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Thomas Prentis of CT, NY and NJ

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Thomas Prentis of CT, NY and NJ
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2004 and Revised 23 May 2012

We are helping Jonathan Mackinnon of Belvidere, NJ, in tracing his roots. Thomas Prentis is his 3rd great grandfather on his mother's father's side. Here is what we have so far:

1. Thomas Prentis was b. c. Oct, 1814 in New London, CT (per his obituary) or Waterford, CT (per the 1860 census), and d. 1897 in Ocean Grove, NJ and is bur. in Perth Amboy, NJ. Note: the 1860 census say b. c. 1816-17 and the 1900 census says c. 1815-16. The 1860 census identifies his place of birth as Waterford, CT. The 1900 census of the 16th Ward, District 19, New York, New York (Manhattan), New York City-Greater, New York, identified Thomas as a "Retired Real Estate Agt." He later moved to New York City , holding several political offices. He then lived in Rahway, NJ where he served as Justice of the Peace and Notary Public. About 1888 he moved to Ocean Grove, NJ where he was proprietor of resort houses (e.g. the Ocean House). Additional information contained in his obituary is as follows:

    Ocean Grove Times
    August 28, 1897
    Thomas Prentis Dead.

    Thomas Prentis, the proprietor of the Ocean House on Main Avenue, Ocean Grove, died at 8 o'clock Tuesday evening, August 24th, at the age of 80 years. Mr. Prentis has been a resident of Ocean Grove for a number of years, having conducted the Ocean House for several seasons, and prior to that the Irvington House on Embury Avenue. For the last few months his health has been gradually failing and it was a general breakdown of the constitution rather than any specific disease to which he finally succumbed.

    Mr. Prentis was born in New London, Conn., and at times had been prominent in political matters. He was a resident of Rahway for a number of years and also of New York and later came to Ocean Grove. He was a member of Saint Pauls M.E. Church and was highly esteemed in the community. The wife and 2 daughters, Mrs. William McCarthy, of Perth Amboy, and Miss Emma Prentis, of Ocean Grove, survive him.

    The funeral services were held this (Friday) morning at half past 10 o'clock and the remains were then taken to Perth Amboy for interment. In the absence of Reverend J. G. Reed, pastor of Saint Pauls Church, who is away on vacation, Rev. Milton Relyea, a former pastor, officiated at the funeral services.

He m. Elizabeth R. J. Begley, b. c. 1826 in New Haven, CT (but the 1900 census says she was b. Apr 1825 in England and emigrated 1830. She d. 28 Dec 1910, Ocean Grove, NJ. Elizabeth Prentis appears in the 1900 NJ census at 70 Main Ave., Neptune Twp., NJ. According to census she was b. Apr 1825 in England and emigrated 1830. Note that the 1880 census indicates b. c. 1827. Living with her was her daughter, Emma. Children shown in the 1860 and 1880 census are:

  1. Emma Prentis, b. c. 1853, New London, CT (but the 1900 census says b. Jul 1863, Ct, and curiously, it identifies both of her parents as born in England. At home in 1860, 1880 and 1900 census.

  2. Estella K. Prentis, b. 22 Sep 1845, Ocean Grove, NJ and d. 22 Jan 1921 per Ancestry.com .Not shown in 1880 or 1900 census. She m. William Prentice Dally on 13 Mar 1862, New York City at her father's home. 12 Jul 1841, Woodbridge, NJ, and d. 4 Oct 1966, Perth Amboy, NJ. He was a sculptor/stone cutter and mayor of Perth Amboy in 1886 (died in office). An Ancestor Chart for him can be found at Ancestry.com . She may have m. 2nd William McCarthy and in 1897 lived in Perth Amboy

Who are Thomas Prentis' Parents?

We had thought that Thomas Prentis might be a son of Stephen Prentis who lived in Waterford from about 1800 to his death in 1853.

However, that is quite unlikely since Stephen already had a son named Thomas who was b. 7 Dec 1791, in New London, New London, CT, and did not d. until 1861, in Waterford.

This Thomas was b. 1814 and d. 1897 in Ocean Grove, NJ

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.


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