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Stanton Prentice of Green, Chenango Co., NY

Stanton Prentice of Greene, Chenango Co., New York

By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 1997 and Revised 17 Jan 2008

We have been helping Floyd Kelling in his efforts to trace the ancestry of his John P. Prentice who first appeared in the 1820 census in Greene, Chenango Co., NY. Also appearing in that same census was Stanton Prentice with an indicated birth year between 1760-75. It is now virtually certain that Stanton is John's father, but so far we have not been able to identify Stanton Prentice's parents.

He is probably not the Stanton Prentice who is #41 in our Thomas Prentice eBook; that Stanton Prentice in 1799 moved with his wife and family to Marietta, OH where he d. in 1825 at the age of 75 and is interred in the Mound Cemetery. It is unlikely that he would have appeared in the 1820 census in Greene, Chenango Co., NY. A Stanton Prentice appears in Pittstown, NY, along with Oliver Prentice, but a review of our eBook indicates that Stanton did not have any sibling or son named Oliver.

One clue is contained in a letter Floyd received in a letter of 20 Jul 1996 which he received from his cousin, Barbara. In it, Barbara relates that she found a notation (which she thinks is her mother's handwriting) on the "...back of page 1 of the Jonathan Wyatt record I sent you: STANTON PRENTICE, Geneva Smith's great-great-great grandfather, served in the revolutionary war...was taken prisoner and escaped in a barrel."

Geneva Smith is Barbara's ancestor. Floyd determined that their common ancestor was STANTON PRENTICE. The notation has a ring of authenticity to it; about the only way Barbara's mother would have such information about a barrel escape was if the story had been passed down to her as a family tradition.

We did a calculation to see what STANT0N PRENTICE'S birth date would have had to be if he had been captured during the Rev. War (1776-1783); assuming he was at least 16 in 1776, that would give a birth date of 1760. The 1820 census information indicates he was born between 1760-1775, so it is consistent with military service. Also, using another calculation, if he were born in 1764, maybe he enlisted in 1782 at the age of 18; that would also be consistent.

It is probable that John is the same John Prentice who appears in the 1830 Oxford, Chenango Co. census; that John showed 5 sons and a daughter and appeared to match John's known family consisting of four sons. Although missing 1 son and daughter (a Group Sheet in Floyd's letter of 2 Jul 1991 says Louisa was born in 1835, after the 1830, census) it could be that they died. Everything considered, it is not too bad a match; it would be a much worse match if JPP had sons who did NOT fit the profile.

We have also located two additional men who may be related to Stanton Prentice. They are Perez Prentice (see our new Prentice Book, pg. 459) and Elijah B. Prentice who appeared in Oxford, Chenango Co., NY with an indicated birth year of 1790-1800.

2. Let's take a minute to recap what we know about the ages of the players:

  • Perez Prentice, b. 1773
  • Elijah B. Prentice (Oxford), b. 1790-1800
  • John Prentice (Oxford), b. 1780-90
  • John P. Prentice, b. c. 1788

According to a footnote in Binney's 1883 book, Perez had a brother named Stanton, but nowhere else in Binney's book is there any Stanton Prentice who age would fit the Stanton Prentice appearing in Greene. If the 1820 Greene STANTON PRENTICE is PEREZ PRENTICE'S brother, and ELIJAH B. PRENTICE, seeming to be of John's generation, then Elijah might be John P. Prentice's brother.

Simeon Prentice: For reasons we'll not go into, there is a possibility that Elijah (b. 1775-80), may be a son of SIMEON PRENTICE (b. 1751) who appears in our new PRENTICE book at pg. 268, #28. If true, than both STANTON (b. 1760-75) and PEREZ (b. 1773) may also both be sons of SIMEON. Floyd has indicated that John P. Prentice was born in CT. SIMEON was born in CT in 1751 and at an unknown later date moved to VT.

William Prentice:There is another possibility. Stanton Prentice might be a son of WILLIAM PRENTICE who appears in our new book on pg. 173, ##12vii, WILLIAM PRENTICE, born 9 Oct 1753, probably at Lancaster, MA. No further information is given about any marriage or children. Interestingly, he is the son of Dr. STANTON PRENTICE, #12. And Dr. STANTON PRENTICE'S father was named JOHN PRENTICE.

Since Binney doesn't show any STANTON PRENTICE that fits the one who is in Greene, Chenango Co. in 1820, it has to be one that Binney missed. And what would be more logical for WILLIAM, if he married and had children, to have named one son STANTON for his father and another, JOHN, for his grandfather. Another interesting "coincidence": Stanton's son, John, named one of his 4 sons WILLIAM. Others were GEORGE, GILBERT and LORENZO. His only daughter was LOUISA, but his wife's name was ANNA and her mother's mother was JEMIMA. So, maybe LOUISA is the name of the 1753 WILLIAM'S wife?

Do we have any evidence that any of Dr. STANTON PRENTICE'S sons moved to NY? Experience indicates that if we can find one who did, that increases the likelihood that other of his children did also. Binney shows that Dr. PRENTICE'S son, JOHN (#25, pg. 184), did move to Pulteney, Steuben Co., NY in 1813. Pulteney lies about 80 miles west of Greene, but about half of that distance could be traversed by boat on the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers.

Stephen Prentice:If it wasn't Dr. STANTON PRENTICE'S son, WILLIAM, who fathered the Greene PRENTICES, there is still another son not accounted for: STEPHEN (#12iii).

Thomas Prentice of Stonington, CT: One further thought: Stanton Prentice's father might be Thomas Prentice of Stonington, CT who is also discussed in this newsletter.

Finally, there is some confusion whether the STANTON PRENTICE appearing in the 1820 Greene censis might really have been named STANFORD PRENTICE, a name appearing in the 1830 census. The official written record in Washington is not the true original record. Apparently the original record was copied, by hand, onto another census form, and then maybe even hand-copied a third time which final copy was then sent to Washington. As one can see from that process, each time such a copy is made, mistakes can occur because of a misreading of the handwriting of the record from which the copy was made.

So, in the STANTON/STANFORD situation, the original record might have been either one of those names, or could have been even a different name. One of my correspondents, Bill Semeyn, suggested it could have been a scrawled SIMEON. That is an interesting thought since the census index shows a SIMEON living in nearby Oxford in 1810, but not in 1820; did he move to Greene?? Another thought: maybe he went by the nickname STAN and the person providing the census information just assumed in 1920 that the full name was STANTON and perhaps a different person in 1830 assumed it was short for STANFORD.

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