New Information About the Rice Family of Frederick County, Virginia

Transcript of register of bible of Patrick Rice of Frederick County, Virginia, done in April 1898 by John Seaton at house of Adolphus Lafayette Reid, Greenup, Kentucky, apparent owner of this blbie in 1898; transcript found in the bible of George Rice, son of Jehu Rice of Greenup County, Kentucky
Transcript of register of bible of Jehu Rice, son of Elizabeth Rice, apparently done in April 1898 by John Seaton at house of Adolphus Lafayette Reid, Greenup, Kentucky, who perhaps owned the Jehu Rice bible in 1898; transcript found in the bible of George Rice, Jehu’s son

Or, Subtitled: Precious Transcripts of Old Bible Registers, Tucked Away in Family Bibles

This posting is another interruption in the series I’m currently doing about the children of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and wife Sarah Whitlock of Wythe County, Virginia, Wayne County, Kentucky, and Morgan County, Alabama. I’ve promised you a continuation of my discussion of the family of Thomas and Sarah’s son Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879). I’ll soon be posting information about Thomas W. Brooks’s children by his wives Nancy Gillespie and Nancy Westfall.

27 thoughts on “New Information About the Rice Family of Frederick County, Virginia

  1. This is new information to me and a of great importance. Thank you for posting it.

    I’ve found one Geni profile from 2017 that has the marriage of Patrick Rice and Elizabeth Decou listed but I don’t know what their original sourcing was.

    There is a mess with his son, John Rice. — Every online lineage I’ve seen has Patrick’s first son as “John Rice Sr” and John Rice sr’s son being “John Rice Jr” born ca 1745 – died 1802. He was the founder of Rice’s Landing, PA.

    If this transcription is accurate obviously these online lineages are incorrect and something needs to be made of this extra “John Rice Sr.” — Whatever the case, according to Pastor John Corbly researchers John Rice Sr, “Jr” and early Rices were neighbors of parishioners of Pastor John Corbly, an oft persecuted early Baptist minister, explorer, and pioneer church builder who was jailed multiple times. – He deeded his land to “John Rice Sr” and story has it after Corbly’s wife died the “John Rice Sr” family fostered Corby’s family while he was traveling the Frontier. When he made it back, he deeded his land. — A lot of Rice’s show up with Corbly in the right times and places and follow his migration to Louisville and Jefferson County, KY. Which is where my EKA line shows up.

    Thanks again!


    1. Thank you for this response. Yes, such valuable material, and I agree that there has been much confusion about Patrick Rice’s son John. You probably know much more about the Rice family than I do. My primary goal in researching it has been to figure out the connection to the Brooks family, which obviously goes beyond the marriage of Elizabeth Brooks to Patrick Rice’s son George Rice. The two families lived near each other in Frederick County, show up in deeds and wills of each other, and had mutual ties to the Hollingsworths. This has made me want to know more about the Rices, and especially where Patrick Rice came from before he was in Frederick County.

      If he was an Irish immigrant directly to Frederick County, as many researchers have thought, then I wonder how it happened that he married Elizabeth Decow, who was clearly part of a Quaker family in Burlington County, New Jersey. I wonder how and when they met.

      I, too, have found a great deal of confusion about Patrick’s son John, as you say. It sounds to me as though your Rices of Rice’s Landing may well have had close ties to the family in Frederick County, Virginia, but I still know so little about the family in Frederick County that I’m not sure I could pinpoint how they were connected.


  2. Yes, that’s the information I have about this John Rice. You’ll have to help me understand how this will doesn’t match up with Patrick Rice’s bible transcript. I think this is John son of Patrick, born 11 August 1744, according to Patrick’s bible record. I can’t see how the will would conflict with that bible record. Please help me understand what you mean.


    1. I guess there’s just a hiccup or potential identification somewhere I dont understand either. Patrick Rice’s son, John Rice, is often listed as “John Rice Sr” born 1730 in every online lineage I’ve seen. His supposed son, “John Rice Jr” is often listed as being born in 1745 and was said to be the founder/namesake of Rice’s Landing, PA. He married Sarah Roach, sister to Thomas Roach.

