James Trice of Caroline Co., VA, b. by 1712, d. Orange Co., NC 1789: Part 1 of 5


Not long ago, a man who learned from his FTDNA “Family Finder” autosomal DNA test that we are related through our Trice lines contacted me. It turned out that we have the same Trice great-great-grandparents, so we are (as they say in north Louisiana) gen-u-wine cousins. Because of him, I have to cast yet another vote in favor of DNA testing, if for no other reason than to meet very nice relatives who were previously unknown to you.

Meanwhile, email conversations with my newfound cousin caused me to look again at the Trice family. My own last conclusively proved Trice Ancestor is the James Trice who first appeared as a resident of Caroline County, VA in a 1733 road order, married as his second wife Ruth Booth (widow of Daniel Booth), and moved to Orange County, NC, where he died in 1789. Let’s call him JAMES TRICE of Caroline/Orange to distinguish him from at least one other James Trice who made a brief appearance in the records of Caroline County.

There is a great deal of bad information floating around the internet about this man. This isn’t surprising. Trices began appearing in Virginia in the 1670s, and they did not choose their locations wisely. They appeared in New Kent, King & Queen, King William, Hanover, and Caroline counties. All of those counties have suffered serious losses of records. Moreover, “Edward” and “James” were favorite Trice given names from the time they started appearing in the colonies, which makes the job of distinguishing among them – with few records available – even more difficult.

Here are a few issues that jump out …

  1. Was Dorothy (nèe Dabney) Anderson married to James Trice of Caroline/Orange? The answer is “NO,” beyond any doubt. Dorothy was married to a James Trice whose estate was appraised in February 1769 in King William County, VA.
  1. Was the James Trice who died in King William County and who was married to Dorothy (nèe Dabney) Anderson the father of James Trice of Caroline/Orange? Again, the answer is “NO,” and there is no doubt about that, either.
  1. Who were the two wives of James Trice of Caroline/Orange? Answer: (1) I don’t know, but wish I did; and (2) Ruth Booth, nèe May.
  1. James Trice of Caroline/Orange had a son by his first wife named Edward Trice (b. abt. 1737, Caroline Co., d. 1800, Orange Co.). Edward’s wife was named Tabitha. What was her maiden name? The conventional wisdom is that she was nèe Harrison. I cannot find any evidence for that assertion, nor can I find anyone who is willing to share any evidence they have on the issue. On the other hand, there is some convincing circumstantial evidence that Edward’s wife Tabitha was Tabitha Booth, the daughter of Ruth May Booth Trice and her first husband, Daniel Booth.

Addressing these issues with references to actual evidence in county and other records is going to require more than one post in order to avoid inflicting the MEGO syndrome on the reader: “my eyes glaze over.”

Please stay tuned. There is considerably more information about these Trices to come shortly. And Happy New Year, y’all!!!

10 thoughts on “James Trice of Caroline Co., VA, b. by 1712, d. Orange Co., NC 1789: Part 1 of 5”

  1. Love your “digging”. Info is very enjoyable to read and always sparks the need to dig more on my side. Hope to meet you later this month.

  2. Thank you for publishing all of this interesting facts. although I do not believe that I have any ties, I appreciate reading the material.
    Mike Moore

  3. I have no idea if I have a connection to any of the Trice’s you mention, but would really like to find out. There is so much on the internet that I can not trust. Fact that I can follow and where I have met a real challenge to go any farther is with William F Trice born some time between 1819 and 1822. He married Celiah Towers. They had 11 children which I have been able to verify in many ways. . .alas after that I have not been able to verify the parents of William – the most likely is John Trice and Sally Jester. They are of Caroline County Maryland. I would love to know if any of your research has turned up my William F. I have that he married in his home town of Carol Peter. (Which by the way I have no idea where that is)

    1. Lisa, sorry I am so tardy responding to your comment! I have not run across William F. Trice and Celiah Towers. I haven’t researched any families in Caroline County, MD, but my husband is researching that county right now. He says he has definitely seen Trices in either Dorchester or Caroline Co. (created from Dorchester) or both. I will ask him to keep his eyes open for William F. Have you tried looking in the Maryland Calendar of Wills?

  4. Thank you for the information on the Trice genealogy. I am a descendant of I believe Charles Trice through enslavement. Charles is one of Edward, 1737 children. I found my Great-great grandfather, Morris Trice, willed to Noah Trice in Charles’ will (1847). Noah moved his family including his enslaved humans to Arkansas. Morris’s son Arthur is my great-grandfather. I was fortunate to have Ella Ellis Trice (Arthur’s wife) in my life until my teens. Arthur and Ella’s daughter Hige is my grandmother who was killed when my father was a toddler. Dad was raised by Ella. I am trying to confirm Morris’s mother most likely an enslaved woman of Charles. Thank you!

    1. Deborah, which vendor did you use for autosomal (I’m assuming you’ve tested)? I would like to see if we are related. I’ve met a bunch of nice distant cousins via DNA!

      Welcome to the blog, and thanks for following. I need to write about the Trices again.

      1. Robin,
        Thank you for your quick response! I have submitted DNA at Ancestry.com and FTDNA. My father also submitted DNA to both too before he died in 2018. His name is Robert Terry so you may find him since he is a generation closer. Also, his first cousins Gwendolyn Trice and Douglas Trice (1952-2020) have DNA submitted on Ancestry. You might find my children and grandchildren who all have DNA at Ancestry, last name HAYS. Other names associated with Trice are Canaday, Richmond, and Ellis. Happy New Year!


  5. I have quandary for related to the Trice Family.
    I am a Trice Descendants and DNA match.
    Is there any Truth to this?
    During the last days of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a Scotch Nobleman having access to the Royal Court of England, made a visit to friends there. He was unmarried and soon fell in love with the Queen’s second maid of honor. He asked of the Queen the girl’s hand in marriage. Though the Queen was old, she still liked to gather about her young and pretty girls, and guarded jealously their desire to leave her. She was not at all willing to give up one of her favorites, so she sent to wooer away. After waiting for weeks and trying in vain to get Queen Elizabeth’s consent to the marriage, he let a cousin persuade him to come to the new country, America.

    Before leaving the father-land, these cousins decided their names were too long for the new country and business life, so like many others, had it legally shortened. The family name was Beatrice, prounounced B-A-trice, they retained only the last syllable Trice, but in dropping the first two, they lost their inheritance in Scotland. Although, Albert the elder, let enterprise and the new world keep him from discontent, not so with the little sweetheart. The many beautiful things about the Royal Court lost their charms, she grew pale and seemed to be gradually pining away. The ardent love letters received from across the seas did not add to her contentment. Sometimes the Queen found her in tears over these letters that she always carried to the Queen to read. At last, Queen Elizabeth’s love and sympathy for the girl conquered selfishness. She had prepared for her a splendid trousseau and sent Mary Dunbar to her faithful lover. They married as soon as she reached America. Mr Albert Trice and his cousin, James, decided a warmer climate would be more desirable for a permanent home and they moved to what is now Virginia. A very large tract of land was named Virginia by Sir Walter Raleigh, for his beloved Queen Elizabeth, because for the sake of her kingdom she remained a virgin all her life. Queen Elizabeth lived long enough to recveive from across the waters the good tidings that in Mary and ALbert Trice’s home, there was a wee bit of femininity named Elizabeth for their Queen.

    1. I have never heard that before! Charming tale, isn’t it? I don’t know if it is true, but I’m always skeptical … perhaps someone else who reads this blog might reply.

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