William Prescott.

The Prescott memorial, or, A genealogical memoir of the Prescott families in America, in two parts online

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Online LibraryWilliam PrescottThe Prescott memorial, or, A genealogical memoir of the Prescott families in America, in two parts → online text (page 1 of 74)
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Teanscript Building.




To any one acquainted with genealogical investigations it need not
be said that the collection of facts embraced in the following Memorial
required great labor, thorough and patient investigation, strong deter-
mination, and much expense, combined with great anxiety, embarrass-
ing difficulties, and perplexity, arising from various causes, to say
nothing of the indifference of some, and the discrepancy in the records
of others of the connection.

But it has been the anxious solicitude of the author to overcome all
these difficulties, as far as practicable, and to produce as full, as correct,
and as perfect a record as the means attainable would permit. Yet
such is the complication, difficulty and perplexity of the task, that it
cannot be presumed to be complete as a whole, or free from error in its
details. The descendants have become so numerous and so dispersed
over our extensive domain, and almost throughout the world, that very
many members, and even whole families have become so lost to the
rest, that their history, and even their locality has become unknown.
Consequently many vacancies will be found to exist in various parts of
the work.* The obstacles and discouragements which attended the
commencement of the investigation have been referred to elsewhere.
Rut as the researches progressed, obstacles were removed, hidden facts
and secluded records were unfolded and brought to light, and light and
liope supplanted darkness and ignorance. The more the facts that
were brought to light, and the more records the author obtained, the
more eager he was to prosecute his inquiries, to pursue his invel^tiga-
tions, and accomplish his cherished object.

By untiring industry and perseverence, he soon found himself in
possession of a mass of material capable of laying a substantial fouiida-

* Several such lost families and parts of families have been discovered since that
part of the record, to which they belong, was printed, and their record, with
sundry items of others, may be found in the Appendix.


tion for a genealogical record of the family. But by this time he had
learned, that so far as he had yet been able to ascertain, there appeared
to be two separate and distinct emigrants by the name of Prescott, one
by the name of John who came to Boston and Watertown, Mass., in
1640, and another by the name of James, first heard of at Hampton,
N. H., in 1 6G5. The question at once suggested itself, in what relation
of consanguinity did those emigrants stand to each other? While some
alleged that they were near akin, others were of the opinion that their
relationship was remote.

This discrepancy of opinion induced the author to institute a thorough
and searching inquiry into the history and ancestry as well as descend-
ants of each, for the purpose of ascertaining, if practicable, whether
they were of the same or of different branches of the name, before
coming to America.

But all researches in this country having failed to elicit facts suffi-
cient to settle that question, the author was induced to make an effort to
obtain the desired and sought for information from England, their na-
tive country, and he has been so fortunate as ultimately to succeed in
his efforts. By the kindness of F. W. Prescott, Esq., of Brookline,
Mass., a Genealogical Chart was obtained, which gave the lineal
descent of John Prescott, who came to Massachusetts in 1640, from
James Prescott of Standish, in Lancashire, Eng., who was required by
an order of Queen Elizabeth, dated Aug., 1564, to keep in readiness
horsemen and armor. From tJiis James, John of Watertown and Lan-
caster, Mass., was of the fourth generation, through his second son,
Roger, and grandson, Ralph.

The oldest son of the above James was James, Jr., Avho married
AUice Mollineaux. By sending to England for a further investigation,
the'author has ascertained that James Prescott, that emigrated to America
and settled at Hampton, N. H., was also a descendant of James, sen or,
by wife Standish, from whom he was of the ffth generation, and the
fourth generation from James, Jr., and Alice, through their son John,
and grandson James, as will be more fully illustrated and explained in
the genealogical arrangement, hereafter. By the above it will be seen
that both John of Massachusetts and James of New Hampshire wei-e
descendants of James, senior, by wife Standish, and that Roger, the
grandfather of John, was a brother to James, Jr., the great-grandfather
of James of New Hampshire, making John of Massachusetts a second
cousin to James, the father of James the emigrant to New Hampshire.
We have been thus particular, for the reason that the subject of their


relationship has so long been involved in uncertainty, and has been
made a subject of deep and earnest inquiry.

