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Perez Prentice

Perez Prentice

By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 1997 and Revised 8 Oct 2008

Update of 8 Oct 2008: See now our Fall 2003 article entitled Perez Prentice 2003 Update. That article now replaces this material.

Perez Prentice, according to Binney's 1883 ed. at pg. 335, was born at Stonington, CT in 1773. However, an 1810 Hinsburg, Chittenden, VT census from Bill Semeyn in his letter of 30 Dec 1996, says Perez was born before 1765, and the Dickinson, Franklin, NY census of 1840 indicates he was born between 1750-60. Both of those latter dates (before 1765 and between 1750-60) would be consistent with the alleged birth date of his first wife c. 1761.

Samuel Prentice and Esther Hammond: Although no such link has yet been established, all Stonington families so far traced have been traced to Samuel and Esther: (1) Binney's 1883 edition shows Samuel had a son, Jonas Prentice, b. 9 Feb 1742 for whom no marriage or death is shown. (2) For Samuel's son, John, Binney's 1883 edition shows 3 children born between 1758 and 1769, but has a gap in children listed for the 15 years between 1769 and 1784 when John's wife died at the age of about 50.

Valentine Prentice Descendant: In a footnote on page 336 of the 1883 edition, Binney quotes Samuel Edward Prentiss of Cleveland, OH expressing the opinion that Perez's son, Orange Benton Prentice was a cousin of George Denison Prentice. From that, Binney inferred Perez may be a son of Joseph Prentice, a descendant of Valentine Prentice, and his wife, Mary Wheeler. There are 2 matters to consider here:

  1. If Perez were born in 1773, as Binney says, it then seems highly improbably that Mary would be Perez' mother since she was born in 1701, would have been 72 when Perez was born.
  2. On the other hand, if Perez were born between 1750 and 1760 as indicated in the 1840 census, then Mary, only on the outer edges of fertility, might have been his mother.

Perez's son, Orange Benton Prentice's letter of 1876 said he "thought" his grandfather (apparently meaning Perez's father) was Valentine Prentice and spelled his father's name as Peris. With the name Valentine, and if Orange was correct, Perez would almost certainly be a descendant of the Valentine who immigrated in 1631. The only known Valentine Prentice in a possible time frame to be Perez' father would be the Valentine Prentice born in Woobury on 16 Mar 1745/6 (pg. 418, #8) but he would not appear old enough to be Perez' father and he has no known children named Perez or Stanton (see next paragraph).

Other clues: On that same page 336 footnote, Binney quotes Mrs. Harriet Potter, a daughter of Perez, as saying Perez had a brother named Stanton Prentice. An unidentified Stanton Prentice, born 1760-75, appears in the 1820 Greene, Chenango Co., NY census (see John P. Prentice, page 455, above). Whoever his parents may have been, Perez was a blacksmith, a trade he learned in New London, CT.

Marriages: Perez m. 1st, Unknown. However Marjorie Cooper's letter of 21 Aug 2001 and subsequent email of 23 Aug 2001 quotes a cousin as saying that she b. c. 1761 and d. 7 Nov 1789 in Preston, CT at the age of 28. That information still needs to be documented. Children:

  1. John Prentiss. He lived in Ohio according to Harriet (Prentiss) Potter.

Perez Prentice married, 2nd, Rebecca Benton of Wethersfield, CT about 1800, b. 1773, and went to Hinesburg, Chittenden Co., VT. His daughter, Harriet (Prentiss) Potter, born 1804, indicates, in a letter apparently addressed to Binney, that the family moved to New York State about 1805. Perez died at the home of his son, Amos, in Dickinson, Franklin Co., NY after 1840. Children by his second wife:

  1. Orange Benton Prentice.
  2. Harriet Prentice.
  3. Amos Prentice.
  4. Julia A. Prentice.
  5. Emily Prentice.

According to a footnote in Binney's 1883 book, Perez had a brother named Stanton, but nowhere else in Binney's book is there any Stanton Prentice who age would fit the Stanton Prentice appearing in Greene. If the 1820 Greene STANTON PRENTICE is PEREZ PRENTICE'S brother, and ELIJAH B. PRENTICE, seeming to be of John's generation, then Elijah might be John P. Prentice's brother. For more about Stanton Prentice, see the accompanying Fall 1997 article about Stanton Prentice.

For reasons mentioned in the Stanton Prentice article, Perez and Stanton Prentice may be sons of SIMEON PRENTICE (b. 1751) who appears in our new PRENTICE book at pg. 268, #28. If true, than both STANTON (b. 1760-75) and PEREZ (b. 1773) may also both be sons of SIMEON. However, it would be highly unlikely that Perez is Simeon's son if Simeon were b. in 1751 and Perez was born before 1760.

There is another possibility. For reasons mentioned in the Stanton article, Perez and Stanton may be sons of WILLIAM PRENTICE who appears in our new book on pg. 173, ##12vii, WILLIAM PRENTICE, born 9 Oct 1753, probably at Lancaster, MA. No further information is given about any marriage or children. Interestingly, he is the son of Dr. STANTON PRENTICE, #12. And Dr. STANTON PRENTICE'S father was named JOHN PRENTICE. But again, it would be highly unlikely that Perez is William's son if William were b. in 1753 and Perez was born before 1760.

One further thought: if it wasn't Dr. STANTON PRENTICE'S son, WILLIAM, who fathered the Greene PRENTICES, there is still another son not accounted for: STEPHEN (#12iii).

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