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Thomas M. Prentice of Ireland and Winsham, England

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Thomas M. Prentice of Ireland and Winsham, England
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 2007 and Revised 31 Aug 2011

We very much appreciate the help given us by Jeremy Keen's email of 3 Jan 2011, and the help from others which have been provided in formulating this family tree.

1. Thomas Mullalley Prentice was b. 19 Jul 1828 in Dublin, Ireland (as was his wife and first 3 children) and d. 13 Sep 1901 in West Bridgford, Nottingham, England. The identity of his parents and roots are shrouded. Jeremy Keen's email of 3 Jan 2011 provides the following information:

    "A story has circulated in part of the family that he was a foundling of Irish/Spanish origin but no evidence of this can be found, nor for that matter an actual birth certificate since many Irish records destroyed by fire. On his marriage certificate his father is stated as John Prentice [perhaps b. c. 1790-1806]. Certainly his parents died in his infancy and he was brought up by the Barlow family in Dublin.

His obituary in the 1901 Congregational Yearbook adds the following information:

    "Thomas Mullalley Prentice was born in the city of Dublin on 19 July 1828. His parents having died during infancy he was brought up and educated by a family named Barlow, connected to the Episcopal Church. As a boy he always had the ambition to be a preacher of the Gospel and with this aim he applied himself to earnest study. His progress was so marked that he was accepted at one of the church training colleges in Dublin and on completing the course of preparation was appointed teacher in the model school of that city. He afterward held similar appointments in Galway and Belfast.

    In the Great Irish Revival of 1859 in Belfast he took a conspicuous part, and , on the advice of minsters who met him there, he became Pastor of an independent church in Maryborough, Queens Co. ( nowadays Port Laoise). There in 1862 his public ministry began. In 1864 he accepted a unanimous call to the church at Winsham in Somerset where he laboured happily for 18 years. In 1882 he was appointed secretary of Tettenhall College, Wolverhampton and also to the oversight of Tettenhall Wood Church. This position he held for 11 years, combining the efficient discharge of secretarial duties with the varied functions of the pastoral office.

    In 1893 he accepted the pastorate of the church at Northleach, Gloucestershire but on account of increasing lameness, the result of a fall, he retired from the active ministry in 1895 and spent the evening of his life in Nottingham where he rendered frequent service to the churches. On Sunday Sept. 1st 1901 he preached twice at West Bridgford, Nottingham. Before the end of the next Sabbath he was stricken with illness and on 13 Sept. he fell asleep in Christ.

    Mr. Prentice was a man of lovable spirit, of strong convictions and of strictly methodical habits. His robust teaching and consistent example fostered a spirit of sturdy nonconformity among young men of the villages, many of whom became good workers in town churches."

Thomas m. Jane Rebecca Godsell on 18 Jun 1857 in Galway parish church. She was b. in Ireland in 1839. This church at 23 Nuns Island is now the Galway Arts Centre by the way. Jane's father was John Godsell described as an engineer. Her mother was Susanna Godsell, who having been widowed, accompanied Thomas and his family to England in 1865 and eventually died in Wolverhampton in June 1891. The Godsell family were of French Huguenot origin, moving to Ireland in the 17th century to escape persecution.

While still in Ireland the first four of a total of twelve children arrived. The others were born after the move to Winsham.

Thomas appears in the 1871 and 1881 Census in Winsham, Somerset, England, with his wife and family They appear in the 1891 census in Tattenhall, Staffordshire. In the 1901 census they are living in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. His occupation, shown in the 1881 census, was "Independent Minister of Winsham Congregational Chapel" and he was at that time living on Fore St., Winsham.

The Congregational church records state that on his departure in 1882 Thomas was given the considerable amount of 20 sovereigns as a recognition of his valuable contribution to the community. His photograph remains on the wall of the vestry. A photocopy of this available.

It is said that the boys of the family attended the Congregational School in Lewisham, Kent ( later to become Caterham College ) and likewise the girls went to Milton Mount College in Gravesend founded for the daughters of Congregationalist ministers.

Children per census records, Jeremy Keen's email of 3 Jan 2011 and Ancestry.com :

  1. John Samuel Prentice, b. c. 1859, Ireland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]

  2. Susanna Prentice, b. c. 1861, Belfast, Ireland. She moved with family to Winsham, Somerset, England in 1865. She became a teacher and in 1901 is shown as a governess in Wadhurst, East Sussex. Subsequently in the 1911 census she became Headmistress of Shrewsbury Collegiate School. No record of any marriage.

