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Mary Prentice of Windham, CT

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Mary Prentice of Windham, CT
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Winter 1997 and Revised 23 Mar 2012

Is Mary a daughter of Nathaniel Prentice of Preston, CT?

We received an interesting letter from one of our correspondents, Laurie Lightfoot. It contained an excerpt from the PEABODY genealogy containing the following information:

    "Asa Peabody, born in Boxford on 25 Jan 1717, married on 13 Jul 1742, Mary, daughter of Nathaniel Prentice of Windham, CT."

By email of 25 Jun 2001, Daphne Manual provides the following additional information: Prior to his marriage Asa Peabody moved with Asa Peabody's father to Pomfret, CT in 1735. Asa later lived in Windham, then in Norwich, CT. Asa d. August 1788.

Although that marriage is given in Binney's 1883 book on pages 375 and 377, without identifying Mary Prentice's parents, we have not been able to identify her roots. Working backward, one could infer MARY was born about 1720 to 1725. If Nathaniel Prentice was 22 when Mary Prentice was born that would mean NATHANIEL was born about 1698-1703. If Mary were a 2, 3, or 4 child, that would, of course, move Nathaniel's birth date backward in time.

After receiving the above information we checked our Marriage Index and the Barbour Index to see if there were any other PRENTICES in Windham, CT at that early date. We found a marriage record for another MARY PRENTICE to NATHANIEL LUCE at Windham on 25 Dec 1735.

A check of our database, Binney's 1883 book, and the Barbour Index disclosed. There were only two eligible NATHANIELS born in that time period:

1. Nathaniel Prentice of Preston, CT. The first is the Nathaniel Prentice of Preston, CT, born in Preston, CT in 1705. His first known marriage was in 1750 at the age of 45 when he married HULDAH STALLION. He would be an interesting candidate to be MARY'S father:

    1. Men usually marry in their 20's. Since he married HULDAH STALLION at age 45, one would expect to find an earlier marriage, but so far we have not found one.

    2. Although we do not know of any connection with Windham by his parents or siblings, Windham is only about 12 miles NW of Preston and within easy bride-searching range.

    3. NATHANIEL's family attended the Cong. Church at Griswold which is about half-way between Windham and Preston. We don't yet know what church Windham residents attended, but it could easily have been the Griswold church.

    4. We don't yet know the name of MARY'S mother, but if her mother's family had lived in Windham, any marriage of MARY'S parents would likely have been in Windham. If our NATHANIEL is the spouse, that could explain why there is no marriage for him in Preston church records prior to his 1750 marriage to HULDAH STALLION.

    There is, however, a timetable consideration. Nathaniel was b. in 1703. If he were married by 1723 and had Mary by 1724, Mary would have been 18 when she m. Asa in 1742. That is a tight timetable, but it is possible.

2. Rev. Nathaniel Prentice of Dunstable, MA.. The other possible NATHANIEL is identified on page 10 of the new 1996 3rd Edition, by Linus Joseph Dewald, of Binney's 1883 PRENTICE book. He is is Rev. NATHANIEL PRENTICE of Dunstable, MA, bapt. 11 Dec 1698, who had a daughter, MARY, born 2 Jan 1725. Binney given no further information about her, but, if living, would have been 17 in 1742, a suitable age to be a bride.

    According to the Peabody Genealogy, Mary (Prentice) Peabody had the following children:

    1. Lucy Peabody, b. Jan. 30, 1744; m. Sanford Brown of Windham; She married, second, Joseph Kelly. 104.
    2. Nathaniel Prentice Peabody, b. Dec. 25, 1746 and d. 1804, both in Norwich, CT. He m. 1782 Mary Glover (1758-1822). He was a member of the association to prevent illicit trade on the coast. Children include (per DAR Lineage Book, 22/220, 31/259, 32/349, 56/12, 114/245):
      	a.	Asa Peabody who m. Mabel Bailey.  Children include:
      		1.	Lottie Mabel Peabody, b. in Syracuse, NY.  
      			She m. Ezra Lafayette Koon.  Children include:
      			a.  Edith Adelle Koon.	
      	b.	William Henry Peabody who m. Ruth Bulkley, his wife. 
      		1.	Charles Alfred Peabody who m. Frances Williams.
      			a.	Elbert Wells Peabody who m. Sally Missouri 
      				i.  Mary Daphne Peabody, b. Columbus, GA 
      					who m. Richard Walter Edwards.
      		2.	Henry Buckley Peabody who m. Electa VAllette.
      			a.	Mary Rosenda Peabody who m. Ernest L. Jaeger.
      		3.	Augustus Peabody who m. Mildred Thedosia Caroline 
      			a.	Hontas Peabody, b. Columbus, GA who m. William
      				Willard Daniells.
      	c. 	Nathaniel Prentice Peabody (1790-1833) m. 1815 
      		Mabel Bailey (b. 1797).  Children:
      		1.	Julia Bailey Peabody (1817-1863) m. 1839 
      			John Augustus Brevoort (1807-64).
      			a.  Mary Brevoort, b. Toledo, OH who married 
      			    Amos Hallam Hubbard Perkins. (DAR 114/245).
    3. Peggy Peabody, b. Jan. 14, 1749; m. (???) Babcock; lived in Brimfield.
    4. Asa Peabody, b. Jan. 30, 1750.
    5. Mary Peabody, b. Dec. 3, 1751; m. July 14, 1792, Abida Smith; res. Pomfret, Vt. 106.
    6. John Tyng Peabody, b. Oct. 27, 1756.
    7. Amasa Peabody, b. Feb. 21, 1758; d. without issue. 107.
    8. William Henry Peabody, b. 1760.
    9. Persis Peabody, m. Elijah Ufford; lived in Stratford, Conn.

    I note that MARY'S 6th child was named JOHN TYNG PEABODY. An obvious inference would be that a parent, or grandparent, was named TYNG. MARY'S mother was MARY TYNG, daughter of Judge WILLIAM TYNG of Nashua, MA.

    Working strongly against that theory, however, is the fact that Binney says Rev. NATHANIEL PRENTICE headed a church in Dunstable, MA beginning in 1720 and died in Dunstable in 1737 at the age of 40. If so, he could not possibly have been the NATHANIEL PRENTICE who, according to the PEABODY genealogy, was "of Windham, Conn."

Third Possibility. A third possibility, of course, is that, their presently being unknown any other NATHANIEL in that time frame who is descended from the main four PRENTICES (VALENTINE, ROBERT, HENRY and THOMAS), it might be that MARY'S father, NATHANIEL PRENTICE, is himself an immigrant ancestor and not related to earlier PRENTICE immigrant ancestors.

Of the above 3 theories, the most likely may be that MARY could be a daughter of the 1705 NATHANIEL PRENTICE of Preston by a presently unknown first marriage.

Who is Mary Prentice who married in 1735? Even less clear is the identify of the parents of the MARY PRENTICE who married NATHANIEL LUCE in 1735. Is she the same MARY who married ASA PEABODY 7 years later in 1742? If not, was there another PRENTICE family living in Windham in those early years which is related to that of NATHANIEL PRENTICE of Windham?

With reference to whether the NATHANIEL PRENTICE of Preston could be her father, there is also the difficulty that she was likely born about 1715-20 when NATHANIEL would have been only 10 to 15 years of age.

In any event, we need to find our more about NATHANIEL PRENTICE of Windham, CT since, in all likelihood, he and his wife had other sons and daughters, not yet known to us, who could be ancestors of other PRENTICES for whom we've not yet found roots.

Correspondence:   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.

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