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James Prentice of Diss, England

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James Prentice of Diss, England
By Linus Joseph Dewald, Editor
Winter 2000 and Revised 13 Jan 2011

Update of 13 Jan 2011: James Prentice is the #4 James Prentice who had married, as a 1st wife, Mary Bond; see our Summer 2000 article entitled Mary Ann Prentice of Diss, Norfolk , and especially Fn. 1, on Mary Ann Prentice of Diss. That other article now replaces this article.


We are helping Don Armstrong in tracing the ancestry of James Prentice whose family tree is set out below.

1. James Prentice, b. c. 1797, Burston, Norfolk, England. He was a farmer. He appears in the 1851 census with his wife, Sarah, b. c. 1812, Tibenham, Norfolk. She may have d. before 1871 as James appears in the 1871 census without a wife, but with his children:

James m. Sarah Jackson, formerly Youngs. Children of James and Sarah Jackson (although the 1st may be a son of James and Mary Bond):

  1. Jason (Aaron?) Prentice, b. c. 1833, Diss (per 1851 Burston census).
  2. Elizabeth Prentice, b. c. 1844, Burston. She m. Mr. Jackson, b. c. 1835, Tibenham, Norfolk. In the 1851 census they are living with her parents. In the 1871 census she is living with her parents but without her husband.
  3. Mary Prentice, Daughter, b. c. 1850, Burston (per 1851 Burston census)
  4. Eldred Prentice, b. c. 1854-55, Burston. . . . . . . [2]
  5. Leonard Prentice, b. 14 Dec 1851, Diss. . . . . . . . . . . [3]

James and Sarah may have had another daughter who d. before 1851 as there is also living with the family in 1851 a James Jackson, called a Son-in-law, b. c. 1828, Burston, Norfolk.

2. Eldred Prentice was b. c. 1854 in Burston, Norfolk, England. He appears in the 1881 England census living on West Dock Ave Prences Terr. 6 in Kingston-upon-Hull, York, England. No children are shown.

3. Leonard Prentice, b. 14 Dec 1851, Diss. He m., as her second husband, Jane Fewster (formerly Russell} in Saltburn, Yorkshire on 4 Jun 1876. Their marriage certificate identifies Leonard's father as James Prentice, a farmer. They are shown in the 1881 census living in Marske in Guisborough, Yorkshire. They had at least 1 son:

  1. James Prentice, b in 1878, Saltburn by Sea, Yorkshire . . . . . . . . [4]

4. James Prentice, b in 1877-78 at Saltburn by Sea, North Yorkshire (Source: FHL Film 1342166 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 4840 Folio 47 Page 5) and christened 14th April 1879 at Guisbrough, Yorkshire (per Shona, email, 20 Jul 2003). He d. 12 Mar 1915 in a railroad accident at Wheatley Hill, a small coal mining village in County Durham, England, where Don Armstrong was born. Details of the accident are contained in the following newspaper article:

    DEATH OF A WHEATLEY HILL LOCOMOTIVE DRIVER. SEQUAL TO ACCIDENT TWELVE YEARS AGO.

    Mr Coroner C. E. Cadle held an inquest on Saturday at the Reading Room, Wheatley Hill, respecting the death of James Prentice, a locomotive fireman, aged 37. Evidence of identification was given by the wife of deceased, who said her husband was formerly employed at Wheatley Hill Colliery. He sustained an accident whilst employed there on April 22nd 1903 and as the result his left leg had to be amputated. His spine was also fractured. Deceased had suffered from the accident ever since and had practically never worked since. He had been paid compensation up to his death by the Colliery Company. He had been confined top his bed or the house for the last 2 years, and had been attended by Dr Russell for seven years.

    He died on March 12th at 9 a.m. William Potts, of 2 Wolmerhausen Street, Wheatley Hill, a winding engineman, said on April 22nd 1903 he was in charge of the locomotive at Wheatley Hill Colliery, and deceased was acting as his fireman. They were taking the engine along the Colliery line to the stone tip, when he drew the engine up to allow the deceased to go to the points. Deceased got off the engine at about 14 yards distant from the points, and had to cross in front of the engine in order to get to the points.

    As deceased was crossing in front of the engine he told witness afterwards that he slipped his foot and as he was falling the drawbar of the engine caught him in the back, and the engine wheels went over his left leg. Witness felt a jerk and stopped the engine at once. He then got down and found the deceased lying at the rear of the engine in the four-foot way. It was a damp morning. No one was to blame for the accident. The engine was going very slowly at the time. Witness got assistance and had deceased conveyed home immediately. Deceased had been acting as fireman for about 18 months.

    Dr Russell said he was first called into see deceased in April 1908. He had had his left leg amputated and was suffering from a fractured spine. As a result of this he was also suffering from inflammation of the bladder and kidneys, which was the cause of death. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

James Prentice m. Alice Postill, dau. of William Postill and Mary Hannah Bean, in the 4Q 1899 in Middlesborough, Yorkshire. Alice was b. 5 Aug 1881 and chr. 2 Oct 1881 in Norton, Yorkshire and d. in Wheatley Hill, Durham. Children:

  1. Mary Alice Prentice, b. 6 Nov 1908 and d. 19 Feb 1981. . . . . . . . . . . [5]
  2. Leonard Prentice, b. 10 Apr 1900 in Middesborough, Yorkshire.
  3. William Prentice, b. 14 Oct 1901, Wheatley Hill, Durham.
    1. Eileen Prentice, desceased some years before 2001. She m. Thomas Parsons, living in 2001. They had 2 daughters and 3 sons, including:
      1. John Parsons, b. in Wheatley Hill 18 Sep 1948 at 3 Denis Street. In 2001 lived in Corby, Northants (per his email of 13 Feb 2001). Children:
        1. Mark Parsons.
        2. Sharon Parsons.
  4. James Prentice, b. 8 Jul 1903, Wheatley Hill, Durham.

5. Mary Alice Prentice, b. 6 Nov 1908 in Wheatley Hill, Durham, and d. 19 Feb 1981 in Auckland, New Zealand. She m. Arthur Armstrong on 18 Dec 1935 in Wheatley Hill. Arthur was b. 28 Apr 1902 in Wheatley Hill, son of George Armstrong and Jane Coulson. Arthur d. 3 Jul 1972 in Wheatley Hill. Children:

  1. Donald Arthur Armstrong, b. 7 Aug 1936. . . . . . . . . . . . . [6]

6. Donald Arthur Armstrong, b. 7 Aug 1936 in Wheatley Hill, Durham. He m. Muriel Agnes Sharp on 11 Jul 1964 in Langley Park, Durham. Muriel was b. 11 Jul 1941, Langley Park, and was the dau. of William Sharp and Mary White.

Who are James Prentice's Parents?

Don Armstrong has suggested James' marriage to Sarah is a 2nd marriage that James may be the same person as the James Prentice who had married, as a 1st wife, Mary Bond; see our Summer 2000 article, and especially Fn. 1, on Mary Ann Prentice of Diss .

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please contact us at dewald@prenticenet.com.


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