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William Richard Prentice

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William Richard Prentice
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr.
Spring 1997 and Revised 9 Oct 2008

We have been working with Myrna Schnorr in tracing her roots. Here is what we have so far.

1. Thomas Prentice was b. c. 1780-1788.

Thomas m. Lucy Spafford on 27 Aug 1808 at Augusta, Oneida Co., NY.

Among the leads we have been pursuing is some information contained in the genealogy research of her great-uncle, Elmer F. Strain, now long deceased. His papers contain the following notes:

    "WILLIAM RICHARD PRENTICE. Born 15 Aug 1738. Died in 1812. Married to JANE HEGLAND, in 1763. She .. . 1778. Their Children:
    1. James Prentice,
    2. Ichabod Prentice,
    3. Thomas Prentice,
    born in Bethlehem, Litchfield Co., Conn. 29 Mar 1773."
The dots before the date, 1778, are Elmer's, perhaps intended to indicate she died in 1778.

Thomas
In any event, Elmer apparently concluded that the 1773 Thomas was the one who married Lucy Spafford in 1808 at Augusta, Oneida Co., NY but so far we have not yet been able to find any confirming original documentation.

James
However, if we assume for purposes of pursuing investigative leads that Elmer is correct that James is a brother to Myna's Thomas, and assume further that James lived to adulthood, then one could infer (1) that James was born about 1770-1775, (2) that James was likely living in the vicinity of Augusta, Oneida Co., NY when Thomas married Lucy Spafford in 1808 and (3) that James likely married about that same time and area.

By letter of 8 Mar 1994, Kenneth Prentiss says his JAMES PRENTISS and his wife, "from the U. S. census records...were in Oneida Co., NY in 1810." Although that information has not yet been confirmed, if JAMES was in Oneida County in 1810, it could mean he is the same person as the JAMES who is the son of WILLIAM RICHARD PRENTICE.

Parents
To date we have not identified the place of birth or parents of WILLIAM RICHARD PRENTICE and JANE HEGLAND.

One clue, however, seems worth pursuing. ELMER said WILLIAM RICHARD PRENTICE'S son, THOMAS, was born in Bethlehem, Litchfield, CT on 29 Mar 1773. That probably also means WRP was living there in 1773. It also suggests the possibility that WRP may have been born in Bethlehem. Also, my understanding is that Bethlehem is the same place as Woodbury.

Our PRENTICE database was checked to see who was living in Bethlehem/Woodbury on 15 Aug 1737, the date given by ELMER for WRP's birth.

Valentine Prentice
The only, and earliest, PRENTICE family known to have settled there was that of VALENTINE-3 (Valentine-1, John-2) shown on pg. 417, #1 of our new 1997 book, who married ABIGAIL WALKER.

According to Binney's 1883 book ("Binney83") at pg. 278, VALENTINE-3 "removed to Woodbury, CT, about 1700. Of the ten children listed in Binney83 (see also Binney96, pg. 417), six were sons, four of whom we can eliminated as fathers of WRP:

  1. JOHN, born c. 1719, d. 1716.
  2. THOMAS, born and died in 1722
  3. THOMAS, born 1723, d. 1744. Although alive in 1738, he would then have been only 15.
  4. CHRISTOPHER, born 13 Apr 1726. He was only 12 in 1738.
That leaves only two sons as possible fathers of WRP:
  1. JOSEPH, who was born 20 Jan 1715. (See our 1997 book, pg. 417, #2) He married ABIGAIL GRANT, but we don't know when. The earliest we show was born in 1744. We do not know, however, whether we have accounted for all his children. Since the first child we have for him was born in 1744 when Joseph was 30, it seems possible that Joseph was married much earlier. If he were married by 1737, when he would be 22, so as to be the father of William Richard Prentice who was said to have been born in 1738.
  2. JOHN, who was born 1 Nov 1719. (See our 1997 book, pg. 417, #3) He married ELIZABETH JACKSON, but we don't know when. We have only three children listed for John, the earliest being THOMAS, born 11 Jan 1746. We do not whether we have accounted for all John's children. It is possible that he was marred by 1737, when he would be 18, so as to be the father of WRP in 1838. Because of his age in 1838, this possibility seems somewhat less likely.

Tentative Conclusion

The foregoing information suggests WRP'S father may be the above Joseph Prentice born in 1715. In addition, although Thomas was not an uncommon name, Joseph had 2 brothers named Thomas; that suggests the possibility that William Richard Prentice named one of his sons Thomas after one of William's brothers, or perhaps he named them after the person for whom William's brothers had been named.

It would seem that the time would now be appropriate for someone to check the many microfilms and other sources available to us at the Salt Lake City Family History Center, including any genealogy books covering ABIGAIL GRANT'S family tree, as well as the HEGLAND genealogies, to determine when JOSEPH-4 married ABIGAIL GRANT so as to know whether they could have had WRP in 1738.

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.

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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