      His listed children were:

      were William, owned the Brick Tavern House at Rices Landing and ran the ferry; m. Rebecca; d. abt. 1851
      John III
      Thomas, b. 5 Apr 1774; m Susannah Myers, dau. of George Myers, Sr.
      Nancy, m. William Harrod, son of Capt. William and Amelia (Stephens) Harrod; removed to Kentucky then to Indiana
      Mary, m. Henry Sharpnack
      Rachel, m. Robert McMinn of Ireland
      Nathan, administrator of his father’s will; d. intestate about 1821
      Hannah 1762 – 1850 m. Amos Milner
      Sarah, m. Mr. Harling

      It is quite confusing. According to Cresswell’s Journal, Capt George Rice, son of Patrick visited his unnamed brother South of Fort Pitt (which is where Rice’s Landing, about 50 or so miles on the Monongahela)

      The ages I don’t think match up. If this “John Rice Sr” or John son of Patrick was born in 1745, it seems it wouldn’t be his son John who in 1780, obtained a Virginia Certificate issuing him 389 acres in Rice’s Landing. The year is also listed as 1786, would would certainly not be John son of Patrick since he was said to have died in 1785 according to the will.

      It is something I will have to dig into.


      1. Thanks for continuing to help me understand. I really don’t see a strong reason to doubt the testimony of Patrick Rice’s bible that he had a son John born 11 August 1744. I’m also pretty sure this John is the man who married Hannah Roach, daughter of Richard Roach and Hannah Sands. I’m also pretty sure this John died before 3 May 1785 in Frederick County, Virginia. His will does indicate he had a son John, who would have had to have been born at least 20 years after 1744. Sr. and Jr. don’t necessarily mean, of course, that one man designated as Sr. is the father of another man designated as Jr. — only that the man designated as Sr. is older than the Jr. and living in the same area, hence the need to use the Sr. and Jr. designation.


      2. As I keep thinking about this: If the information that John Rice Jr. was born in 1745 is correct, and John Rice Sr. was his father, then I’d have to conclude that John Rice Sr. is not the John Rice who was a son of Patrick Rice, but a relative — brother, perhaps? What makes me reluctant to entertain that possibility is that I just don’t find in the Rice records I’ve sifted through an older John Rice of the generation of Patrick. Admittedly, I have done little research except on Patrick and his family, but I would tend to think there would be a clear documentary trail to an older John who is of the generation of Patrick. I do wonder if something is garbled in the family histories that show a John Rice having a son John when the older man was only 15. I think the best way to sort this out is to work back from the records documenting the Rices at Rice’s Landing and see what trail back in time can be discovered. I have tended to think, by the way, that the brother Creswell mentions George Rice visiting was Zachariah Connell, George’s brother-in-law. As you know, at this period, brothers- and sisters-in-law were called usually simply brothers and sisters, without the in-law tag added.


      3. I dont believe the assumption about brother being connell is correct. Cresswell specifically mentions brother in law, and at a later date brother is mentioned south of Ft Pitt.

        I also noticed Edward (Edmund) Rice is mentioned as loaning a horse to a Cresswell’s crew in Sept 1775 which leads me to believe it is Georges brother Edmund.


      4. Thank you for the additional information about what Creswell says. I think I missed some of his references to George Rice’s relatives, and will add notes about that to what I posted about Creswell’s journal and George Rice. As I think I may have said to you in other communications, I wonder if Edmund, brother of George Rice, may actually be the missing link you’re seeking to track the Rice’s Landing Rices back and see how they connect to the Frederick County Rices, as it appears they do. I have done very little research on John, Edmund, and their brother-in-law Zachariah Connell — on the Pennsylvania branches of Patrick Rice’s family, that is — and don’t think I’ve been very helpful to you, because I know next to nothing about those sets of Rices.


  3. One thing I’d like to point out: there’s just a lot of misinformation in family trees for the Patrick Rice family. The information that his son John was born in 1730 or thereabouts was bad guesswork of a lot of folks in the past. We now know from his family bible that he married wife Elizabeth Decow on 3 December 1734, in all likelihood where she lived, in Mansfield, Burlington County, New Jersey. And we have a firm — as far as I’m concerned — birthdate for their son John, 11 August 1744. Elizabeth’s name has long been given erroneously in various trees as Brooks. It was Patrick’s son George who married Elizabeth Brooks, however. I see trees misidentifying John Rice’s wife Hannah (or so I have concluded) as someone other than Hannah Roach. I’m confident his wife was Hannah, daughter of Richard Roach and Hannah Sands, whose son Micajah married George Rice and Elizabeth Brooks’s daughter Ruth.


    1. I appreciate the information. I’ve definitely noticed that. Pastor John Corbly has things to say about the John Rice/Hannah Rice family and says that John Rice, father of Edmund, George, James, Mary, Sarah, watched Corbly’s family while he was on the frontier and eventually deeded his land when he returned, which there is a sales record of.

      There’s certainly something people are missing. I’m pretty new at this. Not one to trust other’s unsourced or poorly sourced information.

