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Willard Prentice of New York and Michigan

Do you have the new PRENTICE eBook?
Willard Prentice of New York and Michigan
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2004 and Revised 28 Dec 2007

Willard Prentice is a descendant of Valentine Prentice and is #307 in our PRENTICE eBook. Here is what we have so far:

307. (Probably son) Willard Prentice (John, 116). Born, circa 1807, in Jefferson Co., NY [347]. Died, 1883, in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI. He does not appear in the 1830, 1840 or 1850 census. The 1860 and 1870 census shows him in Hartford, Van Buren Co., Mi. He was a farmer.

Willard married Mary Ann Castleman who was b. c. 1810, in NY. Known children:

    George's wife, Mary "Mary E." might be the same person as Mary Elizabeth Prentice, b. c. 1839, who d. 31 Mar 1906, Hartford, MI, age 67 y., 0 m. 2 d, b. NY, dau. of John & Elizabeth Castleman.

  1. Barbara Prentice, b. c. 1829. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [307.2]
  2. Eunice Prentice, b. c. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [307.3]
  3. James Prentice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [307.4]

    There is an Edward Seeley (perhaps a brother to Hiram Seeley, above) shown in the 1870 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, as b. c. 1859 and living in James' home. He relationship to them is not indicated on the census, but might be a son of Eunice (Prentice) Seeley, above, and grandson of Willard and Mary since they are only about 4 residences away on the preceding census page.

  4. Nancy Prentice, b. 9 Jan 1838, NY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [307.5]

  5. Phebe Prentice. Born, circa 1839. Census: 1850, in Clarkson, Monroe, NY.

  6. Amanda M. Prentice. Born, circa 1844, in NY. Census: 1850, in Clarkson, Monroe, NY. Census: 1860, in Hartford, Van Buren, MI. She married George W. Castleman, 3 Jul 1868, in Van Buren Co., MI. He was b. c. 1846, NY. They appear in the 1870 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., NY. Not in 1880 census. They had 1 or more children, including (per 1870 census):
    1. Alice Castleman, b. c. 1869, MI.

  7. George Prentice. He may be the George Prentiss shown in the 1870 Hartford census living near Willard and Mary and shown as b. c. 1849, NY, with his wife, Mary E., b. c. 1839, NY.

    There is an Ellen Healey (Seeley?) (perhaps a sister to Edward and Hiram Seeley, below) shown in the 1870 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, as b. c. 1859 and living in George's home. Her relationship to them is not indicated on the census, but might be a daughter of Eunice (Prentice) Seeley, below, and granddaughter of Willard and Mary since they are only about 4 residences away on the preceding census page.

  8. Henry A. Prentice. Born, circa 1857, in NY. Census: 1860, in Hartford, Van Buren, MI. Not in 1880 or 1900 census.

307.2 Barbara Prentice, b. c. 1829, NY (per 1870 census) and d. 25 Dec 1897 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, age 68y-5m-11d. She and her husband are bur. in Pioneer Cemetery, Hartford, MI.

She married Joseph Smith Jr. c. 1850-1854. He was b. c. 1828, NY. She appears in the 1850 census in Clarkson, Monroe, NY. They both appear in the 1870 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI living 4 households away from that of her parents, Willard and Mary (Castleman) Prentice. Barbara and Joseph do not appear in the 1880 census. Children (per 1870 census and Sandra Northrop):

  1. Milford H. Smith, b. c. 1853, NY. He appears in the 1880 census as a Clergyman in Dannemora, Clinton Co., NY with his wife, Emma J. No children shown. He seems not to appear in the 1900 census.
  2. Mary Smith, b. c. 1856, NY.
  3. Franklin J. Smith, b. 18 Apr 1859, MI, and d. 1 Jan 1872, Hartford, MI, age 12y-9m-19d.
  4. Hiram Smith, b. Mar 1862, MI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [307.6]
  5. Amanda Smith, b. c. 1875, MI.
  6. Alonzo Smith, b. c. 1867, MI. He might be the Alonzo Smith, b. c. 1867, MI, who appears in the 1900 census in Bangor, Van Buren Co., MI, with his wife, Ella, b. May 1870, MI, and children:
    1. Hazel Smith, b. Jul 1890, MI.
    2. Velva Smith, b. Jan 1895, MIl
    3. Hallie Smith, son, b. Jun 1899, MI.
  7. Leola Smith, b. 1874, MI, and d. 22 Dec 1885, Hartford, MI, age 11y-8-16d.

307.3 Eunice Prentice, b. 28 Dec 1835 (per Karen Thornhill, email, 28 Dec 2007), probably NY (see Hiram, b. c. 1859, below) and d. 14 Nov 1923 (per Karen Thornhill, ibid) in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI per Ancestry.com . Census: 1850, in Clarkson, Monroe, NY. Eunice and Hiram do not appear in the 1870, 1880 or 1900 census.

