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Erastus Prentice of Pittsfield, MA

Erastus Prentice of Pittsfield, Berkshire, MA
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Winter 2002 and Revised: 30 Aug 2015

Note: This article replaces our earlier Winter 1999 article on Horace Prentice of Pittsfield, MA .

We have been working with Frederick Harold Printiss II who has provided much information about his family tree. Here is what we have so far:


A group of young men came to the Pittsfield area and began to clear the land in 1743, but threats of Indian raids associated with the conflict of the French and Indian wars soon forced them to leave, and the land remained unoccupied by those of European descent for several more years. Finally in 1752, settlers, many from Westfield, Massachusetts, arrived and a village began to grow, which was first called "Boston Plantation," or "Poontoosuch" and was incorporated as Pontoosuck Plantation in 1753. By 1761 there were 200 residents and the plantation became the Township of Pittsfield, named in honor of British Prime Minister William Pitt, By the end of the Revolutionary War, the Pittsfield area had expanded to nearly 2,000 residents. The area later incorporated as Pittsfield in 1891. (Ref: www.pittsfield-ma.org/history.asp .)

1830 Census: Our present research begins with the 1830 census. Although the 1830 census in question is indexed as "Pittsfield Township", that does not mean that it included only the present town of Pittsfield. The original census record says that it covers "District 4" which may be larger geographic area. A Google search at http://www.us-census.org/research/ed-maps.htm says that "District" means "Enumeration District" and was the area assigned to a single census taker to count persons and prepare schedules within a census year.

It also says that most early ED descriptions are general and largely served as documentation of the names of enumerators and rates of pay. They may simply state that a census taker had to enumerate an entire county or an unspecified part of a subdivision. Beginning with 1850, the ED descriptions became increasingly detailed.

A listing of the Townships which form the asis for the 1820 census can be found at http://content.ancestry.com/Browse/list.aspx?dbid=7734&path=Massachusetts.berkshire .

A listing of the Townships which formed the basis for the 1830 census can be found at http://content.ancestry.netscape.com/Browse/list.aspx?dbid=8058&path=Massachusetts.Berkshire .

There are other potential uncertainties also:

  • Erastus' death record says he died "Oct 1834 in Pittsfield." What was the geographical area covered by "Pittsfield" death records? Did it include present day Dalton?
  • Church records for Erastus/ family are given as the "First Church of Pittsfield." What was the actual name of the church in 1820-1830? What was the geographical area covered by the 1820-1830 church membership" Did it include people living in present day Dalton and other nearby communities?

1. Erastus Prentis: Date of Birth: We don't know for sure when Erastus Prentis was born, but the 1830 Pittsfield, MA census shows in his household 2 adult males, the younger one was age 30-40 (b. 1790-1800) and the other, older one, was age 40-50 (b. c. 1780-1790). For now, we cannot say which one was Erastus, nor do we presently know whether they were father and son, brothers, cousins, in-laws, or even unrelated to each other. Relationships in census records did not begin until the 1880 census.

Erastus may, or may not, be the Erastus Prentice discussed in our Winter 2008 article entitlred Erastus Prentice of New York .

Place of Birth: Neither are we sure where Erastus was born. We have conflicting information:

  • The death record of Erastus' son, Charles, recites that his father, (erroneously called Horace), as "from Lafayette, NY." That may, or may not, mean that Erastus was born there and may only mean that he lived there for a time. Fred Printiss points out that Lafayette is on Route 20, 150 miles West of Pittsfield, that Route 20 goes through the town of Pittsfield, and that Route 20 was an old route East and West back in the mid 1700's when it was a wagon trail.

  • The 1880 and 1900 census records for Erastus' son, Henry, indicate that Erastus was b. in MA.

  • On the other hand, the 1880 and 1900 census records for Erastus' son, Horace, says that Erastus was born in "Ohio." Unfortunately, there is no census record for Ohio until 1820, and Erastus does not appear in Ohio as the head of a household, nor does he appear in MA in 1820 or elsewhere as the head of a household. Only heads of household were shown in census records in the years up through 1840.. If Erastus was an adult in the years before 1930 when he finally appears in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., MA. as the head of a household, Erastus may have been missed by the census taker or he may have been living in a household elsewhere (no Prentice appears in Pittsfield census records before 1930) where someone else, perhaps his father, was the head of that household.

Date of Death: Erastus d. Oct 1834 in Pittsfield. As to the identity of his parents, Erastus' death record says only. "parents unknown."

Betsey Rix; War Service: Erastus may, or may not, be the Erastus Prentice shown in the IGI who m. Betsey Rise, or Rix, on 8 Aug 1805 at Preston, New London, CT (but to be that Erastus, he would have likely been b. before 1785). And he may, or may not, be the Erastus Prentice who served in the War of 1812, Feling's Detachment, NY Volunteers and Militia, Private (but to be that Erastus, he would have likely been b. before 1895).

By email of 18 Jun 2009, Frederick Printiss provides the following information:

    1929: Erastus Prentice appears in the Dalton Company muster roll of 38 names belonging to the Artilery in the 2nd Brigade and the 7th Division of the Massachusetts Militia, commanded by Capt. B.G. Sheldon. This was in a letter from Capt Sheldon to the "selectmen of Pittsfield", dated 13 Aug 1829, all men listed were Privates. This I feel is important since it further enforces the idea that Erastus and Eliza were always in Dalton. She attended the church in Pittsfield, but I know this is a short distace, and they very well could have lived between the two

1830 Census and Voter List: By 1830 Erastus and his family were living in Pittsfield, MA where he appears in the 1830 census, Mass #236, District 4 (Pittsfield). He also appears in the 1830 Pittsfield Voter List ( per Frederick Printiss, email, 22 Aug 2007, citing Berkshire Genealogist 17-3-87).

Marriage: Elizabeth Luce: Erastus married Elizabeth/Eliza Luce. She was b. c. 1790-1800 (per census), died 16 Mar 1878, Pittsfield (Pittsfield VR, Bk. 3, Pg. 181) and was the dau. of Dorach Luce and his wife, Luvica (per Frederick Printiss, email, 5 Nov 2008).

The date of her marriage would be before 1821 since First Church of Pittsfield show her joining the church as "Eliza Luce - Mrs. Prentiss." Church records in 1823 list her as a member of the Bible class, and 1824 records show her as a member of the Cogregational Church. The 1830 Pittsfield census places her age at 30-40 which gives her a birth date of 1790-1800. She was a member of the Congregational Church. Eliza appears with her family in the 1855 MA State census.

Children: Children of Erastus and Eliza with surname spelling provided by Fred Printiss in his email of 6 Mar 2002 based on the spelling in original records:

  1. Horace A. Prentis, b. 3 May 1825, MA and d. 16 Mar 1907. . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  2. Charles Printis, b. 1 Apr 1827 and d. 15 Feb 1898. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]
  3. George Printiss, b. 25 Sep 1829 and d. Feb 1837. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4]
  4. Henry Printiss, b. 11 Mar 1832. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4.1]
  5. Frances Printiss, b. c. 11 Jan 1834 and d. of smallpox on 15 Jan 1848, age 14 years 4 days (per Mass. State Record).

