Caswell County Genealogy

Rice, Joel C.

Male 1762 - 1833  (71 years)

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  • Name Rice, Joel C.  [1, 2
    Born 1762  Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Reference Number 17741 
    Died 1833  Madison County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I17399  Caswell County
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 

    Father Rice, Thomas,   b. 1731, Hanover County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt Oct 1804, Cabin Branch, Hogan's Creek, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Higgeson, Marcey,   d. Aft 1772, Hanover County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Reference Number 184414 
    Family ID F5056  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Living 
     1. Living
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F8101  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1762 - Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1833 - Madison County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 

    • Joel C. Rice (1762-1833)

      Death location also seen as Mercer County, Alabama. Purportedly had eleven children.

      RICE, JOEL -- "Departed this life on Saturday morning the 22nd inst., at his residence in the Big Cove, Madison County, Alabama, of a lingering and protracted illness, Joel Rice, Esq., in the 71st year of his age. One of the first settlers in the county, Fought in the Revolution, for the liberty we now enjoy and has one down to his reward." Source: Huntsville Southern Advocate, June 25th, 1833.

      "Following his return to Davidson County from the 1789 North Carolina Constitutional Convention, Joel the next year became a Justice of the Peace for Davidson County and later a trustee for Nashville. It was in 1793 that he married the widow, Mary Elizabeth Green Pryor Hickman, and took on the nurture and support of her three orphaned children. Hers was a sad story. Elizabeth was a daughter of Green Pryor of Orange Co., North Carolina and Susannah Perkins of Goochland Co., Virginia. Her father died young (before 1771), leaving the widowed Susannah with two small children, she and her brother John. Elizabeth's paternal grandparents were John and Margaret (Gaines) Pryor. John was an early North Carolina settler and served in the North Carolina Assembly in 1769-1770. Her maternal grandparents were Nicholas and Bethenia (Harding) Perkins of Virginia. A surveyor and Revolutionary War veteran, Edwin was killed by Indians in the spring of 1791. The area he was killed became Hickman County later that year. They had moved to Nashville when he died.

      Joel and his wife were still living at Hickman's Station, eight miles west of Nashville when this region became part of Tennessee in 1796. Then in 1810 , Joel bought 320 acres in Madison Co., Alabama. In 1818, Territorial Governor William Wyatt Bibb appointed him sheriff of the newly formed Lauderdale Co. Joel bought a lot in the town of Florence in July of 1818, but by 1819 he was back in Madison Co., where he is burried near the town of New Hope.

      The children of Joel Rice and Mary Elizabeth Ricce were Green Pryor Rice, Elisha Hickman Rice, William M. Rice, Joel L. Rice, Agatha P. Rice (m. Jesse G. Scott), Tulliola A. Rice (m. W.H. Powers), Cornelia Rice (m. Allen Green), Hypasia Rice, Susan Rice, George Washington Rice, and Andrew Jackson Rice.

      Joel's father, Thomas Rice of St. David's District in Caswell Co., North Carolina, is a bit if a genealogical puzzle. He had come from hanover Co., Virginia in 1775 and was a farmer. Living in Caswell Co. at the same time is another Thomas Rice, believed to have been the long termed sheriff of the county. He, too, is supposed to have come from Hanover Co. and is thought to have had two wives, Joyce and Abigail. His children are easily identifiable. All but the last two Elizabeth and Joyce, had names that began with the letter 'Z'...Zeri,Zilla,Zerauch,Zipporah,Zara, Zadock, Zaza, & Zibe.

      It gets more complicated: A 1786 Caswell Co. census lists three Thomas Rices, one living in Gloucester District and two in St. David's. This multiplicity of Thomas Rices has created difficulty for both amateur and professional genealogists, as witnessed by various membership applications for DAR and other patriotic organizations. The difficulty goes back to Hanover Co., Virginia, where we find various entries in the "Small Book" listing one or more Thomas Rices in the early 1700s. The Thomas Rice who was sheriff died in 1800 and the Thomas who was Joel Rice's Father died in 1804. His will probated in October of 1804, does not name a wife, perhaps suggesting that he was a widower.

      Nine of Thomas Rice's 10 children are named in his will. His son John, the land speculator who owned the site of Nashville, was a bachelor about the age 35 when he was killed by Indians in 1792, so died before his father. In addition to Joel, the other children were Elisha (m. Anne Collier), William H., Rebecca (m. John Windsor), Sarah (m. Hugh Gwynn), Marcey (m. Francis Nunn), Lucy (m. John DeBow & John Scobey), Nathan (m. Sarah Williamson) and Mary (m. Moses Oldham).

      There is another genealogical glitch in the Joel Rice Family. One of his descendants employed a professional genealogist to compile a genealogical table of Joel's progenitors. An elaborate family tree was prepared on the premises that Joel was a son of Hezekiah Rice of Caswell Co. Unfortunately the eroneous conclusion was published in Miller's History and Genealogy and long accepted as fact by family member."

      Source: Rice Family Books

      In 1789 John Rice obtained 80,000 acres of land on the Big Hatchie River for a partnership composed of him self, his brothers Joel and Ellisha, and Jesse Benton. He removed from Caswell County to Nashville in 1785, engaged in trading, land speculation, and surveying, and was killed by Indians seven years later. He owned nearly 50,000 acres exclusive of his rights in these lands. After his death Judge John Overton, Gen. Andrew Jackson, and others set up claims to the Hatchie lands, which could not be finally adjudicated until the extinguishment of the Indian title in 1818. In 1805, Rice’s devisees and heirs contracted with Solomon Debow, Rice’s stepson [probably his nephew], to give him 70% of all lands which he could recover for them, and on the same day, Debow formed a partnership with his brother, Stephen, his cousin, Alexander Murphey, and Capt. Haralson, to effect this object. After the Chickasaw treaty, Solomon Debow instituted a suit for 15,000 acres of the Hatchie lands in the Supreme Court at Nashville in the name of the devisees and heirs [Hugh Gwynn and others v. John Overton and others]. In September 1821, he assigned to Judge Murphey his interest in the contract of 1805 in partial payment for Murphey’s losses by him through suretyship. Subsequently Judge Murphey acquired the interests of Stephen Debow and Capt. Haralson and also the rights of all devisees and heirs of John Rice to the lands involved in the suit. [History of Memphis, 1873, pp. 7-25.]

  • Sources 
    1. Details: Will of Thomas Rice (1731-c.1804).

    2. Details: Fox and Graham Family Website.