An opinion has obtained and prevails among many of the descend-
ants of the emigrant, John Prescott of Massachusetts, that he was the
veritable Sir John Prescott, son of Alexander of London, and who was
Knight and Lord of the Manor of Radwinton in Essex, and of Brom-
ley in Kent Counties. But Sir John (who also was a descendant of
James, senior, by wife Standish, tlirough their fifth son, William, and
grandson Alexander of London), died in 1640, the identical year in
which John, the emigrant, came to Massachusetts, leaving no son, but
two daughters, co-heiresses, so that, upon his death, the male line in his
branch became extinct. As Sir Jolin was of the fourth generation
from James, senior, he was alike the second cousin to the emigrant
John and to James^ the father of the emigrant James.

That the descendants of each of the American emigrants may the
more easily be traced, the Memorial has been prepared and arranged
in two distinct parts. The first part contains the descendants of John
Prescott, the Massachusetts emigrant, and the second part the descend-
ants of James, the New Hampshire emigrant. Each emigrant is con-
sidered the first generation in tlie part of which he is the American

As there is an anxiety in the minds of many descendants to know
from which of the sons of the common ancestor they are respectively
descendants, I have further divided the work into sections. Each
section to contain the descendants of one of the sons of either one or
the other of the emigrants. So that the first part will be divided into
three sections, one for each of the three sons of John of Massachusetts,
while the second part will contain four sections, one for each of the
four sons of James of New Hampshire, consecutively.

As the third generation consists of grandchildren of the common pro-
genitor, being children alike of his sons and of his daughters, this
division into sections for the descendants of his sons only, will not be-
come of practical utility until in recording the fourth and succeeding

It is believed that by a due observance of these simple divisions,
together with a strict attention to the following Plan, any family or
individual may be readily traced and identified.



As the pliin adopted in the arrangement of the following work may
not at once be apparent, the following explanation is deemed important,
to enable the inquirer to trace out and find any family or individual
desired :

In each of the two Parts of the following Memorial, the descendants
of a common ancestor are doubly numbered by two columns of Arabic
figures placed at the left of the names. The first or left hand column
is numbered in consecutive order, running through the wliole of each
Part from the beginning, making thereby a regular series. The second
column indicates the members of individual families only, placed in
chronological order.

Tiie figures in parenthesis, after the name of a parent, or head of a
family, refer back to like figures in the regular series, where the name
of such parent and the family to which he belonged may be found.

The figui'es in parenthesis, after the name of a child, reii^r forward lo
like figures in the regular series, whei'e a notice of the family or issue
of such child may be found. The Arabic numbers, running as they do
throughout the whole work, show, not only the number of individuals
descended trom the same ancestor, but by the aid of them and the
other numbers referred to in the foregoing Plan, the connection of each
member, with any other, may at once be seen, and the ancestors and
descendants may be traced backward or forward with the greatest ease
and. facility.

This will also be greatly facilitated by consulting the several copious
Indexes attached to the work.

It has been the custom until i-ecently to furnish but one Index to a
work of this kind, and that one consisting of the names of those who
have married into the family. But hearing much complaint, because
genealogical works were not more liberally supplied with Indexes, and
these complaints coming chiefly from men of literature, sound judg-
ment and correct taste, the author, at much expense of time and careful
research, has prepared sundry Indexes to this work, in addition to the
one usually I'urnished.

A distinct set will be furnished to each department or Fart.

The jirst Index contains the Christian name of such descendant
whose surname is Prescott, as is or has been the head of a family.
For further information see heading to Index.


The second contains the whole name of descendants having other
names than Prescott, and possessing like qualifications. See Index.

The third contains the whole name of those persons that have mar-
ried into the family.