  3. Hector Vaughan Prentice, b. 1862, Belfast, Ireland. At home in 1871. He moved with his family to Winsham, Somerset, England in 1865 .Became a chemist and emigrated to Valparaiso in Chile around 1892. This year is the first year where aships passenger listing with his name on it can be found . Subsequently he became a medicine manufacturer and revisited Britain regularly, certainly in 1895, 1906, 1908, 1920 and 1929.

    A bottle of smelling salts manufactured by Hector Prentice, Chile, is well remembered in the family.

    He m. 1st Florence Burghope (nee Joseland) in March 1895 in Barton Regis, Gloucestershire in March 1895 She was b. 1858 in Droitwich. and it would appear that she died in Chile in 1915/16. We have a record of her on a passenger list dated September 1914. Hector m. 2nd the young Helen Malvina ? ( family name unknown) who was born in Carlyle, Sakatchewan, Canada in 1883 and who was allegedly related to Simon Bolivar. How and when they met is unknown at present and the first mention of her by full name is on a passenger list dated 1917 (San Francisco to Valparaiso). No trace can be found of children by either wife. Death dates, presumably in Chile, are unknown.

  4. Ann Barlow Prentice, b. c. 1865, IMaryborough, Queens Co., Ireland (now Port Laoise). She moved as a baby with her family to Winsham, Somerset, England. She became a teacher/governess and then principal of a school in Shifnal, Shropshire (1901 census). In the April 1911 census she is recorded as an employer and Head of a private school at Prospect house, St. Neots, Huntingdonshire. No record of any marriage.

  5. Joshua John "John" Godsell Prentice, b. c. 1867, Winsham, Chard, Somerset. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]

  6. Sarah J. F. Prentice, b. May/June 1868, Winsham, Chard, Somerset. At home in 1871 and 1881 and 1901. She became a teacher. In 1891 she was shown as a governess in Shifnal. Shropshire working with sister Ann. She would appear to have taken time from work to be with her aging father and is shown as living with him in West Bridgford in April 1901. No record of any marriage.

  7. Isabella Barlow Prentice b. May/Jun 1870, Winsham, Somerset. At home in 1871, 1881 and 1891. She moved with father to Tettenhall, Staffordshire, then married Thomas George Ellis in 1897 in Nottingham. The 1911 census shows family living in Sparkhill, Birmingham. Children:
    1. Enid Margaret Ellis, b. 1901.
    2. Gerald Thomas Ellis, b. 1906.
    3. Robert Francis Ellis, b. 1908.

  8. Thomas Mullalley Prentice, b. c. 1872, Wisham, Somerset. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4]

  9. Jane Rebecca. Godsell Prentice, b. 9 Jun 1874, Wisham, Chard, Somerset, and d. 26 Jun 1962, Wincanton, Somerset. At home in 1881. Jane Rebecca Godsell Prentice, born 9 June 1874 in Winsham, Somerset. Shown in 1891 as a pupil at Milton Mount College, Gravesend, Kent. She m. March 1896 in Woolwich, as his 2nd wife, Louis Joseph Cohen Two daughters Magda and Gertrude but not sure who was mother. Died 26 June 1962 Wincanton, Somerset. She m. as his 2nd wife, Louis Joseph Cohen. He was b. 11 Nov 1872, Hamburg, and d. 5 Jun 1948, Dennetts Farm, Wambrook, Chard, Somerset His 1st wife was Ida Furst and they had 2 children, Gertrude and Magda (see Ancestry.com .

  10. Gerald Fergus Prentice, b. Jun 1876, Wisham, Somerset. At home in 1881, 1891 and 1901. He seems to have moved with father to Tettenhall and then West Bridgford. He is recorded in 1911 census as a lace salesman. Gerald m. Miriam Chambers in 1903 in Nottingham. They had 1 or more children, including:
    1. Jane Maud M. G. Prentice, b. Dec 1904, Basford.

  11. Arthur Cecil Prentice, b. and d. as an infant in Mar 1879, Winsham.

  12. Alice Maud Prentice, b. Jun 1880, Wisham, Somerset. At home in 1881. She became a teacher. The 1901 census shows her as a governess in Withyam, Crowborough, East Sussex. In 1901 she is working with sister Susanna as Assistant Headmistress at Shrewsbury Collegiate School. Subsequently is said to have become Headmistress of Milton Mount preparatory school in Gravesend but does not appear under maiden name in 1911 census. She m. Frank Lewis Robson in Jun 1900, Fulham, London.

