Edmund  Rice

Edmund Rice (abt. 1594 - 1663)

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Deacon Edmund Rice
Born about in Stanstead, Suffolk, Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Bury St. Edmunds, Englandmap
Husband of — married in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusettsmap
Rice-52 created 22 Feb 2010 | Last modified | Last edit: 29 Aug 2017
04:46: Paula Cullen proposed a merge of Rice-10383 and Rice-52 with a comment. [Thank Paula for this]
This page has been accessed 9,899 times.

Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Stanstead, Suffolk | Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire | Puritans, in America | Massachusetts Bay Colonists | English Immigrants to Massachusetts Bay Colony | Sudbury, Massachusetts | Marlborough, Massachusetts | Family Brick Walls | Y-DNA Haplogroup I1 | Long Profiles in Need of Cleanup.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Edmund Rice migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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NOTE: This protected profile is under the care of the Puritan Great Migration project and any edits should be discussed first. Please use the G2G discussion topic linked to from this profile. Thank you.


Disputed Origins

Attempts have been made by well recognized researchers to discover the parentage of Edmund Rice. Mary Lovering Holman got negative results searching the parish records near Stanstead and Sudbury, Suffolk County, England.[1] The Edmund Rice (1638) Association, in 1997, asked Dr. Joanna Martin, who lives a short distance from Stanstead and Sudbury, to search again. Once again, no records were found. Some of the parish registers for likely years of Edmund's birth do not even exist. Mary Holman did discover the baptisms of Edmund's first three children.

Several erroneous and/or speculative sets of parents have been published and are proliferated in internet trees and databases: Henry Rice and Margaret Baker; Henry Rice and Elizabeth Frost (whose marriage was recorded 23 Aug 1619 at Stanstead); Thomas Rice and Catherine Howard; and Thomas Rice and Elizabeth Frost.

An investigation by Donald Lines Jacobus[2] determined that many of the false accounts first occurred in a book by Dr. Charles Elmer Rice, By the Name of Rice, privately published by Dr. Rice at Alliance, Ohio in 1911.

"In his address to the 1999 annual meeting of the Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Gary Boyd Roberts, Senior Researcher, New England Historic Genealogy Society, reviewed all of the genealogical sleuthing on Edmund's parentage. Mr. Roberts is well known for his research on royal lineage. He concluded that there was no evidence whatsoever that supports the published accounts of Edmund Rice's parents and no evidence that Edmund Rice was from a royal lineage."[3]


Edmund Rice[4] was born about 1594 (parents not yet confirmed), and came to this country from Barkhamstead, Hertfordshire, England. He married first Tamazine Frost, October 15, 1618 in Bury St. Edmunds, England. She died at Sudbury, Massachusetts, where she was buried June 18, 1654. He married second March 1, 1655 Mercie (_____) Brigham, widow of Thomas Brigham of Cambridge. He had twelve children, nine of whom were born in England, and the others in Sudbury. They are listed below. Edmund Rice died May 3, 1663, at Marlboro, aged about sixty-nine, and was buried in Sudbury. His widow married William Hunt of Marlboro.

Early Settler & Leader in Sudbury

Edmund Rice arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1638, although no passenger list survives that names him.

The first record of his presence is in the Township Book of the Town of Sudbury in the year 1639.[5]

As yeomen farmers, Edmund Rice and the other early settlers at Sudbury were well prepared for the tasks of forming and governing a new community. As yeomen they had assumed both personal and community responsibilities back in England. As Protestant churchmen they had been encouraged to read and write so that they could study and understand their Bible. Although not of the noble class, they had shared many community and church responsibilities in their former communities in England.[5]

Mr. Rice was a prominent man in the settlement, owning lands in and out of the town, some of which came by grant of the General Court: [6]

  • His first dwelling-place at Sudbury was on the old north street. September 1, 1642, he sold this place to John Moore.
  • In September of the same year, he leased, for six years, the Dunster Farm, which lay just east of Cochituate Pond.
  • He bought of the widow Mary Axdell (or Axtell) six acres of land and her dwelling house, which were in the south part of the town.
  • Some years afterwards he bought of Philemon Whale his house and nine acres of land near "the spring" and adjacent to the Axdell place; and these taken together, in part at least, formed the old Rice homestead, not far from the "Five Paths" (Wayland). This old homestead remained in the Rice family for generations.