The author has endeavored to faithfully give the military services of
such as served in the " Continental Army " during the American Rev-
olution ; also, in the American Array in the war with Great Britain in
1812-14; and in the late war with Mexico, so far as facts and materi-
als for those purposes could be collected.

Soon after the commencement of the Great Rebellion in 1861,
when most , of the materials for this work had been collected, it was
deemed by the author advisable to postpone its publication until after
the termination of the contest, for the purpose of inserting in the work
a notice of the services and sufferings of those officers and soldiers of
the connection that should serve in the Union Armies.

To carry the above purpose into effect, he issued in May, 1865,
soon after the Rebellion had been subdued, and the Union Armies were
being disbanded, the following Circular :

Notice to all ojfficers and soldiers belonging to, and connected with the
" Prescott Family."

The subscriber has prepared a " Genealogy of the Prescott Family,"'
but he has delayed its publication until the termination of the Rebellion,
for the purpose of including in the work (so far as practicable) a notice
of each officer and soldier of the connection, that have served in the
Union Army, together with what he has done, and what he has suffered,
for his country, in the suppression of the Rebellion and preservation of
the Union,

To accomplish this object, he takes this early opportunity, while our
armies are being disbanded, and our soldiers about to return home, to
request each officer and soldier whose name is Prescott, or whose
mother was a Prescott, whose wife was a Prescott, or her mother a
Prescott, also all whose grandmother, or wife's grandmother, or the
great-grandmother of either was a Prescott, to cause to be prepared
and forwarded to him, the information specified below, to wit : When
enlisted, with his rank ; the letter of his company, and name of Cap-
tain ; number of his regiment, with name of Colonel ; the length of
time for which he enlisted ; the length of time in the service ; when
discharged. If promoted, state the number and degree ; also in what


battles and important skirmishes engaged ; if wounded, their number
and extent, and the battles in which they occurred. Also, whether
taken prisoner, the length of time confined, and how treated. Also,
state any instance of extraordinary fatigue while in the service, to-
gether with any other incident or incidents worthy of special notice.

William Prescott.
Concord, N. H., May, 1865.

The names of more than 360 belonging to the connection, who have
served their country in the late Rebellion, have been received, nearly
two thirds of whom bore the name of Prescott (220 and 145). There
are a few, however, whose narratives have not been received. Their
statements and narratives are generally brief, and many are very brief,
but generally more or less interesting. From each and all, such brief
extracts have been made as the combined circumstances of doing jus-
tice to the individual and the limits of the work will allow. Some gave
a much more detailed account than others, and some required much
more extensive remarks than others. Several sent to the author such
meagre statement of facts, that he has been unable to make out such an
intelligible recital of the transactions as would convey to the reader a
correct knowledge or impression of what they must have endured and

Many of the narratives ar'^ extremely interesting, and even thril-
ling, replete, as such are, with brave and heroic deeds, bold and intrepid
daring, combined with intense suffering, and many hair-breadth escapes.

Joseph C. Prescott (3755) of Napoli, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., a
private in Comp. A, fourth Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, kept a diary
of his performances and observations, each and every day during the
whole three years that he was in the service.

From this Journal and narrative, which contains a series of facts
taken down at the time, and not related from memory, merely, we have
made very copious extracts for the purpose of giving to the reader a
vivid and life-like view and idea of the laborious, harrassing and ex-
haustive life of a soldier while in active service.

We have also selected the narrative of Dr. Joseph B. Reynolds of
Concord, Mass., to more fully illustrate the horrors of a battle field, and
the agony, misery and suffering of the wounded and dying, as well as
to exhibit some faint idea of the duties and responsibilities resting upon
the surgeons on such occasions. These narratives cannot fail of being
interesting to many. They are all plain, simple, unvarnished state-


ments of facts, destitute of any^attempt to embellish or adorn with the
flowers of rhetoric or otherwise.