Elizabeth Luce: 2nd Marriage After Erastus Prentices' death, Elizabeth m. 2nd Nicholas Bailey. He was b. c. 1795 in Ireland and d. 28 Aug 1876, Pittsfield, age 81 years (per Frederick Printiss, citing Pittsfield VR, Bk. 3, Pg. 178). He is bur. in the Pittsfield Cemtery.

By email of 18 Jun 2009, Frederick Printiss provides the following information about Elizabeth and Nicholas Bailey:

    After Erastus died, Elizabeth remarried Nicholas Bailey, born 1795 in Ireland. There is evidence that Nicholas was a "British prisoner of war". From Ancestry.com, listed under Nicholas Bailey, Pittsfield: "Septuagenarian Dinner Report... of the speeches, poems, and other proceedings, at a dinner given June 30 1870 by the citizens of Pittsfield Mass.. for their Townsmen that had reached the age of 70 years.

    Published in Albany N Y, written by Joel Munsell 1870: "Amoung them was Nicholas Bailey, who in the year 1813, as one of the detachment of British prisoners of war marched down West St. and up North St. to the cantonment, which stood where Maplewood Young Ladies Institute now does: the band of which Major Cole was perhaps one, ringing out with a peculiary triumphant shriek the patriotic strains of Yankee Doodle. Mr. Bailey thought providence and Sargent Pike had done him a good service, and concluded to stay where they had brought him. Near him stood the descendants of Hessians, who, taken prisoners in 1777, at Bennington, had come to the same wise conclusion. Nearly opposite to him sat Capt. Jared Ingersoll, who gallantly led a Company of the Bloody Ninth, Col. Larned commanding, in the war of 1812".....

    I estimate Bailey married Elizabeth in 1836 (less than two years after Erastus died) as they had a baby (child bailey-died at birth) in 1837 (Pittsfield vital records). The 1840 Census shows Nicholas and Elizabeth living in Pittsfield with the three sons of Erastus.(Henry, Horace, and Charles). The 1850 Census again shows the same family .. name spelled Bayley. 1860 was the surprise, the name is spelled Burley, the three sons are grown and moved out, now the first wife of Henry (Mary Lowell) and her son George are living in the home. The 1870 Census shows the couple finally living alone, she is called Eliza Bailey.

    In the Pittsfield Vital Records we also find: "Eliza Bailey (Luce), died 16 Mar 1878". She is listed as remarried. Her parents are listed as Dorach and Luvica Luce. "Nicholas Bailey is listed as died 28 Sep 1876. There is a copy of this death record.

2. Horace A.Prentis, b. 3 May 1825, MA (the 1900 census says May 1823) and d. 16 Mar 1907 at his home in Pittsfield. He is bur. in Pittsfield Cemetery. For a general listing of Erastus' descendants bur. in Pittsfield cemeteries, see Appendix A .

Fred Printiss advises that Horace was the oldest of Erastus' children and that in his early working years he moved to Vermont before returning to Pittsfield. Horace appears in the 1850 Pittsfield, Berkshire, MA census, unmarried. He begins there as a tanner, then a laborer, and for his working life he then is a machinist, and engineer on the railroad. He works for the B&A RR and then the NYC&H RR. In these years he lived in the city at 8 Francis Ave and 20, then 41 Frances Avenje

In the 1860 census Horace is married and living in Pittsfield with his family. Horace is 33. His wife Ann Elizabeth (Wilber) Prentiss is 27 yrs, b1833. His young daughter Grace Amandy is 9 yrs b1850. His youngest daughter Moria E is 8 yrs b1853. And his mother-law Elizabeth Wilber is 66 yrs,b1794. His wife and her mother are listed as from New York.

The 1870 census for Horace is a surprise... he has moved to Londonderry, Windham County, Vermont. He is living there with five in the family. Horace is listed as farm labor and his wife as keeping house. They are with their daughters Grace Amandy and Moria E and a new daughter Nancy E at 6 yrs.B1863.

The 1880 census finds Horace still in Londonderry with his family. Horace is 57yrs, his wife Ann E is 46 yrs. Their daughters are Grace A 25yrs, (Nancy is now called Etta N and she is 16yrs, Moria E is (married ?error), her name is Moria E Johnsen, she is 25yrs.

In 1881 Horace is back in Pittsfield living on #20 3rd Street. Here there is an interesting document for Horace: There is a "Passenger and immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s" This document lists a Horace A Printiss, year 1890 in mass. The source is listed as "register of voters of Pittsfield, MA. 1890, ward 5, Naturalization data (this is from Ancestry .com).

The 1900 census finds Horace and family back in Pittsfield. He is listed at 77 yrs. His wife Ann E. is 66 yrs. Grace A is still at home and is now 48 yrs. Moria E. now has the name Powell,she is 46. Etta N. is 36 (Etta married Henry D Eddy who died in 1893). Living in the household are some children from that marriage. Horace Eddy is 18 yrs, Frank Eddy is 11 yrs, and Arthur Eddy is 9 yrs. Romaine Powell at age 44 is also here, he has married Moria.

Horace m. Elizabeth Ann Wilber, (called Ann E. B. in the 1900 census) in 1851 in Lebanon, NY. She was b. 3 Jul 1833, NY, had lived in Chatham, NY, and d. 18 Nov 1907. Bur. in Pittsfield Cemetery. She was the dau. of Joseph Wilber, b. 1751 and d. 1842. Joseph was a soldier in the American revolution , was a sargent and flag bearer and fought under George Washington and, at the battle of Bergoine, was presented the flag at the end of the battle). The known children of Horace and Elizabeth are:

  1. Grace Amandy Prentice, b. Sep 1851, MA and d. 28 Dec 1913. Bur. in Pittsfield Cem. per Fred Printiss, email, 7 Aug 2007. At home in 1900. Living with her sister, Maria and her husband in Pittsfield in 1910.
  2. (infant) Prentice. Fred Printiss says she d. at birth on 10 Nov 1852.
  3. Maria E. Prentice, b. Nov. 1853. She m. Bennoni Romaine Powell (called Romaine B. Powell in the 1900 census), b. Apr 1856, VT and they were living with her parents in 1900. 1910 census in Pittsfield; no children shown.
  4. Etta Nancy Prentice, b. Sep 1863, MA. She d. after 1920 and is buried in Pittsfield, MA. She m. 1st Henry D. Eddy who d. 25 Nov 1893. In 1900 she was living with her parents. She later m. 2nd Ernest E. Cleveland. He d. before 1920; Etta appears in the 1920 Pittsfield census as the widow, Etta Cleveland, in the home of Byise Parsell with some of her children. Etta and HenryThey had 5 children, including:
    1. Horace Daniel Eddy, b. c. 1882, MA per 1900 census. He m. Sarah Plumb (per Frank Printiss, email, 26 Apr 2004). She was b. c. 1882, MA, dau. of Charles S. and Mary E. Plumb (per 1910 census). They appear in the 1910 census in Pittsfield in the Plumb home with no children shown. They later appear in the 1920 Pittsfield census in the Plumb home with their daughter:
      1. Esther Eddy, b. c. 1913, MA. At home in 1920. She appears in the 1930 Pittsfield census in her parents' home with her husband, Robert F. Hunt, b. c. 1911, MA; no children shown.

