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Hendrick Prentiss, Acquackanonk Co., NJ


Hendrick Prentiss of Aquackanonk, NJ
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 1999 and Revised 18 Mar 2014

We are helping Carol Markert in her efforts to trace her New Jersey Prentiss roots. She is a descendant of Grace Prentiss and George Markert. Here is what we have so far:

1. Hendrick Prentiss Jr. was b. 1779 "in the valle of the Ramoposk, NJ", and d. 1 Jun 1837. The following information about Ramoposk, now called Ramapo, can be found at The Ramapo Tract and it's Early Settlers .

    The Ramapo Tract was a colonial tract of land in northwestern Bergen County, NJ and a part of Rockland Co., NY under the administration of the East New Jersey Proprietors. The tract encompassed a large area in northwest Bergen County, N.J., including the present towns of Allendale, Franklin Lakes, Glen Rock, Ho-Ho-Kus, Mahwah, Midland Park, Ramsey, Waldwick, and Wyckoff.

    The Ramapo Tract controversy originated in grants made by Peter Sonmans in 1709, which the Proprietors of East Jersey considered as unauthorized. After 1742 the board began leasing some lands in Ramapo to tenants, while also attempting to reach settlements with some of the claimants under titles derived from Sonmans grants. In the 1760s the Proprietors, through their agents and committees, continued their efforts to lease lots. By the 1780s, however, they clearly preferred to sell the lands. By declaring a division of the Ramapo lands remaining unsold in 1790 the board expected to end permanently questions about the title to lands in the region.

    The family groups represented in the Ramapo Tract included German Palatines, Holland Dutch, French Huguenots, and other ethnic groups, including a number of free Blacks.

Hendrick moved to Acquackanonk, NJ in 1797 at the age of 18 (per Richard Pelcher, email, 13 Jun 2002). The land was very fertile and was mainly a hunting ground for the local tribe of indians. Henry's land contained hundreds of arrowheads, spearheads, stone axes, pestles and piles of clam shells against the hill. When Henry settled there, the The area was basically plantations and farmers. It was a stopping ground for Gen Washington and 3500 of his troops during the revolution, and know for the villagers destroying the bridge into Acq. Landing on 21 Nov 1776 in order to stop the British and Hession troops from follwing Washington to Newark (and Trenton). The population in the 1770 was less than 100.

It was there that Ebenezer Roark, Hickey (a bodygard for Washington) and other conspirators planned to assassinate General Washington and Putnam. The plot failed and the conspirators were captured and presumably hanged. It is said that Hendrick Prentiss found Roark's unmarked grave belowe the Shohonks Ridge.

Henry m. wife, Margarette Kingsland, was b. 1783. Richard Pelcher's email of 2 Jul 2002 provides the following from PASSAIC AND ITS ENVIRONS by William W. Scott, Louis Publishing Co. 1922, pg. 887, "Wallington's Plantation":

    In 1800 Henry Prentice came here from Ramapo and made his first purchase of a tract of about five acres not far from the standpipe of the present Wallington Water Works, for which he paid $118. This tract was in the heart of a forest and yet here it was that he erected his first hoe, a one story stone house of two rooms, to which upon its completion he brought his bride of a few weeks and here they continued to live far from other habitations, raising a family of six children, until 1818, when they came down out of the woods and went to reside in a large Dutch stone house, which had been built by George Van Iderstine in 1798...Henrdy Prentice continue to make purchases of land, until he had aquired 100 acres, extending from the river, over Showhank Hill, to the Polify line. He was a stone mason by trade, and erected, by contract in 1825, the Seceder Reformed Church, which stood upon the site of the Passaic Trust and safe Deposit Company's Building. Mr. Prentice was an elder of this church, whichhe served most faithfully. His son-in-law, John Van Roden, was the first sexton, who served until his death.

    Henry Prentice died June 1, 1837. By his will be devised his homestead to his son Henry, and the land now of the Anderson Chemical Company (which stood on Main ave between Stein and Resevoir Ave) to other sons, James, John and Peter. The portion now acquired by this company was conveyed to John by hhis brothers, James and Peter, over fifty years ago. John died July 1, 1906, and by his last will devised all his estate to his widow.

