The English origins of immigrant John Rice, of Dedham, Massachusetts, have never been identified. Geni user Dale Rice has a family tradition that John Rice was a descendant of the Tudor dynasty. This project explores that tradition and attempts to identify sources that would prove the ancestry of John Rice.
- A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England: ... To which are Added Various Genealogical and Biographical Notes, Collected from Ancient Records, Manuscripts, and Printed Works (Google eBook) John Farmer. Carter, Andrews & Company, 1829 - New England - 351 pages. Page 242. "Rice."
- The pioneers of Massachusetts a descriptive list, drawn from records of the colonies, towns and churches and other contemporaneous documents. By Charles Henry Pope. Published 1900 by C.H. Pope in Boston. Written in English. Page 383. "Rice, Rise, Ryce, Ryse."
- Wikipedia - Dedham, Massachusetts
- Volume 1, The record of births, marriages and deaths, and intentions of marriage, in the town of Dedham ... With an appendix containing records of marriages before 1800, returned from other towns, under the statute of 1857. 1635-1845 ..
- Dedham Historical Register Jan 1898. "John Rice of Dedham."
- Early Dedham Families
- Edmund Rice (1638) Association - Rice Family y-DNA Project Last updated: 2013 Sep 18
- Francis Jones (Wales Herald Extraordinary), "Rickeston and Scotsborough: A study in family history" in The Pembrokeshire Historian No. 2 (1966), pp. 19-47.
- Edward Laws & Emily Hewlett Edwards, Church Book of St. Mary the Virgin, Tenby. (1907).
Key Figures in the Search
- John Rice (c. 1624-1686), an early immigrant to Dedham, Massachusetts. He is first named in the Dedham records in 1649 when he married Ann Hackly
- Ann Hackley (c. 1628-1683), wife of immigrant John Rice
- Edmund Rice (c. 1594-1663), an early immigrant to Massachusetts. He was formerly thought to be the father of John Rice, but DNA testing has shown that the two men were only distantly related.
- Rev. John Allin, of Norfolk & Dedham (1597-1671), the first minister at Dedham, Massachusetts.
- Margaret Littleton (c. 1600-after 1662), wife of Perrot ap Rice.
- Perrot ap Rice (c. 1595 - before 1650), formerly suggested as father of John Rice the immigrant.
English Candidates for John Rice of Dedham
We know from books like Albion's Seed that eastern England (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex) was a major source of immigration to New England in the early 1600s. It was particularly the seedbed of the Puritan elite.
Edmund Rice is known to have lived in this area before coming to America (Stanstead, Suffolk and Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire). We don't know exactly where he was born, but probably somewhere in this area.
The Edmund Rice and John Rice families both belong to Haplogroup I1. This area has one of the highest concentrations of I1 in England. The DNA evidence so far supports this general area for the origin for John Rice of Dedham. The descendants of John Rice match the descendants of Edmund Rice at 20/25. Kind of close, but not close enough to be the same family. A match at this level would be consistent with two families from the same general area, and maybe a common ancestor back around the time surnames were being adopted.
These details make it likely that John Rice belonged to a family with roots in eastern England.
1. John Ries of Mistley There was a John Ries, christened 31 January 1629 in Mistley, Essex, son of John Ries and Rachell. This couple had other children at Mistley.
Now, the interesting thing about Mistley is that it's only 4.7 miles from Dedham. It's easy to imagine that young John Ries / Rice, of Mistley would have heard the fiery preaching of John Rogers and might have been prompted to move with others in the area to Dedham, Mass. It's also interesting to note that Matthew Hopkins, New England's witch hunter, came from Mistley.
If it turned out that this John Ries was the John Rice, of Dedham, then he would have been about the right age — almost 21 — when he married Ann Hackly. And, we can notice in passing that John Rice, of Dedham, Mass. had a daughter Rachel, which was the name of this John Ries' mother.
Elizabeth Disborough (Shepherd) was born in Mistley in 1621 (8 years before John Reis), and she was received into the church at Dedham, Mass. in 1650, just a year after John Rice was married there. She was already married when she was received into the church. Her husband Thwaite Strickland was one of the original settlers of Dedham, Mass.
Also I notice that this Elizabeth left Dedham and ultimately settled in Connecticut. So did two of John Rice's children. This is part of a general migration pattern for the area, so we don't want to make too much of it, but it reinforces the possibility of a connection.
All of this still isn't proof of anything. It's just circumstantial evidence. All it means is that there was a family at Dedham, Mass. that had a "neighbor" back in England with the name John Rice. Could it be the same John Rice? Maybe. I'd want to see more connections between the two. In the best of all worlds there would turn out to be an English will from the Shepherds or Rices in this area that names a member of the other family.
