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Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Descendant Contact Host for Ransom Rice: "Liz" Wooldridge

Descendant Contact for Roderic/Rodney Rice: Faye L. (Rice) Merlin Anderson

There were two Rice families in early Oconto County, Wisconsin. Roderic and Ransom Rice were brothers; both sons of Solomon & Theodocia (Sartwell) (Bragg) Rice. The earliest Rice Family information on this page contains summaries based primarily on Federal Census Enumerations, obituaries and other public vital records. Remember that US Census reports were not legal documents. They were government surveys, and although accuracy was stressed in gather information, the name spellings and data was subject to the knowledge and skill of the census taker. Cultural differences and foreign language accent interpretation played a key roll in what was recorded. RITA - Oconto County WIGenWeb Site Coordinator

Please click on the name below to view:

* Vermont The Early Rice Family

* Ransom Rice Family
   Descendant Contact 
   for Ransom Rice:
   "Liz" Wooldridge

* Rodney Rice Family
   Descendant Contact
   for Roderic/Rodney Rice: 
   Faye L. (Rice) Merlin Anderson


Going back in time.

     The Rice name is well known in Vermont census reports, going back at the very least to 1790. In the 1850 US Census there were 6 Rodney Rice males, all born in Vermont. But there was only one Rodney (Roderic) Rice born June 16, 1831 in Stockbridge, Windsor Township, Vermont, to Solomon Rice and his wife Theodate Sartwell. This is the family from which two sons migrated to Wisconsin in the 1800's.

In a letter sent by a descendant of  Rodney A. Rice's sister, Celesta Amanda Rice, is a family record from Vermont:
   Rodney A. Rice (22a;30)
   Born: 16 Jun "1831"
   Stockbridge, Vt. (22a)
   Son of Solomon and Theodate (Sartwell) Rice (22a)
   Buried. " Oconto Falls, Wi." (22a)
 Children, surname Rice, born in Pittsfield: 6 named (22a;30) (including daughter Anna; with grandparents in 1880)

The lineage indicated by the censuses is as follows:
Obediah Rice
to Aaron Rice (late 1700's)
to Solomon Rice (early 1800's)
to Ransom L Rice (1827) and Rodney (Roderic) A. Rice (1831) 

     Using US censuses for preliminary tracking of this Rice Family, 1790 in Hartland, Windsor, Vermont finds family patriarch Obediah Rice as head of household which also consists of three males under age 16 and three white females. His probable son Aaron Rice lives one residence away. Aaron is head of that household which also consists of himself, and one female, presumably his wife. There are no children at this residence.

      In 1800 Aaron Rice is found in what is then named Pawlett, Rutland County, Vermont. Aaron is now between age 26 and 45, there is one female under 10 years and one between age 16 and 26. there is another Rice , with Samuel as Head of Household. Samuel, thought to be Aaron's brother is between ages 26 and 45, there are also 4 males under age 10 and one male 10 to 16 years. Two females are in the household. One is age 10 to 16 and the other is 26 to 45.

     1810 Aaron Rice is found in Greensboro, Orleans township, Vermont. there is now one males under age 10 and one between 10 and 16. There are 3 females under age 10 and one between 26 and 45. Another probable brother of Aaron is living in the same township, James  Rice who is head of the household and appears to be married with one son between 10 and 16 and two daughters under 10. There is also an older man living in the household and that could be family patriarch Obediah Rice.

     The 1820 census has Aaron Rice as head of household Greensboro, Orleans township, Vermont. and over the age of 45 years. Younger males in the residence are 4 in number, one under age 10 , one between 16 and 18 years and two between 18 and 26 years. There are 7 females, again from 3 generations. Two under 10, three 10 to 16 years, one 16 to 26 and one 26 to 45 years. Brother James Rice continues to reside near by and a young Solomon Rice, between age 18 and 26, is also in residence as his own head of household . There is one female in the 26 to 45 age range, presumable his wife Theodate (Sartwell) and 3 females under 10 years. All families are engaged in agriculture. Solomon appears to be a son of Aaron Rice; named for Aaron's father.

     1830 finds Solomon Rice farming in Stockbridge, Windsor township, Vermont. He is age 30 to 40 years and there are 3 younger males, two under 5 years, one 10 to 15 years.  Of the four females in the residence two are between 5 and 10 years, one is 15 to 20 years, and one is 30 to 40 years. Ransom L. Rice was born 1827. Roderic/Rodney Rice was born here in 1831. Uncle James Rice and family continue to live nearby. A Luther Rice (born about 1800)  household is also found in Stockbridge, Windsor, Vermont. He could be brother of Solomon Rice and he is found residing there on all censuses through 1860. After that he is found living in Middlebury, Addison County, Vermont in 1870 as a retired farmer. He is not found in 1880.