    Henry Prentice was a private in Company B, Twenty-first New Jersey Infantry, which he entered at the age of nineteen and served until its close.

    Among his descendants still living is John Kingsland, a grandson, also soldier, a veteran of our Civil War, and one of the few remaiing servivors of that earthly hell, Andersonville prison, the terrors of which even the Germans were never able to excel.

    Iin reading the history of Wallington, we should lnot forget the Van Iderstines and Prentices, who laid her foundations and worked so hard to cultivate and develope that region.

Additional information about Hendrick Prentice is provided by Richard Pelcher's email of 2 Jul 2002 which references a local history. The identity of the author is unclear, but may be Michael Van Winkle. One of the pages is entitled "HENRY PRENTICE" and reads as follows:

    "Old Pete", Indian guide for Henry Prentice, died late in the day of August 11, 1802 at the ripe old age of 93.

    "Old Pete" was born in around the Ramapos, a full blooded Indian of the Ramapo Tribe. He was six feet tall, strong and hearty, for at the age of 87, he was hired by Mr. Prentice to lead him, his oxen, three horese and one dog, to one of the roughest journeys ever experienced by any man or beast.

    "Old Pete" was the one that sighted the mountainus hill, the clear crystal like lake, also the running Passaic River, pure clear water. He told Mr. Prentice tht this was the prettiest site he had ever seen for in 1797, then helped build the home made out of logs below the Shaueehaank Hill. It was here Mr. Prentice brought his bride from the Ramapos to live forever.

    "Old Pete" loved his work, ever faithful to Mr. Prentice he plowed the fields, part of his many chores, his duties performed well.

    "Old Pete" ws buried below the Shaueehaank Hill near Michael Tades Familly Plot.

    Hnery Prentice, his wife, shed tears for the old Indian Guide. One hundred feet to the right of his grave, are the remains of rotted log foundation, former Indian huts of the peaceful Shaueehaank Indians."

The book ends with this tale...

    "John Prentice, grandson of Henry Prentice, also brother of Henry Prentice III, Civil Was Veteran with the 21st N.J. Infrantry Co. B, who died at the 6th Corps Hospital Potomac Creek, Virginia, May 27, 1863, of wounds received in battle at Salem Heights, Virginia, May 4, 1862. (9 months).

    John Prentice often related the stories of the ghostly figure dangling from the limb of the oak tree, aroound midnight. He blamed the pranksters for the screams he heard, shouts of defiance in the dark night, a shrilly cry in the wind echoed and it made his blood run cold, altough he thout it was the work of some pranksters, yet, he could never find the culprits. Many times, John, would say, maybe it was his imagination, but was it, he would whisper to hiimself, a frightened look on his face." The above paragraph was about the Tory spy who was hanged out back of the Prentice's farm.

Margarette appears in the 1850 census as a widow in 1850, her husband, Hendrick, having died in 1837. Known children:

  1. Matheus Prentiss, b. 23 Sep 1800 (per Pat Wardell, email 26 Jun 2002
  2. William Prentiss, b. 22 Oct 1802. . . . . . . . . . [2]
  3. Maria Prentiss, b. 12 Apr 1805 (per Herb Kingland, email, 22 Apr 2000 and Pat Wardell). She may, or may not, be the Maria Prentice shown in the IGI who m. James Van Winkle on 23 Jun 1832.
  4. Elizabeth Prentiss, b. 25 Feb 1807 (per Herb Kingland, email, 22 Apr 2000 and Pat Wardell).
  5. Elizabeth Prentiss, b. 15 Apr 1808 (per Herb Kingland, email, 22 Apr 2000 and Pat Wardell)).
  6. Rachel Prentiss, b. 20 Nov 1810 (per Herb Kingland, email, 22 Apr 2000 and Pat Wardell).
  7. Catherine/Caty Prentiss, b. 8 Jan 1815. . . . . . [3]
  8. Henry Prentice, b. c. 1817, NJ. . . . . . . [4]
  9. John Prentiss, b. c. 1822, NJ. The 1850 Lodi, Bergen Co., NJ census calls him a Ship Carpenter. He married Catherine Ade. Smith on 12 Sep 1852, Bergen, NJ. She was b. c. 1831, NY. The 1860 Lodi, Bergan, NJ census shows John, and his wife, Catherine A. The 1880 Lodi census calls his wife "Delia," (b. c. 1832, NY) and shows his daughter:
    1. Mary Prentiss, b. c. 1856, NJ.
      John may be the John Prentice shown living in Wallington, Bergen, NJ with wife, Catherine (b. May 1832, NY), granddaughter, Stella Schmidt (b. Dec 1885, NJ) and grandson, Henry L. Schmidt (b. Nov 1887, NJ).

