This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small, and this week’s theme is “Prosper.”
My 5th great grandpa was John B. Rice. I’m sure the B is for Benjamin as that was one of his son’s names. John was born in 1755 in Red Bud Creek, Bute County, North Carolina. In 1779 Bute County was divided into Franklin and Warren Counties and ceased to exist. John was born to Jared Rice and Lettie Potts. (My 2nd great grandmother’s name was Martha Lettie Carpenter. I always wondered where Lettie came from. Turns out it was her great grandmother’s name.) John signed up to serve in the American Revolution in 1776 at the age of 21 as a private and sergeant, and received a pension according to the North Carolinians list of pensioners as reported by the Secretary of State to Congress in 1835. He married Elizabeth Hopkins a year into the war and they had a total of eight children. By age 27, the family had moved to Nash County, NC, where John lived a long life and died on 29 April 1836, at the age of eighty-one.
John’s will contains info as follows:
Probated August 1837. Page 443, Will Book I. Nash Co, NC. It names wife Elizabeth and son John. Daughter Nancy and her husband Benjamin Carpenter (my 4th great grandparents). Daughter Elizabeth and her husband William Richardson. Son Hopkins Rice. Two people I can’t place Reden Richardson and William Earppe. Grandson: Richardson Rice, son of William Rice. Children of son Benjamin Rice: John B. Rice, Nicholson Rice, Boykin Rice, heirs of Jincy Strickland. Legatee: John Leonard. Exec: Benjamin Merritt, John Rice. Witnesses: William M.B. Anndell, Boykin Denton.
The above named daughter Nancy Rice Carpenter was my fourth great-grandmother who married Benjamin Carpenter. They moved to Lauderdale County, Mississippi in 1821 when Indian land was being sold by the U.S. Gov’t for cheap. She lived as a pioneer woman, raising ten children in near squalor. After reading the following story, I’m under the impression she either must have been rebelling against her family or she really, really loved Benjamin Carpenter. But I found in John Rice’s will that he left items to Benjamin and Nancy and their children, so if she did rebel, they must have made up before John’s death.
I found the following somewhere on line:
Nash County, North Carolina 1787.
A black woman by the name of Chaney was born. Little is known about her background, but it is believed she was the daughter of an African. She and her sister were slaves of the Hopkins Family.
Peter Hopkins, born in 1730, was the first in his family to move to Edgecombe County, North Carolina. He married Wilmoth Fowler who was born in Wake County, North Carolina in 1747 to Joseph and Anne Fowler. The couple had the following children:
- William Hopkins
- John Hopkins
- David Hopkins
- Elizabeth Hopkins-Rice (the above wife of John Rice)
- Susannah Hopkins-Russell
Elizabeth married a Revolutionary War Hero named John Rice. The two purchased about 800 acres of land on Lee’s Creek. They had eight children as follows:
- John Rice Jr
- William Rice
- Elizabeth Rice-Richardson
- Nancy Rice-Carpenter (my 4th great-grandmother)
- Mary Rice-Marriott
- James M. Rice
- Benjamin Rice
- Hopkins Rice
Chaney was brought to this 800 acre plantation of John Rice and Elizabeth Hopkins Rice. Most of her children were born here. She had at least five children. In the early 1800’s, John Rice deeded Chaney and her children to his youngest son Hopkins Rice and his wife Jane.
In the early 1820’s Hopkins Rice and his family migrated to Greene County, Alabama and in 1828, they purchased land in the Clinton and Pleasant Ridge areas. Over the years, some of the slaves were sold to various plantations in the area. One of Chaney’s sons, Anderson, was sold to Eldred Pippen. Jesse was sold to Gaston Wilder of Pickens County, Alabama. Richard was sold to William Gilmore of Mantua. The last son, whose name is unknown, was sold to a Mr. Harkness. Her grandsons were also sold.
Nancy Rice-Carpenter is my 4th great-grandmother. Her parents, Elizabeth and John Rice are my 5th great-grandparents. Elizabeth’s parents Peter and Wilmoth Hopkins are my 6th. Though Nancy, being a girl, probably didn’t stand to inherit much of the family’s wealth, I still think it strange that she moved away from her obviously prosperous family.
I am a photographer of old and/or abandoned homesteads in North Carolina and learned early on that it’s the people who lived in a place that really matter so I always try to include as much history with my photos as possible. Recently I learned through oral history that a home I shot in Nash County, NC was originally built by a Mr. Rice with the help of his slaves but the trail was completely cold beyond that tid bit until now. I shared my photo on a genealogy site and received a link to your article here in the comments. I am very excited to have this as a starting point as it looks like there very well could be a connection. Thanks so much. https://www.facebook.com/CyesEyePhotography/photos/a.1502424163344071.1073741828.1497965620456592/1780985118821306/?type=3&theater