She married Hiram Seeley, probably NY (see Hiram, b. c. 1859, below). He was b. 1826, NY and d. in the Civil War on 24 Apr 1862, Pittsburg Landing (also known as the Battle of Shiloh), TN (per Karen Thornhill, email, 29 Dec 2007). His death apparently was from wounds suffered earlier in the battle on April 6 and 7, 1862 (see Wikipedia: Battle of Shiloh .

    Note: Joseph Rollin Prentice, #446, below, the great-grandfather of this author, Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., also served with Union forces at the Battle of Shiloh.

Eunice and Hiram had 4 children:

  1. Willard Ryland "Riley" Seeley, b. 1 May 1854, Monroe Co., NY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . [307.7]
  2. Lillie Seeley, b. 10 Dec 1857, MI, and d. 1936, perhaps MI (per Karen Thornhill, email, 29 Dec 2007). Not in 1880 or 1900 census.
  3. Hiram, Bennet Seeley, b. 21 Jun 1859, MI, and d. 11 Nov 1937, Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI; his middle name, Bennett, may have been to honor his grandfather, Bennet, Seeley (per Karen Thornhill, email, 29 Dec 2007). Hiram Seeley shown in the 1870 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, as b. c. 1859 and living in the home of R. D.(?) and Rosetta Rumsfield. He relationship to them is not indicated on the census. They are living only 4 residences away fromWillard Prentice and his wife, Mary, his grandparents. That same Hiram appears in the 1880 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, living in the home of his grandfather, Willard Prentice.
  4. (perhaps) Olive D. Seeley, b. 30 May 1868 and 2 years later on d. 1 Jan 1870, Berry Co., MI (per Karen Thornhill, email, 29 Dec 2007). Bur. in Barryville Cemetery. (Ref: Karen Thornhill, email, 29 Dec 2007). Not in 1870 census.

307.4 James Prentice. He may be the James Prentice shown in the 1870 and 1880 Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI census as b. c. 1832, NY, with his wife, Susan, b. c. 1841, NY. Not in 1900 census. Children (per 1870 and 1880 census):

  1. Elizabeth Prentice, b. c. 1860, MI.
  2. Lilly Prentice, b. c. 1862, MI.

There is an Edward Seeley (perhaps a brother to Hiram Seeley, above) shown in the 1870 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, as b. c. 1859 and living in James' home. He relationship to them is not indicated on the census, but might be a step-son of Eunice (Prentice) Seeley, above, and step-grandson of Willard and Mary since they are only about 4 residences away on the preceding census page. That same Hiram appears in the 1880 census in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, living in the home of Willard Prentice (#1, above).

307.5 Nancy Prentice, b. 9 Jan 1838, NY and d. 19 Jun 1870 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI. Bur. Pioneer Cem., Hartford.

She m. Reuban Benjamin Conklin on 14 Aug 1859, Van Buren Co., MI. Census: 1850, in Clarkson, Monroe, NY. Children per Ancestry.com :

  1. Albion Thomas Conklin, b.23 May 1860 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, and d. there at age 20 on 19 May 1880 when struck by lightning.

  2. Elmer David Conklin, b.1 Oct 1862 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, and d. 12 Oct 1938 in St. Joseph, Berrien Co., MI. Bur. Maple Hill Cem., Hartford. He m. Nellie May Tu tt;e pm 6 Mpv 1887, Paw Paw, Van Buren Co., MI. She was b. 9 Oct 1866, Hamilton, Van Buren Co., MI. Children, with additional descendants found at Ancestry.com:
    1. Victor Tuttle Conklin, b. 3 Sep 1888 in Hartford, Van Buren, Michigan
    2. Harry Conklin, b. 1889 in Van Buren, Michigan
    3. Fae Conklin, b. 1893 in Van Buren, Michigan
    4. Darrell Conklin, b. 1896 in Van Buren, Michigan

  3. Milton Franklin Conklin, b.5 Jan 1864 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, and d. 2 Oct 1945 in Van Buren Co., MI. Bur Lawrence Hill Cem., Lawrence, Van Buren Co., MI. He m. 1st Effie F. Harvey on 15 Aug 1886 in Van Buren Co., MI. She was b. 21 Oct 1870 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI. Son with additional descendants found at Ancestry.com :
    1. Otho Horace Conklin. b. 30 Oct 1887, Hartford. He was later adopted by a 2nd husband of Effie, Charles M. Ford.
    Milton m. 2nd Mary A. Washburn on 11 Dec 1893, Van Buren Co., MI. She was b. 18 Jul 1868, Berrien Springs, Berrien Co., MI. Children with additional descendants found at Ancestry.com :
    1. Lena Maude Conklin, b. 23 Mar 1895 in Lawrence, Van Buren, Michigan
    2. Nina Ellen Conklin, b. 7 Jun 1899 in Keeler, Van Buren, Michigan
    3. Living Conklin.
    4. Living Conklin.
    5. Living Conklin.
    6. Living Conklin.
    7. Living Conklin