  10. Peter Prentiss, b. c. 1824, NJ. The 1850 Lodi, Bergen Co., NJ census calls him a Cabinet Maker. Living with his mother, brothers James, and Mathew in the 1860 Lodi, Bergen, NJ census. The 1880 Lodi census shows him living with his brother James and sister, Katherine. In the 1900 census, Peter was living with his brother, James in Rutheford, Bergen, NJ.

  11. James Prentiss, b. c. 1829, NJ. The 1850 Lodi, Bergen Co., NJ census calls him a Ship Carpenter. Living with his mother, brothers Peter, and Mathew in the 1860 Lodi, Bergen, NJ census. The 1870 Aquackanonk, Passaic, NY census shows him with his wife, Elizabeth (b. c. 1831, NJ) and children:
    1. George S. Prentiss, b. c. 1848, NJ.
    2. John H. Prentiss, b. c. 1853, NJ.
    3. Caroline Prentiss, b. c. 1855, NJ.
    4. Nelson Prentiss, b. c. 1858, NJ. Not in 1880 census.
    5. Irene Prentiss, b. c. 1862, NJ.
    6. Emma S. Prentiss, b. c. 1865, NJ.
    7. Richard A. Prentiss, b. c. 1867, NJ.
    James' wife, Elizabeth, may be deceased by 1900 as he was living with his brother, Peter.

2. William Prentiss, b. 22 Oct 1802. He married Ann c. 1830, Bergen, NJ and they appear in the 1850 and 1860 Acquackanonk census. Ann, probably widowed, appears in the 1870 census living with her son, William, and in the 1880 Acquackanonk census living with her daughter, Catherine. Known children:

  1. Catherine Prentiss. She appears in the 1880 Acquackanonk census as the wife of George Gillim with her daughter:
    1. Elizabeth/Lizzie Gillam, b. c. 1872, NJ.
  2. William Prentice Jr., b. 3 Sep 1836. . . . . . [5]

  3. (perhaps) Henry Prentice, b. c. 1837, NJ; he appears in the 1870 Paterson, Passaic, NJ census as a House Painter living with Wiliam and Martha, below. He appears in the 1920 Clifton, Passaic, NJ census living with John H. Prentice, above.

  4. Margaret Prentiss, b. c. 1841. The 1860 census shows here, unmarried, and living in W. Paterson, Passaic, NJ. She might be the Margaret Prentice shown by the Marriage Index as marrying Richard Post on 19 Sep 1860, Passaic, NJ.

  5. John Prentiss, b. Sep 1845, NJ. He is almost certainly the John Prentiss identified in Diana Davis' E-mail of 5 Feb 2000. Her John Prentiss m. Margaret Hanlon, b. c. 1846, IL. They either obtained their license and/or were married on 29 Sep 1868 in Peoria Co., IL.
    Margaret Hanlon was the daughter of Thomas and Ellen who married in County Clare, Ireland, emigrated to America in 1848, settled initially in Chicago and later moved to Peoria, IL. Margaret died in Howard, KS. It is not yet known where John died. John and Margaret are almost certainly the John and Maggie Prentiss appearing in the 1880, 1900 and 1910 Howard, Elk, KS census. Known children:
    1. Ellen/Nellie A. Prentiss, b. Sep 1869, IL. She is living with her brother, John, below, in the 1930 census in Howard, Elk Co., KS.
    2. William H. Prentiss, b. Feb 1873, KS. Not in 1920 or 1930 census.
    3. Anne/Anna T. Prentiss, b. Jan 1875, KS.
    4. John B./I./J. Prentiss, b. Mar 1877, KS. He appears in the 1930 census in Howard, Elk Co., KS living with his sister, Nellie, above.
    5. Mary Prentiss, b. c. 1879, KS.
    6. Margaret C. Prentiss, b. Jun 1883, KS