Illustrations. — The object and design of the author, from the
beginning, has not been to confine the embellishments to portraits of
men of literary fame and extensive renown alone, but to include also
those of men of known and acknowledged integrity, usefulness and
moral worth, although they may not be so extensively known as some
others of acknowledged and deserved fame. It is with pleasure that
we are able to state that the portraits of several such have been
procured : active, energetic, enterprising and useful men ; men of noble
and generous minds, liberal views, accommodating dispositions, and are
highly esteemed.

In collecting the materials for the following Memorial, the author, in
addition to his researches in graveyards, among the tombs, and among
old and dusty records, as well as the aid and assistance rendered by
numerous friends, has taken the liberty to avail himself of whatever he
could find in books, periodicals or elsewhere in furtherance of his ob-
ject. He has drawn largely from the histories of Lancaster, Concord,
Groton, and Watertown, Mass., from the Historical and Genealogical
Register, Thatcher's Medical Biography, and all other sources wherever
he could find an item that would aid in perfecting the record. He is also
indebted to Mrs. Lemuel Shattuck, for access to the valuable unpub-
lished manuscript left by Mr. S., from which some desirable extracts
were made.

I embrace this opportunity to acknowledge the debt of gratitude I
owe to the numerous friends who have so generously aided me by fur-
nishing records and documents for this work. And I hereby tender to
each and all of them my sincere thanks and most grateful acknowl-
edgments for their kind and generous assistance, without which I could
not have accomplished the task. The labors of one man for a whole life-
time would scarcely be sutiacient for so gigantic an enterprise. Still,
there are a few who have manifested a stolid coldness and indifference,
and who have taken no interest in the enterprise, while others with an
independent self-complacency and selfishness, not to say hauteur, have
declined to render, not only their patronage, but all sympathy, and those
little acts of kindness which, while they would have cost them nothing,
would have been of service, and tended to encourage the heart of the
author and gratify the patrons of the work. Such manifestations are


annoying, and therefore unpleasant, and when manifested by the affluent
and influential are to be deeply regretted.

But such instances are few and far between, and I take pride in
being able to state that the connection, in general, manifest a cordial
sympathy and a deep interest in the enterprise, not only by genei'ously
contributing to increase and complete the record and rescue it from
oblivion, whence it was rapidly tending, but also by lending it tlieir
substantial patronage by subscribing liberally for the Memorial.

A very gratifying instance of such interest and sympathy was mani-
fested on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the author's birth-
day on the 29th of December, 1868, when some fifty of the connection,
most of whom belonged to Concord, gathered at his residence to pay
him their respects, and tender him their congratulations for the preser-
vation of his life and health, to so late a period, and their gratitude to
God for prolonging his existence until he had been able to complete
the work on which he had spent so many years of his life. On this
occasion, also, he was very unexpectedly made the recipient of an
elegant and valuable gold-headed cane. With the exception of the
two clergymen, and some two or three intimate friends, the company
consisted exclusively of members of the Prescott family, including the
three sisters, singers.

It is hoped that it will not be deemed irrelevant to insert, in this
connection, the following exercises and proceedings of said meeting as
published in the newspapers of the day :

[From the Concord Dailt Monitor, December 30, 1868.]


On Tuesday, the 29th inst., Dr. William Prescott, of this city, com-
pleted his eightieth year, which event was duly commemorated by the
Prescotts, and Prescott connections, of this city, to the number of fifty
persons, who gathered at the Doctor's residence, on Elm Street, in the
evening. Two or three of the family name were present fioin out of
the city. The company assembled at an early hour, and the exercises
of the evening commenced with singing -by the sisters — Mrs. Doane,
Mrs. Warren, and Mrs. Kimball — of The Evening Hymn —

" Here as the night is falling,"

Mr. George D. B. Prescott accompanying on the chapel organ.

The company was called to order by A. J. Prescott, Esq., and organ-
ized by the choice of J. W. Prescott, Esq., for Secretary.

