Person:Edmund Rice (1)

m. 15 Oct 1618
  1. Mary Rice1619 - Bef 1638
  2. Henry Rice1620/21 - 1710/11
  3. Edward Rice1622 - 1712
  4. Thomas Rice1625/26 - 1681
  5. Lydia Rice1627/28 - 1675
  6. Matthew Rice1629/30 - Bef 1717
  7. Daniel Rice1632 - 1632
  8. Samuel Rice1634 - 1684/85
  9. Edmund Rice, IIAbt 1638 - Abt 1714
  10. Joseph Rice1637/38 - 1711
  11. Benjamin Rice1640 - 1713
  • HDeacon Edmund RiceAbt 1594 - 1663
  • WMercy HurdAbt 1613 - 1693
m. 1 Mar 1655
  1. Lydia RiceAbt 1657 - 1717
  2. Ruth Rice1659 - 1742
Facts and Events
Name Deacon Edmund Rice
Alt Name Deacon Edmond Rice
Gender Male
Birth? Abt 1594 Stanstead, Suffolk, Englandnear Stanstead
Alt Birth? Abt 1594 Sudbury, Suffolk, EnglandPossibly
Alt Birth? Abt 1594 Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, EnglandNear
Christening? 11 Aug 1600 Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, EnglandCitation needed
Marriage 15 Oct 1618 Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, EnglandSt. Mary's Parish
to Thomasine Frost
Emigration? Abt 1638
Marriage 1 Mar 1655 Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United Statesto Mercy Hurd
Death[3] 3 May 1663 Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Burial[16] North Cemetery, Wayland, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Reference Number[15] Q5339774?
  Genealogy well done. Exemplary WeRelate page with excellent use of original sources.



In 1858, Andrew Henshaw Ward found the baptism of several of Edmund Rice's children in Barkhamstead, Hertfordshire, showing he had moved there by 1627. Then, in 1933 Mary Lovering Holman pushed our knowledge a little further back, finding the baptisms of his first three children starting in 1619 at Stansted, Suffolk. His marriage to Thomasine Frost of Stansted took place in 1618 at St. Mary's Church, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (The Genealogist 6:132). There is no baptism record for Edmund Rice in any of those places, and attempts to find his birth place and parentage have been unsuccessful. The Edmund Rice Association has compiled what IS known:

  • Edmund Rice and Thomasine Frost resided in 1627 at Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire.
  • In 1936, Donald Lines Jacobus traced many of the false claims made in 1911 by Charles Elmer Ric'es "By the Name of Rice (TAG, v1, 1936, pp. 14-21) (reprinted Fall 1963 and Winter 1993 in ERA newsletters)
  • Mary Lovering Holman researched parishes near Stansted and Sudbury, Suffolk, England without success (TAG, V 10, 1933/4; pp. 133-137)
  • In 1997, ERA commissioned Dr. Joanna Martin who likewise was over two years unable to discover ice's parents or ancestral line.
  • Some IGI/AF data claims Henry Rice and Elizabeth Frost as parents, but this has been disproven: Henry and Elizabeth were married November 1605 in Stansted; Edmund's first child was born 23 August 1619.
  • The three parishes of Sudbury, England have incomplete records for 1594, ER's most likely birth year.
  • Gary Boyd Roberts, Senior Researcher, New England Historic Genealogy Society, reviewed all of the genealogical sleuthing on Edmund's parentage. He concluded in 1999 that there was no evidence whatsoever that supports accounts of Edmund Rice's parents and no evidence that Edmund Rice was from a royal lineage.

No passenger list has yet been found that names him.

The "Great Puritan Exodus," as it is called, took place during the eleven years when Charles I ruled without a Parliament (1629-1640). Of the 26,000 inhabitants of New England at the end of 1640, all but about five hundred had come during those years. After 1640, the movement ceased almost as suddenly as it had begun, and was not renewed to any great extent until about 1790. After 1640, the Puritans became dominant at home and had, therefore, no further desire, nor reason to leave, while after the restoration there was such a revulsion of feeling that emigration was not renewed. For one hundred and fifty years from 1640, the people of New England continued to multiply almost entirely by natural increase and in remarkable seclusion from the rest of the world.(*) So slight, indeed, was the inflow of outsiders that for many years it is supposed those returning to England more than counterbalanced those coming from there.

(*)Practically the only emigration during that time was a small but steady inflow of mariners and merchants, who located at the sea ports; and about 10,000 Scotch-Irish from the north of Ireland who came between 1715 and 1740, and settled in the frontier towns of New Hampshire and Maine.

Life in New England

1638: Bullard & Allied Families claims he was in Boston by this time. By the Name of Rice claims:

Deacon Edmund Rice was in a land transaction in 1638 where he acquired 4 acres in then Sudbury (now Wayland) and laid out in the fall of that year. He was one of the first to build in the area. According to Massachusetts Colonial Records, Volume 1, page 271, on 3 September 1639 Edmund Rice was one of the committee appointed by the Massachusetts General Court to lay out the land in Sudbury in 1639.

Edmund Rice's house was situated on the "Old North Street", near Mill brook. He received his proportion of "Meadowlands", which were divided "to the present inhabitants" under dates of 4 September 1639, 20 April, and 18 November 164-, his share being 42 1/2 acres. He shared in all the division of Uplands and Commons - the total number of acres which fell to his lot, as an original inhabitant, was 247.

