Kit # 50544. Rebecca b.c. 1760 d. 1821 Rowan County, NC + William Wood > Elizabeth Wood b. 1796 NC d. 1872 KS + Thomas Rice 1818-1819 Rowan County, NC > Rebecca Rice b. 1829 TN d. 1915 TN + John B. Hinchey 1849 Henry County, TN HVR1 Haplogroup J
HVR1 Mutations 16069T
HVR2 Mutations 73G

Copyright © December 2007
Mary Fern Souder

Generation 1: Rebecca was the wife of William Wood. The date and place of her birth are not known, but a biography of one of her grandsons, Henderson Rice, indicates that she or her parents were from South Carolina.

Her husband, William Wood, left a will in 1817 in Rowan County, NC, listing eleven Wood children. Based on the ages of the heirs, if Rebecca was the only wife of William and the mother of all of these children, she would have to be born by 1760. The children were John Wood, Nancy Hall, Lydia Michael, Leah Worsham, Edmond Wood, Phebe Wood, Betsy Wood, Margaret, Sally, Abraham Wood and Jarrett/Jared Wood. (The last names of Margaret and Sally were not given, so it is unclear whether they were married).

The will of William Wood stated he was sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, and that he was lying on a featherbed in the home of Polly Tow. Polly Tow was the first person mentioned in the will, and she received 50 acres, a house, specific animals, farm equipment, and the uncut corn crop. After Polly's death, this property was to be given to her three daughters Susy, Faiby and Lucy.

William's eleven children received bequests in varying amounts, and his beloved wife Rebecca was to have and enjoy the whole residue of his personal estate and property not above bequeathed after paying all just debts. After Rebecca's death, the real estate left to her (a later deed of sale shows it was 220 acres), was to be equally divided between sons Abraham Wood and Jared Wood. Executors of the will were Jacob Gobble and Jacob Cook. William's will was witnessed by B. Sherwood and George Snider, Jr.

William Wood served as primary bondsman on the bastardy bond for the illegitimate child of Mary DOW on 7 February 1795, in Rowan County, NC. The secondary bondsman was J. Thrantham. This bastardy bond needs to be examined to see the stated relationship between William Wood and Mary Dow. The primary signator was usually the father of the baby.

In 1810, William and Rebecca Wood were enumerated one household from Mary Tough, and both women were over age 45. The relationship between William Wood and Mary "Polly" Tow is unknown. Their relationship must have been a significant one based on the amount of property he bequeathed to Polly Tow, his signature on the bastardy bond, and the fact that he was living with Polly at the time of his death.

Rebecca Wood was enumerated as head of household on the 1820 census. Also in her home were a male age 16-26, a female age 16-26, and a female age 10-16. Although Rebecca is listed among a group of four Wood households, including Daniel Wood and two named Jarrel/Jarrett Wood, this particular census was recopied and partially alphabetized in a WPA project during the Great Depression. The recopying makes the census more prone to error than the original document, and the alphabetization prevents one from knowing with certainty whether those names listed in order were actually close neighbors. The two Jarrel/Jarrett Wood households are identical in composition, and may be the same household, enumerated twice. This recopied census also inconsistently lists some persons by their surname and others by their first name.

Rowan County, NC, court documents show that Rebecca Wood had died by May of 1821. Deed Book 26, # 1070, p. 506, dated 21 May 1821: Jarratt (X) Wood sold to Jacob Cook for $100, an undivided half of 220 A on Holeman Creek adj Daniel Wood, William Wood, Jarratt Wood, Sr., Jacob Gobble, now this Grantee, Thomas Hall, Enoch Rice, Reed, and Polly Tow. It was this Grantor's share of the land of his father, William Wood, and was to remain the property of this Grantor's mother, Rebecca Wood, during her natural life. Wit: B. Sherwood, Sarah Sherwood. Prvd by B. Sherwood at Aug Ct 1821. (Of interest is that although the 1820 census is fairly well alphabetized, Levy Reed, Jacob Cook, Jacob Gobble and a few others, are out of order and their names appear near the Wood enclave).

Generation 2: Elizabeth "Betsy" Wood was born in 1796 in North Carolina, and was given $20 in the 1817 will of her father, William Wood, to be received after the death of her mother, Rebecca. Elizabeth married Thomas Rice on the 27th of December in 1818 or 1819 in Rowan County, NC. (The marriage bond stated one year and the court recording stated another).

