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Nelson Prentiss, Franklin, MI

To see full list of articles in this Winter '98 Issue, Click Here

Nelson Prentiss of NY and Franklin, Lenawee Co., MI
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Winter 1998 and Revised 13 Nov 2017

1. Unknown Prentiss may have been b. c. 1800-1815.

He m. Unknown. The following males, probably all brothers, appear in the 1850 census in Tecumseh, Lenawee Co., MI, in the home of Ansel Blossom (b. c. 1776, VT) and Martha Blossom (b. c. 1812, NY). Also in the home was Labers A. Blossom, b. c. 1846, MI.

It is unclear whether the relationship between Ansel and Martha might be father-daughter, husband-wife, or some other relationship. It is also unclear whether Martha is the mother of the 3 boys. The presence of 4 year old Labers A. Blossom suggests the possibility that Martha was the mother of Nelson, Ransom and James and that she had remarried to a Mr. Blossom, either Ansel or his son. We do note that in the posting at Ancestry.com Martha Blossom is identified as the mother of Ransom Richard Prentice, below.

The 3 males, Nelson, Ransom and James later appear in the 1860 Franklin, Lenawee Co., MI census, living with the family of Nelson Prentiss.

  1. Nelson Prentiss, b. Jul 1835 in NY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  2. Ransom Richard Prentiss, b. c. 1837, MI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[3]
  3. James Prentiss, b. c. 1839, NY.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[4]

2. Nelson Prentiss was b. in Jul 1835 in NY. He appears in the 1860 Franklin, Lenawee Co., MI census, occupation: day brlaborer. Nelson, at 64, is shown living alone in the 1900 Clinton, Lenawee, MI census.

He m. Mary Jane Reeves, b. c. 1835, MI, and d. 30 Sep 1899, MI.

    Note: We note in the IGI a Nelson Prentice, b. 1833 in Milan, Monroe Co., MI, and d. there. He is shown as m. Mary Jane Reeves, b. 1835 in Milan and d. there. It is unclear whether they are the correct persons.

Children of Nelson and Mary:

  1. Gabriel Prentiss, b. Jul 1855, MI, and d. 26 1930, Clinton, Lenawee Co., MI, and bur. there. He m. Ida M. Goodrich, b. Nov 1865, NY and d. 1945, MI. Bur. Clinton , Lenawee Co., MI. She was living in Lanawee in 1900 and 1920. Son per 1900 census:

    1. Homer Prentiss, b. 10 May 1885, MI, and d. 25 Oct 1945, Clinton, MI, age 72, and bur. there. He appears in the 1920 Lenawee Co., MI, census with his wife, Haxel May Cole., b. c. 1888, MI, and d. 1983. Children:
      1. Alice M. Prentiss, b. c. 1906, MI, and d. 7 Oct 1948, Detroit, MI. Bur. Clinton, Lenawee Co., MI. She m. 1st c. 1926 Edward Hammond. Divorced 13 Mar 1930,Wayne, MI. She m. 2nd Abraham R. Neidelman in Tecumseh, Michigan, on 25 Oct 1930, \ 1935 Detroit, MI.
      2. Anna M. Prentiss, b. c. 1911, MI.
      3. Marian L. Prentiss (dau.), b. c. 1915, MI.

  2. Martha Prentiss, b. c. 1858, MI.

Living with Nelson in the 1860 census were Ranson Prentiss (#3, below) and James Prentise (#4, below), probably his brothers.

3. Ransom Richard Prentiss, b. c. 1837, MI.

He m. Caroline, b. c. 1848, OH and was living in Lanawee in 1880 with their children:

  1. Josephine Prentiss, b. c. 1866, MI.
  2. John Prentiss, b. c. 1870, MI.
  3. Oliver Prentiss, b. c. 1872, MI.
  4. William Charles Prentiss, b. c. 1875, MI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [5]
  5. Olive Prentiss, b. 1879
  6. Infant Prentiss, b.1880
  7. For another possible daughter, Armentia Prentiss, b. 1864, (See Fn. 1)

Living with Ransom in the 1860 census were Nelson Prentiss (#2, above) and James Prentise (#4, below), probably his brothers.

4. James Prentiss, b. c. 1839, NY. However, the earlier 1850 Tecumseh, Lenawee, MI census showing Nelson, Ransom and James living together identified James' birthplace as b. c. 1840 MI. The 1860 Franklin, Lenawee, MI census also appears to contain a duplicate, separate entry for James and shows him as a farm laborer, b. c. 1840 in MI.

