirim.

[27] See Jordan Dodd, comp., Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, at Ancestry’s database Virginia, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1740-1850.

[28] See Eugene B. Willard, Daniel Webster Williams, George Ott Newman, and Charles Boardman Taylor, A Standard History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio, vol. 1 (Chicago: Lewis, 1916), p. 56; and historical marker for Amanda Furnace, Greenup County, Kentucky, at the Historical Marker Database website, with a photo by J.J. Paris, September 2018. 

[29] See Teresa Martin Klaiber, “Slavery in Boyd County, Kentucky,” at the Rising Tide blog.

[30] 1850 federal census, Greenup County, Kentucky, district 2, p. 192B (dwelling and family 505, 24 August).

[31] See the original marriage record from New England Historical Genealogical Society, New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records, Concord, New Hampshire; digitized at Ancestry in its database New Hampshire, U.S., Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659-1947. The marriage record states that John lived at Greensburg, Kentucky, when he married Charlotte Welkin.

[32] Biographical information is in Justin Glenn, The Washingtons: A Family History, vol. 1: Seven Generations of the Presidential Branch (El Dorado Hills, California: Savas, 2014), unpaginated (#1581); Hugh M. Milton, The Milton Genealogy, 1636-1960 (priv. publ. 1960), p. 29, McIlhany, Some Virginia Families, p. 205; and Myers, Brown, and Chappel, Some Old Families of Clarke County, Virginia.

[33] See supra, n. 3.

[34] See Jordan Dodd, comp., Kentucky Marriages to 1850, at Ancestry’s database Kentucky, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1802-1850.

[35] See supra, n. 3.

One thought on “Children of Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and Husband George Rice (abt. 1743 – 1792): Elizabeth Rice (1770/1775 – bef. April 1808) and Husband William McCormick (1768? – 1819 or 1824)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.