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Squire Prentiss of Tyler, Charles City, VA

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Squire Prentiss of Tyler, Charles City, VA
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Winter 2008 and Revised 1 Dec 2014

A Black Prentiss Family

We are helping Sandie C. Hobson in tracing her black Prentiss roots using her 2000 email correspondence, internet posting, and census records. She says that some now spell the surname as Prentice. We tried to recontact her in 2008, but she no longer has the same email address. Here is what we have so far:

1. Squire Prentiss was b. c. 1820. VA, and d. 11 Mar 1889, Charles City, VA. He appears in the 1880 census in Tyler, Charles City, VA as a Farm Laborer with his wife and family. Not in 1900 census.

The origin of their Prentiss surname is not presently known, but may have come from a VA family who owned them as slaves.

He m. Fannie Harris, b. c. 1837, VA. Not in 1900 census. Children at home in the 1880 Tyler census:

  1. Betty Prentiss, b. c. 1854, VA
  2. Albert Prentiss, b. c. 1855, VA VA. He may have d. before 1885 as a later son bears that same name.
  3. Alexander Prentiss, b. c. 1857, VA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  4. Patience Prentiss, b. c. 1863, VA.
  5. George Prentiss, b. c. 1859, VA. Not in 1900 census.
  6. Bat Prentiss, b. Jan 1860, VA and d. 1923, age 63. He m. Fannie Christian in 1888. No children.
  7. Katie Prentiss, b. 1 Apr 1867, VA, and d. 6 Jan 1920, Philadelphia, PA, age 52.
  8. Margaret Prentiss, b. 1870, VA, d. 2 May 1889, Charles City, VA, and bur. there, age 19.
  9. Major A. Prentiss, twin, b. c. 1872, VA.
  10. Maria Prentiss, twin, b. c. 1872, VA, and d. 9 May 1890, Charles City, VA, age 18, and bur. there.
  11. Rosa Prentiss, b. c. 1877, VA. Not in 1900 census.
  12. Albert Prentiss, b c. 1885, Charles City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]

2. Alexander Prentiss, b. c. 1857, VA.

He m. Mary Harris and had 7 children per Ancestry.myfamily.com:

  1. Albert Prentiss
  2. Gertie Prentiss. She m. Malachai West and they had a son:
    1. Leroy West. Sons:
      1. Leroy West, Jr.
      2. (son) West.
  3. Mary Prentiss
  4. Solomon Prentiss. He m. Aberta and had a daughter.
  5. William Prentiss. He m. Teresa and a son, Richard Allen Prentiss. He m. Beulah. Children:
    1. Paula Prentiss. . Paula m. James Morton and had 1 daughter:
      1. Keysia Morton.
    2. Charlotte Prentiss.
    3. Richard Prentiss, Jr.,
    4. Douglas Prentiss
    5. Steward Prentiss.
  6. Agnes Prentiss. She m. Burley Charity. Son:
    1. Nathaniel Charity.
  7. Lewis Prentiss. He m. Mary Harris.

3. Albert R. Prentiss, a Black Prentiss, was b. c. 1885, Charles City, and d. there 1968.

He m. Elnora Hughes, aka Elvira Hughes, b. and d. in Charles City, VA. They had 10 children:

  1. Bessie Prentiss . She m. Mr. Dennis.
  2. Maude Prentiss. She m. Mr. Roberts.
  3. Viola Prentiss. She m. Mr. Brown.
  4. Gladys Prentiss
  5. Robert Eugene Prentiss. His obituary reads as follows:

      Prentiss: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice, Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) - Sunday, July 3, 2005

      Robert Eugene Prentiss, 87, of Richmond, passed away June 29, 2005. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sharyon A. Brown, in December 2000. He is survived by his wife, Doris Prentiss; daughter, Diane R. Prentiss; granddaughter, Michele R. Hill; grandson-in-law, Joseph P. Hill Jr.; great-grandson, Kasim A. Hill; a number of siblings, nieces, nephews and friends, who adored and will miss him. Remains rest at J. Leroy Charity Funeral Home, Charles City. At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Mr. Prentiss will rest at Samaria Baptist Church (St. John), Charles City, where services will be held 11 a.m. Rev. Ellsworth Tait, pastor, officiating. Eulogy, Rev. Eddie L. Perry. Interment St. John Baptist Church Cemetery.

