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Elizabeth (Rogers) Prentice

Do you have the new PRENTICE eBook?
Elizabeth (Rogers) Prentice of New London, CT
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2002 and Revised 25 May 2004

Who is Elizabeth's Father? Is it John or Joseph?

Stephen Prentis-3 was the son of John Prentis-2 and a grandson of Valentine Prentice. The name of his wife does not appear in Binney's 1852 PRENTICE book, but the later 1882 Edition names his wife as Elizabeth Rogers and identifies her as:

    "dau. of John Rogers, and granddaughter of Matthew Griswold."

Although Binney did not name Elizabeth's mother, the IGI and Ancestral File identify Matthew Griswold as marrying Anna Walcott and having a daughter, Elizabeth Griswold, who m. Joseph Rogers. Elizabeth and Joseph are then shown in the Ancestral File as having a daughter, Elizabeth Rogers, b. 8 Nov 1671 at New London, CT, who m. Stephen Prentice.

Notice that while Binney said Elizabeth's father was John Rogers, the Ancestral File calls her father Joseph Rogers.

In addition to that discrepency, the LDS Ancestral File has muddied up Elizabeth's ancestry even further. It gives Elizabeth an alternate set of parents: (1) Joseph and Elizabeth, above, and also (2) John Rogers (b. 23 Jan 1630 in Coggeshall, Essex, England) and Elizabeth Denison who he m. 14 Nov 1660 in Coggeshall.

Fortunately, Professor Craig Prentice, a professor of religious history, by his email of 4 Mar 2002, has provided us with the clear answer to the identity of Elizabeth's parents. He points out that Frances Manwaring Caulkins, author of "History of New London Connecticut: From the First Survey of the Coast in 1612 to 1860," (New London: H.D. Utley, 1895), in affirming the identity of Elizabeth's parents as John Rogers and Elizabeth Griswold, says the following:

    p. 203: "John Rogers was married, Oct. 17th, 1670, at Black Hall in Lyme, to Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Griswold. The rite was performed by the father of the bride, and accompanied with the formality of a written contract and dowry; the husband settling his farm at Upper Mamacock, on the wife, in case of his death, or separtion from her during his life. On this farm, two miles north of New London, after their marriage, they dwelt and had two children: Elizabeth, born Nov. 8th 1671. John, born March 20th, 1647."

    p. 208: "Soon after John Rogers connected himself with the Sabbatarians, his wife left him and returned to their father. In May, 1675, she applied to the legislature for a divorce, grounding her plea not only upon the heterodoxy of her husband, but upon certain alleged immoralities. The court, after the delay of nearly a year and a half, granted her petition....By a subsequent act of Assembly, (October 1677,) she was allowed to retain her two children wholly under her charge....In less than two years she was married again" to Peter Pratt.

    p.208: "The children of Rogers remained with their mother during their childhood, but both when they became old enough to act for themselves, preferred to live with their father. Elizabeth was sent to him by her mother, of her own free will, when she was about fourteen years of age, and resided with him till 1689 or 1690, when she was married to Stephen Prentis, of Bruen's Neck."

    p. 330: "Stephen Prentis, son of John the elder, inherited the farm of his father, near Niantic ferry, where he died in 1758, aged ninety-two. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of John Rogers and granddaughter of Matthew Griswold."

John Rogers was the founder of the Rogerene movement. He spent a significant percentage of his adult life in the stocks, frequently marching into church services and condemning them for worshipping on Sundays (he was a Sabbatarian ...Saturday worship), worshipping in a church building (he believed in outdoor worship), and a variety of other things.

From the foregoing information, it is clear that John's daughter, Elizabeth, is the one who married Stephen Prentis and that Binney's account flows perfectly with the records collected by Manwaring.

Is there a moral to this story? Yes, do not blindly rely on the LDS Ancestral File and IGI. Do an independant investigation to see if it confirms, or refutes, those sources. Do you have the new PRENTICE eBook?

Correspondence:   If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

Caution: If you don't use the above email link, your email to us may be deleted as spam by our email filter.

This page is maintained by Joe Dewald.
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