1639: The first New England record of him found so far is in the township book of the town of Sudbury 1639, when he was appointed to lay out the plantation. (Savage)

1640: Made freeman 13 May (Sudbury); had son Benjamin, b. 31 May

1643: Made deacon; deputy to the general court.

1654: His wife died 18 June. Sumner Chilton Powell in the book Puritan Village claims he was the largest individual landholder in Sudbury.

1655 m2 Mercy HURD, widow of Thomas Brigham, on 1 March.

1656: One of 13 petitioners (included his sons Edward and Henry Rice) who requested a new plantation (which would become Marlborough); Rice family moved here. The size of the these lots ranged from 50 acres down to 16 acres, and the wealth, ability to improve the land, as well as active participation in the founding of the settlement were considerations in determining the house lot size for each individual. The fifty-acre men were Edmond Rice, William Ward, John Ruddocke, and John Howe....

1657: Elected Selectman in Marlborough

1659: Daughter Ruth was born 29 September

1660: Marlborough named and incorporated. Rice served as Deputy to Massachusetts General Court.

1661: Daughter Ann born 19 November

The records of Sudbury and Marlborough reveal that he was actively engaged in the welfare of both communities.


Edmund Rice died in Marlborough 3 May 1663 and was buried in Sudbury. (By the Name of Rice claims he was buried in Wayland, MA.) One possible site of the grave is marked by a monument designed by Arthur Wallace Rice of Boston, MA. It was dedicated by the Edmund Rice Association on 29 August 1914. A boulder with a bronze tablet was also erected by the Association and it marks Edmund's homestead on the Old Connecticut Path in Wayland. (By the Name of Rice...)

He 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. She later married William Hunt. Edmund left a large family. Ten of his twelve children survived to have children.

Additional Sources

1. John Buczek, History of Marlborough: "HISTORY: An In Depth Look Source Program Book - Marlborough Tercentenary Celebration " [web site]

2. Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, 3, p. 312.

3. Mary Lovering Holman, "English Notes on Edmund Rice", The American Genealogist, volume 10 (1933/34), p. 133-137

4. Donald Lines Jacobus, "Pre-American Ancestries: Edmund Rice of Sudbury, Mass.", TAG, Vol II (1936), pp 14-21.

5. Gary Boyd Roberts, Senior Researcher, NEHGS

6. "Thomasine Frost Rice ancestry, Sudbury, MA," American Genealogist . Demorest, GA: Jul 1988. Vol. 63 Iss. 3

7. Ebenezer Parker, _The Story of the Rice Boys: Captured by the Indians_ Westborough Historical Society, 1906

8. Sudbury Records - Vitals taken from Middlesex records, NEHGS, Register, volumes 17-18.

9. Ella D. King, An Interim Tracing of the Ancestry of Valarie Daly King, 1956; p. 24

10. Charles Elmer Rice, By the Name of Rice: Edmund Rice and His Family, 1911.

11. Andrew Henshaw Ward, Genealogical History of the Rice Family, 1858.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Edmund Rice (1638).

  1.   Ward, Andrew Henshaw. A Genealogical History of the Rice Family: Descendants of Deacon Edmund Rice, who came from Barkhamstead, England and settled at Sudbury, Massachusetts, in 1638 or 9. (Boston: C. Benjamin Richardson, 1858).
  2.   Gerald Rice. Rice, Gerald G.. (Rice, Humphrey, Shattuck, Gervais, Beaudette, Angell and allied lines)

    Extensive notes and sources

  3. Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849. (Worcester, Massachusetts: Franklin P. Rice, 1908)

    1663: RICE, Edmond, buried May -, 1663. [At Sudbury, M.R.]; Death, Marlborough [Probably originally published in Marlborough records - See S12]

  4.   Hudson, Charles. History of the town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts: from its first settlement in 1657 to 1861; with a brief sketch of the town of Northborough, a genealogy of the families in Marlborough to 1800, and an account of the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the town. (Boston, Massachusetts, United States: T R Marvin & Sons, 1862).
  5.   Edmund Rice (1638) Association.
  6.   Flagg, Ernest. Genealogical Notes on the Founding of New England: My Ancestors Part in that Undertaking. (Hartford, Conn.: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1926).
  7.   Smith, Elsie Hawes. Edmund Rice and his family. (Boston: The Meador Press,: unknown, 1938)
  8.   Savage, James. 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)
  9.   Bullard, Edgar J. (Edgar John), and Gail Wheeler Pritchard. Bullard and Allied Families: the American Ancestors of George Newton Bullard and Mary Elizabeth Bullard. (Detroit, Michigan: E. J. Bullard, 1930)
    p 113.
  10.   Paige, Lucius Robinson. History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877: With a Genealogical Register. (Boston, Massachusetts: H. O. Houghton, 1877)

    Lucius Robinson Paige, History of Cambridge, MA 1630-1877, Cambridge, Ma: H.O. Houghton (1877)

  11.   Brigham, Willard Irving Tyler; Emma Elisabeth Brigham; and William E. Brigham. The History of the Brigham Family: A Record of Several Thousand Descendants of Thomas Brigham, the Emigrant, 1603-1653. (New York: Grafton Press, 1907)
    p. 69, 1907-1927.
  12.   Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849. (Worcester, Massachusetts: Franklin P. Rice, 1908)
  13.   Ancestral Register of Francis B. HAYNES.
  14.   Puritan Village.
  15. Edmund Rice (1638), in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  16. Edmund Rice, in Find A Grave.