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Sartell Prentice

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Sartell Prentice
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2005 and Revised 1 Feb 2005

DISCOVERY OF A VERY OLD PHOTOGRAPH

We received the original photograph of Sartell Prentice, on the left, from Angela Romanello.

It's discovery is an interesting story. Her niece (Stephanie) and her husband were in the business of buying the contents of storage lockers that had been abandon by non-payment of rent by the previous owners of the contents. Storage businesses sell such lockers' contents at auctions. Prospective buyers are allowed to look in the locker, but are not allowed to touch or open any of the contents prior to the sale.

Stephanie and her husband purchased the contents of this particular storage locker in Oxnard, California. Among the contents were furniture, original fashion etchings from England portraying colonial fashions, post cards from the 1940s and 1950s; purchased in countries such as France, Sweeden and Germany. Most of the cards bought in the United States had a stamp in the back indicating they were distributed by the Art Institute in Chicago. One post card had a Frank Lloyd Wright 2 cent stamp (not cancelled). The previous owners of the locker must have been doll collectors because they had dolls from all over the world. It was a wonderful find. Much of the contents of the locker was sold, but the post cards, the English fashion etchings (which Stephanie still has) and the lone photo of Sartell Prentice were retained.

One day, Angela and Stephanie were thumbing through the post cards and came across the photo of Sartell Prentice. Neither of them knew who he was, but both agreed that it was an interesting photo. Angela kept the photo and placed it in the bottom drawer of her dresser where it remained for the past ten years.

Last week, while searching for the pink slip for a car she was selling, Angela saw the photo and began a search on the Internet for information about him. She searched about 20 different web sites trying to find out more about him. Eventually she contacted our PRENTICE NEWSLETTER and generously offered to send us the photograph to identify and forward to one of his descendants.

I immediately recognized him as Sartell Prentice, son of Nathaniel Sartell Prentice and his wife, Martha. Sartell Prentice was b. 27 Oct 1767 and d. in Brooklyn, NY on 19 Nov 1865. Sartell. married Jemima Parmalee. Sartell was for many years a merchant in the fur trade. Photography was in it's infancy at that time and I have a photo of that same quality which was taken in about 1862 or 1863 of my great grandfather, Joseph Prentice, in his Civil War Union uniform.

Sartell is No. 69 on pg. 67 of our PRENTICE book where I have that same photo, only the one in the book is not nearly as crisp and detailed as your original photograph. The photograph, above, appeared originally in an earlier edition of the book which was written and published by C. J. F. Binney in 1852. His 1883, 2nd Edition, contained a cropped, head and shoulders version of that same photograph. If the photograph were taken in 1850, Sartell Prentice would then have been 83 years of age. In 1992 I undertook to update that 1883 edition.

Sartell's emigrant ancestor, Henry Prentice, came from England in the middle 1600s and settled in MA. I've traced those roots back to about 1500 in Essex Co., England, only a few miles from the ancestral home of my own William Prentis who I have traced back to the early 1500s in Essex County. So far I've not been able to link the families.

If you have any information about descendants of Sartell Prentice, 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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