Living with James in the 1860 census were Nelson Prentiss (#2, above) and Ransom Prentise (#3, above), probably his brothers.

James is also probably the same person as the James Prentiss in the 1870 Hartford, Van Buren, MI census, age 28 and b. c. 1842 in MI. Also in that household is Walter(?) Prentiss, age 2 and b. c. 1868, MI and a much older female, Martha Prentiss, age 63 and b. c. 1807 in NY. It is unclear whether she is the Martha Blossom (b. c. 1812, NY) who appears in the 1850 census in Tecumseh, Lenawee Co., MI, above.

5. William Charles Prentiss, b. c. 1875, MI.He does not appear in the 1880, 1900 census. He does, however, appear in the 1910 census in Lincoln, Clare Co., MI. He was living in Lenawee, Michigan, when he registered for the World War I draft. 1920 census in Clare, Clare Co., MI with his wife and family.

He m. Alice Mahala Evans in 1900 per email of 8 Feb 2001 from Mary (Prentiss) Rasmussen. Alice was b. 30 Jan 1884, MI, and d. 19 Aug 1970, MI per the 1920 census and Ancestry.com , with her father b. in MI and mother in NY. Children of William and Alice:

  1. Beatrice Minnie Prentiss, b. 13 Jan 1901, MI, and d. 20 Nov 1983, Juliaetta, Latah, ID.. At home in 1910 but not in 1920. She m. Cletis Fank Hoisington. He was b. 26 Jul 1901, Fix Ridge, Juliaetta, Latah Co., ID, and d. 26 Feb 1993, Lewiston, Nez Perce Co., ID. An extentice Ancestor Chart for him can be found at Ancestry.com . Their children and descendants can be found at Ancestry.com .
  2. Henry Waite Prentiss, b. 11 Jan 1905, MI and d. Sep 1973, Harrison, Clare Co., MI (per SSDI). He appears in the 1920 census in Pontiac, Oakland Co., MI with his wife, Perlina E. Cane, b. 4 Apr 1905/1908, OH, and had 1 or more children, including a daughter per Ancestry.com. He also m., apparently 2nd, Martha Blouch, b. 28 Mar 1915 and d. 20 Jul 1999, AZ
  3. Wilma Charlotte Prentiss, b. 18 Dec 1917, MI, and d. 8 Jan 1984, CA. She m. 1st(?) Ewell Clark (1918-1975). She m. 2nd Lynden E. Vogt who was b. 17 Jan 1911 and they had 2 sons
  4. Elizabeth Marie Prentiss, b. 21 Aug 1920, MI, and d. 3 mos. later on 13 Nov 1920.
  5. Oliver Lynn Prentiss, b. 24 May 1927. MI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [5]

5. Oliver Lynn Prentiss, b. 24 May 1927 just outside Lake Odessa, MI, and d. 1 Oct 2016, Interlochen, MI. His obituary reads as follows:

    Lakewood News (Hastings, MI) - Saturday, October 8, 2016: Oliver Lynn 'Red' Prentiss

    INTERLOCHEN, MI -Oliver Lynn 'Red' Prentiss, age 89, of Interlochen, was called home to his Lord on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. Lynn was born May 24, 1927, just outside Lake Odessa, to Alice (Evans) and William C. Prentiss.

    He graduated from Lake Odessa High School in 1945, and thereafter served honorably in the United States Marine Corps until discharged in 1948. He had a lifelong love of team sports, playing both basketball and baseball in high school, and even scrimmaging with the football players as a non-member when his mother refused to sign the permission slip for that team. He continued to play sports informally as an adult, and always enjoyed watching a game, whether local softball teams or his beloved and bemusing Detroit Tigers.

    After a number of early jobs which included long-haul trucking and a stint as a corrections officer, he started working for Michigan's Department of Natural Resources as a ranger in Ludington State Park. In 1965, he was promoted to assistant manager of Interlochen State Park, where he remained until his retirement in 1984.

    Lynn began a 66 year adventure on September 17, 1950, when he married his hometown sweetheart, Joan G. Curtis – 'Josie' as he so fondly called her. Together they raised five daughters and created a home full of laughter, music, books, and love, where there was always room for one more at the dinner table. Spending time with family was his greatest happiness, and the little ones delighted him always.

