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Henry Prentiss of Scotland and VT

Henry Prentiss of Scotland and VT
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 2001 and Revised 26 Mar 2005

Note:This article is now replaced by our Winter 2003 article about Henry A. Prentiss of Milton, VT
Original Article:

This article supercedes and replaces the following article:

We are working with Shirley Birling and Rachel Prentiss Stein in efforts to trace the ancestry of the following family tree:

1. Henry Prentiss, b. c. 1815-1829, married Catherine. Although not wholly confirmed, family tradition says they came from Scotland, apparently accompanied by his or her parents, and that Henry or Catherine's mother died during the voyage. (See Fn. 1) That they came from Scotland also is reflected in the 1920 Robinson, Kidder Co., ND census record for his son, Edward.

Also not confirmed, and although they do not appear in the 1850 VT census, the Woodstock, VT Soundex of Vital Records contains records sent in from St. Albans, VT which identify Henry and Catherine as the parents of:

  1. Edward Nye Moore Prentiss, b. 1 Jun 1850, Mississquoi Bay, VT. . . . [2]

2. Edward Nye Moore Prentiss, b. 1 Jun 1850, Mississquoi Bay, VT. However, Milton, VT town records for Edward's son, Daniel, show Edward as b. in Canada. Edward d. 1 Mar 1929 at Dawson, Kidder Co., ND.

He m. 1st Hattie M. O'Brien on 18 Oct 1869 at Milton, Fairfield Co., VT. She was b. 1 May 1854 in Milton and was the dau. of Daniel C. O'Brien and Evelyn C. Owens. Children:

  1. Durkee Prentiss, b. 21 Aug 1873. . . . . . . . . . [3]
  2. Lucinda Mae Prentiss, b. 21 Dec 1875. . . . . . . . . . [4]
  3. Samuel Nye Prentiss, b. 2 Dec 1878. . . . . . . . . . . [5]
  4. Daniel Edward Prentiss, b. 30 Oct 1880, Milton. His wife may be Mary. Son:
    • Donald E. Prentiss. He was a Master Mechanic who worked at several machine shops, was a large, heavy-bodied man and traveled a great deal and is believed to have left Alpena, MI for a location further north (per Alpena Town Clerk).
  5. Hazel G. Prentiss, b. 8 Aug 1885, Madison, SD and d. 7 Apr 1938 in Maplewood, Ottertail Co., MN. She m. Thomas Benjamin Emery on 14 Dec 1904, Fergus Falls, MN.

Edward m. 2nd Eliza Jane Hewitt, b. 12 Oct 1874, Mankato, MN and d. Jun 1932 in Tappan, ND. She was the dau. of Julius Adelbert Hewitt, b. in WI, and Rebecca Ann Comstock, b. in ME. Children:

  1. Lavine Prentiss.
  2. Mabel Prentiss.
  3. Ada Lee Prentiss, b. 21 Dec 1902. . . . . . . . . . . . [6]
  4. Adrian Prentiss, b. 21 Dec 1902, Robinson, ND and d. same day.
  5. Cecile Pearl Prentiss, b. 23 Jun 1907. . . . . . . . . . . [7]

3. Durkee Prentiss, b. 21 Aug 1873, Milton, Fairfield Co., VT and d. 12 May 1938, Fergus Falls, Ottertail Co., MN of a heart attack. Buried Maplewood Cemetery. Durkee and his mother, Hattie, appear in the 1880 Milton, Chittenden Co., VT census living in the home of her father, D. C. O'Brian. Durkee was a former Fire Department Chief and Police Chief in Fergus Falls, a post he held for 21 years.

Durkee m. Mary Adelia Slason on 2 Nov 1896, Fergus Falls, MN. She was b. 19 Dec 1877 in Sioux Falls, SD and d. 17 Apr 1951, Seattle, WA. Children:

  1. Myrtle Athelma Prentiss, b. 16 Jul 1898, Milton, Fairfield Co., VT. She m. Raymond Cressey and Melvin Arthur Nelson. Lived in Fergus Falls in 1938.
  2. Helen May Prentiss, b. 2 Apr 1902, Fergus Falls, Ottertail Co., MN and d. 1993. She m., as his 2nd wife, August Stein on 19 Apr 1922 in Fargus Falls. Lived in Fergus Falls in 1938 August had 2 children from a prior marriage to his 1st wife, Emma, who d. in the big Flu epidemic in the 1900s.:
    1. Clarence Stein
    2. Emily Stein.
    Helen and August had the following children:
    1. Pauline Stein. She m. Mr. Fisher.
    2. Dale August Stein. Died 1998. Children:
      1. Michael Durkee Stein.
      2. Rachel Prentiss Stein.

4. Lucinda Mae Prentiss, b. 21 Dec 1875, Milton and d. 14 Jan 1952, Seattle, WA and bur. Greenwood, Cemetery. She m. Theodore Sanders Johnson on 21 Oct 1896, Maplewood, Otter Tail Co., MN. He was b. 15 Mar 1875, IA and d. 8 Mar 1941 in Dent, Otter Tail Co., MN. He was the son of John T. Johnson and Helga Hanson. Children:

