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Related page: Seeking our Heritage in Richard Pace's
Richard and Isabella (Smythe) Pace: A brief summary of their story
The first Paces in America were Richard Pace and his wife Isabell (or Isabella) (Smythe). The first definite record is of their marriage in Stepney, then a suburb on the eastern side of London, 5 October 1608. He and Isabella were both from Wapping, another suburb. His occupation is listed as "carpenter." Since this area east of London was a center of ship building, he could have been a ship's carpenter. Both Wapping and Stepney are now part of Greater London. Here's a map:
The first record we have in America is in 1620 when Richard and Isabell received grants of 100 acres each. The original patents do not exist, but Isabella's renewal of her patent in 1628, when she was married to William Perry, states that she received the land as an "Ancient Planter". Their son George Pace also renewed his father's patent in that year, and his patent states that his father Richard received 100 acres based on "personal adventure", or in other words, for coming here himself. These documents would suggest that the Paces were here before Thomas Gates' departure in 1616, as that was the requirement set forth in the "Greate Charter" of 1618. However, Bruce Howard believes they did not arrive until 1618 or 1619.
The land was located four miles from Jamestown and across the river on the south side. Richard named his estate Pace's Paines and the area grew into a community of plantations, all of which went by the name of Pace's Paines.
The Marriage Reg. of St. Dunstan's, Stepney, County of Middlesex, England. Specific wording of the marriage register, from Pace Society Bulletin No. 13, September, 1970:
" Richard Pace of Wapping Wall Carpenter and Isabell Smyth of the same marryed the 5th day October 1608"
Note that Wapping Wall is specified, not just Wapping. Wapping Wall is a short street at the east end of Wapping High Street, connecting the village of Wapping with the village of Shadwell. In Richard's time, it was on an actual wall which protected the residents behind it from the Thames, which was a wilder and wider river in those days. The Prospect of Whitby pub, oldest riverfront tavern in London, is at 57 Wapping Wall. It was called Devil's Tavern in Richard's day and was a sailor's hangout
Click here to see pictures of St. Dunstan's.
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In the volume EARLY VIRGINIA FAMILIES ALONG THE JAMES RIVER, p. 3 Izabella Perry, wife of William Perry, Gent., 200 acs. within the Corp. of James City, 20 Sept 1628, p. 62. At the S. side of the plantation called Paces Paine granted to herselfe and her late husband Richard Pace 5 Dec. 1620. W. on land of John Burrowes now in the tenure of John Smith, E. to land granted to her son George Pace, and N. on the maine river. 100 acs. for her owne per. adj., being an Ancient planter and the other 100 acs. as the devdt of Francis Chapman, having been granted to him 5 Dec 1620 and by him made over to Richard Richards and Richard Dolphenyby and by them mad over the said Izabella at a Court at James City 21 jan. 1621.
Georg Pace, sonn and heire apparent to Richard Pace, dec'd., 400 acs. within the Corp of James Citty, 1 Sept. 1628, p. 64
Who were the ancestors of Richard and Isabella? They have not been discovered for certain, but Leatha Betts offers the following possibilities:
For Isabella--here's a possibility:
ENGLISH ADVENTURERS AND EMIGRANTS, 1609-1660 by Peter Wilson Coldham, Publ. Baltimore, 1984 p. 21, Wife of William Perry, Izabell (Widow of Richard Pace) 26 Aug 1629 mentions she is aged 40. (Amended land patent date 26 Aug 1627.) Therefore, she would have been born between September 1588 and August, 1589, if this is an exact age.
Pub. Registers of England Christening Isabell Smyth, father John Smyth, St. Clement Danes, Westminster, London, England 4 May 1587.
According to the birth date, this would make her 42 in 1629, which is pretty close. Folks didn't always give their exact date. The parish of St. Clement Danes is on the west side of London, near Westminster (see map) probably no more than 3 miles from Wapping.
For Richard--here's a Richard Pace about the right age, but no proof it is the same one:
Par Registers of England, Christenings, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, England 24 Aug 1580, father Richard Pace.
Leatha doesn't say, but the baby was obviously a Richard Pace also and is a candidate for being "our" Richard. This would make him 7 years older than Isabell if she is Isabell of St. Clement Danes.
