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Clara P. Prentiss of Gloucester, Essex, MA

Clara P. Prentiss of Gloucester, Essex, MA
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 2003 and Revised 6 Jun 2004

We are helping Geogia Maddocks in tracing her Prentiss roots. Here is what we have so far:

1. Clara P. Prentiss was b. c. 1832 MA and both of her parents were born in MA (per 1880 census). We do not know for certain where in MA she was born, but Clara's grandson, Harold Maddocks reported, in the death certificate of his mother, Oline, that Clara was born in Cloucester, Essex Co., MA (per Georgia Maddocks, email, 22 Jul 2003). The accuracy of Harold Maddocks' information is open to question because a search of our extensive database does not disclose any Prentiss (Prentice, Prentis) family living in Gloucester in that time frame.

Clara m. John M. Anderson who was b. c. 1826 in Norway. He was a Sea Captain and both of his parents were born in Norway. Clara and John appear in the 1870 and 1880 Gloucester, Essex Co., MA census with children:

  1. John F. Anderson, b. c. 1857, MA. At home in 1880, age 23, and his occupation was that of a Clerk.
  2. Oline S. Anderson b. c. 1865, MA. (Called Oliva Anderson in 1880 census.)

Who are Clara Prentiss's Parents?

A search of our extensive database does not disclose any Prentice, Prentiss or Prentis family living in Gloucester in the general 1833 time frame although some had lived there in the late 1700s and early 1800s. We do know, from the 1870 census, that neither the father or mother of Clara were foreign born.

The name "Clara" was a rare name in the time frame we are looking. We found only one; Clara Ward Prentiss who was b. 15 May 1833, probably in upstate New York. She is #122/180iv in our database. The only thing we know about her is that her father deserted his family when she was an infant and that 2 of her siblings died young and a 3rd was sent to live with unidentified grandparents. Although we have no further information about her, if she did not die young she was probably also sent as a child to live with grandparents or an aunt or uncle.

We do know that Clara Ward Prentiss' grandfather, Stephen Prentiss (#75/90) was born in in Walpole, MA, before moving to the western part of NY State, so young Clara would quite likely have had kin still living in MA by whom she might have been reared. It could also account for a possible marriage by Clara Ward Prentiss in Gloucester, MA.

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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