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Hugh Prentice of Scotland

Hugh Prentice of Scotland
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2001 and Revised 1 Jul 2008

We are helping Alan Ross of Edinburgh, Scotland, in his efforts to identify the ancestry of Hugh Prentice, the great-grandfather of Ross' wife, Sheila. Here is what we have so far:

1. Hugh Prentice was b. at an unknown date and place, but perhaps 1840-1860 based on the b. c. 1880 birth year of his son, James.

He m. Elizabeth Saunders (or Adams), but their marriage record has not been located. She, too, may have been b. c. 1840-1860.Hugh and Elizabeth had 1 or more children, including:

  1. James Prentice, b. c. 1880 and d. 1945. . . . . . . [2]

2. James Prentice Sr., b. c. 1880, although his birth record has not been located, and d. 6 Apr 1945, age 65, 19 Ivy Terrace, Edinburgh (per Death Certificate). James served as a driving instructor in the Seaforth Highlanders in India 1903 ( Army cert.) . He was employed by the General Post Office as a Postman between 1908 and 1939 in Edinburgh. (21 yr service cert.)

He m. 1st Kate Higgins on 15 Jun 1900. Shecame from a well known family of street paper vendors at Haymarket in Edinburgh. Alan Ross' email of 15 Sep 2001 relates that:

    ...[He has now exhausted all searches in the Army records for James [Senior] in regard to disharge papers. He did locate a record of his pension ID No. P/S/P/2 from the Seaforth Highlanders. The biggest problem being that data was, and has been lost or destroyed during the WW2 and also some are only kept for so long like the GPO records.

    [He] cannot understand why records cannot be found of a James Prentice with Hugh Prentice and Elizabeth Saunders as his parent in the Scottish ,English or Irish Registrary's. Unless names given are wrong. Adoption in the 1880s, [he is] told, is difficult as they did not have to be documented and may have occured anyway within the family. [He has] travelled Scots Origins for his parents from 1891 backwards but again its difficult without a birthplace.

They had 1 or more children including:

  1. James Prentice Jr., b. 29 Apr 1908, 13 Hill Place, Edinburgh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]

James Sr. m. 2nd c. 1913 Euphemia Livingston McInnes in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was b. c. 1888. James served as a driving instructor in the Seaforth Highlanders in India 1903. He was employed by the General Post Office as a Postman between 1908 and 1939 in Edinburgh. The children of James and Euphemia are:

  1. Elizabeth Livingston McInnes Prentice, b. 1913; deceased, Canada. She had 1 or more children, including:
    1. Sheila. She m. Alan Ross of Edinburgh, Scotland, a contributor to this article.
  2. Edward Prentice, b. 1915; deceased, Poole England. Edward the military Queen Victoria School at Dunblane Scotland.
  3. Sheila Jane Blake Prentice, b. 1917; living, Scotland.
  4. Eric Prentice, b. 1927; living, Scotland.
  5. John Livingston Prentice, b. 1929, Scotland, deceased.

3. James Prentice Jr., b. 29 Apr 1908, 13 Hill Place, Edinburgh (per India marriage record and birth cert.) and d. 1 Dec 1971 on Guernsey.

He attended the military Queen Victoria School at Dunblane Scotland and went to India with the Seaforth Highlands, serving in the Viceroys band in India. According to a nephew (the son of his wife's sister) James was offered a commission and transferred to the Royal Signals. He served in Burma and Korea and was stationed at War Office with postings to Gloucester and York as well as a stint at SHAPE in Paris.

When he finally retired from the Army they moved from Norbury to Guernsey where he bought some land and built his own bungalow in La Millette ( Northern Guernsey). By email of 15 Sep 1001, Alan Ross relates that;

    " [He has] . . . discovered a Major J. Prentice was living in Guernsey Cava district in 1970 (taken from a telephone directory that the Guersney Museum has. One of his half sisters says she spoke on the telephone in the mid 70s to his wife but James was already dead."

James Jr., at age 29, m. Olive Maud Hodson on 3 Nov 1937, in Free Church, New Delhi, India. She was then age 22 and a nurse. He was at that time a Musician. Olive was b. c. 1915. India, and d. 6 Jun 1993, Guernsey, age 78 (per Alan Ross, email, 28 Sep 2001.

Who are Hugh Prentice's Parents?

1. Alan Ross has suggested the possibility that Hugh may have roots in Dromore, County Down Ireland. In checking the IGI, we found a Hugh Prentice who was b. 10 Mar 1839 in Dromore. His parents are given as Hugh Lilburn and Jane Prentice. If the surnames are correct, it might indicate that particular Hugh was born out of wedlock.

2. There is another possibility. The IGI shows that Hugh Prentice m. Jean Wallace on 8 Feb 1839 at Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland. They had at least one son:

  • Hugh Prentice, chr. 11 Jan 1841 at Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland.

Hugh and Jean also appear in the 1841 Eaglesham census living on Polnoon Street; Hugh is shown as b. c. 1821, Renfrewshire, with his occupation given as "Army." Hean appears as b. c. 1821, Renfrewshire The are shown with a daughter, Agnes, b. c. 1839, Renfrewshire, and an unnamed baby Prentice, age 2 days. Also shown in the household is Agnes McPherson, b. c. 1786, Scotland; no information is given whether she is kin, a lodger or a servant. Hugh and his family do not appear in the 1851 Scotland census.

3. Yet another possibility: Alexander Prentice, b. c. 1825-35, m. Agnes Howie Wallace and had:

  1. Thomas Prentice, chr. 30 Jan 1854 Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland
  2. Margaret Howie Prentice, b. 3 Feb 1856 Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland
  3. Hugh Wallace Prentice, b. 14 Jun 1859 Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland
  4. Isabella Watson Prentice, b. 19 Oct 1861 Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland
  5. Agnes Howie Wallace Prentice, b. 1 Mar 1864 Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland
  6. Janet Prentice, b. 11 May 1866 Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland
  7. Isabella Watson Prentice, b. 11 May 1872 Eaglesham, Renfrew, Scotland

Was Hugh's son, James, Adopted?

By email of 13 Apr 2001, Alan Ross writes that one of Hugh's granddaughters, Sheila Jane Blake Prentice, aged 82, has suggested that James Prentice may have been an orphan and adopted by Hugh Prentice and Elizabeth Saunders. James may have "joined" a ship in his early teens which took him round the "Cape" before he joined the army. This could suggest he was not happy in his "adopted home" and "ran away to sea".

It will be more difficult to trace James' roots if James was adopted by Hugh and Elizabeth but Alan Ross is in touch with the holders of the Kirk, Parish and local courts documents regarding the possible adoption.

We would appreciate hearing from the descendants of any of 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.

Caution: If you don't use the above email link, your email to us may be deleted as spam by our email filter.

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