      But the John Rice of Rice’s Landing married a Sarah Roach, whose brother was Thomas Roach. Thomas Roach is kind of an anchor for this John Rice. They show up together in records/censuses/petitions along with my suspected William Rice.

      I haven’t been able to connect Thomas Roach with Micajah Roach.


      1. John Corbly’s information is very valuable — and still confusing to me. When he speaks of the Rice family taking care of his children, and his children playing with the Rice children, he seems to be speaking of Frederick County in the latter half of the 1760s. And he speaks of John Rice with wife Hannah as father of the Rice children, whose names he gives. Then, later, he speaks of John Rice Jr. going with a group of settlers to Pennsylvania. This can’t be the son of John with wife Hannah, who was born 11 August 1746. That John Jr. would have been only a child in the latter part of the 1760s. Something’s mixed up here, and I can’t quite untangle the knots.


  4. I should also add that Cresswell/ George Rice seems to have visited Zachariah Connell in late April.

    on September 14th Cresswell is at Fort Pitt. And 2 weeks later he meets Edward Rice, who loans him a horse, which lends further credence to the idea that George’s “brother South of Fort Pitt” was Edmund/Edward Rice.

    “Fort Pitt—Thursday, September 14th, 1775. Got to Fort Pitt about noon

    Saturday, September 30th, 1775. Went over the River and bought a Porcupine Skin of an
    Indian. It is something like our Hedgehog at home, only the quills are longer, the Indians
    dye them of various colours and work them on their trinkets. Mr. Edward Rice promised
    me his horse to carry me to V. Crawford’s on Monday”


      1. Yes, apologies for the seeming repetition. I meant the post to point out the timing/dates between Cresswell’s journal mentioning Georges “brother in law” in April, Zachariah Connelx and the 5 months later when they were around Ft Pitt/Edward/Edmund Rice which lent some truth to it being his brother Edmund being the unnamed brother.


      2. You may well be right that the brother George was visiting was his brother Edmund. Not sure what it was in Cresswell’s text that gave me the idea when I read it that it was Zachariah Connell to which the reference to George’s brother pointed.


  5. I couldn’t find the other article I replied to.

    But a John McCormick served as a witness to a Robert Worthington in Frederick Co, VA Deed Books 1743-1758

    According to the records on this page the same Robert Worthington was a witness along with Simeon Rice on another record.

    Frederick Co, VA Deed Books 1743-1758 FHL book 3 Nov1746 Robert WORTHINGTON of Frederick Co to William McKAY of same. £75 for 435 acres being on a branch of Shenandoah River called Bullskin Run on the head of the north fork of same, and being part of a tract of 3,000 acres Granted by Patent to Robert WORTHINGTON now dec’d on 3 Oct 1734 and being part of 600 acres allotted for the said Robert WORTHINGTON out of the aforesaid 3,000 acres by an Order & Decree in Orange County Court. Witnesses: Samuel WALKER, William MITCHELL & **John McCORMICK** (land now in Clarke Co, VA)

    Frederick Co, VA Deed Books 1743-1758 FHL book 16 Mar 1754 Know all men by these presents that I, Hugh WALKER of Cecil County in Maryland. . . for sundry good cause and considerations, nominated, constituted and appointed in my place and stead my trusty and well beloved friend John HARDIN of Frederick County in Virginia, my true and lawfull attorney, to ask, demand, recover and receive for me in my name. . . And to my use. . . of William DAVIS & Samuel WALKER of County of Frederick the sum of £60 of good and lawfull money of Virginia oweth to me. Witnesses: Robert WORTHNGTON, George LYNCH, Richard MOUNTS, John HARDIN jr & Simon RICE

    If this John McCormick is closely related to William Mccormick, who married Elizabeth Rice daughter of George certainly it isn’t all coincidence?

    The mess of “John Rice Sr” and “John Rice Jr” is definitely a tangle for another day or something I will have to try to outsource. As you’ve mentioned previously, I think the answer could rely on an elder John being around and called “Sr” vs a younger later John being Jr.

    As for the Jon Rice/Thomas Hart witness connection from the previous record mentioned, certainly that can’t be a coincidence either? They were listed as neighbors in the area to Simon/Simeon/Cimon Rice.


    1. Definitely very interesting finds. The Worthington connection seems worth pursuing. I think perhaps the John McCormick who witnessed the 1746 deed is Dr. John McCormick, progenitor of the McCormick family in Frederick County and grandfather of William McCormick who married Elizabeth Rice. I just can’t place Simeon Rice, unfortunately. He’s a new name for me — but as I’ve said before, given how little (virtually nothing) that seems to be known of Patrick Rice’s background, it’s entirely possible he had relatives of his generation or older in Frederick County.


