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George Prentice of Coggeshall, Essex, England

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George Prentice of Coggeshall, Essex, England
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 2003 and Revised 15 Aug 2013

1. George Prentice was b. c. 1836-38. There is some uncertainty as to his place of birth:

  1. The 1871 census in Leicester St. Mary, Leicestershire, says that he was b. in Broad Oaks, Essex. We are unable to find "Broad Oaks" on our Essex map. Perhaps the reference is to "Hatfield Broad Oak" which lies about 8 miles NE of Harlow.

  2. The 1881 census in Leicester St. Mary, Leicestershire, says that he was b. in Coggeshall, Essex, which lies about 20 miles ENE of Htfield Broad Oak. However, we do note that there is a Broad Green which lies quite close on the east side of Coggeshall; perhaps the provider of the 1871 census information meant to say "Broad Green."

George does not appear in the 1841, 1851 or 1861 census and it has been suggested that George may a non-conformist since that area was a real hot bed at that time. George does appear with his wife in the 1881 census as a "General Dealer" living at 55 Buckingham St., Leicester, St. Mary, Leicester.

He m. Caroline Farrell(?), b. c. 1831 in Wigston, Leicester which lies about 5 miles south of the City of Leicester. Children shown in the 1871 and 1881 census are:

  1. James Prentice, b. c. 1866, Hounslow which just west of central London. Not home in 1881.
  2. George Edward Prentice, b. c. 1868-69 in Leicester. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  3. Thomas/Tom Prentice, b. Jun 1871, Leicester. At home in 1881. He emigrated to the United States in 1880 at the age of 9. Thomas became a citizen in 1892 at the age of about 21. He m. Mary E. who was b. Jul 1871 in MA, with both parents born in Ireland. Both Thomas and Mary appear in the 1900 New Britain, Hartford Co., CT census, probably living near his brother, George, and the 1920, 1930 and 1940 Southington, Hartford Co., CT census with their son. Also shown in the home is James Farrell, b. c. 1866, Hounslow, Bedford, England, and called a Stepson. Son of Thomas and Mary:

    1. Thomas Harold Prentice, b. Dec 1893, CT. He appears in the 1930 census in Mamoroneck, Westchester Co., NY, with his wife, Harriett E., b. c. 1895, CT. 1940 census in New York, New York Co., NY, where he is shown to have completed 5 or more years of college and was an "Engineer(ing?) Teacher." No children shown.

2. George Edward Prentice, b. 31 Oct 1866, Leicestershire Co., and d. 7 Nov 1943, Hyannis, Barnstable Co., MA, USA (per 1881 Leicester census and Ancestry.com). He is almost certainly the same person as the George Edward Prentice who was b. the December quarter of 1868 in Leicester, England, and grew up in Leicester. He emigrated to America in 1883 alone at the age of about 14 and became a citizen in 1890. He is Albert's great grandfather. In America he was apprenticed to a jeweler as a young man, and eventually built a factory and manufactured zippers. He eventually sent his mother a ticket for the crossing, and she came to live in the US also.

Alice McCurdy's email of 20 Mar 2002 provides some interesting biographical information about George:

    George Edward was a fascinating man. After he established himself financially he built a huge and beautiful Georgian estate named The Ledges in Berlin Connecticut. He had a working farm, producing and selling milk and woolen blankets from his cows and sheep. He also kept deer, parrots, peacocks, and a monkey at The Ledges.

    He built an early airplane which he flew in Walnut Hill Park, New Britain, Ct. until it "turned topsy" and crashed (he was uninjured). He took some of the earliest aerial photographs in the Connecticut valley, and he also took photographs of snowflakes.

    He went to the New York World's Fair in 1939, and purchased two complete greenhouses, one full of orchids, and the other full of cacti; he had the houses disassembled, transported to his home in Connecticut, and reconstructed.

    One of my favorite stories about him came from my mother [descended from Mildred, George's daughter], his youngest granddaughter. She recalls being at his house on a Sunday after church. George was wearing a white linen suit, which he had ruined climbing a tree. When his wife berated him for ruining the suit, his response was "But Edith, look at the beautiful nest I found!"