    2. Frank E. Eddy, b. c. 1889, MA, per 1900 census (Ref: Frank Printiss, email, 26 Apr 2004). Not in 1910 census.

    3. Arthur H. Eddy, b. c. 1891, MA per 1900 census.(Ref: Frank Printiss, email, 26 Apr 2004). 1910 census living with his aunt and uncle, Romaine and Maria E. Powell in Pittsfield (see #2iii, above). He appears in the 1920 census in Pittsfield with his widowed mother, Etta, in the home of Byise Parsell with his wife, Ethel, b. c. 1894, MA, and son:
      1. Prentice R. Eddy, g. d. 1917, MA.

    4. Howard Eddy (per Frank Printiss, email, 26 Apr 2004).

  5. Frank Howard Printiss, b. 10 Feb 1865 and d. 18 Feb 1887. He was a carpenter and lived on Pearl Street in Pittsfield.

3. Charles H. Printis/Prentice, b. 1 Apr 1827, Dalton (per his obituary) and d. 15 Feb 1898, Pittsfield, at the age of 71. He was bur. in Dalton where his wife, Mary, was from.

Charles was a tailor and his family lived on Pearl Street in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., and they also had a business at 53 North St (the main street in Pittsfield). Charles served in the Civil War in the Mass. infantry, Co K 8th regiment and was at the battle of Gettysburg. Fred Printiss has artifacts that Charles brought home with him from Gettysburg. His obituary, provided by Frederick Printiss, appears in the Pittsfield Paper: 1898, and reads as follows:

    "Charles H Printiss died this morning at his home on Pearl Street after a short illness. He had been in failing health for some time,but up to a few days ago was thought he would recover.Death was caused by an attack of pneumonia. Mr Printiss was a native of Dalton, being born there 74 years ago. He came to this City [Pittsfield] at an early age and was for many years in the employ of Mr Harrington, who was a leading tailor in this City and whose store was where H.S. Tayler & Sons are now located.

    On Mr Harrington's retirement from business Mr Printiss kept the shop,later moving to the England block on the East side of North Street.

    Mr Printiss is survived by two sons. Fred H Printiss for many years Town Clerk of Pittsfield, and Benjamin Printiss, a clerk in the Probate Court Office. 1829 - 1898 "

Charles m. Mary Curtiss of Dalton on 14 Dec 1852 in the M.E. Church of Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., by the Rev B Hauley, pastor. She was b. 1824 and d. 13 Feb 1917 at the age of 93. It is unclear whether she is the Mry M. Curtis shown in the 1850 census in Stockbridge, Berkshire County, apparently the dau. of Harriet W. Curtis, b. c. 1793, MA, shown as head of the household; no other Mary Curtis/Curtiss appears in the 1850 Berkshire Co. census. Mary was a seamstress. Children (per Frank Prentiss, email, 6 Mar 2002 and 1870 Pittsfield, Berkshire Co. census):

  1. Frank Prentice, b. 12 Oct 1853. Died young.
  2. Frederick Huntington Prentice, b. c. 1859. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[5]
  3. Frank Howard Printiss, b. 10 Feb 1865 and d. 18 Feb 1887 at age 22 (per Fred Printiss, email, 26 Apr 2002). He was a carpenter and lived on Pearl Street in Pittsfield. At home 1870 and 1880 in Pittsfield. Did not marry.
  4. Benjamin "Bennie" Bevin Prentice, b. c. 1868. . . . . . . . . . [6]

4. George Printiss, b. 25 Sep 1829. He was in the Navy and died at sea. He lived at 10 Francis Ave., Pittsfield, MA. Fred Prentiss indicates George did not marry.

4.1 Henry H. Prentiss, b. 11 Mar 1832, West Springfield, MA, and d. 1901 in Greenfield, MA (per Fred Printiss, email, 6 Nov 2008). Henry is bur. in Pittsfield Cemetery. Henry and his family lived at 609 Dalton Road. Henry worked as a laborer in Pittsfield.

There are two entries that show Henry's death: (1) The Greenfield City Directory for 1901,in it's "Local Events" section lists "The death of Henry H Prentiss, veteran of the Civil War". and (2) the Mass Vital Recs Book 517, Page 21 that lists Henry H Prentiss of Greenfield died 10 January 1901.

He m. 1st Mary A. Lowell in 1857 in Lebanon, Madison Co., NY. She was b. Jan 1840, Pittsfield, MA and was from Lanesboro (per 1900 census and Frederick Printiss email, 4 Aug 2007) and d. 2 Apr 1928, 2 years after Henry. Bur. in Pittsfield Cemetery. Census records and town directory:

  • 1850 Pittsfield census: She first appears in the 1850 census in Pittsfield, dau. of Diantha Lowell (b. c. 1800, MA); no father appears in the household. Diantha does not appear in the 1860 and later census.
  • 1898 Pittsfield Directory, Mary A. Prentiss, widow, lives at 33 Davision Street.
  • 1900 Pittsfield census: Mary was living with her son, George, on Circular Avenue in the 1900 Pittsfield, Berkshire, census.

Children of Henry and Mary:

  1. George L. Prentiss, b. Dec 1858, Pittsfield, MA . . . . . . . . . [7]

Henry and Mary separated (divorced?) probably in late 1858 or early 1959. In the 1860 census. In that census, Mary and her son, George, are not living in the same household with Henry; instead Mary and her son appear in the Pittsfield household of Nicholas and Elizabeth Burley. Their relationship, if any, to Mary is presently unknown since relationships were not provided in the 1860 census.

In the later 1870 census, Mary appears as the wife of William T. Carpenter (b. c. 1832, Pittsfield, MA, and d after 1900) and Mary's son, George Prentice, is living with them.

Henry Prentice m. 2nd. Eliza D. Moore, probably in early 1859 and probably in Pittsfield. Eliza was b. 31 Nov 1831, West Springfield, Hampden Co., MA (per Fred Printiss, email, 14 Aug 2007 and 1900 census) and d. 14 May 1907 ; she was then living at 240 Pine St., Springfield, age 75 yrs/6 mo./10 days and was the dau. of John Moore (per Fred rintiss, email, 28 Dec 2013). Henry and Eliza appear in the 1860 census. By 1863 Henry and his family moved to Greenfield, MA (where his sons, John, Arthur and Herbert were born).