2. There was also another couple at Mistley, John and Francis (Holmsted) Rice who were having children in this period, but I don't see that they had a son John.
3. John Rice 1620, putative nephew of Edmund Rice Edmund Rice's ancestry is officially unknown, but there is quite a lot of chatter that suggests he was the Edmund Rice, born about 1594 at Stanstead (Suffolk) and that his wife Thomasine Frost was the sister of the Elizabeth Frost who married Henry Rice, also of Stanstead.
A mile away (in Glemsford) were two other Rices — Margaret (married Ambrose Wyatt) and John Rice of Glemsford (married Katherine Wyatt). This Margaret and John were perhaps siblings (or cousins) of Edmund and Henry.
Now, the interesting thing is that John and Katherine had a son John Rice, born in 1620. If this Edmund was Deacon Edmund, and if this John was John of Dedham, then John of Dedham was a nephew (not son) of Deacon Edmund. The ERA's operating assumption seems to be that John of Dedham was John born 1620. The dates work, and this John could reasonably have have come to New England through his connection with Edmund Rice.
The problem is that the DNA doesn't quite work. John of Dedham comes close to Deacon Edmund, but not close enough. Likely, they had a distant common ancestor but were not immediate relatives.
If (and this is a big if) we allow for the possibility that John Rice 1620 was not the biological son of his supposed father John, then we would have a direct link to a second possibility for John of Dedham. We could add this John 1620 to our list of candidates, to stand alongside the John 1630.
What the ERA is not willing to accept is that their ancestor Edmund is necessarily this Edmund Rice, and even if he is, that John 1620 was his nephew. They don't like resorting to a "non-paternal" event to explain the DNA.
OBJECTION: There is no reason to believe Edmund & John knew each other. They traveled in very different circles in America. Edmund was only a religious opportunist, and there is no reason to think John was anything but a good church going Puritan. Or there would be a record.
COUNTERARGUMENT: I'm not particularly persuaded by the objection that they moved in different circles. I think it's fairly easy to imagine that a nephew might be stricter and more "more Puritan" than his uncle. They might not even have come to America at the same time, but still both come to America as part of the same broad movement.
Discussion by Dale Rice
According to Pembrokshire history on line: William Mercer 1534 M Alice Hensdale 1538-1598 and their only child was JOhn MERCER 1568... ..see pages 20-24 of webjournals.llgd-id1041698.
Margaret Mercer ca 1580 or 1578 is a person of unknown Paternity. (comment: her father is identified in multiple sources as William Mercer, Esq., of Lancashire. See "sources" tab for details).
The Coats of Arms carved into the Panel on the tomb include the shields of : ap Rice: Martin: Bateman: Roche: Valens: deVere: Mercer and a spanish surname..possibly Ayalla.....These names have a distinctly French background and DNA test results for Perrott ap Rice believed to be father of my 7th great grandfather are also considered to be from Northern France/Denmark...The name Perrott ap Rice is also a French derivation. DCR (comment: The coats of arms carved into the panel of Margaret's tomb are those of her husband's family: Ap Rees, Martin of Cemmaes, Marles of Marloes, Batman of Honeyborough, Perrot of Scotsborough, Verney (?). Levelance (?), and Roche. These are all local Welsh families.)
John Parrott II was the son of Sir JOhn Perrott ca 1525 and Syble Berkley Johns. She was 1/2 sister to Elizabeth Berkley Rice. The child born by Elizabeth prior to marriage was named Margaret Rice Warren, aka possibly Margaret Mercer 1580 placed in the household of Wm. and Johanna Mercer of Pembrokshire. The story of the 1/2 sisters (BERKLEY) came down Aurally from Samuel G. RICE to his son Dale C. RICE and the investigation is not yet completed, but the DNA matches for John RICE 1624 and Perrott II sons and the EDWARDES lines are all proved to be I-1 Haplogroup and 25/25 match with SC born Wm DAVIS 1550. a locale visited by Perrott II on the trade routes he followed in Jamaca and BARBADOS. The above information should be treated as likely, but not PROVED as there is no Baptismal paperwork yet found. DCR1948
Perrott ap Rice was a very real person of standing and wealth in Tenby, Wales. The family seat at nearby Carew Castle had been held for hundreds of years by the Family of Sir Rhys ap Thomas and the Perrott's. Sir John Perrott's mother, Mary Berkley, had an encounter with the soverign Henry Tudor and Sir John Perrott (1527) ended up with the Castle formerly occupied by Sir Rhys ap Thomas and his grandson. The family had fabulous wealth in lands and once the last heir was executed in 1531 on Tower Hill for conspiracy against the King the Estate at Carew escheated back to the crown and Sir John Perrott became the owner. Thomas ap Rice 1570 inherits lands from father John Rice II....and his eldest son, Perrott ap Rice ca 1600 is declaired dead by 1641. Thus the grand son James ap Rice inherits the lands from Grandfather Thomas ap Rice. Perrot's wife, Margaret Littleton, has to sue in court to recieve her Widow's share to get them.
