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Frank W. Prentice of Toronto, Canada

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Frank W. Prentice of Toronto, Canada
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2004 and Revised 29 Apr 2004

Update of 23 Mar 2004: Frank W. Prentice is a descendant of Solomon Prentice of NY and OH, about whom we have an article in our Winter 1999 Prentice Newsletter. By email of 23 Mar 23 Mar 2004, Susan Irby provides the following additional information:

    "I’m pretty sure Frank had some sort of dual citizenship. I know for a fact that his father (Samuel) was born in Perrysburg Cattaraugus New York, that his grandfather Ebenezer was born in Onondaga or Madison County New York. . . . .

    "Here is my explanation [why Ellis Island records contain the entry: "Nationality: Canada."]: Frank (my great grandfather) was a railroad man and moved around a lot, depending on where the work was. If you look at the rail lines around the turn of the century, they ring the great lakes and there are easy direct lines between major cities including Detroit, Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto. Frank married my great grandmother (Adelia Roberts) in Cleveland in 1896 and they moved to Toronto when he had work there – my Grandfather (William) was born in Toronto in 1899. Yet William’s brother George was born back in Cleveland in 1901.

    "Frank filed for a U.S. Patent in 1907 from Chicago and filed for several other patents in the late teens and early 1920s form Meadville Pennsylvania. Yet he owned the Prentice Electric Appliance Company headquartered in Niagara, and that is where he filed for his last patent in 1929. His obituary said he had lived in Canada for the last 37 years (since 1900), but then he shows up in the 1920 census in Chicago…. I think he had several residences in several towns with several different wives. And I think when he was returning from England in 1915, he gave the place of residence that “fit” with the family he was traveling with. Either that, or he had a Canadian passport and the person who filled out the log assumed he was Canadian."

Update of 26 Apr 2004: By 2 emails of 26 Apr 2004, Ruth Fritz offers the following information about "Canadian citizenship":

    "To clarify nationality claims of Frank, he would have been a "British subject" and not a Canadian Citizen unless he was from the United States or any other non-Commonwealth country. Canada did not bestowe citizenship, except to immigrants from non-commonwealth countries. The label "naturalized Canadian" was used for any non British subject who attained citizenship after 5 years residency and making oath. Between 1867 and 1947 Canadian born citizens were called "British subjects". Our Constitution, the British North America Act(1759?),was patriated from Britain in the 1980s and the rules changed. Until that time immigrant "British Subjects" attained same voting and other rights and privileges, as other Canadians, after taking up residence in Canada for one year. Now acceptable immigrants can, with oath, become citizens after 3 years residency. Canadian passports are used."

Original Article: 1. Frank W. Prentice was b. c. 1868. In 1915 he was an Inventor and lived in Toronto, Canada with his wife, Augusta D., b. c. 1871,Toronto, and daughters. Ellis Island emigration records contain the entry: "Nationality: Canada". Children shown on the 1915 Ellis Island Record:

  1. Corinne Prentice, b. c. 1894, Canada.
  2. Henrietta M. Prentice, b. c. 1899, Canada.

Frank does not appear in the IGI or the 1881 Canadian census.

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.

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