In Feb 1863, Eliza buys land in Pittsfield from Robert Adams. In April 1864, she again buys land in Pittsfield from William Davis. In Aug of 1864 Henry goes off to fight in the Civil War.

After the war, in the 1870 Census, Henry and Eliza are shown in Greenfield with 4 children: Henrietta E, John M, Arthur A, and Herbert H. Prentice. In 1880 Census, Henry, Eliza, and 3 children are living in Greenfield. (John has died May 1880, one month before the Census).

In 1884 Eliza pays off the mortgage in Pittsfield (property from William Davis). In Jan 1895, their son, Herbert Henry Prentiss, buys land in Greenfield from Franklin A Pond. In Aug he pays off his note and his wife Bessie G Prentiss signs with him. In Feb 1897 Eliza and Henry pay off a note on a Greenfield property. In 1899 in the Greenfield City Directory there is a shoe store on 83 Main Street advertised. It is owned by Herbert Henry Prentiss who along with his father, Henry H. Prentiss, the carpenter, both live at 49 Conway Street.

The 1900 Census shows Henry and Eliza D. living with Herbert Henry Prentiss living in Greenfield. Henry is 70 yrs. In this census Eliza D. Prentiss is listed as being born Nov 1831 in Mass. Her parents were from CT.

By email of 6 Nov 2008, Fred Printiss has provided the following entries from the "Greenfield City Directory" showing the family living in the home on the corner of Conway and Grove Streets in Greenfield and which ties the families together:

    1877-8 Prentiss Henry H, carpenter boards Conway - cor of Grove.
    1881-2 (same as above)
    1883 (same as above)
    1889 Prentiss, Arthur A boards Conway and Grove
      Henry H carpenter house at Conway and Grove
      Herbert H (Jr) clerk boards at Conway and Grove

    1893 Prentiss, Arthur A boards Conway cor of Grove
      Henry H carpenter, house at Conway and Grove
      Herbert H (Jr) boards Conway and Grove

    1895-6 Prentiss, Henry H carpenter h- 49 Conway
      Herbert H clerk-railroad home 49 Conway

    1871 Prentiss, Henry H carpenter H- 49 Conway
    1899 Prentiss, Herbert H "Boots & Shoes" @ 83 Main h- 49 Conway
      Henry H carpenter h- 49 Conway

    1901 Prentiss (same as above)
    1902 In the "local events section" Jan 10, 1901 death of Henry H Prentiss, Vet of the Civil War.

Children of Henry and Eliza:

  1. Henrietta "Etta" Prentiss, b. in 1859. At home in 1880 but not 1900.

  2. John M. Prentiss, b. 1863, MA, and d. May 1880, Greenfield, Franklin Co., MA, age 17 years.

  3. Arthur A. Prentiss, b. Jul 1867, Greenfield, MA. At home in 1880 but not not in 1900. He appears in the 1900 and 1910 census in Athol, Worcester Co., MA as b. Jul 1869, MA, with his wife, Mable L. Dexter, b. Jun 1865, MA. She ws the dau. of Joseph L. Dexter (b. 1840) and Sarah J. (b. 1842). Not in 1910 or 1920 census. 1930 census in Athol. Children per Ancestry.com :
    1. Pauline M. Prentiss, b. Aug 1894, MA
    2. Alton Artina Prentiss, b. Oct 1896, MA, and d. 19 Dec. 1986, Orange, Franklin Co., MA per SSDI. In 1910 census indexes as ARTINE Prentiss, son, b. c. 1897, MA, and in the 1930 census indexed as ALTON A. Prentice, son, b. c. 1898, MA.
    3. Alice A. Prentiss, b. Oct 1896.

      Living with Arthur's family in the 1910 was Sarah J. Dexter, b. c. 1842, MA, and called a Mother in Law.

  4. Herbert Henry Prentiss, b. 3 Jun 1870, Greenfield, Franklin Co., MA. . . . . . . [4.2]

After Henry d. in 1901 in Greenfield, Eliza sold her Greenfield property to William G. Packard and moved back to Springfield. 1901 Deed held by Fred Printiss, below:

    From Greenfield Vital Records: Book 484, Page 66:
    "That I Eliza D Prentiss of Springfield in the County of Hampden and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: .. in consideration of .... etc, do hereby give, grant, bargain, sell, and convey unto the said William G Packard the following property located in said Greenfield, .... Conway Street and ... Grove Streets ....". "In witness thereof I the said Eliza D Prentiss a widow ..." 11 April 1901.

4.2 Herbert Henry Prentiss, b. 3 Jun 1870, Greenfield, Franklin Co., MA (per 1900 census and Fred Printice, email, 6 Nov 2008). At home in Greenfield, Franklin Co., Ma, in 1880 census.

He m. 1st Bessie Goodrich Baldwin. In Jan 1895, Herbert. purchased land in Greenfield from Franklin A Pond. In Aug he pays off his note and his wife, Bessie G. signs with him. 6 Nov 2008. Son:

  1. Edward Prentiss, b. c. 1893, MA. At home in Pittsfield in 1910. 1920 and 1930 census in Pittsfield with his wife, Mona, b. c. 1893. NY. He may be the Edward H. Prentiss mentioned by by Fred Printiss as d. 28 Jun 1962, citing Pittsfield Cem. records. She is likely the Mona Jean who d. 24 May 1980 and bur. in Pittsfield cemetery per Fred Prentice, email, 7 Aug 2007. Children:
    1. Marion Prentice (dau.), b. c. 1919, MA. At home in 1920 and 1930

Herbert appears as single, living with his, parents in the 1900 census. His wife, Bessie, either died or they were divorced.

He m. 2nd Mary N., b. c. 1857, MA. Herbert appears in the 1910 census in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA, and 1920 census in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., MA with his wife, Mary N., Not in 1930 , 1940 census. Children:

  1. Fred Prentiss, b. c. 1900, MA. At home in 1910. He may be the Fred S. Prentiss mentioned by Fred Printiss as d. 28 Jun 1962, citing Pittsfield Cem. records. Not in 1920 census. He may be the Fredrick Prentice who appears in the 1930 Pittsfield census with his wife, Lucy, b. c. 1901, MA. She is probably the Lucy M. Turner shown in Fred Printiss' email of 7 Aug 2007 as dec.23 Nov 1870 and bur. in Pittsfield Cemetery.

5. Frederick Huntington Printiss, b. 30 Jan 1859 and d. 10 Feb 1934. He appears in the 1900 and 1920 Pittsfield census. He does not appear in the 1930 census.

In his life, Fred was know as a survivor: being in an accident on the railroad when he was a youth which left him with his right arm and his right leg. It is said that "he never wore an overcoat! even on the coldest days". He made up for this terrible loss by turning to reading: he had amassed a library of more than 7,000 volumes, many of them rare and first editions.