    "Brighten the Corner Where You Are" was both a favorite hymn and a way of life for Lynn. He was part of the volunteer crew that built Interlochen Bible Church, and he served there for many years as a deacon, and in any other capacity needed. A truly humble man, he helped others without fanfare and strove always to be a testament to the love of God.

    Lynn was a creative soul who solved problems by building things, and made custom gifts of wood and stone. He loved music and poetry, and would give an impromptu performance of either at the slightest provocation. Besides traditional hymns and gospel, he enjoyed old-time country and bluegrass, with Johnny Cash a particular favorite. In 1993 he realized a longtime dream when he and Joan took a road trip through Alaska, the setting of many beloved Robert W. Service poems. Nature was another source of joy throughout his life. He was an avid fisherman and camper, and a hunter of deer and small game, morels and Petoskey stones. Feeding and watching the songbirds and other creatures of his wooded backyard gave him countless hours of entertainment.

    Lynn was preceded in death by his parents, including stepfather, Peter Trumpower; sisters, Beatrice (Cletus) Hoisington of Juliaetta, ID, and Wilma (Ewell) Clark of Bakersfield, CA; brother, Henry (Martha) Prentiss of Harrison, and sister, Betty, who died in infancy.

    He is survived by his beloved wife Joan, of Interlochen; daughters, Martha Kissell of Hudsonville, Maureen Draper of Mesick, Mary (Lisa Panagopoulos) Rasmussen of Interlochen, Melissa (Terry) Rhodes of Interlochen, and Melody Karr of Mesick; 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws, informal "adoptees," friends, and church family. His smile and gentle nature will be missed by all who knew him.

    Funeral services were conducted at Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at the Bennett-Barz Funeral Home in Beulah, with Pastor Caleb Simerson and Reverend Bill Ehnis officiating. Interment followed in the Inland Township Cemetery in Interlochen. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Interlochen Bible Church. The Bennett-Barz Funeral Home in Beulah is in charge of arrangements. www.bennett-barzfuneralhome.com

He m. Joan G. Curtis and had 5 daughters per Ancestry.com .

  1. Martha Prentiss. She m. Mr. Kissell. 2016 in Hudsonville, MI.
  2. Maureen Prentiss. She m. Mr. Draper. 2016 in Mesick, MI.
  3. Mary Prentiss. 2016 in Interlochen, MI.
  4. Melissa Prentiss. She m. Terry Rhodes. 2016 in Interlochen, MI.
  5. Melody Prentiss. She m. Mr. Karr. 2016 in Mesick, MI.

Who are the parents of Nelson, Ransom and James Prentiss?

We note that there is an Jonas Prentiss (age 40-50 and b. c. 1790-1800) who appears in the 1840 census in Macon, Lenawee Co., MI, with 1 son b. 1830-1835 and 2 sons b. 1835-1840. Those ages match those of Nelson, Ransom and James, but further investigation is needed.

There is a chance that Nelson's father might be Nelson Prentice, a carpenter, who is edb 5990 in our computerized database and who appears in the 1850 Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY census with his wife and 6 children ranging in ages from 6 to 23. There are gaps in the ages sufficient to allow the 3 men, above, to fit into that birth pattern. Nelson and his family also later moved to MI as did Nelson and his probable brothers.

Another possibility as to Nelson's father is Willard Prentice, b. c. 1807 in NY and who appears on pg. 394 of the Hartford, Van Buren Co., MI census (Nelson is on pg. 394R). Williard is shown with his wife, Marg, who was b. c. 1810 in NY.

An article about Nelson Prentice appears in our Summer 2001 Prentice Newsletter.

If you have any information which can help us identify any of the folks mentioned above, please contact us at dewald@prenticenet.com..

Fn. 1: Email correspondence with Sherranlynn Kincaid Nichols appears to indicate the possibility that Ransom Prentiss may have had another daughter, Armentia Prentiss who does not appear in the 1880 census but was b. March 1864 in MI to a father born in MI and a mother born in OH.

Armentia m. Henry Nixon at an unknown date. He was b. Jun 1867. Both are shown in the Lenawee Co., MI in in 1900, 1910 and 1920. They are bur. in Clinton, MI. They had daughters:

  • Mary Nixon, b. 1887
  • Gertrude Charlotte, b. 23 Jan 1891

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