Elizabeth and Thomas Rice were enumerated on the 1820 census in Rowan County with one male under the age of five. This is assumed to be their oldest child, William Rice. The census lists them next to Mary Rice, who was age 26-45, with five children in that household. As mentioned above, due to the census alphabetization one cannot be certain that these two Rice households were contiguous. These were the only two Rice households in this particular enumeration district, and they were within the same district (which contained 111 households) as the above Wood family.

Thomas and Elizabeth Rice interspersed farming with the occupation of traveling merchant, and a few years after their marriage, Elizabeth and Thomas Rice left Rowan County and began a nomadic journey that took them halfway across the United States. By 1825 they were residents of White County, TN, and they may the same couple who were enumerated there in 1830. By 1833 they had moved to Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory, and in 1840 they were in Wayne County, IL. Their son, Henderson Rice (who was actually 12 days short of age 16) married in 1841 in Jefferson County, IL, and Thomas made a court appearance there in 1842. Elizabeth and Thomas and their children moved to Henry County, TN by about 1843 and stayed until the fall of 1850, when they moved to St. Francois County, MO. In 1850, Thomas was enumerated as a merchant.

Three of the four sons of Elizabeth Wood and Thomas Rice died in early manhood before they had the opportunity to gain prominence, but one son, Henderson Rice served four terms as a Kansas legislator, and several biographies can be found for him. One of Henderson's biographies gives a brief account of Elizabeth's parents and a bit about the travels of Elizabeth and Thomas Rice.

"Henderson Rice was born March 19, 1825. His father, Thomas Rice, was an upright Tennessee farmer, always conscientiously opposed to the institution of slavery. His mother, Elizabeth Rice, formerly Elizabeth Wood, whose ancestors were originally from South Carolina, was a pious, godly woman, a useful member of the Christian church, and the one above all others to whose moral teachings he attributes all of the good that attaches to him. His parents being poor, he received but an ordinary education in the English branches taught in the common schools. To this he has added much by study, by observation, and by his intercourse with intelligent society, admirably fitting him for the duties of a practical legislator. . .

. . .Until sixteen, he was employed on his father's farm. At that early age he married and started in life to mold his own fortune. He first rented a farm in Tennessee, which he cultivated until the fall of 1850, when he removed to St. Francois County, MO and resumed his operations on a rented farm . . . On the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in 1854, he immigrated to Kansas to secure a permanent home for himself and his family . . ." The United States Biographical Dictionary, Kansas Volume, pp. 111-2. Chicago and Kansas City, S. Lewis & Co., Publishers, 1879.

According to one account the Rices were the first settlers in Mound Township in Lykins County, Kansas Territory: "On November 5, 1854, Thomas Rice and son Henderson made the first settlement at Mound Creek in Mound Township. . . A store was opened April 5, l856, by Thomas Rice." Lykins county was later renamed Miami County, KS. History of the State of Kansas, Mound Creek, Miami County, A. T. Andreas, Chicago, 1883, page 89.

In February through December of 1856 Thomas Rice was involved in an ongoing lawsuit with John Tabor in St. Francois County, MO. Thomas was present in St. Francois County court on 12 July 1856, so he may have been traveling between St. Francois County, MO, and Lykins County, Kansas Territory during this year of 1856.

Elizabeth and Thomas Rice had five known children: William, Henderson, Abram, Rebecca, and Thomas D. Rice. Three of these sons only lived long enough to marry and have children, and died young leaving a total of 12 orphans among them. Son Henderson Rice was a prominent Kansas legislator and lived to age 58, leaving 13 children. He died of tuberculosis. The daughter of Elizabeth and Thomas, Rebecca Jane Rice, was the only child who lived to advanced age.

Thomas Rice died intestate in 1861, and his probate listed his wife, Elizabeth Rice, all five of his children (or their heirs), and their places of residence. Son Abram Rice was already deceased in Tennessee, son William Rice died in 1863 in Illinois, and son Thomas D. Rice died in 1872 in Kansas. It fell to the surviving son, Henderson Rice, to serve as guardian and administrator for the dispersal of funds to the twelve orphans. Court documents show that each of these minor heirs received annual payments for their share of the farm income from the estates of their respective deceased fathers until they reached the age of majority, and then sold their interest in the farm.