Fred was the town clerk for over 56 years, title searcher and maker of abstracts at the Berkshire County Courthouse and one of the most picturesque characters in the city. He searched the titles of property all over Massachusetts, several other states in New England and New York State. He was consulted by attorneys from many distant cities. He had been retained by large Corporations, wealthy men, cities and towns, and by courts. There is hardly a piece of property in all of Berkshire County, or for the Western half of Massachusetts for that matter, which was not known intimately by Mr Printiss. In his efforts, he amassed 160 volumes of over 300 pages each. In all of this his accuracy had never been challenged.

He m. Sarah E. Holloran on 26 Jan 1886 in Boston. She was b. Nov 1864, ME, and d. 1934. Children:

  1. Paul Francis Printiss, b. 1887 and d. young.
  2. Charles Curtiss Printiss, b. Nov 1888, MA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [8]
  3. Sarah/Sadie Agnes Louise Printiss, b. Jun 1889, MA. She m. Robert Conners. She appears in the 1920 and 1930 Pittsfield census in the home of her parents without a husband, but with a son. In 1934 she lived in Pittsfield, MA.
    1. Paul C. Conner, b. c. 1917, NY. `
  4. Mary Ethelind Printiss, b. 19 Sep 1893, MA, and d. Feb 1985, Becket, Berkshire Co., MA (per SSDI). She is likely the Ethel Printiss mentioned in her father's obituary and in 1934 she lived in Pittsfield, MA. Did not marry.
  5. Frederick Huntington Printiss Jr., b. 20 Jul 1896, MA, and d. Jul 1966, Pittsfield, Berkshire, MA, retired railroad worker (per SSDI). At home in 1930 census. In 1934 he lived in Pittsfield.
  6. Margaret L. Printiss, b. c. 1913, MA.
  7. Albert E. Printis, b. c. 1916, MA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [9]
Also living in Frederick's household is Mary C. Printiss, b. Aug 1830, MA. She is likely Frederick's mother.

6. Benjamin "Ben" Bevin Printiss, b. 2 Sep 1867 and d. 1 May 1937.He appears in the 1900 & 1920 Pittsfield census. He was a Reporter for the Pittsfield Journal. Members of the First Baptist Church, they lived at 4 Pearl Street. He wrote the reviews of the plays that were in the local theater. If his review was good, the play would go to Boston and NY. He and his wife attended these plays dressed in the latest fashions. Actors and Actresses vied for his attention and followed his reviews, he had many known photos and autographs on the wall of his office.

He m. Dorothea Helena Wackler of Troy NY. She was b. Apr 1868, NJ and d. 3 Jan 1968 at the age of 100. Children:

  1. Frederick Harold "Ben" Printiss, b. Mar 1888. . . . . . [10]
  2. Hazel Theodora Printiss, b. 28 Jan 1895, Pittsfield, MA, and d. Nov 1981, Waterbury, New Haven Co., CT (per SSDI. She m. Robert W. Belfit, b. 16 Nov 1891, CT, and d. Jul 1980, Watertown, Litchfield Co., CT (per SSDI). Children (per 1930 Watertown, Litchfield, CT census):
    1. Carmen Belfit, b. c. 1920, CT.
    2. Theodore C. Belfit, b. c. 1923, CT.
    3. Robert W. Belfit, b. c. 1928, CT.
  3. Lola Marie Printiss, b. 15 Oct 1896, Pittsfield, MA and d. there on 11 Feb 1912 of diabetes at the age of 15.

7. George L. Prentiss, b. Dec 1858, Pittsfield, MA (609 Dalton Rd.) and d. 19 Mar 1923, Pittsfield. Bur. in Pttsfield Cemetery per Fred Printiss, email, 7 and 20 Aug 2007.

George served during the Civil War per Frederick Printiss, email, 20 Aug 2007)

    1861 Civil War record: George L Prentiss Private. 10 Regiment 3 yrs- infantry. Also serving with George in the same "Pollock Guard" was Eleazer Wilber, the brother to Eliza Ann (wife of Erastus). History of Pittsfield - Smith Pg 701. Also mentioned is Charles H. 8th reg- Allen Guard 100 days.

In the 1870 census George is living with his mother and stepfather, William Carpenter. In the 1885 Pittsfield Directory, George is shown as an "engineer B&A RR, 10 Francis Ave." In the 1898 Pittsfield Directory, George is shown as an "engineer B&A RR" living on Circular Avenue. George appears in the 1900 and 1910 Pittsfield census with his wife and family.

He m. Rose A. Kendall c. 1881. She was b. Jul 1861, MA and d. 27 Aug 1922. Bur in Pittsfield Cemetery per Fred Printiss, email, 1 and 20 Aug 2007. She was the dau. of Thomas Kendall (b. c. 1816, CT) and Nancy M. Smith (b. c. 1823, Canada) per 1870 Pittsfield census and Frederick Printiss, email, 20 Aug 2007, citing Pittsfield Death Records.

Rose appears in the 1870 Pittsfield census as Rosa Kendall with her parents and sister Lucy (see below). 1880 Pittsfield census as a dressmake living with her sister, Lucy (Kendall) Farmington (b. c. 1852, NY) and her husband, Fernando P. Farmington (b. c. 1842, MA).

Children of George and Rose:

  1. William Loring Prentice Sr., b. 27 Jul 1882, MA and d. 9 Apr 1945; bur. in Pittsfield Cemetery per Fred Printiss, email, 7 and 20 Aug 2007. At home in Pittsfield Ward 6, Berkshire, in 1900. He does not appear in Berkshire Co. in the 1910 census.However, he my be the William Prentice who appears in the 1920 census in Pittsfield with his 1st wife, Nellie Laird, b. c. 1886, MA. She d. 30 Apr 1941 and bur. in Pittsfield Cemetery per Fred Printiss, email, 7 and 20 Aug 2007. He m. 2nd Agnes A. c. 17 Oct 1942 per his Notice of Intention in the Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, 17 Oct 1942. His obituary of 11 Apr 1945 in the Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, reads as follows:
      "Funeral services for William L Prentiss will be tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm at the home, 87 Harvard St. Burial will be in the Pittsfield Cemetery. William was a tool and die maker for the General Electric Co. For 12 yrs he lived in Richfield Springs New York, and 5 yrs in Liverpool NY. He was a member of the Elk Lodge. Survivors are his wife Mrs Agnes A Prentice, one daughter, Mrs Paul E Jones- Kingston New York, two Grandchildren and one sister Mrs A J Westermayr of Roselle Park N J".

    Children of William:

    1. Mildred Rosemary Prentice, b. c. 1908, CT.She m. Paul E. Jones.
      • 1930 census in Kingston, NY.
      • 1939-1945 lived at 5 Jefferson Place, Kingston, NY per Fred Printiss, email, 9 Sep 2009.
    2. (probably) Bernice M. Prentice, b. ????. She is bur. in the Pittsfield Cem. alongside William and Nellie.
    3. Marion Prentice, dau., b. c. 1915, MA. She d. 2 Aug 1926, Pittsfield, and bur. 5 Aug 1926, Pittsfield Cem. per Frederick Printiss, email, 20 Aug 2007, citing Pittsfield Death Records.
    4. William Loring Prentice Jr. His obituary reads as follows:

        Fayetteville Observer, The (NC) - Thursday, July 26, 2007, William L. Prentice Jr.

