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Valentine Prentice Update: Leslie Mahler


Valentine Prentice Update: Leslie Mahler
Winter 2002 and Revised 15 Oct 2002

By email on 14 Oct 2002, Leslie Mahler has informed us that he is the author of a new article about Valentine Prentice which appears in the July 2002 issue of "The American Genealogist."

Although the article contains more details, the it basically contains the following new information:

  1. Valentine Prentice's occupation was identified as that of a cordwainer and cobbler in the baptisms of his children.
  2. Valentine's mother, Mary Luke (aka Marie Luke), died in Feb 1627/8 and is buried at Black Notley. Black Notley lies about 1 mile south of Braintree, about 4 miles east of Felsted, and perhaps 7 miles NNE of Chelmsford.
  3. Valentine's son, Josias, was buried May 1627 in Chelmsford.
  4. Valentine's father, also named Valentine, died in Jun 1630 and is buried in Chelmsford, Essex County.

From the foregoing, we can learn a great deal about Valentine Prentice and his family:

1. Cordwainer: The term 'cordwainer' was originally restricted to those who worked in fine Spanish leather and not just in shoes. The early cordwainers dealt in luxury goods, and their customers were the nobility and the wealthy. Considered highly skilled craftsmen, they also made hats, furniture coverings, wall coverings, tack, light infantry 'armor', boxes, leggings, coats, belts, purses, and so forth.

Some of the more industrially oriented cordwainers made wagon slings, buckets, pipes (to carry water), ropes, interwoven straps to serve as bed-springs, shoulder pads, quivers, horsecollars and the like.

Since Valentine Prentice was also called a "cobbler," one could infer that in addition to making and repairing shoes, he may have produced other leather goods described above.

2. Mary Luke: Black Notley: We know little about Mary Luke, although her marriage record to Valentine Prentice on 15 Jan 1586 identifies her as "Marie Luke" a "widdow." Valentine was b. c. 1561, and would have been 25 at the time of marriage. One could reasonable infer that Mary was also within 2-3 years of that same age.

She died in Feb 1627/8 and is buried at Black Notley. Black Notley lies about 1 mile south of Braintree, about 4 miles east of Felsted, and perhaps 7 miles NNE of Chelmsford.

We do not know her maiden surname or her date or place of birth. It may have been about 1561, give or take 5 years. Since was buried at Black Notley she may have been born there, married there to her 1st husband, and/or may have had children from her earlier marriage who might be buried there.

We need to check Boyd's marriages in Essex County for a marriage of a Mary/Marie (surname unknown) to a man surnamed Luke about 1575-85 and in or near Black Notley, Braintree, or Felsted.

Once we have 1 or more marriages to check out, we can then start checking records for his death, for possible children of that marriage, and the identities of her parents. One could hypothesize that her father is named either Josias, John or Geremiah since those are not the names of Valentine's father (although his grandfather is likely named John).

3. Josias Prentice: He was buried May, 1627 in Chelmsford. This resolves 1 of the long-standing mysteries as to which of the 3 children of Valentine and his wife, Alice, died in England. We know that he had 3 children:

  1. Josias Prentice was chr. 13 Apr 1627 in Chelmsford (per Leslie Mahler, email, 15 Oct 2002).
  2. John was chr. 6 May 1628 in Chelmsford.
  3. Geremiah Prentice was chr. 9 Apr 1630 in Chelmsford.

We can now establish, by a process of elimination, that Josias died in Chelmsford in May, 1727, when about a month old and that it was Valentine's other deceased son, Geremiah, who died at sea at about 1 year of age while en route to America in 1631.

4. Valentine Prentice's Father: Valentine's father, also named Valentine, died in Jun 1630 and is buried in Chelmsford, Essex County. He survived his wife by 2 years and about 4 months and died the year before Valentine and his family emigrated to America in 1631. One might reasonably infer that with loss of both of his parents, Valentine no longer felt close ties to Chelmsford and that such loss might be one of the factors precipitating his decision to emigrate to America.

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please contact us at dewald@prenticenet.com.


 
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