Thanksgiving – Samuel Maycock and Richard Pace

Thanksgiving

We remember the Thanksgiving depicted in the painting above. History teaches children that a great dinner of thanks was held at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. Did you know that this Thanksgiving was not actually the first?

Jamestown

Jamestown is the site of the first permanent English colony in America, and could be the site of the first Thanksgiving feast.

In 1609 at Jamestown, Virginia, a period they called “Starving Time”, they subsisted on starch from their shirt collars, shoe leather, and resorted to cannibalism. They held a feast of some kind, who knows with what provisions they had left, and waited for their relief ship. Only 60 of the original 214 settlers at Jamestown survived.

In 1612 at Jamestown, Virginia, a dinner was held after Governor Dale arrived with a ship full of women (girls) intended to become the wives of the lonely male settlers.

North of Jamestown, Virginia, at Berkley Plantation on 4 December 1620, local colonists began an annual autumn feast known as a day of thanksgiving to celebrate the day they first arrived in Virginia in 1619.

Jamestown Massacre 1622

Jamestown Massacre 1622
Jamestown Massacre 1622

The relationship between the colonists and the Powhatan deteriorated after second group of settlers arrived in 1610. A critical shortage of food contributed to the strife. The Anglo-Powhatan War lasted until Wahunsenacawh’s daughter Matoaka, we know her as Pocahontos, was captured. The chief accepted a treaty of peace in order to free his daughter. Pocahontas married a wealthy settler, John Rolfe in 1614. This union brought years of prosperity and wealth.

Tobacco was growing wild from a Spanish shipwreck, years earlier. Rolfe began to harvest tobacco. He and other settlers were expanding their plantings to land that belonged to the local tribes. In 1617, Pocahontas died, and her father died the following year. Her uncle, Opchanacanough, became the head of the Powhatan Confederacy and it all went down hill from there.

In 1622 nine settlers from the Berkley Hundred were killed in a massacre, by the Powhatan tribe, along with one third of the Virginia colony. Among the dead was one of my 10th great-grandfathers from my paternal grandmother’s line, Samuel Maycock (1594-1622).

Samuel Maycock was a Minister, brought to Jamestown, from England. He was given a land grant north of Jamestown on the James River, his plantation was named Maycock.

During the Indian Massacre of 1622, 31 plantations were destroyed and 341 men, women and children were killed. Among those that lost their plantations was John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas. It is unclear if he died because of the massacre or because of illness he suffered during that time. Those that were saved would thank another of my 10th great-grandfathers, Richard Pace (1583-1627).

Richard Pace was an early settler of Jamestown, Virginia. A Powhatan youth, living with Pace, Chanco, was instructed by his brother to kill Pace and his family during the 1622 planned attack on Jamestown. Instead, Chanco chose to warn Pace of the attack. Pace secured his family and then traveled the James River to warn the colonists.

The only survivor found on the Maycock plantation was Sarah Maycock, the infant daughter of Samuel Maycock. In about 1637, Sarah Maycock married George, the son of Richard Pace and his wife Isabella.

There is a historical marker on highway No 10, about 3-4 miles West of Shurry, erected in honor of Richard Pace and another in honor of the Indian Boy, Chanco, for saving the English colony from total destruction.

I find it fascinating that a single child, the sole survivor of her family, lived and I descended from her.  I’m only beginning to research the Maycock and Pace families, but it leaves me truly thankful to my ancestors and their descendants and their contribution to history.

10 thoughts on “Thanksgiving – Samuel Maycock and Richard Pace

  • December 7, 2017 at 8:10 am
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    I, too, descend from Rev Macock and Richard Pace. I have seen reports that infant Sarah was in Jamestown being cared for by a family friend named Joanne Smith who had been married to John Rolfe, and that she was raised by her I suspect – but have no proof – that her mother had died as a result of childbirth.

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    • November 17, 2018 at 8:30 pm
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      Jane Pierce was Rolfe’s 3rd wife, also Mary Pierce’s sister. Mary married Samuel Maycock. When the Maycock’s were murdered. Sarah went to live with her aunt Jane (sometimes spelled Joanne). Jane later married Captain Roger Smith, after Rolfe passed away. Captain Smith and Jane raised her niece Sarah. It is truly a miracle, so many in America descend from this one child!

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  • April 3, 2018 at 7:45 am
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    I am also a descendant of both men. I’m thrilled to find this information!!

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  • May 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm
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    Me too! This is awesome. Thank you!

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  • September 9, 2018 at 9:44 am
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    Thank you for sharing the Maycock-Pace history. They are my 10th great-grandparents, also. It is a treasure to learn more details.

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  • September 15, 2018 at 5:37 am
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    It looks like I’m a descendent of Rev. Maycock. Who Knew!

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  • September 19, 2018 at 8:44 am
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    I am a direct descendant of both lines. How cool it is to see others of the same lineage. Thanks for sharing.

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  • September 19, 2018 at 10:32 am
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    Sarah Maycock’s story is humbling. To think that all of us exist only because some Native Americans could not bring themselves to kill a baby.

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  • November 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm
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    As others on this page, I too, descend from Rev Maycock and Richard Pace. I’m in awe of the multiple generations that lived because little Sarah lived. My father wouldn’t be here amd neither would I.

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  • February 16, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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    I am also descended from both of them on my paternal grandmother’s line. Samuel Maycock is my 11th great grandfather and George Pace is my 10th.

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