Mr. Rice was made a freeman May 13, 1640, and was one of the committee appointed by the Colonial Court, September 4, 1639, to apportion land to the inhabitants. He served as selectman from 1639 to 1644, and was deputy to the General Court several successive years." [6]

In 1648, Edmund Rice was ordained as a Deacon in the Puritan Church at Sudbury.[4][4]

In his Pulitzer Prize winning book, Puritan Village, The formation of a New England Town, Sumner Chilton Powell sums up the high regard that his fellow citizens had for Edmund:

"Not only did Rice become the largest individual landholder in Sudbury, but he represented his new town in the Massachusetts legislature for five years and devoted at least eleven of his last fifteen years to serving as selectman and judge of small causes." He adds, "Two generations of Sudbury men selected Edmund Rice repeatedly as one of their leaders, with the full realization that they were ignoring men of far more English government experience who had come with him." [7][8]

He was appointed to apportion land in 1639, and became a Deputy to the General Court, a magistrate in 1641, and a selectman in 1644, and some years following.[9]

”Far-reaching interest attaches to a pen-and-ink drawing by Pauline Atlee Long, reproduced above, which has for subject the Deacon Edmund Rice homestead, built in Wayland, Mass., in 1650. Deacon Rice was a Pilgrim, born in Buckinghamshire, Eng. in 1594. He settled in Sudbury, Mass., in 1638, according to a tablet that has been erected near the site of the house pictured above.”[10]

Founding member & leader in Marlborough[4]

In 1656, Edmund Rice was one of thirteen petitioners belonging to Sudbury, who petitioned the General Court for a new plantation, saying,

"Whereas your petitioners have lived divers years in Sudbury, and God hath been pleased to increase our children, which are now, divers of them, grown to man's estate, and wee, many of us grown into years, so as that wee should bee glad to see them settled before the Lord take us away from hence; as also God having given us some considerable quantity of cattle, so that wee are so straightened, that wee cannot so comfortably subsist as could be desired; and some of us having taken some pains to view the country, wee have found a place, which lieth Westward about eight miles from Sudbury, which wee conceive might bee comfortable for our subsistence," &c.

Sudbury at that time contained less than seventy-five families, and in territory included what is now Wayland. Their petition was granted, and the plantation laid to them was incorporated by the name of Marlborough in 1660. Rice had a house lot of fifty acres granted to him by the proprietors of that town, upon which he built a house. The property sat in the westerly part of the town, on the old county road leading from Marlboro' to Northboro', and in the bend as it passes round the northerly side of the pond, a short distance northerly of the ancient "Williams tavern."

"In a leas still preserved are these specifications for a house to be built by Edmund Rice prior to 1655. The house was to be 30 foot long, 10 foot high, 1 foot sill from the ground, 16 feet wide with two rooms, both below or one above the other , all the doors, walls, and stairs with convenient fixtures and well planked underfoot and boarded sufficiently to lay corn in the story above-head."[10]

He was elected a Selectman at Marlborough in 1657.[5]

He was honored with several appointments by the General Court and referred to as "Goodman Rice". He was appointed to solemnize marriages in Marlborough.


Edmund Rice married first Tamazine Frost on October 15, 1618,[11] by whom he had ten children:[5]

  1. Marie Ryce, bapt. August 23, 1619, in Stanstead, Suffolk, England[12] She was unmarried and died before her father.[12]
  2. Henry Ryce, bapt. February 13, 1620/21, in Stanstead[12] died February 10, 1709–-10, married Elizabeth Moore February 1, 1641–42.
  3. Edward Rice, born October 20, 1622, died August 15, 1712, married (1) Anna, (2) Agnes Bent 1646. The Holman TAG article lists the baptism of Edmund Ryce, son of Edmund Ryce, bapt. 26 October 1622 in Stanstead.[12] The recorder of baptisms, it would seem wrote the wrong name, and it should be Edward. See Note below.
  4. Thomas Ryce, bapt. January 26, 1625/6[12], died November 16, 1681, married Mary King 1652.
  5. Lydia Rice, bapt. March 9, 1627/8, in Berkhamstead[12], died April 5, 1675, married Hugh Drury 1645.
  6. Matthew Rice, bapt. February 28, 1629/30, Berkhamstead,[12] died 1717, married Martha Lamson November 2, 1654.
  7. Daniel Rice, bapt 1 Nov 1632, Berkhamstead, buried there 10 Nov. 1632.[12]
  8. Samuel Rice, bapt. November 12, 1634, Berkhamstead[12], died February 25, 1683–84, married (1) Elizabeth King, (2) Mary Dix September 1668, (3) Sarah White December 13, 1676.
  9. Joseph Rice, bapt March 13, 1637/8, in Berkhamstead,[12] Edmund Rice married second Mercy Hurd, widow of Thomas Brigham on 1 Mar 1655/6 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.[13][11][14][15][16] Children of Edmund and Mercy:[5]
  1. Lydia Rice Holman does not mention this Lydia
  2. Ruth Rice b. 29 Sept 1959, Sudbury; m. Samuel Wells[12]