  1. Nora Helen Johnson, b. 1 Oct 1897 in Maplewood, Otter Tail Co., MN and d. Jan 1972 in Jamestown, ND. She m. Anton H. Lindegren on 28 Apr 1919 in Jamestown, Kidder Co. ND.
  2. Ida Mae Johnson, b. 14 Aug 1899, Maplewood and d. 07 Oct 1952 in Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI. She m. Joseph Nerby.
  3. Hulda Johnson, b. 27 Nov 1900, Maplewood and d. 16 Mar 1969, Minneapolis, MN. She m. Vivian Wells.
  4. Theodore R. Johnson, b. 7 Aug 1902, Maplewood and d. Dec 1967, Menasha, Winnebago Co., WI. He m. Loretta Curtin.
  5. Verne Leonard Johnson, b. 16 May 1904, Erhard, Otter Tail Co., MN and d. 11 May 1962, Minneapolis, MN. He m. Jean Adsero.
  6. John Franklin Johnson, b. 2 Jan 1905, Maplewood and d. in Seattle, WA.
  7. Stella Pearl Johnson, b. 11 Oct 1907, Maplewood and d. 15 Aug 1908, Maplewood.
  8. Forest George Johnson, b. 1909, Maplewood and d. 24 Mar 1974, Athena, Umatilla Co., OR.
  9. Clara Pearl Johnson, b. 22 Jul 1911, Maplewood and d. 5 Jan 1956, Neenah, WI. She m. Layne Louis Robinson on 22 May 1930 in Neenah, WI.
  10. Violet Belle Johnson, b. 7 Feb 1913, Maplewood and d. 4 Aug 1977, Kent, WA. She m. Paul Voelzke.
  11. Reuben LeRoy Johnson, b. 4 Mar 1915, Maplewood and d. 4 Oct 1982, Menasha, WI. He m. Margaret Schreiber on 12 Feb 1937 at Menasha, WI.
  12. Phillip Johnson, b. 15 Apr 1917, Maplewood and d. 22 Dec 1942 in WW II on the Island of New Guinea, South Pacific.
  13. (unknown) Johnson, b. c. Sep 1921.

5. Samuel Nye Prentiss, b. 2 Dec 1878, Parish of St. Thomas, Quebec, Canada and d. 13 Apr 1949, Federal Dam, Cass Co., MN. He m. Annie Elizabeth Hewitt in Fergus Falls, MN. She was b. 10 Jun 1880, Madison, Lake Co., SD and d. 26 Sep 1963 at Federal Dam, Cass Co., MN. Children:

  1. Charles William Prentiss, b. 17 Mar 1898, Fergus Falls and d. 15 Dec 1964 at Deer River, Itasca, MN. Did not marry.
  2. Rebecca May Prentiss, b. 23 May 1900, Fergus Falls and d. 16 Jun 1954, Federal Dam, Cass Co., MN. Did not marry.

6. Ada Lee Prentiss, b. 21 Dec 1902, Fergus Falls, MN and d. 1929 in Tappan, ND. She m. Magnus Nerby. Children:

  1. Edward Nerby.
  2. Dorothy Faye Nerby.
  3. Elinore Nerby.
  4. Leslie Nerby.
  5. Martha Nerby.
  6. Donald Nerby.

7. Cecile Pearl Prentiss, b. 23 Jun 1907, Maplewood, MN. She m. Frank LaQua on 22 Sep 1928 at Watertown, SD. Children:

  1. Jewel Edward LaQua, b. 2 Feb 1929, Tappen, ND. He m. Patricia Ann Misner on 20 Dec 1947 in New London, CT.
  2. Gloria Lu LaQua, b. 29 Jun 1930, Tappan, ND. She m. Robert Orville Sprecher on 22 Jul 1949 at Puyallup, WA.
  3. Charlotte Elaine LaQua, b. 10 Jan 1933, Tappen, ND. She m. William Tollefson on 4 Dec 1952.
  4. Evonne Marcel LaQua, b. 16 Apr 1934, Tappen, ND. She m. Edward Joseph Stojack on 21 Aug 1954 in Tacoma, WA.
  5. Gordon Leroy LaQua, b. 26 Jul 1937 in McCone, MT. He m. Jacqueline.

Discussion About Parents and Siblings

The 1880 census residence of Hattie and her children suggests that Hattie's husband might be a brother to William B. Prentiss who also appears in the 1880 Milton census and who is discussed in our Fall 1998 Newsletter.

William is the son of Henry A. Prentiss , about whom we have an article in our Spring 1999 issue. Henry A. Prentiss is especially interesting as a possibility for Edward's father since Henry's wife is named Catherine and they lived at Rouses' Point in the 1840s, quite near the Canada-Vermont border and only about 30-35 miles northwest of Milton.


Fn. 1: An email of 22 Nov 1998 from Shirley Birling reads, in part, as follows: "[My researcher in VT] sent me this list of Henry's that she found:

  • Henry Prentiss b: April 2, 1831 in Burlington, Vermont
  • Henry Prentiss age 51; born January 11, 1828; farmer born in Cohasset, Mass. Parents were Henry & Mary...Died October 24, 1865 in Springfield, VT.
  • Henry Prentiss 77, b: Guilford, VT. Died: May 10, 1868 at Milton, VT.
  • Henry A. Prentiss b: May 15, 1779 Died April 18, 1866 at Milton, VT.
  • Henry Francis Prentiss b: November 27, 1814; Father Samuel B. born Montpelier VT.; Mother: Lucretis...b: Montpelier, VT.
The fact that they came from Scotland and the grandmother died on the voyage and was buried at sea came from family tradition. My mother died young, but her oldest sister was born before 1900...like 1897...date not right at hand; she also lived in North Dakota and knew her grandfather, Edward M. Prentiss well. She also related this as story he had told her. Also his grandson...who was a professor at UCLA had a Prentiss Family Bible in his possession in 1964. He sent me copies of the family recorded in there...nothing older than Edward as far as Prentiss record...also no brothers or sisters for Edward.........but he also told me that his father had told him also that the parents of Edward M. Prentiss came from Scotland and the grandmother also who died on the voyage and was buried at sea.

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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