Phantom Edmund? [13 September 2010]
Assuming from the dates on this page b. abt 1638, d. abt. Apr 1714, that there are no records for either.
One proposed, but never implemented, settlement of Edmund Rice's estate requires the widow to pay the "eight elder children" in addition to the two she bore him (Source:Ward, Andrew Henshaw. Genealogical History of the Rice Family : Descendants of Deacon Edmund Rice, Who Came from Berkhamstead, England and Settled at, p. 3). Considering that daughter Mary and son Daniel died young, this is 10 children total by his first wife, and given that we baptism records have been found for Henry, Edward, Thomas, Lydia, Matthew, Samuel, Joseph, Benjamin there are none that appear to be unaccounted for. The birth is labelled "at sea", presumably to explain why the birth was not recorded, but between Joseph's baptism Mar 1637/38 and Benjamin's birth in May 1640, is just over two years, and squeezing in another son is a tight fit. This Edmund is not included at the Edmund Rice Association, nor in Mary Lovering Holman's article "English Notes on Edmund Rice" (TAG, p. 10:136-7), indicating that they have no conclusive proof of his existance.
The Ward source cited above does mention a son Edmund II. Ward says "no record of his ever having m., or of his residence, or death, or settlement of any estate ever belonging to him, has been discovered". He then describes an inventory dated 27 Apr 1714 of an Edmund Rice of Sudbury giving several parcels of land. Matthew Rice (s/o Edmund) and Matthew's son Isaac were appointed administrators 12 Apr 1714. Matthew is said to have been the only son of Edmund Senior still alive.
Receipts to the administrators surviving in the files included several grandchildren of Edmund Senior, children of many of his children. That the heirs of all children of Edmund Senior appear to have had rights to this land suggests it was either the land of an unmarried son of Edmund Senior (hence going to all his siblings), or of Edmund Senior himself.
Given the total lack of positive evidence for a son Edmund II, plus the above negative evidence to the contrary, I suspect this probate file pertains to Edmund Senior. Such a long gap between Edmund Senior's death in 1663 and an inventory in 1714 apparently has caused people to invent a son named Edmund for which there is no evidence. --Jrich 15:49, 11 September 2010 (EDT)
More excellent detective work, JRich. I've deleted this Edmund from my database. I suggest we delete him from here, but copy/paste your excellent notes to the family page of Edmund and his first wife under a heading of something like "Legend of Edmund Rice, Jr." Thoughts?
Jillaine 10:00, 13 September 2010 (EDT)