From the WASHINGTON POST, "Tree Rings Hint at Drought as Culprit at Jamestown, 'Lost Colony'", Friday, April 28, 1998, page AO3, Joby Warrick reporting: "Two of the most ferocious droughts of the millennium may have triggered the mass starvation at America's first English settlement at Jamestown and also sealed the fate of the 120 inhabitants of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island, whose disappearance 20 years earlier remains one of the most enduring mysteries of the colonial era.
New Research reported yesterday [April 23, 1998] appears to confirm the existence of the back-to-back famines, shedding light on the extraordinary hardships faced by early colonists as they struggled to gain a foothold in the new world.
'It wasn't just a drought, it was an amazing drought,' said Dennis Blanton, Director of the Center for Archaeological Research at the College of William and Mary, who used tree rings to reconstruct weather patterns in the Tidewater region of Virginia and North Carolina dating back nearly 1,000 years.
In cases of monumentally bad timing, both the Jamestown colony and the ill-fated earlier settlement on Roanoke Island, off the North Carolina coast, were founded precisely as epic dry spells were parching large swaths of the Southeast, according to the report in today's edition of the journal Science.
Rainfall data gleaned from ancient cypress trees show that the region's worst three-year drought in 800 years peaked in 1587, the year the 120 men, women and children of the Roanoke Island colony were last seen by Europeans. Sir Walter Raleigh, the founder of North America's aborted first English settlement, left his fellow colonists behind that year to sail to England for fresh supplies. His return three years later found no trace of the settlers, including young Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World. The sole tantalizing clue about their whereabouts was a single word, 'Crotatoan,' which was found carved into a tree near the abandoned fort.
Historians have long debated what became of the colonists, but the discovery of the previously unknown drought presents a new set of possibilities, Blanton said. Perhaps famine forced them to seek refuge with the Croatoan Indians, one of the indigenous tribes.
'We're introducing drought as a significant factor that people have to consider,' he said. 'We're still not in a position to explain the mystery of the famous disapperance, but we may know more about the situation that led to it.'
The tree-ring data also may help explain the dire condition 20 years later at Jamestown, where nearly half of the 350 colonists alive in June 1610 died by the end of the summer. The period from 1609 to 1610 is known historically as 'the starving time,' a calamity that Blanton says was likely caused by prolonged famine. The dry spell lasted from 1606 -- the year before Jamestown was founded -- until 1612, and ranks as the worst seven-year drought in 770 years, the report says.
The scant historical record from the time refers to shortages of food and potable water in the colony. Jamestown's most famous resident, Captain John Smith, wrote of local Indians refusing to share food with the struggling colonists because of concerns about their own food supply. But until now there was little direct evidence of the profoundly grim conditions facing both the colonists and the Powhatan Indians who initially aided the settlers.
'The Roanoke and the Jamestown colonies have both been criticized for poor planning, poor support, and for a startling indifference to their own subsistence,' wrote Blanton and co-author David Stahle, a University of Arkansas climatologist, in their report. 'But tree-ring reconstruction indicates that even the best planned and supported colony would have been supremely challenged by the climatic conditions.'
Scientists have only begun to appreciate the rich trove of environmental and climatological information contained in the bald cypress trees native to the Tidewater region. The long-lived trees contain an unusually sharp climate map in the fluctuating patterns of growth rings on their trunks. The record studied by Blanton and Stahle covers a period of nearly 1,000 years, the last 800 of which is 'quite solid,' said Blanton.
'You have to wonder what would have happened if the drought had not ended when it did,' he added. 'More than once the English had packed their bags to go home. How would American history have changed if the drought had lasted another year or two?'"
Exactly how bad were things at Jamestown? I quote from the book, THE LIGHT AND THE GLORY by Peter Marshall and David Manuel:
"Thus did the Virginia Colony enter the dark night of its soul -- the time that would soon be known as 'the starving time.' All the livestock had been consumed -- the hogs, sheep, goats, and a few horses (those that had come over on the last ships) -- every bit, even the hide themselves. Next went the dogs and cats, and the rats that had once thrived on their corn, and any field mice they could find, or little snakes. But the hunger continued unabated and now became ravenous. They dug up the roots of trees and bushes and gnawed on them, and every bit of shoe leather on the plantation -- every book cover, every leather hinge or strap or fitting was boiled and eaten. The colonists grew so weak that many, lacking the strength to move, froze to death in their beds. And still, the hunger raged on."