After Edmund died, Mercy married (third) William Hunt in October or November 1664.[17][14][16]

Death & Legacy

Edmund Rice died May 3, 1663, age about 69, in Marlborough, Massachusetts and was buried in the Old Burying Ground in what is now Wayland, Massachusetts.[11]

Edmund Rice left no will. The inventory of his estate was taken both at Sudbury and Marlborough on 16 May 1663. His widow, Mercy (Hurd) (Brigham) Rice, survived him and as admnistratix, settled his estate.[citation needed]

Of his twelve children, ten survived to have children of their own. According to the records, in 1858 this family numbered 1400 families and 7000 individuals.[5]

DNA Testing

The Edmund Rice (1638) Association has conducted extensive ancestral haplotype DNA testing on males believed to have descended from Rice, identifying descendants from five of his sons. The testing also revealed an unrecorded adoption or illegitimacy that occurred.[5]

Edmund Rice, an early immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony and a founder of Sudbury and Marlborough, belonged to haplogroup I1.[18]

See Rice Family Y-DNA Project for more information

Notable Descendants

Edmund Rice was the progenitor of many eminent descendants. Among them were:[citation needed]

  • Clara Barton, Civil War nurse, American Red Cross founder
  • U.S. President John Quincy Adams
  • U.S. President Calvin Coolidge
  • U.S. President Ulysses S Grant
  • Julia Ward Howe, writer and poet, author of Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Mary A. Rice Livermore, Civil War nurse
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet
  • Samuel F.B. Morse, inventor of the electric telegraph
  • Ransom Eli Olds of Oldsmobile fame
  • Stillman Pond, Mormon Pioneer
  • Brigadier General Edmund Rice
  • Congressman Edmund Rice
  • Senator Henry Mower Rice
  • Francis E Willard, philanthropist, reformer, educator, and President of the Women's Christian Temperance Union
  • Steve Young, NFL football player

Citing this Record

WikiTree contributors, "Deacon Edmund Rice (c. 1594 - 1663)," WikiTree, http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rice-52 (accessed September 24, 2017).


  1. See "English Notes on Edmund Rice," in The American Genealogist, Volume 10 (1933/34), pp. 133 - 137.
  2. published first as "Pre-American Ancestries: IX. Edmund Rice," in The American Genealogist, volume 11, (1936), pp. 14-21, and reprinted in the fall of 1968 and the winter of 1998 issues of Newsletter of the Edmund Rice (1638) Association
  3. Quote and information in this section from "Who were Edmund Rice's ancestors?" Edmund Rice (1638) Association.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Andrew Henshaw Ward, A Genealogical History of the Rice Family: Descendants of Deacon Edmund Rice, who Came from Berkhamstead, England and Settled at Sudbury, Massachusetts, in 1638 or 9, (1858).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Edmund Rice (1638) Association; better source sought
  6. 6.0 6.1 Alfred Sereno Hudson, The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts 1638-1889, (No location):R. H. Blodgett (1889), p. 41.
  7. Sumner Chilton, Powell, Puritan Village, The formation of a New England Town, Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press (2011), p 21.
  8. John Buczek, History of Marlborough: An In Depth Look Source Program Book - Marlborough Tercentenary Celebration," Marlborough Tercentennial Commission; Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  9. Clayton Silas Rice, ‘’We sought the wilderness,’’ (1949) p. 23.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Mary Evaline Burroughs, “Burroughs Genealogical Notes” from ‘’Memoirs of a War Bride,’’ Danton Burroughs Family Archive; in some cases citing Lillian Kimball Stewart, The Hudson Thompson Memorial (1941).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Edmund Rice (1638) Association. #Broadfoot
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 Holman, Mary Lovering. "English Notes on Edmund Rice." The American Genealogist 10:133)
  13. Sudbury Vital Records, p. 258
  14. 14.0 14.1 Mrs. Brinkerhoff, "Rice Genealogy" p. 5, in The American Genealogist, 30:101. W. Vasile
  15. Willard Irving Tyler Brigham, History of the Brigham Family, NY, NY: Grafton Press (1907-1927), p. 69. mrl
  16. 16.0 16.1 James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers, Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Co. (1862), Volume 1, p 252. mrl
  17. Marlborough Vital Records, Marriages, p. 275
  18. "Rice Family DNA Project," Edmund Rice (1638) Association. Retrieved 31 August 2009.