Perrot's son James is of age by 1650 and receives his father's lands as the sole heir who can do, since his Uncle Captain John Rice died in service to the King's Army. And Wife, Margaret Littleton sued in court to receive her Widows share, never remarried. James's son ,James ap Rice, took over the estates and properties about 1700 and had to sell them to a local business person named RICKSON to clear the debts and mortgages in 1710....The last known report of James ap Rice born1675 was a tanner by that name who was assessed a fee on 3 hearths for his home and was listed as the collector of the Lay Subsidy Tax.....last known record is 1712 ca when his name disappears from Pembrokshire records....and we assume he emigrated to the Virginia Colony., but that is not known for certain.
The Perrott ap Rice we are trying to understand was born 75 years after his famous grandfather Sir John Perrott 1527, and sir John's 2md cousin, Katherine Perrott, married John Rice II 1540 of Rickerson, their children included Perrott's father Thomas ap Rice born 1570, and seven other children. However, before Thomas ap Rice Died 1650, his son Perrott disappeared just prior to the outbreak of the English Civil War, 1640. He left Oweing a huge personal debt that did not encumber the lands of his father, because Perrott faked his own death and left for America to begin life anew as John Rice. Doccuments created by his cousin, Sheriff of Pembrokshire, William Barlow show he was dead, but there is no grave, and no marker in Wales.
The aural History of my family indicates he had a 14 year old son by a woman identified as TAMZIN ....and since John Rice 1624 was from the same area as Thomasine and EDMUND Rice it is not too far a stretch to understand that when Tamzine and Edmund left for The Plantation of Masacheuttes 1638, they left John Rice behind or he was not related to them....The behavior of Perrott says he was related to John Rice 1624 because somehow a 14 year old got to Sudburry , Ma. by early OCt. 1641-2 and settled in the Framingham, an out lying PURITAN community most westward of Sudburry....Where he worked faithfully to join the Puritan community and won the hand of Native Born Anne Hackley of Dedham Sept 27, 1649. Perrott ap Rice aka, John Rice 1600 , is not known in those parts after the brief appearance in 1642 but family documents say the Rice Brother's Emigrated to NewYOrk where they homsteaded in the Katskill Mountains, in Indian territory....
I have found records of Early Settlers on the the James River with the name John Price and a Rice Hughes 1652, brought a younger brother over to help with the tading no doubt. That would be Perrott's youngest son by Margaret Littleton-Rice born 1637 three years before he left for the New World and his $1.3 Million dollars of personal debt behind....uncollected because his father Thomas was still alive and not part of the Debt. We are looking for any descendents of John Rice Hughes the Trader for DNA comparrison. Dale C. Rice 1948 Nebraska Rices.
John ap Rice II 1540 is the second son named John born to William ap Rice ca 1475 and his first wife Elizabeth /Bateman, He is known to have married the Heiress, Katherine Perrott of Scottsborogh....one may see his pedigree on the Monument to his son's Thomas ap Rice1570 wife, Margaret Mercer1580 a large beautifuuly carved monument at St. Mary The Virgin Church in TENBY Wales, the family seat near Carew Castle....William ap Rice 1475 & his wife, Elizabeth Bateman are named as are the descendant family's which include Alswyn Martin....Mother of William Rice, Daffid ap Rice and many other notables on the monument inside the ST. Mary's Church such as: Mercer, ap Rhys, Roach, PERROTT,and six others have their peer coats of ARMS carved on the monument.... of Margaret Mercer reclining on two pillows wtih the right hand under her cheek....Margaret died in Child birth and bore Thomas ap Rice son of John II Rice, 10 children in 12 years 7 of which lived. Perrott ap Rice 1600 is My 7th Great Grandfather and is the Father of JOhn RICE 1624 of East Anglia, England, Proved by DNA of Dale C. RICE 1948 of Nebraska. family traces is lineage to, Perrott ap Rice of Tenby Wales, and who faked his own DEATH to Deliver his son Back to his mother, TAMZIN. Perrott took the name of his deceased brother: Captain John Rice and set up a trading post on the James River near Otter Laker Virginia in Indian Territory.
SPECULATIVE: [I] BELIEVE His Companion was NECOTOWANASEE (SHE WHO SWEEPS DEW FROM THE FLOWERS) HE IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS TRADER JOHN RICE HUGHES IN THOSE PARTS.
Margaret Mercer 1580, Perrott ap Rice's Mother is Descended from William Mercer: DCR 1948