George m. Edith Maude Chaloner who was b. Jan 1873 in CT, and d. 1050, Berlin, Hartford Co., CT. An Ancestor Chart for her can be found at Ancestry.com . Known children per 1880 and 1900 New Britain, Hartford, CT census and Alice McCurdy email of 20 Mar 2002:

  1. Lenore Prentice, b. Jul 1893, CT.
  2. Caroline Prentice, b. Aug 1894, CT. She is named in the 1900 census. It is unclear whether she is the same person as Mildred Prentice, shown below.
  3. Mildred Prentice, b. Sep 1896. She apparently is the same person as Mildred Carolyn Prentice shown in Ancestry.com as b. 25 Aug 1893, New Britain, CT, and d. 1986. That person m. Fred Sylvester Troup (1890-1980) and had a son and 2 daughters.
  4. Dorothy May Prentice. She was b. 9 Sep 1896, Kensington, Hartford Co., CT. . . . . . [3]
  5. Edith George Prentice, b. c. 1908, CT. At home in 1910 and 1920 census. Unmarried lodger in 1930 census in Manhattan, NY, NY.

3. Dorothy May Prentice, b. 9 Sep 1896, Kensington, Hartford Co., CT, and d. 4 Mar 1981, New Britain, Hartford Co, CT. Ref: Alice McCurdy, email, 20 Mar 2002 and Ancestry.com. She is likely the same person as "May D. Prentice" who appears in the family in the earlier 1880 Berlin Twp., Hartford Co., CT census.

She m. John Jacob Grobstein. He was b. 17 Jan 1895, Klostemauberg, Wien-Umgebung, Niederosterreich, Austria, and d. 11 Jan 1964, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY. His ancestor chart can be fund at Ancestry.com .

Dorothy and John later divorced and Dorothy took back her maiden surname, Prentice, and had the names of her children changed to Prentice per Drew Prentice, email, 12 Mar 2011. Children per 1930 census:

  1. Jack Grobstein (later Prentice), b. c. 1921
  2. Margaret Grobstein (later Prentice), b. c. 1924.
  3. Edith Grobstein (later Prentice), b. c. 1925.
  4. Richard Clements Grobstein (later Prentice), b. 1 Jun 1928. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4]

4. Richard Clements Grobstein is shown in the SSDI as b. 1 Jun 1928, New Britain, Hartford Co., CT, obtained his SS# in CT, and d. Apr 1982, Trumbull, Fairfield Co., CT. His mother had his surname, and those of his siblings, changed to "Prentice." The Ancestry.com posting, above, shows his name as Richard Clements Prentice.

He m. Cynthia Irwin Swift in 1951. She was b. c. 1929 in Tenafly, NJ and d. 1 Feb 2006 at Yale New Haven Hospital, Trumbull, CT. Her obituary reads as follows:

    TRUMBULL, Conn. - '' Cynthia Swift Prentice died on Feb. 1, 2006 at Yale New Haven Hospital after a short illness. She was the wife of Milton Beisiegel and the late Richard C. Prentice.

    Mrs. Prentice was born in Tenafly, N.J., and began playing the violin at age 7. At 13, she studied at the preparatory school of Julliard School of Music in New York City. A year later, she and her family moved to Brewster. She was a 1946 graduate of Orleans High School and in 1950, graduated from The New England Conservatory in Boston with a bachelor's degree in music.

    She married Richard C. Prentice in 1951, settling in Milford then Trumbull, where she lived until her death. Besides raising her children, she had an extensive and notorious career playing viola as a member of many different symphonies from Florida to Europe. She played in the Connecticut String Quartet, the Greenwich Philharmonic, the Bridgeport Orchestra, and the New Haven Symphony. In addition, she taught violin, viola and piano for 50 years at the Sacred Heart University., the University of Bridgeport, the Weston School of Music, and privately at her home.

    Besides her husband (Milton Beisiegel), survivors include two sons, Edward G. Prentice of Northboro, Mass., and Thomas Clarke Prentice of Westford, Mass.; a daughter, Susan Prentice Turner of Sacramento, Calif.; a sister, Susan Swift Doherty of Baltimore, Md.; and seven grandchildren.

Children of Richard and Cynthia are:

  1. Thomas Clarke Prentice of Westford, MA.
  2. Susan Prentice Turner of Sacramento, CA.
  3. Edward Greeley Prentice He m. Miss Witten. They had 1 or more children:
    1. Andrew "Drew" Clark Prentice. He grew up in MA and advises that under MA law he had a same-sex marriage to another male, James Crowley. (Ref: Andrew Prentice, emails, 12 Mar 2011 and 30 Jul 2011.)

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 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.


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