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John Prentice of Scotland and NZ

John Prentice of Scotland and New Zealand
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 2001 and Revised 1 Jun 2006

We are helping Karen Madoc in tracing her Prentice roots. Here is what we have so far:

1. John Prentice was likely b. c. 1850-65 in Scotland and perhaps from a town about 20 miles from either Edinburgh or Glasgow. He worked for Shacklocks and was a moulder by occupation and may have emigrated from Shacklocks as an assisted immigrant. Shacklocks were later taken over by Fisher and Paykel. They were well known for the coal ranges they used to make.

John m. Mary Michael. She is probably the Mary Ann Michael who John Prentice m. on 10 May 1884 at S. Dunedin, Otago, NZ. Mary Ann, by all accounts, had been brought up in Northern Ireland. Family tradition relates that when Mary and her brothers and sisters were little, they had hidden in the garden of their home watching their parents being murdered by the predecessors of the I.R.A.

John and Mary had 4 children, including:

  1. Minnie Prentice. She m. Toby Hobson and worked at Ross and Glendennings hat factory in Stafford Street, >Dunedin. They had a son:
    • Albert Prentice Hobson, b. c. 1927. Albert spent all his working life at Shacklocks and later Fisher and Paykel. He was married and later divorced. No children.
  2. "Cis" Prentice. She m. Bill Pollock, a Scotsman and dalso a moulder at Shacklocks. and lived on Melbourne Street in Dunedin. Both are now deceased. No children.
  3. William Prentice. He married "Ollie" who had a son, Edward/Eddie, by a prior marriage. William and Olllie also had a son but his name is not yet known. William is said to have died relatively young of a heart attack.
  4. John Prentice, b. 13 Feb 1885, Dunedin, NZ. . . . . . . [2]

2. John Prentice was b. 13 Feb 1885, Dunedin, NZ and d. there 21 Oct 1947. He was attested to the NZ Army on 31 Oct 1906(?) and embarked to fight in WW1 on the 14 Mar 1917. He was discharged 17 Jan 1919. John was a rifleman and fought in the trenches. His regimental number was 42889. He worked at Shacklocks Foundery in Dunedin.

John m. Ada Lucy Bacon in 1934. She was b. 21 Nov 1902, dau. of Alfred E. Bacon and Lucy Burnard.

Ada had a prior marriage to John Edward "Jack" Brinsdon in 1926 and a son by such prior marriage. Jack died on a hunting trip on 24 Oct 1932 in the Blue Mountains, Lawrence, Otago, NZ. The circumstances of his death are related at Ancestry.com :

    Circumstances of his death (from a letter from Aunt Nellie to Linda

    "One of Bill Brinsdon's brothers, Jack, called after my Uncle John, his father, was lost in the Blue Mountains one Easter when he was 27 years old. I was in Auckland at the time and the search for him made history. He was with several others deer hunting and they were caught in a blizzard and got separated. The very first ever (in NZ) aerial search was sent out from Taieri airport to look for him. Several days later a farmer's wife pulled up the blind in the morning and saw a bump in the snow that wasn't there the night before. They went out and found his body. He was a very good-looking chap, a bit younger than me (not much) and had made his way down to the lights in the house but died of pneumonia [only a few yards from safety].

    "His father was sure all the time they were searching that Jack would be found alive, having been bought up in the bush at Whare Flat, where his father was in charge of the water races and Mosgiel water supply for all those years his family was growing up there.

    "Jack was married and had a three year old son at the time of his death."

There is a chance that John may be related to Prentices in Kaikoura, NZ in whom there is some family resemblance. John and Ada, in the late 1930s lived in a wooden villa on Andersons Bay Road near where Methvens factory was later located.

John and Ada had 1 or more children, including:

  1. William John Prentice, b. 22 Dec 1935, Dunedin, NZ. . . . . . [3]

3. William John Prentice, b. 22 Dec 1935, Dunedin, NZ. He m. Shirley Ann Anderson. She was b. 26 Jan 1936. Children:

  1. Karen Prentice, b. 17 May 1957, aka Karen Madoc.
  2. Melanie Jane Prentice. b. 8 Nov 1958.
  3. John Russell Prentice, b. 26 Mar 1960.
  4. Catherine Ann Prentice, b. 6 Mar 1973.

Who are John Prentice's Parents?

By email of 28 Feb 2003, Karen Madoc suggests they may be Thomas Prentice and Mary Scott of Lesmahagow, about whom we have an article in our Spring 2000 Prentice Newsletter. While solid proof is still needed, it is likely that the identification of John and Mary is correct. Karen's email reads in part, as follows:

    I am pretty sure that the John Prentice who came out to NZ from Larnack on the Napier in 1879 is my father's grandfather. Larnack fits in with my father's memory of where they came from. John is described as a "moulder" which was our John's occupation.

    A Janet Prentice also came out on that boat and I am pretty sure that she is John's sister. She was 15 at that time and there are records of them both witnessing a marriage in Dunedin.

    When I was in Wellington I went to the National Library where there are lots of Scottish records on fiche. I looked in the Larnack records for people who had both a John and a Janet and tried to match the birth dates with the ages of J and J when they arrived in NZ.

    I have tentatively put them with Thomas Prentice and Mary Scott. Thomas and Mary seem to have had several children:

    1. Mary (christened 28/8/1844 in Lesmahagow)
    2. John (christened 19/3/1849, Carmichael)
    3. Margaret (christened 6/1/1851 carmichael)
    4. Agnes (christened 3/7/1852 carmichael)
    5. Thomas (christened 1/5/1854 Carmichael)
    6. James (christened 4/3/1856 Carmichael)
    7. Grace (christened 7/7/1859 carmichael)
    8. Janet (christened 3/12/1862 Carmichael)

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.

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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Comments:  Only registered members can add comments or contact contributors. (Register now?)
Karen Madoc
2012-01-22 04:31:44
Although I have not yet located Thomas Prentice's family I have found records for his wife Mary Scott. Both seem to have come from New Kilpatrick, Dunbarton, Scotland or at least that is where they married 31/5/1845 and the records (Latter Day Saints) say they were then living. The Church of Scotland records state her parents as being Thomas Scott and Mary Lawson.
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