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Thomas Prentice, Scotland & PA

Thomas Prentice of Scotland and Fayette Co., PA
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 1999 and Revised 17 Jul 2008

We are helping Tony Keefer in his efforts to trace his Prentice roots. Combining census information with information from SearchForAncestors.com , here is what we have so far:

SearchFor Ancestors, above, says that the Prentices of Uniontown, PA, spring from a Scotch emigrant, who came to this country when a young man and married in Philadelphia a young lady of that city, leaving a son Thomas Prentice, b. 1784 in Philadelphia, PA, and d. 1869 in Uniontown, PA. However, Tony Keefer says that the 1784 Thomas Prentice was said to have been b. in "Kilinzow," Scotland. Subject to further clarification, we will begin with Tony Keefer's version.

1. Thomas Prentice who was said to have been born in "Kilinzow," Scotland about 1784 at the age of 85 (however, the 1850 census indicates he was born in 1790) and died in Fayette Co., PA in 1869.

We have not located any town named "Kilinzow" in Scotland, but it seems likely that Thomas' place of birth may have been Kilkadzow which lies a short distance southeast of Carluke, and a short distance northeast of Lanark where a number of Prentice families are known to have lived. (See Rand McNally Road Atlas of Britain, 74/f24.) Other Prentice families lived at Lesmahagow, a short distance west of Lanark.

According to Tony Keefer's account, Thomas emigrated to American some time before his 1815 marriage, below, but it is not known whether he was accompanied by any parents or siblings. It is said that during his lifetime, Thomas shook hands with Lafayette, Henry Clay, Hayes, Curtin, Grant, Blaine, and Andrew Jackson.

Thomas Prentice was a brick maker and ran some teams on the National road according to the Encyclopdia of Fayette Biographies by Nelson. After its completion kept two and three teams running on it all the time; he hauled a large amount of coal and later engaged in the manufacture of brick used in the construction of the older churches and brick buildings of Uniontown. He was also a prosperous contractor.

Philadelphia Naturalization records, at pg. 537, show a Thomas Prentice who gave his oath of intention on 3 May 1813 and made his declaration on 17 Sep 1817.

About 1815 Thomas married Isabella Laisk, a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Uniontown, and said to be a native of Philadelphia, PA. Isabella was b. 1799 in Philadelphia and d. 27 Feb 1842 in Fayette County.

Children of Thomas and Isabella:

  1. Andrew Prentice, b. 11 Sep 1815 on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia and d. after 1889. In late 1815 or early 1816, his parents moved to Fayette Co., PA. At age of twenty years he began driving a six-horse team over the "Pike" from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, to Baltimore, Maryland; he afterward drove his father's team, running between Cumberland, Maryland, and Wheeling, West Virginia, taking nine days to make the trip; he was one of the best drivers on the "Old Pike," but after fourteen years service the exposure and night driving broke his health; later he became a grocer in Uniontown and became quite wealthy; at the time of his death he was the oldest "Pike Boy" in Fayette county. He was a batchelor.
  2. Elizabeth Prentice, b. 1818, Philadelphia and d. young.
  3. Isabella Prentice, b. 1821, Fayette Co., PA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  4. Jane Prentice, b. 6 Feb 1822, Uniontown, Fayette Co., PA. She m. W. K. Cooper in 1843 in Fayette County.
    1. Thomas Cooper.
      1. Charles Cooper.
  5. Thomas Prentice Jr., b. 29 Sep 1824, Uniontown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]
  6. Henry Prentice, b. 4 May 1827, Fayette Co., PA and d. there by drowning as a young man.

2. Isabella Prentice, b. 1821, Fayette Co., PA and d. after 1889. She m. John Crossland in 1840 in Fayette Co., PA. He was b. c. 1817. They appear in the 1880 Uniontown, Fayette Co., PA census with their children:

  1. Libbbie Crossland, b. c. 1846, PA. At home in 1880.
  2. Isabella D., b. c. 1856, PA. At home in 1880.
  3. John B. Crossland, b. c. 1859, PA. At home in 1880. Not in 1920 Uniontown census.
  4. Albert S. Crossland, b. c. 1862, PA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4]

3. Thomas Prentice Jr., was b. either 29 Sep 1824 (per Tony Keefer) or 22 Feb 1827 (per SearchForAncestors, above) in , Uniontown, Fayette Co., PA and d. in 1877 (per SearchForAncestors). He attended the public schools, and learned the trade of wheelwright. His shop stood on the lower end of the old "white swan" lot, where he continued in business until his retirement about 1877. He was a man of large commanding figure and handsome, manly appearance, retiring and quiet in manner, taking little active part in public affairs. He was a Democrat in politics, a member of the Presbyterian church, his wife of the Methodist Episcopal church.

