Tuesday, September 15, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 37, Large Family: Mary KING - 13 children, 87 grandchildren

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was Working For A Living, and this week's is LARGE FAMILY.  Hmmm, time to go trolling through my tree to see who has a very large family...

Oh my, there are so many couples with 10 or more, born by the same parents. And of course, there were some families which had larger numbers of children, but with several different mothers, or different fathers. I decided to look for a direct ancestor, a WOMAN who birthed the largest number of children:  Mary KING, wife of Thomas RICE.  Mary is my ex-husband's 6th great-grandmother, and she had 13 children, 87 grandchildren!

Mary KING, b. abt 1630 was the 5th of the 6 children of Thomas KING and Anne COLLINS, whose family arrived in early Massachusetts about 1638, from an unknown town in Dorset, England, possibly Shaftsbury (Shaston). She had 1 brother, and 3 older and 1 younger sisters.

Thomas RICE, b. 1625/26, the 4th of 13 children (father, Edmund RICE, mother Thomasina/Tamasin FROST), and his family came from Stanstead, Suffolk, England, arriving in early Massachusetts in 1638. Stanstead/Stansted is a small village about 40 miles north of London, England.

The Edmund RICE (1638) Association keeps detailed genealogies [with sources quoted/listed], and may be searched for more information. This is where I found my first details for this early immigrant family.

Mary KING married Thomas RICE in about 1651, although this has not yet been confirmed with documents.  They settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where they had 13 children:
  1. Grace, b. 1652, d. 3 Jan 1653/54
  2. Thomas (jr), b. 30 Jun 1654, d. after 1747; m. 10 Jan 1681/2 to his 1st cousin, Anna Rice; 14 children
  3. Mary, b. 4 Sep 1656, d. 22 Aug 1733; m. (1st) 28 Nov 1678 to Josiah White; 7 children; (2nd) 15 Jul 1718 to Thomas Sawyer
  4. [Capt.] Peter, b. 24 Oct 1658, d. 28 Nov 1753; m. abt 1688 to Rebecca How(e); 9 children
  5. Nathaniel, b. 3 Jan 1660/61, d. 13 Nov 1726; m. (1st) Sarah Stone (d. 1704); (2nd) Dec 1704 to Patience Brown; 3 children
  6. Sarah, b. 15 Jan 1661/62, d. abt 1742; m. bef 1706 to John Adams; 1 son
  7. Ephraim, b. 15 Apr 1665, d. 25 Oct 1732; m. (1st) 21 Feb 1687/88 to Hannah Livermore, 10 children (Hannah d. 25 May? 1724);  m. (2nd) Mary Noyes
  8. Gershom, b. 9 May 1667, d. 19 Dec 1768! ; m. abt 1694 to Elizabeth Balcom(me); 6 children
  9. James, b. 31 Mar 1669, d. 14 Oct 1730; m. abt 1695 to Sarah Stone (not related to #5 or #11's wives); 10 children
  10. Frances, b. 3 Feb 1669/70, d. abt 1767; m. abt 1689 to Benjamin Allen; 6 children
  11. Jonas, b. 6 Mar 1672/73, d. 22 Sep 1753; m. 10 Feb 1701/02 to Mary Stone (sister to #5's wife, Sarah), 5 children
  12. Grace, b. 15 Jan 1674/75, d. after 19 Dec 1768; m. 10 Feb 1701/02 to [Deacon] Nathaniel Moore [cousin?]; 9 children
  13. Elisha,  [direct ancestor] b. 4 Dec 1679, d. bef 19 Oct 1761; m. 10 Feb 1705/06 to Elizabeth WHEELER, granddaughter of Resolved WHITE (Mayflower - see ship below); 7 children.
    Our family line goes down from their 6th child, Elijah RICE.  
A few family trees and articles note a 14th child, named "Remnant Rice" (b. 1681).  However this is quite unlikely for many reasons: the name itself is a big clue that this is a hoax, and in addition, it would be unlikely that Mary was still having children in 1681 or so. The Edmund Rice Association lists this name, but only to explain there is no evidence whatsoever that there has ever been such a child.  

Mary's 13 children (one died young) produced a grand total of 87 grandchildren! My hat tips to her in awe. I'm certain there would have been extended family members available to help, and I note there were several RICE families in the region, including her sister Elizabeth King who married Samuel Rice, Mary's brother-in-law. It does indeed take a village to raise families which were so large. I'm daunted by the laundry, sewing, cooking, gardening, and other tasks which would take so much of Mary's time each day, each season. 

Wish I could find a diary of this time, in order to find any details of how the women handled their daily tasks, and managed to find time with their many children. Generally, such a large group would break into several 'groups', e.g., the older few, the middle ones, the younger few. And the older children would have responsibility for the younger children, as soon as they became old enough to help out in that way.  

If you have information and corrections on Thomas RICE & Mary KING, and their children, I would be very pleased to receive any details. I may be contacted through the email at the bottom of the page, or in the Comments section below.

Blogger - or my computer - is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You truly make my day.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fascinating stuff, Celia -- Brava! to you on your family 'archeological' bloodhounding! Can't imagine the amount of sheer drudgery and exhaustion in such lives...


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis