Isabella Menife

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Isabella Menife (Smyth)

Also Known As: "Isabella (Smyth) Pace Perry Menife"
Birthdate: (40)
Birthplace: Stepney, Greater London, UK
Death: Died in Charles City, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Smythe and Ann Smith
Wife of Richard Pace, Jr., Ancient Planter; Capt. William Perry of Westover, Ancient Planter and George Menife of James City
Mother of George Pace and Capt. Henry Perry of Buckland
Sister of Francis Smith

Occupation: Investor in the Virginia Company, Mother
Managed by: Daniel James Huss
Last Updated:

About Isabella Menife

Part Two: On From Jamestown. By Martha Pace Gresham

We must talk of Isabella Smyth Pace.  She and Richard were investors in the Virginia Company and therefore may have been financially better off that most. She appears to have been an intelligent, tough-mined woman who evidently understood business.  Isabella saw the bigger picture and was able to take advantage of the opportunities offered in their rugged new world.  Remember that our ancestors were not accustomed to the high standard of living that we enjoy today. There were no super-markets and food was always scarce, no drugstores, clothes were made at home, usually from cloth woven at home.

Isabella had received her own head-right land of 100 acres and claimed it in Surry County next to Richard’s acreage.  She also received, at one time, 300 acres on Jamestown Island, which she had to cultivate or lose. Some sources indicate that she acquired some of her land by head rights from her investment in the ships that brought women of high character to the colony as prospective wives.

Isabella was widowed in her mid-thirties and quickly remarried her husband’s good friend and neighbor, William Perry.  Their remarriage was necessary, as in all frontier communities, for the shelter and protection of the women and children.  With this marriage, she still maintained as separate property the Richard Pace family’s holdings for her son, George, until he reached his maturity. (This was unusual at that time as the wife’s property always went to the husband.)

The Perrys also had a son, Henry, so George Pace had a half-brother.  Later, after William Perry died, Isabella married George Menifie, who was the wealthiest man in the colony.  He was an attorney who trafficked in land, tobacco and laborers and also a member of the Council. Isabella’s second son, Henry Perry, eventually married George Menife’s daughter and also was a member of the Council.

Isabella Perry

20 SEP 1628 James City Co.

200 Acres. Within the corporation of James City, on the southern side of the river, at the plantation called "Paces Paine" & formerly granted to herself and her late husband Richard Pace, decd. Patents 1, pg. 62.

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Isabella Menife's Timeline

Stepney, Greater London, UK
December 1609
Age 20
London, Middlesex, England
Age 36
Westover, Charles City, Virginia
August 26, 1629
Age 40
Charles City, Virginia