He m. Elizabeth Brownfield in 1848 in Fayette County. They appear in the 1880 Uniontown census. She was b. 24 Feb 1837 and d. 9 May 1925 per Ancestry.com. Elizabeth was the daughter of Nathaniel and Elena Mitchell and granddaughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Brownfield.

Nathaniel Brownfield, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Brownfield, was born in 1810 in the White Swan Hotel. He was a farmer, and very active in the Democratic party, but never accepted office for himself. Later in life he became proprietor of the White Swan Hotel and in 1896 died there in the room in which he first saw the light.

His wife, Elma (Mitchell) Brownfield, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in 1812, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Campbell) Mitchell. Samuel Mitchell was a cabinetmaker. His wife Elizabeth was born in Fayette county, daughter of Abel and Susan Campbell, early settlers and members of the Society of Friends

Children of Thomas and Elizabeth:

  1. Walter Lowery Prentice. He was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, April 5, 1864. He was educated in the public school, and then became a farmer, working the old Nathaniel Brownfield farm for about fifteen years. After his marriage he engaged in the grocery business in Uniontown until his health failed, and in 1896 he practically retired from business, although he has erected several houses, which he rents. In politics he is an active Democrat, but has never sought public office. He is a trustee of the Third Presbyterian Church, of which his wife is also a member.

    He is probably the Walter Prentice, b. 5 Apr 1866, who appears in the 1900 and 1910 Uniontown census with his wife, Blanch Moriah Van Ache, b. 6 Apr 1870, PA. They had 1 or more children, including:

    1. Mary Prentice, b. c. 1909, Uniontown. In She d. at the age of 86 shortly before her obituary was published on 5 Jul 1995 in the Lancaster New Era, Lancaster, PA. Her place of death was given as Maple Farm Nursing Center, Akron. She had been under a physician's care for several years.

      She m. John A. Bainbridge, who died in 1960. A homemaker, she attended Moody Bible College and was a member of Third Presbyterian Church, Uniontown, where she taught Sunday school. For 20 years she served on a women's committee and supervised a project for taking groups of youths to hear the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She had 1 or more children, including: (Ref: Spring 2001 article)

      1. Mary Bainbridge. She m. Mr. Vyner and was living with her mother in 1995.
    2. Mary Prentice, b. c. 1866, PA. At home in 1880.
    3. Elizabeth Prentice, b. c. 1869, PA. At home in 1880.
    4. Thomas Andrew Prentice, b. c. 1871, PA. At home in 1880. Not in 1920 census
    5. Nettie Prentice, b. c. 1875, PA. At home in 1880.
    No children are shown in Walter's home in the 1930 census.

  2. Mary/Minnie Elma Prentice, b. 8 Nov 1865. She m. 1st Henry Beeson. Children per Ancestry.com:
    1. Elizabeth E. Beeson. She m. Harry Whyle
    2. Thomas A. Beeson
    3. Esther Beeson. She m. Ploydford Provence.
    Mary m. 2nd John G. Barber/Barbour, Superintendent of Armour & Company in Uniontown.

  3. Elizabeth/Lizzie Prentice, b. 29 Jan 1869 and d. 22 Aug 1899. She m. Harry Whyle.

  4. Thomas Prentice, b. 8 Feb 1871 and d. 5 May 1890. 5

  5. Nettie Prentice, b. 17 Jul 1874 and d. 18 Jul 1897.

4. Albert S. Crossland, b. c. 1862, PA. At home in 1880. He appears in the 1920 Uniontown, Fayette Co., PA census Mattie B., b. c. 1863, PA. Mattie appears in the 1930 Uniontown census as a widow. Children (per 1920 and 1930 census):

  1. Mable Crossland, b. c. 1894, PA At home in 1920 and1930.
  2. Albert Darrel Crossland, b. c. 1896, PA. At home in 1920 and 1930.

Who are Thomas Prentice's Parents?

We can make a tentative guess as to the identity of Thomas Prentice's parents. There are at least two possibilities:

  1. Scotland Christening Records show a Thomas Prentice who what christened in Carluke on 26 Dec 1787. He was the son of James Prentice and Janet Lockhart who were married 24 Jul 1774 in Lanark.

  2. The only other Thomas Prentice shown christened in that general time frame was Thomas who was christened in Lesmahagow on 11 Dec 1787. He was the son of James Prentice and Marion Broun who were married 18 Jun 1784 in Lesmahagow.
For possibly related Prentice families, see the "Scotland" listings in our Prentice Newsletter "Articles By State" index.

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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