        William Loring Prentice Jr., 72, of 2128 Lake Shannon Drive, Fayetteville, passed away Monday, July 23, 2007, in his home. He was born Feb. 28, 1935, to the late William Loring Prentice Sr. and Lela Mae Moore Prentice in Walnut Ridge, Ark. Mr. Prentice was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

        He was preceded in death by his wife, Genny A. Prentice. He is survived by three sons, Carl Prentice and wife Cheni of Raleigh, Jim Prentice and partner Richard Brensilber of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Michael C. Prentice and wife Shannon of Fayetteville; three daughters, Delores Kendal and husband Don of Albemarle, Lynn Powell and husband Toney of Ocean Isle, and Shannon Mitchell and husband James of Alexandria, Va.; four sisters, Jean Slate of Greensboro, Ruth Ellison of Chattanooga, Tenn., Nell Bullard of Newport, Ark., and Bet Weaver of Brownsville, Tenn.; 14 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

        The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 tonight at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home in Fayetteville. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 26, 2007, in the chapel of Rogers and Breece Funeral Home with the Rev. Gary Strickland officiating. Entombment will follow in Lafayette Memorial Park Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Organ Transplant Team at Duke University Medical Center, 3621 Lyckan Parkway, Durham, NC 27707. Services entrusted to Rogers and Breece Funeral Home of Fayetteville.

      William Jr. m. Genny A., b. c. 1943 and d. 3 Sep 2002, Fayetteville, NC. Her obituary reads as follows:

        Greensboro News & Record (NC) - Thursday, September 5, 2002: GENNY PRENTICE

        FAYETTEVILLE Genny Prentice, 59, of 2128 Lake Shannon Dr., died Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002 at her residence.

        She is survived by her husband, William L. Prentice of the home; two daughters, Lynn Powell of Raleigh and Shannon Mitchell of Alexandria, Va.; three sons, Michael C. Prentice of Fayetteville, James W. Prentice of New York and Carl A. Prentice of Fuquay Varina; three brothers, Ken McPherson of Greensboro, Bob McPherson of Liberty and Rick McPherson of Jacksonville, Fla.; and six grandchildren.

        The funeral will be held 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, 2002 at Rogers & Breece Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Gary Strickland officiating. Burial will be at Lafayette Memorial Park Mausoleum (Ramsey St.). Visitation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, 2002 at Rogers &Breece. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the American Cancer Society, 3131 Wrightsville Ave., Wilmington, N.C. 28403.

      Children of William and Genny:

      1. Carl A. Prentice and wife Cheni of Raleigh.
      2. James W. Prentice of Fort Lauderdale, FL.
      3. Michael C. Prentice and wife Shannon of Fayetteville
      4. Delores Prentice. She m. Don Kendal of Albemarle.
      5. Lynn Prentice. She m. Toney Powell of Ocean Isle.
      6. Shannon Prentice. She m. James Mitchell of Alexandria, VA.

    William Sr. and Nellie later appear, without their daughters, in the 1930 census in Exeter, Otsego Co., NY.

  2. Mable Mary "Minnie" Prentice, b. 19 May 1886, MA. At home in Pittsfield Ward 6, Berkshire, in 1900. At home in 1910. She m. Mr. Wespermayr.

8. Charles Curtiss Printiss, b. 14 Nov 1888, Pittsfield, MA. At home in Pittsfield in 1900 and 1910. On 5 Jun 1917 he was living at 4 Sawyer Ave. in Boston and signs up for the draft (WW1). The registration shows he was then single, born in Pittsfield, a Civil Engineer and working for Boston Elevated. At his father's death in 1934 he lived in Quincy, MA. In the 1930 census he almost certainly the Charles C. Printiss, b. c. 1889, MA, and who was then working for the MTA in Boston and living in Quincy, Norfolk Co., MA with his wife. 1940 in Quincy, MA

He m. Katherine McMullen, between 6 Jun 1917 and 31 Dec 1917. She was b. c. 1887, MA, as were both of her parents. In 1920, Charles and Katerine were living with the family of one of her sisters. In 1930 lived in Quincy and 1930 at 65 Avalon, Quincy. In 1947 Charles worked for the MTA in Boston (Quincy), then moved to Panama as a surveyor, and finally returned to Pittsfield in 1940. In 1951 they lived at 71 Avalon Avenue, Quincy.

Children of Charles and Katherine (per Fred Printiss, email, 30 Apr 2004 and 10 Feb 2008):

  1. JoAnn Printiss. She m. Jim McLaughlin who was from St Charles, IL and worked for IBM. They had 6 children, including:
    1. Virginia McLaughlin.
    2. Charles McLaughlin.
    3. Ann Marie McLaughlin.

  2. Martha Mary Printiss, b. 1920 and d. 2001. 1940 at home in Quincy, MA. She m. Thomas Murphy in 1949. He was a corporation lawyer from Ingham, MA. They had five sons, including:
    1. Stephen Printiss Murphy, b. 1950. He is an attorney . He m. Jane M. Labarbera in 1975 (per Frederick Printiss, email, 10 Feb 2008). He had 2 or more children, including (per his email, 5 May 2008):
      1. (child) Murphy.
      2. Andrew Printiss Murphy

    2. Joan Printiss, b. c. 1926, MA. 1940 at home in Quincy, MA.

9. Albert E. Prentiss, b. c. 1916, MA (per 1930 census). By email of 6 Jan 2001, Paul Printiss of Gulf Breeze, FL indicates that Albert is probably Paul's grandfather. If so, Albert's children would include:

  1. Frederick Harold Printiss, II. He has contributed greatly to this article; see top of article.
    1. Frederick Harold Printiss, III
    2. Paul Printiss of Gulf Breeze, FL

10. Frederick Harold "Ben" Printiss (called "Harold" in 1930 census), b. Mar 1888, MA during the famous "Blizzard of 1888." He died 7 Oct 1961. 1940 in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., MA, a mechanic, renting his home, with an 8th grade education.

He was the first licensed chauffeur (at age 14) in the City and drove for Mr. A H Rice, worked at the Berkshire Auto Company on Rennie Ave. where they were also building the Stilson Six. (the first auto owned in Pittsfield was owned by Dr Robinson who bought it in 1896). "Ben" as he was called was an inventor and a mechanic, There is an invention to help change light bulbs on high poles, that he sold and is still used today. The GCA Manufacturing Co in Pittsfield has been making this product for over 40 years. As a mechanic he was appointed to the Pittsfield Fire Dept by Mayor William Moulton in 1917 and after 32 years retired in 1949. He was one of the best known and best liked Pittsfield fireman(Berkshire Eagle Oct 9 1961).

