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Huldah (Stallion) Prentice of Nunda, New York

Huldah (Stallion) Prentice of Nunda, New York

By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 1997


One of the mysteries upon which we have been working is that involving HULDAH (STALLION) PRENTICE, wife of NATHANIEL PRENTICE of Preston, Ct. Although she and her husband, NATHANIEL PRENTICE lived in Preston, CT for many years, neither civil nor church records contain any record of their deaths.

The absence of such records confirms information found in the Rev. War pension records of their son, William; that the family moved to Shaftsbury, VT about 1780. However, Shaftsbury was then a frontier town and birth, marriage and death records for those earliest years are non-existent. Looking at their respective ages, we supposed that NATHANIEL and HULDAH may have died at Shaftsbury.

That supposition may be in error.

Bill Semeyn, of Shelbyville, MI recently came across a copy of the 1909 CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF NUNDA. Nunda is in Livingston County, NY. In the narrative, the text refers to GRANNY PRENTICE (also called BETSEY and ELIZABETH elsewhere in the text) who died in 1823 at the age of 90. That suggests a birth date of about 1723.

GRANNY and ELISHA PRENTICE, who they called "probably her son," arrived in 1818, together with ELISHA'S brother, NATHAN, father of JOHN and HENRY, mentioned above. The 1818 date may be a couple years early since the 1820 census appears to show them still living at Mt. Morris, about 10 miles to the north. Even so, an 1820 or 1821 arrival date would make them among the earliest settlers of the town of Nunda.

As indicated by the 1810 date, the information in the Nunda history appears to have been written by people relating what they remember about the town history and not necessarily based on official town or church documents.

Bill Semeyn concluded, after analyzing other age information given in the text, that GRANNY was probably ELISHA's grandmother rather than his mother. And although BETSEY and ELIZABETH were a fairly common name, Bill suggested the possibility that there might have been some confusion about GRANNY'S real name since BETSEY was the name of NATHAN'S wife.

Having concluded that ELISHA was likely a son of the 1751 SIMEON PRENTICE, and if Bill is right about a possible error in her first name, it occurred to us that GRANNY was a close match for HULDAH (STALLION) PRENTICE who was born 6 Jun 1831 at Norwich, CT.

Again, assuming that ELISHA is SIMEON'S son, HULDAH would, in fact, be ELISHA'S grandmother.

It may be that the age, "90", was simply rounded-off by the people talking about her; that they knew she was around 90, more or less, so they just called her "90" for convenience.

One other aspect: ELISHA and GRANNY appear to be the sole occupants of the household at Mt. Morris in 1820. That would indicate that NATHANIEL PRENTICE died before 1820. However, even without that clue there is little doubt would have died before that date; he was born 14 Oct 1705 and would have been 115 in 1820.

Still another aspect: Huldah may be the "Holday" shown in the 1800 census living in Saratoga County (pg. 24). The family consisted of:

  1. Male, b. 1755-1774
  2. Male, b. 1774-1784
  3. Male, b. 1790-1800
  4. Fem., b. before 1755.

The adult male may be Huldah's son, Nathaniel, who was widowed before 1800 and who later married Margaret Hedden on 9 Aug 1800 in Saratoga County, NY.

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