      1. I wanted to follow up here- According to a VA militia record from Frederick Co and 1758-

        George, Edward, and Patrick Rice served with a Robert Worthington in the VA Militia. Simeon Rice’s relationship to Patrick Rice doesn’t seem to be much explored online and they seemed to be tied together in location and contemporaries. – Persons specifically Robert Worthington and the McCormick family, along with Thomas Hart.


        Another note on the VA that is peculiar is the three VanMetres listed. Van Metres are in early SW PA/NW VA records with Rice’s before they also end up in Louisville/Jefferson County KY.

        in 1773 in the Annals of SW Pennsylvania A Henry Van Metre shows up with John Rice, Thomas Roach, Acquilla Martin(said to be John Rice’s wife’s brother-in-law), and a man named William Rice whom I am almost positive is my earliest known ancestors father and the man, and his family, whom I’m trying to track down.

        Annals link:


      2. Thank you for this additional interesting and valuable information. I think the Edward Rice named in the militia list was likely Edmund/Edmond. Your discovery of Simeon Rice seems to me a promising avenue for further research. Until you had told me about him, I had not encountered him.

        I had mentioned to you I’d see if I could find more information for you on the Rice’s Landing branch of the Rice family, and I did do some research. The one piece of information I found that seems to me important is the following — and it’s possible I’m giving you information you already have: John Rice entered 389 acres at the Rice’s Landing site on 15 April 1780, and the land was surveyed 4 February 1785, with the warrant for the land issued 2 March 1786. John got this tract of land as a Virginia certificate. The original land entry is apparently recorded in an untitled book in the Pennsylvania Archives of land entries of tracts issued in Pennsylvania under Virginia jurisdiction, 1779-1780 — and this book was published in Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd series, vol. 3, pp. 483-573. The entry for John Rice is on p. 6 of the original book, certificate 88 for Cumberland township.

        If you don’t have this land record, I think it would be really important to get a copy of the original. If it mentions where John Rice lived at the time the land certificate was given to him, or the names of other Rices connected to him, it would help you figure out where he came from — and possibly his connection to the Frederick County, Virginia, Rice family.


      3. Thank you for the information and specifics.

        I have seen references but not the primary document. Every place online seems to think the Rice’s Landing John Rice is the son of this supposed John Rice Sr, not Patrick Rice, and would be Patrick Rice’s Grandson not his son. According to the Bible register posted on your blog here there’s something wrong with that assumption. But the supposed date of birth and contemporaries tie him back to the Frederick County VA area. You’d have to imagine it was also either Edward Rice(who was in the area), or John Rice who was the “brother living south of Fort Pitt(Rice’s Landing)” mentioned by Nicholas Cresswel’s journall and George Rice, son of Patrick.

        A couple of other interesting tidbits – We can basically pinpoint where Simeon Rice’s land was:

        1763–OWNED GRIST MILL/RIONS RAN NEARBY FULLING MILL/NEIGHBORS: Another early mill owner in early Jefferson County was William Vestal (first husband of Hannah Potts, who married William’s son Thomas). See notes of son Thomas, RIN 23799, for an account of what happened to William’s mills from 1769 on–also for more about William’s neighbors in Jefferson County, including Gershom Keyes (RIN 7301–land transactions 1763 involving his son Humphrey (RIN 699), Joseph McCormacks, John Carlyle, John Gladdion, John Sewell, John Crow, Simeon Rice, and Robert Harper. –shb 1 Mar 2000

        1763–OTHER FREDERICK COUNTY NEIGHBORS: See 1763 notes of William’s son-in-law Humphrey Keyes for land survey by John Semple [there are “Sample” grants on p. 138–shb], of Maryland, assignee of Gersham Keys–lists land on south of Shanandoah “adj. Humphrey Keyes, his own (G. Keyes) land. Robt. Harper. CC – ****Thos Hart & Jno Rice. Survey Thomas Rutherford.” –shb 27 Sep 2000****

        A question here would be who is this “Jon Rice” with Thomas Hart. I am unsure what his name means attached to this record, and his relationship with Thomas Hart who shows up with other Rice’s in records. – Is it the son of Patrick Rice, b 1745, founder of Rice’s Landing?


      4. I do think finding those land records — and getting copies of the originals — would be a great step, since they’re the first thing that pins your John Rice to the Rice’s Landing spot, and because the land grant originated in Virginia, that confirms he was there before settling in Pennsylvania. My own deduction is that, with the name John repeating in the Rice family, family lore and/or historians have oversimplified the story of which John Rice was the Rice’s Landing settler. You’re doing good work, fleshing out the records for and story of Simeon Rice. I’ll see if I can help you track that original land record.


