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Richard Nance

Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: Saint Keverne, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
Death: 1669 (64)
Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Harry Nance and Jane Nance
Husband of Alice Unknown and Jane Nance
Father of William Nance, Sr.; Elizabeth Walpole; John Webb Nance, Sr. and Captain Thomas Nance
Brother of William Nance; Dorothy Nance; Margery Nance; John Nance; Henry Nance and 3 others

Occupation: Came to America on Ship "Jonathan" as an indentured servant; plantation owner
Managed by: Sean Patrick Feeney
Last Updated:

About Richard Nance

Richard Nance, land owner St. Ives 1629, the father of two daughters, died St. Ives 1669.

Richard Nance was the second son of John Harry and Jane _______ Nance of St. Kerverne, Cornwall, England, born 1604. He is considered the first Nance to have come to America. He was baptized there in 1610, but as to why there was a delay between his birth and baptism is not understood.[1] [2]In 1620, it is believed that he arrived in the Virginia Colony as indentured servant of Sergeant William Sharpe for a period of seven years. He came in on the ship, Jonathan and was listed as an apprentice planter in Charles City, Virginia.[3]On 22 March 1622, Good Friday, the Powhatans Indians under the leadership of Opechancanough, under the guise of friendship, attacked and massacred hundreds residents of surrounding areas of Jamestown. Richard living on Neck-of-Land, survived the massacre. He is listed on a muster taken by Capt. John Smith in 1624, though he listed as Richard Rawse.[4] [5]In 1627, Richard’s indenture service was over. As a result of this, he was deeded 20 acres from the Virginia Colony Company. This was the terms of the contract.[6] In 1638, he married Alice Harry in England, born in 1562, daughter of John Harry. Her mother is unknown, as well as, any siblings. They were married in England.[7] Now, the question about the lapse of time between 1627 and 1639 arises. There is also speculation of Richard’s actual arrival date. I do have a theory about this and what happened during these years. Since the only record of Richard’s arrival are in 1620 and then in 1639, I think that they are both correct. Let me explain. Richard first came over to the colony with Sergeant William Sharpe as an indenture servant to start his farm. There is a Richard listed in the muster files by Capt. John Smith in 1624 with no last name. Could this be our Richard or another, Richard Rawse, with a misspelling? I do want to believe that he did come over in 1620. There could be a number of reasons for a misspelling of the name. A scribe writes all day. Maybe he was tired and not paying attention of where he was on a list of names. Maybe the muster clerk didn’t understand what Richard was saying and he wrote what he thought that he heard. After his indenture, he made a promise of bringing over 6 people, paying their transportation to acquire 300 more acres in Henrico County. He went back to England, married his bride, Alice Harry, found 5 more people, Robert Perry[8], Robert Chappell[9], George Prebody[10], Edward Rowlington[11] and Mary Viccars[12] and came back to the colony in 1639. He did acquire the 300 acres along the north side of the Appamattuck River on 18 March 1639.[13] On this land, I believed that he started his plantation home with his wife and started their family.1. Elizabeth Nance born in 1642 in Charles City, Virginia, married Caesar Walpole and died 8 February 1691 in Charles City County, Virginia. The known child is Richard. 2. Thomas Nance born abt 16443. John W. Nance born in 1650 in Henrico County, Virginia, married Sarah Gookins and died 19 June 1716 in Prince George County, Virginia.4. William Nance born 1649 in James City County, Virginia, married Mary Elizabeth Tinsley in 1667 in Virginia. The known children are Thomas, Daniel and William Jr.Then during the years of 8 December of 1664 and 27 March of 1665, Richard was involved in a civil action against Daniel Llewellyn in Charles City, Virginia in the King’s Court. On 27 March 1665, there was an order for Nathaniel Taten and Jervis Dix to be paid as witnesses for Richard.
Possibility 1:

Left Cornwall for Virginia as indentured servant in 1620

"Had land in Charles City & Henrico Co., Va.

Richard Nance was baptised 1610 in St. Kerverne. Several of those living in Cornwall that are interested in Nance Genealogy say this is the American Emigrant. I do not consider hearsay to always be accurate. The fact remains that Richard Nance of Virginia was born 1604, according to official papers of the London Company. I have had some correspondence with our Cornish cousins regarding the six years lapse from birth to baptism, and have been informed that quite often such a delay occurred for many reasons too numerous to give in this report.

Quoted from "Genealogy of the Nances in Cornwall" by Martin L. "Pete" Nance, 1970.

(SPF) Important Note: See and These essays by the same author make the argument that the St. Kerverne Richard Nance, which was used in the quote above (and thus what Gary's tree was based on, since the Crouch Family Heritage Association used this argument), was not our ancestor. There is a good supporting argument behind why that London Co. document does not mention a Richard Nance. While both arguments are valid, I am inclined to believe the new argument based on the fact that four descendants get named Clement -- and the Richard Nance that this should then be would have been from St. Clement Parish, and has a few Clemence names in the family. Both St. Kerverne and St. Clement are in Cornwall, England so it does not change our origins, just the ancestor who made the trek across the Atlantic.

Possibility 2:

We know that Richard Nanse (Nance) was in Virginia by no later than 1639, when he took patent to land based in part on his importation of persons including Alice, his wife. (Patent Book 1, p. 715). Furthermore, it seems likely that he was there for some time before 1639, since by that point he had acquired the wherewithal to pay for the transportation of 6 persons.

The real significance of this is not that we can't place Richard Nance here in 1620 or 1624 -- after all, we know he came here eventually, and not long after that. No, the real significance of this is that it takes away what was thought to be evidence of his approximate date of birth (since the servant of Sgt. William Sharpe was 20 years old in 1624).

That is significant, because it affects the theories as to which line of Cornish Nances our Richard Nance was descended from. While it does not "rule out" the Richard Nance who was baptized 1610, was the son of John Harry Nance, grandson of Richard Nance and Alice Harry, etc., it does allow us to consider another Cornish Richard Nance, who "Pete" Nance appears to have ruled out based on the idea (shown here to be unreliable) that the Virginia Richard Nance was b. 1604. That other Richard Nance was b. 1596 in St. Clement to Clemo (Clemence) Nance.

I am going to use possibility 2 for Geni ---SPF

Sources (other than listed above):

IGI Individual Record

Batch No: C053101

Sheet: 00

Source Call No: 0916885

Type: Film

Printout Call No: 6904759

Type: Film

Immigrated from England to Lower Norfolk Va., sponsored by Thomas Meares (Merres). Lower Norfolk Virginia was not established untill 1637. Alice Nance, Richard's wife immigrated sometime after him between 1637-1639. Alice is known to be in Virginia prior to 1639 due to Richard receiving land in Henrico County Virginia under the Headrights Law. The Headrights Law offered land to people who brought six people to NEW ENGLAND and promised to stay for a period of three years. These people were considered indentured servants to the person who sponsored them to come to New England. Richard came to New England under the name DaNance, Richard. (Da) French meaning: OF THE. So Richard of the Nance. People were given their Surname from where they came from. Richard came from the NANCE land in Cornwall England. (Richard Danance) is found in the book of Early Virginia immigrants written by George Cabell Greer. This therory hits closer then the other one (The Nance Memorial). Thomas Meares was a member of the House of Burgess and was attempting to seperate from the church of England. Thomas Meares was a Puritian leader. He immigrated to New England in 1620 under the Surname of Thomas Merres.

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Richard Nance's Timeline

September 19, 1604
Saint Keverne, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
Age 37
Age 40
Henrico, VA, USA
Age 44
Cornwall, England
Age 63
Age 64
Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia, United States