He m. Margaret Anna Halpin on 10 Nov 1908. She was b. 1881 and d. in childbirth on 5 May 1921. Frederick did not remarry. He lived at 91 Burbank St., Pittsfield with his mother at the time of his death. Children (per Frederick Printiss, email, 1 Feb 2002):

  1. Frederick Huntington Printiss, b. 4 or 13 Dec 1910 and d. at birth per Fred Printiss, citing Pittsfield Cem. record.
  2. Margaret "Peg: Theodora "Peg" Printiss, b. c. 1913, MA. She was a nurse and worked at St. Luke's Hospital. 1940 at home in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., MA. She m. Mr. Costello. Son:
    1. Patrick Costello.
  3. Albert Edward Printiss, b. 20 Feb 1916, probably Pittsfield, MA, and d. Aug 1983, NY, at the age of 67 (per SSDI). He work at , and retired from, the General Electric Company. He m. 1st Marion Ann Sinclair. Albert Edward Printiss m. 2nd Irene Simmons, b. 18 Mar 1909 and d. 16 Dec 1986, NY (per SSDI). There were no children of that 2nd marriage. Children of Albert and Marion, his 1st wife:
    1. Philip Albert Printiss, b. 22 Mar 1937. . . . . . . [11]
    2. Frederick Harold Printiss, b. 30 Aug 1938. . . . . . . . 12]
    3. Albert Edward Printiss II, b. 19 Apr 1940. . . . . . . . [13]
  4. (infant) Printiss. Died at birth in 1921.

11. Philip Albert Printiss, b. 22 Mar 1937. He m. Sharon Bigos. Sons:

  1. Philip Albert Printiss Jr.
  2. Michael Printiss.

12. Frederick Harold Printiss, b. 30 Aug 1938. Frederick was brought by his aunt, Margaret "Peg" (Printiss) Costello who he has always referred to her as his mother. He worked for Ford Motor Co., engineering, for 11 years, served 4 years active duty in the Navy, and 13 years in the active navy reserve. He graduated from Lawrence Tech University in Detroit in 1973. Spent 25 years with The Nelson Company, and retired as VP EuropeanManufacturing for Fleetguard/Nelson Division of Cummins Engine Company. In 2002 he lives on the Mississippi at LaCrosse, WI.

He m. 1st Nan Camile Deniger in 1958. Sons:

  1. Frederick Harold Printiss Jr.. He m. Jodie and in 2002 they live in Gulf Breeze, FL. Children:
    1. Colton Printiss.
  2. Paul Eugene Printiss. He is a CPA and Comptroller at Metrocom.inc. He m. Donna and in 2002 they live in Gulf Breeeze, FL. Children:
      Thomas Printiss.
    1. Olivia Printiss.
  3. David John Printiss. He m. Angie and in 2002 they live in Tallahassee, FL. Daughter:
    1. Genevieve Printiss.

Frederick Harold Printiss m. 2nd Diana Lynne Swenson in 1982. No children.

13. Albert Edward Printiss II, b. 19 Apr 1940 and d. 4 May 1991 of diabetes.

He m. 1st Velta Faye. Children:

  1. Albert Edward "Eddie" Printiss.
  2. Marion Printiss.
  3. Debara Printiss.
  4. Lynn Printiss.

Albert Edward m. 2nd Carol Belanger who had 3 sons by a prior marriage to Mr. Naddratowski, two of whom, Robert and Bruce, then used Printiss as their surname. Albert and Carol had a son:

  1. Albert Edward "Butch" Printiss III

Albert Edward m. 3rd Lucille Ballard in TX. No children.
Albert Edward m. 4th Letha Cumutte Montogmery. No children.

Who are Erastus Prentice's Parents?

PRENTICES NEAR PITTSFIELD: First, a bit of background. We know, from our research and database, that there were a number of Prentice families in Becket, Chester and Huntington near the Berkshire-Hampshire county line in the late 1700s and early 1800s. We know also that almost invariably the movement of families was from east to west during that period and that any reverse movement was quite unusual and based on some unique reason. We also know that anyone living in Lafayette, NY almost certainly arrived there from MA or VT.

With those thoughts in mind, it seemed logical to me that Erastus moved some 150 miles westward from MA or VT, and for personal reasons decided to return that 150 miles to his former home Since 2 adult males appear in the 1830 Pittsfield census in Erastus' home, it seems logical to me that the most likely explanation for the 2nd male is that he is a brother to Erastus. And if Erastus returned from Lafayette, than it would be reasonable to infer that his probable brother also returned from Lafayette. And, if the 2 brothers returned, than there was a good chance that their parents also had been in Lafayette and returned to Pittsfield.

With that thought in mind, we checked our database to see what Prentice families had lived within a few miles of Pittsfield, to which Erastus moved at some date in, or before, 1821 when Erastus' wife joined the Pittsfield church. We found 3 families which might be that of Erastus' parents:

1. Joseph Prentice: He comes the closest to matching that scenario.

Joseph Prentice has an unclear birth date. Census records seem to indicate that he was born between 1770-1774 (per 1800 which says he was b. not later than 1774 and the 1830 census which says he was b. not earlier than 1770). However, the 1790 census indicates that he already had at least 2 sons, and perhaps a daughter; that would indicate that we was probably b. about 1765 (per 1810 census which places his age at 26-45, with the earliest birth year being c. 1765) . He died 8 May 1851, in Huntington, Hampshire, MA.

We learn the following from census records:

  1. He appears in the 1790 census in Worthington, Hampshire Co., MA, with 2 boys under 16, another male over 16, and 2 females of unspecified ages.
  2. He appears in the 1800 census in Chester, Hampshire Co., MA with his wife, a son under 10 and 2 daughters under 10.
  3. He appears in the 1810 census in Worthington with his wife, a son age 10-16, and 2 daughters under 10 and a dau. age 10-16 (she would have been under 10 in the 1800 census; apparently the other dau. under 10 in the 1800 census died).
  4. Joseph and his family do not appear in the 1820 MA census.
  5. Joseph and his family reappear in the 1830 census in Chester, Hampshire, MA, with his wife and a son age 10-15.

He married Lydia Winn, perhaps as a 2nd wife, and probably in Worthington, Hampshire, MA. Lydia was b. c. 1777 and d. 9 Feb 1856, age 79, in Huntington, Hampshire, MA. Burial in Norwich Br. Cem., Huntington, MA. Either her birth year is wrong, or she may have been a 2nd wife since she would have been too young to have had 2 or 3 children by 1790 when she would have been only about 13 year of age.

So, when you study the above facts, everything seems to fit in place:

  1. Joseph had 2 or more sons, one old enough to be Erastus.
  2. Joseph was in the Worthington-Chester area from at least 1790 to 1810.
  3. Joseph seems to have departed that area at an unknown date between 1811 and before the 1820 census date.
  4. Joseph returned with his family by 1821 by which time Erastus had married and Erastus' wife had joined the Pittsfield, MA, church.
  5. The other adult male in Erastus' home in the 1830 census is likely a brother.
  6. While Joseph does not appear in the 1820 Lafayette, NY census, it may only mean that he was missed.

