Richard (ca. 1585-ca. 1623) and Isabella (ca. 1589-unknown) Pace and their son, George (ca. 1608/9-1655,) were among the earliest families that landed at Jamestown. Their arrival date is unknown, but it is speculated that they arrived in August, 1611 with William Perry, Captain William Powell and Sir Thomas Gates.
Richard, a carpenter from Wapping (London’s old maritime district) and Isabella Smythe were married in St. Dunstan’s Church, Stepney (East End of London) on 5 October 1608. Richard was employed and sent to Jamestown by the Virginia Company of London, entitling him to 100 acres after seven years’ labor; the Company also transported his family. Jamestown’s population was then about 300.
The Paces became Ancient Planters because they arrived in the colony before 1616 and were eligible for land grants from the Company in 1618. On 5 December 1620 Richard received a patent for 400 acres that included 300 for his six headrights for bringing settlers or servants. Isabella also received 100 acres and later bought another 100 acres from Francis Chapman. Their land was on a high bluff across the James River from Jamestown in what is now Surry County, a plantation that they named “Paces Paines.”
Richard Pace is best known for warning Jamestown of the well-planned and devastating Powhatan Indian surprise attack on all the English settlements along the James River on 22 March 1621/2. Early that morning, an Indian boy, Chanco, William Perry’s servant, was living in the Pace household. He alerted Pace to the impending attack and they rowed a small boat over two miles to Jamestown to warn its residents. Their alarms helped to spare Jamestown itself, but over a score outlying plantations were decimated and more than a quarter of the colony’s settlers were killed.
Richard petitioned to return to Paces Panes and finally did so in February 1623/4. He died between February 1623 and the 1624 Muster. The widowed Isabella then married William Perry (date unknown.) He and his son Henry, Isabella and George Pace were not in Jamestown for the February 1625 muster. On 9 May 1625, Isabella Perry (Mrs. William) testified in a court trial in Jamestown. She was widowed again (date unknown) and married merchant George Menifee (date unknown) and died on an unknown date.
George Pace patented his father’s 400 acres on 1 September 1628 and, in 1638, married Sarah Maycock(e), daughter of the Reverend Samuel Maycock(e), who was killed in the 1622 Indian uprising. George died in 1655, predeceased by Sarah.
First California Company member Martha Pace Gresham is a descendant of the Paces
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