Prentice N. Stanley's Homepage

A descentant of Valentine Prentice

First of all, let me straighten out the name thing!

"Is your name Prentice Stanley, or Stanley Prentice?" I've heard that question a thousand times in my life. Well, the full explanation of the matter is: My first name comes from the maiden name of my paternal grandmother, Mary E. Prentice.

Being a musician (a keyboardist), I soon learned that people had difficulty remembering my real name. They would call me "Preston," or "Prince," or even worse, "Patience." So, very early in my musical career I began to reverse it, calling myself Stan Prentice. For some reason, no one has trouble remembering it that way. So, for 30 years I've been known as Stan Prentice, and even my wife calls me Stan. In fact, I'm more comfortable with my name that way, and since it is still a family name (my grandmother's family) it feels natural, and somehow makes me feel more like a Prentice than a Stanley.

If you're interested in learning about my musical career and business go here.

My Immigrant Prentice Ancestor

My immigrant ancestor was Valentine PRENTICE (b. abt 1598 Felsted, England), and his wife Alice Bredda (b. abt 1600, England).

Alice and Valentine were married at Chelmsford, England, in 1626 and were members of the congregation there at least through the birth of their third child, Geremiah, on 9 April, 1630. There appears good evidence that the Prentice family may have been followers of the Puritan minister and religous leader, Thomas Hooker.

The Encyclopedia Brittanica contains an article reporting that Hooker came to the Church at Chelsmford in 1628 in the capacity of "guest Lecturer." He was not the regular minister, but this idea of having a lecturer, preaching fire and brimstone had become very popular among the Puritan churches at the time. It so happened that Hooker's assistant and pupil at the time was John Eliot. King Charles I was annoyed by this Puritan practice, and made it illegal for anyone to preach in the church except the ordained minister. When the King's agents came to arrest Hooker, they found that he had fled in the night, taking with him several of his devotees to Holland.

John Eliot remained behind, and it is likely that he continued in his mentor's stead, if not lecturing, at least counseling members of the Chelmsford congregation. When the Mass. Bay Colony formed and established Boston in 1630, Eliot decided to relocate, and he booked passage (on the ship, "Lyon") taking many more of the Chelmsford congregation with him in 1631. It would be reasonable to infer that it was because of Eliot's decision to relocate that Valentine Prentice and his family decided to join with Eliot and accompany him.

One of the Prentice children died during the voyage to Boston, but son John Prentice survived. The family settled briefly in Boston. John Eliot also settled there, and about 6 months later relocated to Roxbury, MA. The Valentine Prentice family moved there also, and at about the same time. This would further evidence the idea that the Prentice family were Eliot followers. In 1633 Valentine died there. Wife, Alice later remarried to a man named John Watson."