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Unsolved Mysteries: Who is John Joyce of Louisa County, Virginia?

One of the most puzzling situations surrounding Alexander Joyce (1719-1778) and Thomas Joyce (1722-1780) is no longer their country of origin, but rather, their early appearance in Virginia. First documented on July 28, 1747, in Louisa County, Thomas Joyce is recorded as "being of this County." One year later on August 15, 1748, Alexander Joyce appears as a witness to a deed between Thomas Hackett and George Clark, neighbors of John Henry. However, there is another Joyce who is documented from an earlier year in the same county. On March 9, 1743, John Joyce is a witness to a deed between John Thomson and Andrew Rea, who were also neighbors of John Henry. The identity of this John Joyce is still a mystery; however, his importance cannot be underestimated.

With the recent discoveries involving the origins of Alexander and Thomas Joyce, we are left with new inquires. It is not known how and when they arrived in Louisa County, but there are now new leads to follow, including John Joyce. New research has shown that Alexander and Thomas probably traveled along the Great Wagon Trail Road from Pennsylvania before appearing in central Virginia, but how can one refine this theory? As with any genealogical inquiry, there are several ways to approach this, but by exploring the history of John Joyce, one can help answer a crucial question: Was he the brother of Alexander and Thomas born in County Down, Ireland, in 1718? If that is the case, the Joyce brothers were involved in the Louisa County community earlier than is recorded.

On May 15, 1718, John Joyce, brother to Alexander and Thomas, was baptised at Ballynahinch Presbterian Church
Modern Ballyanhinch First Presbyterian Church

Who was this John Joyce? Why did he disappear from the records? and if he was their brother, does his involvement in 1743 indicate when/if they migrated from Pennsylvania? These are but a few questions that come to mind, but they are critical inquiries to follow if this mystery is to be solved.

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