2. Phineas Prentice: He is #60 in our John-3 eBook amd is a possibility to be the father of Erastus. He was b. c. 1768 in Worthington which my map shows as being roughly 14 miles ESE of Pittsfield. He m. Fanny Collins on 20 May 1794 in Middlefield which my map shows as roughly 14 miles SE of Pittsfield.

Phineas does not appear anywhere in the 1790 census. He first appear in the 1800 census in Worthington with a son, age 16-25 (b. c. 1775-1784), and 3 daughters under 10, plus himself, age 26 to 44 (b. c. 1756-1774) and his wife.

Note that the age range of the younger male in the 1800 Worthington census (1775-1784) almost matches the age of 1 of the males in Erastus' 1830 census household (1770-1780) .

Incidentally, we would note that with sons of those ages, they would have to be sons of a prior marriage since he didn't marry Fanny Collins until 1794.

3. Jonas Prentice: . The 1800 Worthington census also shows and a Jonas Prentice who we have not been able to link to parents. Jonas is over 45 (b. before 1755) with a son 11 to 16 (b. c. 1784-1789) and another son 17-26 (b. c. 1774-1779). The latter son also comes close to the above-mentioned male in Erastus' 1830 census (1770-1780).

Does that prove that Erastus is the son of one of the above families? No, not yet. But it does give us specific families to work on.

WILLIAM PRENTISS OF LAFAYETTE, NY: We recently located a William Prentiss of Pompey, Onondaga Co., NY, who might be Erastus' father. Our Summer 2008 article about him can be found entitled William Prentiss of Pompey, Onondaga Co., NY . Pompey is only about 5 miles from Lafayette and at one time they were a single town known as Pompey.

Erastus m. Elizabeth/Eliza some date before 1821 since First Church of Pittsfield for that year show her joining the church as "Eliza Luce - Mrs. Prentiss." The 1830 Pittsfield census places her age at 30-40 which gives her a birth date of 1790-1800. If Erastus is William's son born after 1800, she would have been a little older than Erastus.

Although we have conflicting information as to the place of Erastus' birth, the death record of Erastus' son, Charles, recites that his father, (erroneously called Horace), as "from Lafayette, NY." Fred Printiss points out that Lafayette is on Route 20, 150 miles West of Pittsfield, that Route 20 goes through the town of Pittsfield, and that Route 20 was an old route East and West back in the mid 1700's when it was a wagon trail.

If William's son is Erastus, and if Erastus was in Pittsfield, MA by 1820 or 1821, that would be consistent with William and his family not appearing in the 1820 NY census.

Whether William Prentiss of Pompey is Erastus' father is an open question and investigation is continuing.

Appendix A: Cemetery Burials for Descendants of Erastus Prentice

By email of 9 Aug 2007, Fred Printiss provided the following information about burials of descendants of Erastus in Pittsfield Cemeteries. His email reads, in part, as follows:

    [In response to me call to the Pittsfield Cemetery} I got my call back from them and found some interesting information. . .
        Cemetary plot 3 west lawn... 5 Prentice graves ...
     (the original owner of this plot was William T Carpenter & Augtusta J Alden:)
                       1- William Loring 1945
                       2- Nellie M  April 30 1941
                       3- Marion B   Aug 5 1926
                       4- Bernice M   Jul 31 1912
                       5- George L  3-19-1923
    Cemetary plot 33  2 graves...
      (the original owner was Herbert H Prentiss)
                        1- Henry H  Jun 1 1926
                        2- Mary V Apr 2 1928
    Cemetary plot 2nd Pontoosuk Hill...
                        1- Horace A  3-18-1907
                        2- Ann E  11-20-1907
                        3- Esther  2000  (this is the lady I interviewed in 1991)
                        4- Robert F Hunt  1981
                        5- Grace Amandy  Dec 30 1913
                        6- Frank Eddy
    Cemetary plot 67 Pine Slope  3 graves
                        1- Rose A  Aug 27 1922
                        2- Frank Sharley
                        3- Minni Wespermayr  (this is Mabel Mary- dau to Rose and George L

    On plot 3 west lawn.... Henry's son George L is buried with his son William Loring and three new names...I found that William Loring and Nelli M bought land at the same time in Pittsfield in 1913 and 1915. Note the name of the original owner as the same name you mentioned that married Mary A second after George was born and she left Henry.

    Cemetary plot 33........ the original owner was Herbert H ... the son gave these two plots to Henry his father and Mary his mother to be buried together.

    Cemetary plot 2nd Pontoosuk Hill .... Horace and Ann Elizabeth are of course husband and wife. Horace had a forth child named Etta Nancy who married (first) Henry D Eddy and they had 6 children, the 6th was Esther Eddy who married Robert Hunt. Grace Amandy is Dau to Horace. Frank Eddy is brother to Esther.

    Cemetary plot 67 Pine Slope.... Rose Kendall, wife to George L is buried here with her daughter Mabel Mary (Minni) with her married name... Wespermayr.

Appendix B: First Church of Pittsfield

By email of 24 Aug 2007, Frederick Printiss provides the following information about the history of the First Church of Pittsfield:

    I1764 there was a religeous order refered to as the "Congregational Society of Pittsfield" In those days there was a contencious (politician) and preacher named Mr Thomas Allen. He was a prominent political figure and a leader in the church. He began the "Parish of Pittsfield"(1764) and then in 1802, there became an inflamed and divided parish which split into two groups.: 1- The "Union Parish in Pittsfield" continued and had as its minister Mr Allen. 2- The "First Congregational Parish"(1808) also called the "Church of Christ" began in 1809. ( an original member of this group was Mehitable Kitteridge, a last name same as the mother of Eliza Ann (Wilber) Prentiss, wife of Horace.)

    These two parishes were then refered to as the "Congregational Church of Pittsfield". When Thomas Allen died in Pittsfield (1810), Pittsfield had two churches: The "First Church of Christ", and "The Union Church of Pittsfield". They were refered to as the "Congregational Church".

    There were other denominations: The "Baptist" church in Pittsfield began in 1772 (but had a rule that it's patrons must pay taxes to belong. This proved it's initial undoing and it was dissolved in 1798. after (26yrs). In 1800, a new Baptist Church was formed and has endured. For many years they did not have a "Church" building and met in the Congregational Meeting House of the Town.

    The Methodist church in Pittsfield was founded in 1789. By 1801 Pittsfield was made the "center" or regional headquarters for the Western Ma. Methodist Chuech. (here we see the name of Joshua Luce , same last name as Erastus wife). In 1812, the Methodist's divided: and had two churches: the regular Methodist Church, and the Reformed Methodist Chuch.

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.

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