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Nathaniel Prentice of Preston, CT

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Nathaniel Prentice of Preston, CT
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Winter 1997 and Revised 24 Mar 2012

Did he have two families?

Nathaniel Prentice of Preston, CT was born in Preston, CT in 1705. His first known marriage was in 1750 at the age of 45 when he married HULDAH STALLION.

In the past year or two we have received three items of information which seem to hint at the possibility that he may have been married prior to his marriage to HULDAH.

1. 1747 Deed.  

    By letter of 25 Jan 1994, Mrs. June (Wright) Prentice of Waterford, CT, whose husband was a descendant of Joseph, has brought to our attention a Deed to land which was discovered in an old land record book which had been rebound; Vol. II, 1723-1861.  In it, under "P," was found a Deed from Joseph Prentice which conveyed land in Preston, CT.  In that Deed, Joseph conveyed 30 acres to "my son Nathaniel Prentice" of Preston.

    Although the notes provided by June Prentice are somewhat sketchy, it appears that the land adjoins that of a Capt. Leonard, Nathan Leonard, and Elihu Prentice. Elihu probably is Joseph's son, Elihu.

    The Deed from Joseph Prentice also recites that it was signed by Joseph Prentice in the presence of Samuel Morgan and James Morgan and bears the notation that Samuel Morgan was the Justice of the Peace.

    Although the Deed recites that it was signed on the 29th day of May 1747, it appears that it was not recorded in Plainfield until 2 Sep 1752, more than 5 years after the Deed was signed by Joseph.  Joseph would have been 70 in 1747.

    A more detailed article about the Deed appears in an article in this Newsletter about Joseph Prentice, but it raised the possibility that Nathaniel was living in or near Plainfield in 1747.

2. Mary Prentice of Windham, CT.  

    The second item of information is an excerpt from the PEABODY genealogy containing the following information: "ASA PEABODY, born in Oxford 25 Jan 1717, married on 13 Jul 1742, MARY, daughter of NATHANIEL PRENTICE of Windham, CT."  Working backward, one could infer MARY was born about 1720 to 1725.  Using rules-of-thumb, that would mean NATHANIEL was born about 1690-1700.

    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?

    A more detailed article about the marriage appears in an article in this Newsletter about Mary Prentice, but it raises the possibility that Nathaniel was living in or near Windham in 1742 and that Mary may be his daughter since he is the only known Nathaniel Prentice living in CT in that time frame.

3. Nathaniel's church. 

    Perhaps the key lies in the location of the church known to have been attended by Nathaniel after his marriage to Huldah Stallion.  That church building actually lies a short distance to the east of what is now Jewett City, about 6 miles north of the present town of Preston.

    Interestingly, that church building also lies about 6 miles south of the present town of Plainfield.  It was originally organized and located in what is now the present town of Preston.  In 1716, because of difficulties which members living in the northern reaches of the parish had in traveling to Preston, the church was divided into two different societies.

    We don't know exactly where that line was, but it may reasonably be inferred that it was roughly equidistant between Preston and Jewett City.  That would seem to correspond with the present maps of the area which show that the broad "Township of Preston" extends approximately 4 miles northerly of the main part of town and to within approximately 3 miles of Jewett City.

    Since the records of Nathaniel's children are found in the Jewett City church, it would be reasonable to infer that he lived close to Jewett City, possibly even north of the present town.   Was the Jewett City area at that time considered a part Preston? Additional investigation is needed to resolve those matters.

    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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