However, Marshall and Manuel point out that "deliverance" for the colonists "came in early May of 1610 -- and was labeled as such. It came in the form of the good ship Deliverance, and her sister ship Patience, both miraculously built from local wood (and the fittings of the Sea Venture) on the island of Bermuda by Gates and Somers and their resourceful crews. They plied their way up the James, and were stunned to be met by sixty shambling stick figures, moaning, 'We are starved! We are starved! Was this all that was left of the four hundred newcomers and eighty settlers who had been there the previous August?"
Note the discrepancies: The first account said that half of the 350 colonists, alive in June 1610 died by the end of the summer. This account states that out of the 480 persons who were in the colony in the summer of 1609, only "sixty" survivors were present when the rescue took place in "May 1610." This makes it appear that someone's math is in question, but it is still a fascinating story.
The week end of the 8th and 9th (March, 1997) we spent around the Petersburg area and I ventured out into the back woods of Prince George County. I found the old Merchants Hope Church which was built in 1657 and is the church where Richard and Mary were married. Richard Baker's lands were about a mile below this church and George Pace lived within two and a half miles to the east. I followed the old roads over to Powell's Creek where it crosses highway 10 and turned up the road to Flowerde Hundred Plantation and went up the left fork of that road toward what is shown on the map as Maycocks ruin. The whole time, from the time I left Hwy 10, I was on George Pace's plantation, which I have discovered also included Flowerde Hundred Plantation. He owned every inch of ground between Powell's Creek on the west and James River on the east; from James River on the north running 3 miles south below Flowerde Hundred Creek. I was very intrigued by the whole thing.
I had already gotten a copy of his original grants from 1650 and transcribed the entire document, and by using the metes and bounds discription and plotting the measurements on a topographic, 7.5 series, map of the area, I was able to determine exactly where his land was and what it encompassed. Many of the narrow, two lane, roads that I traveled in there were the original old roads that have been there since Colonial times; most have been paved over and some are still dirt, especially those above the Flowerde Hundred road going through the original George Pace land toward the river. I made it all the way to the river on somebody's private road. They left the gate open and there was not a no traspassing sign anywhere so I struck out down the road until it came to the river and turned toward a private house. No one came out and no one fired any shots at me so I stopped and took some pictures. The other dirt roads leading to what is shown as Maycock's ruin was blocked by a cable gate so couldn't go up there. My wife thought I had lost my mind, but I was determined to see this place and get a feel for the country where our ancestors had their beginning. It was quite a treat.
It is going to take me a day or two to transcribe all of the copies of documents I gathered in Virginia, NC and Georgia. I feel much more comfortable now with so much new information and correcting some old information. I will have to make corrections in the manuscript at some places in view of the new information, but I now feel I will be able to speak with more authority than I would have had I not made the trip and seen for myself the country where our people lived during that time.
Pictures above courtesy of Nancy Pinner of Decatur, GA. Posted Aug 1999.
Pictures below courtesy of Jeanne Park. Posted Jan. 2001
Merchant's Hope Church
Jordon's Point, and its connection to Bacon's Rebellion
"The men on the south side of the James River formed a camp at Jordan's Point, near the present Hopewell in Prince George County and selected John Lanier and John Woodlief to go to the governor and ask him for the authority to go against the Indians. But, Berkeley, instead of cooperating with them called them "fools and loggerheads" and denied their request. On their return to camp they were visited by Nathaneil Bacon who resided on the other side of the rier at Curles Neck. He at this time assumed command, and the trouble began by his going against the Indians without a commission from Berkeley." William and Mary Quarterly, XV, p 77
George Park writes: If, as we believe, Sarah Woodlief is a direct ancestor, then John Woodlief, her grandfather, is my 9th great grandfather( I think I counted right) on my maternal side. It is proven that John Lanier is my 9th great grandfather on my paternal side. To descend from two ancestors named fools and loggerheads by the representative of the British Crown gives one pause. Jordan Point Country Club covers the major part of the point now, and we attended several functions there through the years, never knowing that Grandpa nd Grandpa slept here.
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Rick Schnake has an interesting hobby/part time business. He collects and
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Mirror site on Schnakenet at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~schnake/HistoryInInk.htm
Mirror site on Pace Network http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~pace/HistoryInInk.htm