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Ela Prentice, Troy, IL


Ela Prentice, Troy, Fulton Co., IL
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 1999 and Revised 23 Jul 2017

Original Article:   This article first appeared in our Spring 1999 issue. We recently received additional information in Dona Olsen's email of 9 Feb 2003, 20 Dec 2003, and 15 Mar 2005 which we have used to update the article.

1. Ela Prentice, male, b. c. 1793 in MA, first appears in the 1850 Troy, Madison Co., IL census with his wife and family.

He m. SusanDavis on 3 Aug 1831 in Clinton Co., IL (per Dona Olsen, email, 20 Dec 2003). She was b. c, 1799 in KY. He may, or may not, be the "Eli Prentice" who appears in the 1840 Ridge Prairie, Madison Co., IL census. Children shown in 1850 census:

  1. George W. Prentice, b. 1833, IL. . . . . . . . . [2]
  2. John Prentice, b. 1835, IL. . . . . . . . . [3]
  3. Asher Prentice, b. c. 1837, IL. At home in 1850 census. Not in 1860, 1870 or 1880 census and not in IGI.

2. George W. Prentice, b. 1833, IL and d. before 1916. George appears in the 1880 census in Jarvis or St. Jacobs, Madison Co., IL, as a boarder.

He m. Ellen E. Gaskill on 6 Jun 1886 in Madison Co., IL (per IL Marriage Index). She died, a widow, on 5 Jan 1916, at the home of her son, Lee Gaskill and is bur. in the Troy Cemetery (per Dona Olsen, email, 15 Mar 2005). They appear later in the 1900 Madison Co., IL census with his wife, , and step-son:

  1. Lee Gaskill (stepson), b. 1878, IL.

3. John Prentice, b. 1835, IL. John served in the Civil War, having enlisted in Troy, IL, and was a member of the 9th Illinois Infantry. He was captured in the first attempt by General Grant's Union forces to take Ft. Donelson. From the National Park Service website we find the following information about the battle at Ft. Donaldson

    Unconditional Surrender of Fort Donelson created jubilation throughout the North and silence in Dixie. It was the North’s first major victory of the Civil War, opening the way into the very heart of the Confederacy.

    Days earlier Grant’s plan to capture Forts Henry and Heiman on the Tennessee River succeeded. Upon taking possession of the forts the Union army stepped out briskly as Grant focuses his sights on Fort Donelson.

    February 14th, 1862 dawned cold and quiet. Early in the afternoon a furious roar broke the stillness. Foote’s Union gunboats arrived at Fort Donelson and began exchanging “iron valentines” with the Confederate heavy artillery. The gunboats suffered such damage that the decks became slippery with blood. The strong artillery bombardment from the Cumberland River bluff crippled the ironclads forcing them to retreat.

    At daybreak the following morning, on a snow covered battleground, Southern forces launched a vigorous attack but failed to escape the clutches of Grants army. On February 16th General Buckner felt compelled to accept Grants ultimatum, “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.” The gate was open for a Union invasion into the Confederate Heartland.

He m. Charity Emaline "Emaline" Foster (also spelled Emeline, Emeline, Emiline) on 24 Oct 1856, Washington Co., IL. Ancestor Charts for her can be found at Ancestry.com . Children:

  1. Ela Asher "Asher" Prentice, b. Feb 1859, IL. . . . . . . . . . [4]

4. Ela Asher "Asher" Prentice, b. 2 Feb 1857, Troy, IL, and d. 5 May 1934, Cook Co., IL. He appears in the 1900 and 1910 Madison County census with his wife and family.

He m. Leila Belle Sisler on 12 Feb 1891 in Edwardsville, Madison Co., IL.. Belle was b. Feb 1868, IL or OH, and d. 23 Nov 1923, E. St. Louis, IL, age 55. She was the dau. of William Sisler and Sarah Barnes. Children of Ela:

  1. Elmer Asher Prentice, b. 11 Sep 1891, IL. . . . . . . . . . [5]
  2. John/Jack Prentice, b. Aug 1893, IL. He appears in the 1920 Collinsville census with his wife, Leona, b. c. 1899 in IL.
  3. Maud/May Prentice, b. Oct 1899, IL, and d. 18 Dec 1943, Cook Co., IL. She m. Jack Stokes.
  4. Fern Prentice, b. c. 1904, IL. She was living with her mother in 1920. She m. Bernard Van Arsdale and had 2 or more children, names not known. Fern appears in the 1930 census in Chicago, Cook Co., IL.

5. Elmer AsherPrentice, b. 11 Sep 1891, Troy, Madison Co., IL, and d. 18 May 1957, Azusa, CA, age 65. He m. Ella Ida Schillat on 26 Mar 1921 in Collinsville, IL. Ella was b. 4 Oct 1896, Collinsville, Madison Co., IL, and d. 8 Feb 1984, San Bernadino, San Bernadino Co., CA. Children:

  1. Elmer Asher Prentice, b. & d. c. 1922.
  2. Dorothy May Prentice, b. 6 Jul 1924, Chicago, Cook Co., IL
  3. Richard James Prentice, b. 29 Jul 1932, Chicago, Cook Co., IL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [5.1]
  4. Donna Lee Prentice, b. 12 Oct 1933, Chicago, Cook Co., IL. She m. 1st Fuller Edward Crocker on 13 May 1954 in Wareham, MA. They had four children:
    1. David Edward Crocker, b. 9 Nov 1954, Otis AFB.
    2. William Allen Crocker, b. 1 Sep 1956.
    3. Linda Jean Crocker, b. 14 Sep 1959, Brunswick, ME.
    4. Nancy Jo Crocker, b. 10 Jan 1961.