  6. Lillian Prentiss. She m. Mr. Lee.
  7. Ardella Prentiss, b. c. 1924, VA. 1940 at home in Harrison, Charles City, VA.
  8. Ruffin M. Prentiss. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[4]
  9. Richard Albert Prentiss, b. 28 Jul 1920, Charles City, VA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [5]
  10. Roger McKinley Prentiss, b. 7 Mar 1932, VA and d. 11 Jan 2006, VA. Bur. St. John Baptist Churc Cem., Charles City, VA.1940 at home in Harrison, Charles City, VA. Navy, Korea. He m. Doris L. Branch Temple on 17 Feb 1978, Richmond, VA. She was b. 4 Jul 1936 and d. 30 Jun 2002, VA.

4. Ruffin M. Prentiss. Obituary:

    Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) - Tuesday, July 17, 2001.

    Deacon Ruffin M. Prentiss Sr., of Charles City, departed this life July 15, 2001. He is survived by his devoted wife, Marguerite; daughter, JoAnne Crawley, of Charles City and huband, Lorenzo; son, Ruffin Prentiss Jr. of Richmond, and wife, Delcenia; three grandsons, Vaughan Crawley, Ruffin III and Landon Prentiss; granddaughter-in-law, Crystal Crawley, great-grandson, Jordon Crawley;

    four sisters, Bessie Dennis, Maude Roberts, Viola Brown and Lillian Lee, all of New York; two brothers, Robert Prentiss and Roger Prentiss, of Richmond; a host of nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

    Remains rest at J. Leroy Charity Funeral Home, Charles City. At 11 a.m. Thursday, Mr. Prentiss will rest at St. John Baptist Church where services will be held 1 p.m. Rev. Eddie L. Perry officiating. Interment church cemetery.

He m. Marguerite. Children:

  1. JoAnne Prentiss, She m. Lorenzo Crawley. 2001 in Charles City, VA.
  2. Ruffin Prentiss Jr. He m. Delcenia. 2001 in Richmond, and wife, Delcenia.

5. Richard Albert Prentiss Sr., Black, b. 28 Jul 1920, Charles City, VA, and d. 27 Nov 1995, Richmond, Chesterfield Co., VA..

He m. Lena B. Prentiss, Black, b. c. 1924. Her obituary, with photo, at Richmond Times Dispatch reads as follows:

    PRENTISS, Lena B., 90, of Charles City, departed this life March 4, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Prentiss Sr. She is survived by seven children, Delores, Richard (Helen) and Reginald (Irene) Prentiss, and Marian Cotman (John), Gail Dowden (Forrest), Gloria Jones and Lillian Edwards (Calvin); sister, Clara Pugh; brother, Stewart Logan (Odessa); and a host of other relatives and friends. Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Wilson and Associates', 5008 Nine Mile Rd.

Children of Richard and Lena, Black: Delores Prentiss,

  • Richard Albert Prentiss Jr.. He m. Helen.
  • Reginald Prentiss. He m. Irene.
  • Marian Prentiss. She m. John Cotman
  • Gail Prentiss. She m. Forrest Dowden
  • Gloria Prentiss. She m. Mr. Jones
  • Lillian Prentiss. She m. Calvin Edwards

    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.


  • This page is maintained by Joe Dewald.
    Comments:  Only registered members can add comments or contact contributors. (Register now?)
    Sandie Cotman
    2015-02-08 22:54:53
    You are so awesome. I am Sandie C Hobson. Got a divorce so back to my maiden name of Cotman. My email address is sandiehobson@yahoo.com or kittrell1@gmail.com .. Had forgotten all about this and just took a chance with my search. Please email me.
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