E. P. Prescott, Esq., offered the following resolutions, which were
unanimously adopted :


"Whereas, This day beint; the eijjhtieth anniversary of the birth of
our venerable friend and relative, Dr. AVilliam Prescott, who has de-
voted much of his time for the past thirty years in collecting historical,
biographical, and genealogical facts for his valuable work, entitled,
" The Prescott Memorial ; " therefore

Resolved, That we regard this occasion with deep emotions of grati-
itude to our Heavenly Father, who has continued his valuable life,
preserved his intellect unimpaired, and granted him a continuance of
his physical health, seldom enjoyed at this time of life.

Resolved, That we appreciate his untiring and arduous lalior in pre-
paring for the press a genealogical work, which is so important to our
family ; that we shall ever regard him as our benefactor, and future
generations " shall rise up and call him blessed." May he be spared
for many years, '-and finally come to his grave in a iuU age, like as u
shock of corn cometli in his season."

Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Ilolraan.

Amos Hadley, Esq., in behalf of the company, then presented a
gold- headed cane to the Doctor, bearing this inscription :


On his 80th Birthday,
Presented by the Prescotts of Concord, N. II., Dec. 29th, 18G8.

MR. IIADLEY's remarks.

Dr. Pi-escott: This is a pleasant episode in a long and useful life.
In its incidents, you may recognize a sign of due appreciation, by those
who know you best, of that honesty, industry, and right impi'ovement
of talents, which has filled your fourscore years with many benefits to
science and humanity. With my appeai-ance on this occasion, come
recollections of mintrled joy and sadness ; for you and I remember the
pure, sweet life of her, who, years ago, passed over the "silent river,"
leaving to us the parting injunction, ""Prepare to meet me on the other
side." But we will not now linger in tl:e hallowed past. We are thank-
ful that your life of usefulness has thus been prolonged; that the
hand of time has been so lightly laid upon you ; that a resolute will
has not, on the j)Iea of "natural infirmities," permitted your talents to
belaid away in the napkin of disuse ; and that, after years of laborious
professional practice, and varied scientific studies, you have been ena-
bled to complete that great genealogical work, which of itself, epito-
mizes a life-long career of persistent, well-directed industry. It falls to
me, in behalf of the friends here assembled, to present to you, in token
of their high regard and kind wishes, this cane, upon which you may
lean, as you near the foot of the hill of life ; that hill which you
once climbed so resolutely and so cheerily, and, upon the other side of
which, you are now descending still resolutely and with yet untottering
step. Accept, sir, this gift, and may He, who is your God and ours,
" give his angels charge concerning thee," that they may " bear thee
up," both in this life, and in that which is to come.


In accepting the cane, Dr. Prescott replied as follows :

Dear Sir : In attempting to express the emotions which I feel
on this occasion, I find that language fails me. The commonplace
phrase, " I thank you," would not begin to express the feeling produced
by so unexpected, so valuable, so appropriate, and so magnificent a gift.
Tiie most that I can say, therefore, is, that I accept it with the most
profound emotions of gratitude. And I beg you, sir, and through you
all wlio contributed to procure this donation, to accept my sincere and
most gratel'ul acknowledgments for this expression of their kindness
and liberality. I said that this is a valuable gift. It has intrinsic
value, but that value is greatly enhanced by the kind and flattering
language in which it has been presented. I also said that it is an
appropriate gift. It is a staff, which means support, and it is well cal-
culated to support the aged and infirm, while descending the declivities
of life to the tomb. It consists of three distinct parts — a head, a body
and a foot. The foot, I notice, consists of a hard metallic substance,
capable of resisting and withstanding the hard and stony substances
with which it is constantly biought in contact while in use. This
should remind us of the necessity of securing that divine sure founda-
tion tiiat will enable us to resist and willistand the trials and battlings

Online LibraryWilliam PrescottThe Prescott memorial, or, A genealogical memoir of the Prescott families in America, in two parts → online text (page 1 of 74)