Living with the family in 1871 and 1881 was Susanna Godsell, b. c. 1805, Ireland, and called Mother-in-Law. She is shown as a "Retired Engineers Wife.".

2. John Samuel Prentice, b. 1859 in Belfast, Ireland, and d. Jun 1944 in Chard, age 85 years. Moved with family to Winsham, Somerset, England in 1865. he is first recorderd as a commercial clerk, then as manager of a ribbon factory in Ilminster (1901) the as a bobin net manufacturer (1911) still in Ilminster. Is said to have moved business to Nottingham and to have become a JP .

He m. 1st Amelia Trenchard in Sep 1885 at Ilminster parish church. She was b. 1859 and d. 1919. They had 5 children:

  1. Brian Mullalley Prentice, b. 1889, Chard. He m. Olive. Son:
    1. (son) Prentice. He m. Miss Moore. Children:
      1. David Prentice.
      2. Deborah Prentice.
  2. John Kenneth Prentice, b. 1891, Chard.
  3. Ronald Irvine Prentice, b. 1892 Chard.
  4. Douglas Fendal Prentice, b. 1894, Chard, and d. 1976. He m. Margaret Anstice Harding. She was b. c. 1902, South Petherton, Somerset. They had 2 sons.
  5. Raymond Godsell Prentice, b. 1896 Ilminster, and d. the following year, 1897, Winsham..

John m. 2nd Anna P. Harcombe in Jun 1928, Marlborough. They lived for some time in Alton Hampshire.

3. Joshua John "John" Goodsell Prentice was b. 25 Aug 1866, Winsham, Somerset, England. He appears in the 1881 census at the Congregational School in Lewisham, London, as a Scholar, b. c. 1867 in Chard (a sub-registration district of Winsham), Somerset. He was a graduate B.A. of the University of London in 1888 and subsequently taught Classics and Maths at Trinity College, Harrogate. Joshua later appears in the 1891 census in Pannal, Yorkshire, as a Boarder. Still later he appears in the 1901 census in Halton, Yorkshire, with his wife.

He was ordained a priest at Ripon in 1893 when he was serving as curate of St. Martin, Potternewton, Leeds. In 1897 he moved to Christ Church, Leeds where he served until1899. In 1900 he became chaplain to the Hon. Mrs. Meynell Ingram at Temple Newsam and was licensed on 8 June to the curacy of Whitkirk and to officiate in the Halton Mission Room. He left Whitkirk on 15 February 1905 to be curate of All Saints Scarborough until 1907. He then moved to All Saints Sculcoates, Hull untill 1909, when he became Rector of Tollerton, Notts., presumably until his death in 1918. No children recorded.

He m. Hilda Alice Martin in Sep 1891. She was b. c. 1869, Hannan, Gloucestershire, England. No children are shown.

Living with John and Hilda in 1901 was Eleanor Johnson, b. c. 1878, Harrogate, Yorkshire, and called a Sister-in-Law.

4. Thomas Mullalley Prentice, b. Mar 1872, Wisham, Somerset, and d. 15 Jul 1941, Greenwich, London. At home in 1881 and 1891. He appears in the 1901 census in Plumstead, London where he is shown as b. in Chard (a sub-registration district of Winsham), Somerset, and with his wife and family.

He moved with parents to Tettenhall and in 1889 was indented as an engineering apprentice at the Great Western Railway in Wolverhampton. Thomas moved to Plumstead (London) and worked until his retirement at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, latterly as Foreman.

He m. Jessie Baker in Dec 1895 in Ilminster parish church. She was b. c. 1872, Bermondsey, London, and d. 18 Apr 1963, Plumstead, London.. Children per 1901 census, Jeremy Keen, email, 3 Jan 2011, and Ancestry.com :

  1. Alice Nora G. Prentice, b. 1896, Belvedere, Kent. At home in 1901. She m. homas Cairney.
  2. Kathleen Prentice, b. 1899, Plumstead, Kent. At home in 1901. She m. Philip Hipkin and had 3 sons.
  3. Doreen Ethel Prentice, b. Sep 1902, Woolwich, London, and d. 1965. She m. Maurice Henry McCabe and had 2 sons.
  4. Dorothy Prentice, b. 1 Jan 1907, Plumstead, London, and d. 24 Jul 1977, Ca versfield, Oxon. She m. William Henry Stephen Keen (1910-1986) and had 2 sons.
  5. Thomas Mullalley Prentice III, b. 12 Mar 1908. His wife might be Phyllis Baker (1902-1994).
  6. Jessie Prentice, b. 1911 and d. 15 July 1941.

Correspondence:   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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