  4. George Bennett Conklin, b.31 Mar 1868 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI. He m. 1st Mary Belle Smith on 21 Dec 1886, Van Buren Co., MI. She was b. 25 Dec 1872. Children with additional descendants found at Ancesty.com:
    1. Verl Darwin Conklin, b. 22 Jan 1890, Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI.
    George m. 2nd Clara Sophia Vogel on 26 Sep 1894. She was b. 15 Mar 1874. Children with additional information found at Ancesty.com:
    1. Rhea Conklin
    George m. 3rd Jessie May Murrey on 20 Apr 1904. She was b. 1884. Children with additional information found at Ancesty.com:
    1. Living Conklin
    George m. 4th Pearl, b. 1880, MI per Ancesty.com:

  5. Alice Annie Conklin, b.5 May 1867 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, and d. 18 Oct 1898, in Hartford, apparently unmarried. Bur. Pioneer Cemetery, Hartford.

  6. Frances Conklin, dau., b.13 Jun 1870 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, (twin) Died there 3 mos. later on 22 Sep 1870. Bur. Pioneer Cemetery, Hartford.

  7. Franklin Conklin, b.13 Jun 1870 in Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI, (twin). Died there 2 mos. later on 1 Aug 1870. Bur. Pioneer Cemetery, Hartford.

307.6 Hiram Smith, b. Mar 1862, MI, and d. 7 Aug 1919, Hartford, MI. He appears in the 1900 Hartford census with his wife, Ellen, b. Aug 1862, IL, and children:

  1. Hiram J. Smith, b. May 1890, MI.
  2. William/Willie Smith, b. Dec 1892, MI.

307.7 Willard Ryland "Riley" Seeley (Back), b. 1 May 1854, Monroe Co., NY, and d. 15 Feb 1923, Van Buren Co., MI. He does not appear in the 1900, 1910 or 1920 census.

Willard does not appear in the 1900 or 1910 census. His Obituary appeared in the "Hartford Daily Springs" in MI on 23 Feb 1923:

    Ryland Seeley, aged 71, died suddenly last Thursday morning at his home in the Hastings addition. His death was due to a heart attack superinduced by influenza. Mr. Seeley had been a resident of Hartford and vicinity a greater part of his life. He was born in New York May 1, 1854, but at the age of seven came with is parents to Monroe, Mich.

    His father died in the Civil War.

    He came with his mother to Hartford and the mother died here. He then went to live with a family at Sodus where he grew tomanhood. At the age of 19 he was married to Maggie Castleman. Two children were born to them both of whom died in infancy and the mother passed away a few days later. Some years later Mr. Seeley was married to Marie Cramner. One daughter was born to them:

    1. Rose Seeley. She m. Mr. Eldred of Fremont, MI, and living in 1923.

    In 1907 Mr. Seeley was married to Mrs. Della Darlington of Covert, who also survives. He also leaves one brother, Hiram Seeley of Hartford, and one sister, Lilly Reynolds of Whitehall, Mich, besides other relatives and friends.

    Funeral services for him were held Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Baptist church, Rev. L. G. Kent officiating. Burial was made at the Old Cemetery on West Main Street.

By email of 29 Dec 2007, Karen Thornhill advises that Willard actually was married 5 times. Her email reads as follows:

    Riley was married five times as opposed to the three times in his obituary, below. Numbers (2) & (3) are not mentioned in his obituary.

    Riley was buried in the Old Cemetery on West Main Street, Hastings Addition, Hartford, Michigan. . . Accordingto Ardath McIntyre (grand niece of Riley), The Old Cemetery is now called Pioneer Cemetery. Riley isburied in Section 2, near the road but there are no markers. He is buried near the Smiths and Prentices. Sexton's records do not indicate any wives are buried there. (Hartford is in Van Buren Co.). Wives:

    1. Margaret 'Maggie' Castleman (no b/d info) (cousin?) m. circa 1873. Twins were delivered and died; Maggie died a few days later. (See obituary below.)

    2. Fanny Allen Hemstead (circa 1863-?) m. 17 JUL 1877 (Riley's name is Riley Suley. I BELIEVE this is a mis-reading of his handwriting. If you write two "e"s and do not open their loops, they look like a "u" (at least they look like a letter "u" to me). No known children.

    3. Samantha Moore (no b/d info) m. between 1877 & 1884, place unknown. No known children.

    4. Marie Cramner, born Michigan. m. circa 1884, place unknown, assume Van Buren Co, Michigan. One child (Karen Thornhill's grandmother):
      1. Rosetta Seeley, b. 25 Feb 1885 in McDonald, Van Buren Co, MI, and d. 1 Feb 1933, Fremont, Newaygo Co, MI.

    5. Della Darlington, birthplace unknown, but called of Covert, Michigan when Riley died. m. 1907. No known children.

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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