The three children of son William Rice and his deceased wife Mary, were ages four through nine at the time of their father's death, and Elizabeth Rice arranged for them to come to Kansas to live with her. Money was taken from the estate of Thomas Rice to pay for their transport from Fulton County, IL, to Miami County. Elizabeth also helped raise the infant daughter of Henderson Rice and his first wife, Rebecca McIntire, who either died in childbirth or during the first year of the baby's life. This baby was Rebecca Jane Rice, b. ca. 1857.

Elizabeth Wood Rice made her will on 19 November 1866 in Miami County, KS. She gave her undivided one-half interest of the farm to her son, Henderson, and made special bequests to the four grandchildren she finished raising:

To William and Mary Rice's children:

Martha Ellen Rice was given one bed and bedding and one cow.

Joseph Rice was given $25.00

Mary Elizabeth Rice was given $25.00

To the youngest daughter of Henderson Rice and Rebecca McIntire:

Rebecca Jane Rice was given one bed and bedding, one cow, and $25.00.

Elizabeth's personal effects were to be sold and if anything remained after paying her bills, the money was to be divided among the four mentioned grandchildren.

"And I hereby do make and appoint my son Henderson Rice Executor of this my last will and testament giving him full power and authority to carry into effect its provisions in accordance with the existing laws of the State. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and publickly acknowledged the above to be my last will and testament. Signed: Elizabeth (her X mark) Rice."

"Interlined before signed

Subscribed to and acknowledged in accordance this the 19th day of November AD 1866 Witnesses: J. M. Walthall, Daniel Brown"

Elizabeth Wood Rice died on 23 Feb 1872. She and Thomas are buried in the Mound Creek Cemetery in Miami County, KS.

Generation 3: Rebecca Jane Rice was born in September of 1829 in Tennessee. She traveled with her parents through the counties and states mentioned above until her marriage to John B. Hinchey on 24 July 1849 in Henry County, TN. When her parents and siblings left Henry County in the fall of 1850, she and John stayed in Henry County, and lived next door to John's widowed father. John was the son of Bartlett Hinchey, born ca. 1796 in North Carolina, and his wife, Vicey Horn, who had married in 1818 in Orange County, NC.

Rebecca and John farmed in Henry County, and were the parents of five known children: Mary Catherine who married Minas Hackney "Hack" Petty; Sarah Elizabeth who married Andrew Jackson Petty; a son born ca. 1856 who was enumerated as D. J. T. Hinchey who has not been traced; Rebecca Jennie who married Charles B. Graham; and Laura B. who married David Lee Dowdy.

Rebecca and John were enumerated on the 1900 Henry County, TN, census. John was age 77 and Rebecca was age 70. They reported that they had been married 51 years. John's unmarried sister, Levia C. Hinchey, age 68, lived with them.

John died between 1900 and 1910, and in 1910, Rebecca lived with her youngest daughter and son-in-law, Laura and David Lee Dowdy.

Rebecca Rice Hinchey died on 8 April 1915 in Henry County at the age of 86, and the physician listed her cause of death as "old age." The personal information on her death certificate was provided by her son-in-law, D. L. Dowdy, and he stated that she had been born in Illinois. This error was probably made because he had heard stories about Rebecca's childhood in Illinois. Rebecca consistently reported her place of birth as Tennessee on all census records. David Dowdy listed the father of Rebecca as Thomas Rice, but the name of her mother was left blank. Rebecca and John are buried in the Hinchey Cemetery in Henry County, TN.

I am deeply indebted for the assistance I received from the staff at the Paris Public Library in Henry County, TN; Mary Zinzilieta, private researcher in Jefferson County, IL; Mary McLemore at the Mary E. Parker Memorial Library in Murray County, OK; and the staff at the Fox Funeral Home in Davis, Murray County, OK. I am also grateful for the research of Margaret Thompson, Juli Jarvis, Sharon Thomas, Lee Ann Tilley, Pamela Pantoja, Lowell Paul, James H. Bushart, and Lea Mayo.

Participant # 50544 falls within the J2 Haplogroup. According to Family Tree DNA, mitochondrial haplogroup J contains several sub-lineages. The original haplogroup J originated in the Near East approximately 50,000 years ago. Within Europe, sub-lineages of haplogroup J have distinctive distributions. Haplogroup J2 is particularly interesting because it has been detected in Turkey, Italy, Sardinia, Iberia, and Iceland—all populations with traditionally prominent fishing industries. This connection suggests recent migration related to the economic opportunities offered by fishing.

Matches as of December 2007:

Last Updated on 12/28/2007
By Wallace W. Souder