See also:

  • William Barry, "A History of Framingham, Massachusetts: Including the Plantation, from 1640 to the Present Time, with an Appendix, Containing a Notice of Sudbury and Its First Proprietors; Also, a Register of the Inhabitants of Framingham Before 1800, with Genealogical Sketches", Boston, MA: J. Munroe and Company, 1847 - 456 pages (Google eBook), - page 3, page 4, page 5, page 8, page 154, page 155, page 371, page 372, page 373.
  • Willard Irving Tyler Brigham, and Emma Elisabeth Brigham. The History of the Brigham Family: A record of several thousand descendants of Thomas Brigham, the emigrant, 1603-1653. (New York : Grafton Press ; Rutland, Vt. : Tuttle, c1907-c1927), p. 69, 1907-1927.
  • John Buczek, History of Marlborough: HISTORY: An In Depth Look Source Program Book - Marlborough Tercentenary Celebration
  • Edgar John Bullard & Gail Wheeler Prithard, Bullard and Allied Families, Detroit, Mich.: E.J. Bullard (1930), p 113. Digital version available to subscribers of Ancestry.com.
  • William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and personal memoirs", New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Co (1910) - pg 598, pg 599; Google Play; Archive.org
  • Dee Christophel D'Errico, "Descendants of John Howe," citing: Charles Hudson, "History of the Town of Marborough," [Publisher, Date], p 431.
  • Edmund Rice Profile, Edmund Rice (1638) Association
  • Find A Grave Memorial Edmund Rice
  • Ernest Flagg, Genealogical Notes on the Founding of New England, Hartford, CT: Clearfield Co. (1926); Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. (1990, 1996). Ancestry.com (subscription required).
  • Mary Lovering Holman, “English Notes on Edmund Rice,” in The American Genealogist, New Haven, CT: D.L. Jacobus; 10 (1933/34): 133-137.
  • Charles Hudson, History of the town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts: from its first settlement in 1657 to 1861…, (Boston, Massachusetts, United States: T R Marvin & Sons, 1862)
  • Donald Lines Jacobus, "Pre-American Ancestries: Edmund Rice of Sudbury, Mass.", in The American Genealogist, Vol II (1936), pp 14-21
  • Ella D. King, An Interim Tracing of the Ancestry of Valarie Daly King, 1956; p. 24
  • “Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850,” Database, www.newenglandancestors.org, New England Historical and Genealogical Society.
  • Lucius Robinson Paige, History of Cambridge, MA 1630-1877, Cambridge, MA: H.O. Houghton (1877).
  • Lucius R. Paige, "Freemen of Massachusetts," [where?]
  • Ebenezer Parker, The Story of the Rice Boys: Captured by the Indians, Westborough Historical Society, 1906
  • Harold F. Porter, Jr., “The Paternal Ancestry of Thomasine Frost, wife of Deacon Edmund(1) Rice of Sudbury, MA," in The American Genealogist, Demorest, GA: 63(Jul 1988):129.
  • Harriet Augusta Robinson, "Brewer Genealogy", self-published (1903) Page 9. [19]
  • James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register, (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), 3:532.
  • Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Records of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, vol. 3, pp. 259, 297, 340
  • Elsie Hawes Smith, Edmund Rice and His Family Boston, MA: Meador press (1938)
  • “Sudbury Records - Vitals taken from Middlesex records,” in ‘’NEHG Register,’’ Boston, MA: NEHGS 17(Jan 1863):170-172; 254-260; 311-315; 18(1864):45-48;… more?...
  • Josiah H. Temple, Gen Reg of Framingham Families, pp. 680-681
  • Mary F. Vance-Shaw Hosmer Heritage, Medium: Book (more details needed)
  • Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849, Worcester, MA: Franklin P. Rice (1908), p. 34
  • Andrew Henshaw Ward, "A Genealogical History of the Rice Family: Descendants of Deacon Edmund Rice, who Came from Berkhamstead, England, and Settled at Sudbury, Massachusetts, in 1638 or 9", Boston, MA: C.B. Richardson (1858) - 379 pages, Questionable quality (significant errors have subsequently been revealed; use with caution) (Google eBook)
  • Andrew Henshaw Ward, ‘’Ward family; descendants of William Ward: who settled in Sudbury, Mass., in 1639’’, Boston: S. G. Drake (1851) - (Google eBook) - page 17. [19]
  • The Wheeler Family of Clermont County Ohio and Lincoln, Middlesex, Norfolk, & Worcester Counties Massachusetts Descendants of Richard Wheeler of Dedham
  • Wikipedia Contributors, “Edmund Rice (1638),” ‘’Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,’’ 15 Aug 2013 (last revision); retrieved 7 Sept 2013.
  • Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America], Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4. More volumes are available through Google Books.

Images & Documents

Images [20]

Edmund Rice Signature
Homestead, 2nd Home, Farm Sketch
Homestead Marker, Memorial, Plaque
The Ancient Abbey, Saint Mary's Church
St James, Stanstead, St. Peter's Church in Berkhamsted
Map of the First Roads & Houses of Sudbury

Attached Documents[19]

  • Harriet Augusta Robinson, "Brewer Genealogy", Robinson, 1903 - History - 49 pages (Google eBook) - Page 9.
  • William Richard Cutter, "Genealogical and personal memoirs", - pg 598, pg 599.
  • William Barry, "A History of Framingham, Massachusetts: Including the Plantation, from 1640 to the Present Time, with an Appendix, Containing a Notice of Sudbury and Its First Proprietors; Also, a Register of the Inhabitants of Framingham Before 1800, with Genealogical Sketches", J. Munroe and Company, 1847 - 456 pages (Google eBook), - page 3, page 4, page 5, page 8, page 154, page 155, page 371, page 372, page 373.
  • Andrew Henshaw Ward, "Ward family; descendants of William Ward: who settled in Sudbury, Mass., in 1639", S. G. Drake, 1851 - Reference - 265 pages (Google eBook) - page 17.
  • Colonial Records of Marlborough, MA. Page 3.
See all attached documents.


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Images: 54
Unknown Ship
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Signature of Edmund Rice
Signature of Edmund Rice

Edmund Rice Homestead
Edmund Rice Homestead

Marker of Edmund Rice Homestead
Marker of Edmund Rice Homestead

Edmund Rice Memorial
Edmund Rice Memorial

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On 29 Aug 2017 at 08:46 GMT Paula Cullen wrote:

Rice-10383 and Rice-52 appear to represent the same person because: Same dates and son

On 20 Nov 2015 at 04:11 GMT David Gometz wrote:

Please see entry Rice-6422 Edmund Rice. They appear to be the same person and a merge should be considered.

David Gometz.

On 9 Jan 2015 at 20:29 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Please note: the origins/parents of immigrant Deacon Edmund Rice have NOT been identified. Please do not attach any parents; and if merging duplicates, DEselect the attachment of any parents. Thank you.

On 1 Oct 2014 at 12:12 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Wesley, thanks for your notes and the links. As you can see on Mercy's page, there is concern that Hurd was a misread of Hurt, surname of her first husband. Until confirmation of her maiden name can be located in original records, we stay with Unknown. Thanks again.

On 30 Sep 2014 at 17:23 GMT Wesley Doughman wrote:

This is still from Angel Fire

Children of Deacon Edmund Rice and Mercy Hurd: Lydia, b. ----; m. Hugh Drury. Ruth, b. September 29, 1659; m. Samuel Wells. Ann, b. November 19, 1661; m. November 12, 1685, Nathaniel Gary (or Gery) of Roxbury who was born July 4, 1663, son of Nathaniel Gery and Ann Douglas, who were married at Roxbury October 14, 1658. Arthur Geary was one of the first settlers at Roxbury.

On 30 Sep 2014 at 17:20 GMT Wesley Doughman wrote:

Edmund Rice's second wife was Mercy Hurd (?), who he married on 1 March 1655 at Sudbury, Massachusetts. Deacon Edmund Rice died 3 May 1663, and was buried at Old Burying Ground in Wayland, Massachusetts. His grave is marked by a monument designed by Arthur Wallace Rice of Boston, Massachusetts, and was dedicated by the Edmund Rice Association on 29 August 1914. A boulder with a bronze tablet was also erected by the Association and marks Edmund’s homestead on the Old Connecticut Path in Wayland

On 30 Sep 2014 at 17:20 GMT Wesley Doughman wrote:


His second wife may I repeat may have been a HURD. See other comment.

On 30 Apr 2014 at 13:11 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

I detached Hosmer-1188 as spouse of Edmund Rice and as mother to any of his children.

On 1 Nov 2013 at 14:02 GMT Becky (Nally) Syphers wrote:

Other sources have Edmund Rice's wife as Tamizine (or Tamisine) Frost. This profile MIGHT have matches with these different identities.

On 28 Jul 2013 at 12:16 GMT Trace Allison wrote:

Grrrrrrrrrrreat Profile

more comments

Edmund is 13 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 19 degrees from Robynne Lozier, 11 degrees from Pocahontas Rolfe and 16 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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