3 Catherine/Caty Prentiss, b. 8 Jan 1815 (per Herb Kingland, email, 22 Apr 2000 and Pat Wardell). She may be the Catherine Prentiss, b. 1815, who married Joseph Kingsland in 1835 and had:

  1. Henry Edmund Kingsland, b. 15 Feb 1840 in Schenectady, Schenectady Co., NY, and d. 1 Oct 1916 in Coronado, San Diego Co., CA. # Burial: National City, San Diego, CA. He m. Susan B. Kibbey ib 26 Dec 1867, Davenport, Scott Co., IA. She was b. 24 Jul 1845 in West Burke, Caledonia Co., VT. Children:
    1. Lewis Henry Kingsland b: 30 Sep 1868 in Clinton, Ia
    2. Arthur C Kingsland b: 13 Mar 1870 in Clinton, Clinton, IA
    3. Lulu Catherine Kingsland b: 5 Sep 1871 in Clinton, Clinton, Ia
    4. Bessie Kingsland b: 2 Jun 1878 in Chicago, Cook, Il
  2. Charles Kingsland, b. c. 1840 and d. c. 1866 in Memphis, TN.
  3. John Prentice Kingsland, b. c. 1837 and d. after 1927 in Clifton, Passaic Co., NJ. He married (unknown) and had:
    1. Lizzie Kingsland
    2. Lottie Kingsland
    3. John Kingsland
    4. Margaret Kingsland
    5. Clara Kingsland
    6. Lulu Kingsland b: Abt Apr 1891
  4. Margaret Ann Kingsland.

4. Henry Prentice, b. c. 1817, NJ. A Mason, he appears in the 1850 Lodi, Bergen, NJ census with his wife,, Phebe Spear who he married on 8 Oct 1840 in Passaic, NJ. She was b. c. 1824 in NJ. Children shown in the 1850 and 1860 census:

  1. Marie(?) Prentice, b. c. 1842, NJ.
  2. Ann Eliza Prentice, b. c. 1845, NJ.
  3. Elijah Prentice, b. c. 1847, NJ. Not in 1880 census.
  4. Margaret Prentice, b. c. 1849, NJ.
  5. Henry Prentice, b. c. 1855, NJ. Not in 1880 census.

5. William Prentice Jr., b. 3 Sep 1836. He may be the William Prentice who appears in the 1870 Paterson, Passaic, NJ census with his wife and family. William and Martha also appear in the 1900 Acquackanonk census.

He m. Martha Post on 8 Nov 1865, Passaic, NJ per the Marriage Index. She was b. c. 1837, NJ. Children:

  1. Katie Prentice, b. c. 1866, NJ.
  2. John Henry. Prentice. He is probably the John Prentiss, b. Sep 1866, who appears in the 1900 Acquackanonk and 1920 Clifton census with his wife, Dora Goble (b. Aug 1868, NY) and children:
    1. Bessie Prentiss, b. Mary 1890, NJ. She m. Lewis Lotz , b. c. 1891, NJ. Children:
      1. Raymond L. Lotz, b. c. 1919, NJ. 1940 at home.
      2. Charles Lotz. 1940 at home.
    2. Grace Prentiss, b. Jul 1891, NJ. She m. George Markert and had:
      1. Dorothy Merkert
      2. Ruth Markert.
      3. Grace Markert.
      4. George Markert.
      5. Betty Merkert.
      6. Marie Markert.
      7. William Markert.
      8. Jean Markert.
      9. Edna Markert.
    3. Martha E. Prentiss, b. Jun 1894, NJ. She m., 1st, Alvin Raymond Paxton. She m., 2nd. Milton L. Pelta. No children shown in census for either marriage. Martha appears in the 1940 census in Clifton, Passaic Co., NJ, as "Martha Prentiss," Widowed, and living with the family of her sister, Bessie, above.
    4. Daisy May Prentice.

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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