     The Solomon Rice family is found again farming  in  Greensboro township, Orleans County, Vermont in 1840. He has perhaps taken over the farm of his father Aaron Rice. This is the last census in which only the head of household is named. There are three young males, two presumably being Ransom and Rodney, and one young female in residence, older daughter Mary Ann. Solomon and wife Theodate are now both listed as between the ages of 40 and 50. A young James Rice, between  age 20 and 30 years has begun a household  in the township and an older Whipple Rice and family also shows up, being between 50 and 60 years of age. These two neighbors could be related to Solomon in some way.

Mary M. (Rice) wife of  David Rice, died April 3, 1888, age 64 years. Mary was the sister of Roderic/Rodney and Ransom Rice. She was also a first cousin to her husband David Rice. This gravestone photograph was taken, 2005,  in Pittsfield Cemetery, Pittsfield, Rutland County, Vermont, where Rodney Rice and his family lived until coming to Oconto County, Wisconsin in 1870.  Mary's son, Maurice, also moved to Oconto County, WI.

Some of the Other Rice Burials In Pittsfield Vermont
Please click on each small photo for a larger view:

Polly, wife of Horace Rice, died August 1, 1828, age 30 years. Gravestone made from quarried local stone and hand cut with the old traditional "covered urn" and "Tree of  Life" at the top.
Harriet C., wife of Horace Rice, died Dec. 4, 1835, age 31. Also and infant son. Gravestone made from quarried local stone and hand cut with the old traditional "Tree of Life" Willow at the top.

Harvey L., only child of  M. L. & L. E. Rice. Maurice Rice, Harvey's father, was the son of Mary Ann Rice and her cousin/ husband David Rice Jr. Mary Ann was the older sister of Rodney and Ransom Rice.

Lizzie E. (Knight), wife of Maurice L.  Rice,  died Dec. 25, 1880, age 26 years 5 mos. Gravestone made from quarried local stone and hand cut.  Maurice also moved to Oconto County, WI and later remarried.

Pittsfield Cemetery, Rutland County, Vermont, in the Green Mountains.
Taken at sunset in the rain, April 2005.

Pittsfield Historical Society (Town Hall) 
P.O. Box 808 
Pittsfield, VT 05762 
Phone: (802) 746-8147

     Solomon Rice and Ransom L. Rice are not found in the 1850 Vermont census. Rodney Rice at age 19, and head of household, is a laborer found living in Mendon, Rutland County, Vermont. Living with him is his mother Theodate (Theodotia) Rice, now age 56, Amanda Rice age 13 and Harvey Rice age 17; presumably Rodney's younger brother and sister. All were born in Vermont. Ransom was on his own and could have already been in Maine, where his first child was born in 1853.

Theodotia is also listed in the 1850 Census as living with David and Mary Rice.  Mary was an older sister of Rodney and Ransom. David was a first cousin according to family bible records. Although Theodotia's age is not correct in this census, it is probably safe to say that she spent time with her sons and daughters after her husband's death.

     Rodney Rice is found in Mendon, Rutland County, Vermont in 1860 working as a teamster. Those living with him are Anna (wife Ann Matilda Blanchard) age 23, Warren (also Warner) Rice age 5 and an unnamed male infant one month old ( later to be know as Marcien, Marcus, Marciell Rice). All are born in Vermont. Ransom L. Rice is found in Pensaukee, Oconto County, Wisconsin in 1860, working as a farmer. He had established the family in that state sometime before the birth of his second child in Wisconsin in 1855.

Rodney Rice's first wife Anna Matilda Blanchard passes away in 1870 and later that year the family has moved and begins it's own history in Oconto County, Wisconsin (see beginning of this writing at the top). Brother Ransom L. Rice was homestead farming nearby in the county for 15 years at the time of Rodney Rice's move there.

Rodney and Ransom's older sister was Mary Ann Rice. She married her first cousin, David Rice Jr. and lived in Pittsfield, Vermont. Mary Ann Rice died April 3, 1888 and is buried in Pittsfield Vermont Cemetery. 

The son of Mary Ann and David Rice Jr., Maurice Leslie Rice, born 1851, married Elizabeth (Lizzie) E. Knight who was born 17 July 1854 in Chittenden, Vermont, 6 January 1877. Both Elizabeth and their only child, Harvey at age 2½ years, died by 1888 and are buried in Pittsfield, Vermont, Cemetery. Widower Maurice then moved to Oconto Falls, Oconto County, Wisconsin where he married Alice Maria Perrigo on 25 december 1883. Alice was the daughter of Danforth Perrigo. Maurice Rice died in Everett, Washington 7 May 1917.

  It is strongly suggested that none of this report be used as a final draft until each entry is confirmed with other data, such as marriage, birth and death certificates. This is only a work in progress; not a completed project.   Rita