    Donna Lee Prentice m. 2nd Knud T. Olsen on 27 Dec 1984 1n Ogden, UT,

5.1 Richard James Prentice was b. 29 Jul 1932, Chicago, Cook Co., IL, and d. 5 May 2011, Brea, Orange Co., CA. age 78.

He m. Louise Elizabeth Waltz on 11 Feb 1961, Azusa, Los Angeles Co., CA. Div. Oct 1973, Orange Co., CA. She was b. 5 Sep 1932, NJ, and d. 12 Apr 1996, Brea, Orange Co., CA, age 63. Dau. of Ellwood Paul and Louise R. Waltz. 1940 in Waterford, New London Co., CT. Her obituary reads as follows:

    Orange County Register, The (Santa Ana, CA) - Thursday, April 18, 1996: Louise Elizabeth Prentice

    Louise Elizabeth Prentice, 63, a Brea homemaker, died Friday of natural causes. Visitation: 5-8:30 p.m. today, Memory Garden Mortuary, Brea. Services: 1 p.m. Friday, the mortuary.

    Survivors: husband, Richard; son, Stephen; daughters, Dawn Prentice, Stephanie Prentice-Van Hoozer; mother, Louise Waltz; sister, Paulette McMurtrey.

Children of Richard and Louise:

  1. Stephen Prentice.
  2. Dawn Louise Prentice.
  3. Stephanie Prentice. She m. Mr. Van Hoozer.

Richard might be #1, Unknown Prentice in our Fall 2017 article about Shirley Prentice of Brea. Orange Co., CA. If so, that would be a 2nd marriage for him.

Who are Ela Prentice's Parents?

Who are Ela Prentice's parents? So far we've not found an answer, but have some possibilities:

Possibility 1: There is a good chance that Ela Prentice is a descendant of Ellepir Prentice, female, who is #14iii in our Robert Prentice eBook. The name "Ela" is most unusual, is almost certainly a nickname for "Ellepir", and Ellepir Prentice, also born in MA, is a nephew of John and Mary. Further, Ellepir's birth date, 19 Jan 1765 at Uxbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts makes her an excellent prospect to be Ela's mother. Ellepir would be 28 in 1793 when Ela was probably born. However, so far we have no further information about Ellepir Prentice.

Possibility 2: Since Ela named a son "Asher," Ela Prentice, b. c. 1793 in MA, might be the son of Asher Prentice who m. Sarah Marsh on 12 Sep 1779 in Uxbridge, Worcester, MA. So far we have not identified any family for Asher and Sarah.

Possibility 3: Another possibility is suggested by Donna Olsen who relates that it is her family tradition that her emigrant Prentice was named Goode Prentice. As indicated above, Ela Prentice was b. c. 1793 in MA. That would suggest his father was probably b. c. 1740-1770 since we do not know whether Ela was the first, last, or a middle child.

So far we have not found any Goode Prentice in our database,, but did locate a Christopher Prentice, b. 25 May 1662, who m. Martha Goode, b. 26 Nov 1688, Aldwincle, England They had several children, including the following sons:

  1. John Prentice, bapt. 13 Oct 1689 Aldwincle; d. 1750 will;
  2. Christopher Prentice, bapt 21 April 1695. A Churchwarden in 1740
  3. Thomas Prentice, baptised on 6 March 1691 in Aldwincle.
  4. William Prentice, b. 2 Nov 1701 and d. early.
  5. William Prentice, a Cordwainer b. 10 May 1704, d. 1746.

There might have been other sons, and we do not have the names of all of their children, but, since parents in that time frame did occasionally use mother's surname, or grandparent's surname as a first name, it is not unlikely that one of the grandchildren might have been named Goode Prentice. (For example, we know Stantons married Prentices and that they named their sons "Stanton Prentice.") If so, the time frame for his birth would be such that he could have emigrated to American by the middle 1700s in time to be Asher's, or Ela's, father.

Possibility 4: Finally, the 1860 Troy, Madison Co., IL census provides another possible clue since Ela and his family lived there at the time of the 1850 census. It lists an Edward Printiss, b. c. 1800 in VA or VT, his wife, Sarah, b. c. 1803 in KY, and children:

  1. George Printiss, b. c. 1833, IL
  2. James Printiss, b. c. 1835 or 1837, IL,
The different spelling of the surname is not necessarily significant, but it is somewhat unusual to have 2 men of that same phonetic surname, and about the same ages, in a single town. It is unclear whether they may be brothers. In addition, the MA to VT emigration route was fairly common so it would not be unusual to find an older brother born in MA and a youger brother born in VT.

The foregoing is, of course, speculation at this point, but the possibility is worth investigating further.

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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