Abel RICE, born September 5, 1792 in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, was the eldest son of the 2nd wife of Ebenezer RICE, Ruth Henrietta EVELETH. They had married just over a year after Ebenezer's first wife, Sarah Taynter [Tainter] died, leaving 4 children. Ruth and Ebenezer had 5 more children. Abel as a first name was relatively common - I have found over a dozen born within 10 years of his birth year, in the United States. The image here is of the Library in Hubbardston, MA. Note the coloured tiles on the angled roof.
Abel's older step-siblings were born in Princeton, then in Hubbardston, Worcester county, Massachusetts, where his parents and siblings seemed to stay until about 1800 when he was approximately 8 years of age. I have found one unsubstantiated [to date] family story stating that his father, Ebenezer RICE, seems to have been a circuit Minister or Missionary, and moved the family to Maury county, Tennessee, about 1,000 miles southeast. Ebenezer and Ruth stayed in Maury county, TN until he died in 1834, Ruth in 1831.
On October 11, 1815, Abel married Lydia GHOLSON, in Maury county, TN. Lydia's parents were Francis and Mary [CRAIG] GHOLSON; Lydia was the 6th of 10 children. Note that Tennessee was the 16th State, joining the Union in 1796. It seems as if both the RICE and GHOLSON families moved to Tennessee soon after Tennessee's statehood.
Although their first two children were born in Maury co., TN, Abel, Lydia, and their young family moved 180 miles north, up to the new territory of Illinois [southeast corner] by late 1818, where they remained. You can track their movements on Google maps: Hubbardston Massachusetts, to Maury Tennessee, finally to White county Illinois.
Children of Abel and Lydia:
1. Tolliver Gholson Rice, b. 12 Aug 1816 Maury co. TN, d. 7 May 1889, White co., IL; m. 20 Nov 1838 to Elizabeth Miller; 4 known children
2. Eliza R. [Ruth?] Rice, b. 12 Oct 1818 Maury co. TN; m. 29 Oct 1840 to William Johnson; not researched children nor found death dates
3. Hulda Rice, b. 1819 White co. IL; m. 9 Mar 1843 to Abel Varnery; not researched children nor found death dates
4. Martha Rice, b. 25 Apr 1820 White co. IL; m. 23 Aug 1848 to George L. Bayley; not researched children nor found death dates
5. Sarah M. Rice, b. 18 Dec 1821 White co. IL; d. 13 Jul 1912 ; m. 12 Dec 1840 to John M. Veach; 8 children known
6. Allan N. Rice, b. 1824 White co. IL; m. bef 1848 to Susannah Pearce; no death dates researched; 2 children known
7. William Emerson Rice, b. 7 May 1826 Stokes Station IL, d. 7 Mar 1863; m. 16 Mar 1847 to Martha A. Gossett; 3 known children
8. Henry C. Rice, b. 22 Nov 1827 Stokes Station IL; m. 30 Jan 1850 to Arletta M. Healy; 4 known children; no death dates researched [see #10 for sister's Rice husband]
9. Elizabeth I. Rice, b. 28 Mar 1829 Stokes Station IL; m. 28 Jan 1847 to Richard M. Johnson; not researched children nor found death dates
10. Mary Ann Rice, b. abt 1830 Stokes Station IL; m. 17 Sep 1848 to James S. Riley; not researched children nor found death dates
11. Joel RICE [ancestor], b. 11 Mar 1832 Stokes Station IL, d. 24 Jan 1894 Norris IL; m. 19 Aug 1854 to Arletta's sister, Charlotte L. HEALY; 5 known children
Eleven children and several moves into new territories. It seems quite challenging to me, but they clearly thought it well worth the moves. The married children tended to stay fairly close to their parents, as well, from what I have been able to research.
I was able to find several land purchase records by Abel RICE from 1824-1834, for land around Shawneetown in Galatin county, IL. To the right is the [Old] Courthouse in Shawneetown, photographer Russell Lee.
Abel seems to have been relatively prosperous in Illinois. Also, he is found as the County Commissioner for two terms: 1826-28, and 1843-45.
On Censuses, Abel and his family are found on the 1820 Census, with one boy (Tolliver) and 3 girls (Eliza, Hulda, Martha). On the 1830 Census, nine of the 11 children are shown, likely the other two are be out of the house, or the enumerator made an error - or whoever gave the information forgot a child or two!
On the 1840 Census, Tolliver is out out of the house, married. The rest of the children are apparently present, living at home.
At the age of only 53, Abel died on Feb 18, 1846, in McLeansboro, Hamilton, IL, where he and Lydia had moved a few years previously.
I was not able to find Lydia widowed, on an 1850 Census, after searching through all of the adult children and their spouses. It is possible that she was living with one of her siblings, as several of them also settled in Illinois.
Four years after Abel's death, his wife Lydia died on July 11, 1850, aged 58. I have not as yet found either Abel's will/probate, or Lydia's will/probate. I have found a probate index for Abel Rice, but I need to search/request a copy of Abel's actual will and/or probate.