      5. I appreciate what information you’ve dug up and respect your research here on everything along with what feedback you can give.

        As I’ve said before, I think, my main purpose here is to deduce who my EKA Jonathan B Rice’s father was, a man named William and said to be with some of the earliest immigrants to Jefferson County Ky.

        And before I’ve mentioned my unproven theory that he could be the son of Edmund Rice (son of Patrick brother of George) – I’ve never seen any online lineages regarding Edmund having children however.

        I’m almost positive he is the William Rice on the petition in of Petitions of the early inhabitants of Kentucky to the General Assembly of Virginia read 1780 – He is with a John Rice in that petition. Probably his brother. My Jonathan B Rice and his brother Captain William M Rice (d1829) came out of Henry County Kentucky. A William Rice has died there in 1807 with a will that only mentions a brother, John. In the same petition are other SW PA/NW VA immigrants – Also a lot of Bantas, low dutch, who settled in the drennons creek/ six mile creek area of now Henry County KY which is where my Jonathan B and William M Rice lived. Bantas served under Captain William M Rice in the war of 1812 and Of course the militia was formed from other locals.

        One name that specifically sticks out on the petition is Ezekiel Hickman. Ezekiel Hickman is also in a 1770 Tyrone Township/SW PA census whose next door neighboor is none other than Edmund Rice.


      6. I don’t recall finding any published lineages naming children of Edmund Rice, son of Patrick, either. I do know Edmund had a wife Ruth as of June 1773, since she gave her release when Edmond (the spelling used here) Rice of Frederick County deeded to Michael and Bartholomew Smith land at the head of Long Marsh, with the deed noting that the land had been granted to Patrick Rice 14 April 1752, and had been transferred by Patrick to his two sons George and Edmund (Frederick Co. DB 16, p. 309). Ruth gave her release on 2 June 1773.

        Part of the problem, as you know, is that a lot of researchers have confused Patrick’s son Edmund with Edmund, son of George Rice and Elizabeth Brooks, who did not have children. I suspect that since many researchers think they “know” what became of Edmund son of Patrick — that he died testate without children in 1797 — they have not investigated his uncle Edmund to see what became of him and whether he had children.


  6. I can’t help with the sorting of who was who in the lineage of the John Rice who founded Rices Landing in PA. I am researching that place and that John Rice for an article for the Royce Family Association Quarterly. (Robert Royce, immigrant to Colonial New England had many descendants whose surname morphed to Rice.)

    I am pretty sure from my own brief research and what I have read in this post above, that the John Rice of Rices Landing was a southern Rice family and probably totally unrelated to either Robert Royce of New England or Edmund Rice of Sudbury MA. There is an Edmund Rice y-DNA group on FTDNA and there is a Robert Royce y-DNA group that a man in our association administers.

    I would like to hear more about any y-DNA info you have on the southern Rice lines. Thanks


    1. Thank you for your comment and the helpful information. A Rice, the Rice researchar who has left a thread of comments here about the Rice family of Rice’s Landing, has done much more research on that branch of the Rice family than I have, and I think he should be very intereted in your information. It meshes with his own findings — namely, that thie Rice family of Rice’s Landing is definitely a Southern Rice family and appears to have blood ties to the Rices of Frederick County, Virginia, who used the given name Edmund. I’m hoping A Rice will see your comment. I will also see if I can put the two of you in touch with each other.


    2. Hi Kate,

      Direct relatives of “John Rice Jr” and/or his sons are in Group 14 of the Rice surname Y Dna project.

      My EKA was a Jonathan B Rice (1790 ky -1872 d kankakee). His father was a man named William. Jonathan B Rice had a brother who was a captain in the war of 1812, in the Battle of the Thames at Tecumseh’s death, and a Kentucky State Rep in 1816. They settled in the six mile creek area of now Henry County Ky. Eventually Jonathan moved to Indiana then Illinois.

      My YDNA has connected me very closely to the direct relatives of Rice’s landing rices but precisely how is a big mystery.

      I’ve compiled a bunch of old records of my eka’s father placing a William Rice with the right places/time/people but his exact relation is unknown.


      1. Thanks for getting back to me. The Royce Family Association has someone managing our y-DNA “off books” or something—(tests thru FTDNA.) Keeping it private. But I see on FTDNA and also on the Edmund Rice dot org site that they have a group 14 for Rices Landing and a group 3 for descendants of Robert Royce.


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