Sometimes you come across a picture that helps you find a person. This week’s #52ancestors #52familyphotographs started out with just that discovery. I have already written about Philip H. Prince and his wife Gertrude, but I really knew very little about her. I came across this photograph and thought, hmm, I didn’t know she was a nurse.
So I went looking and low and behold, there on the 1920 Census, Gertrude Williams is employed as a nurse and is living at St. Mary’s Hospital, on Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. That lead me to wonder where she got her nursing certificate (Pennsylvania would have registered her at that time) but I was unable to determine whether she trained at the hospital or elsewhere.
I wonder if she met Philip H. Prince while nursing?
If there is anything to be grateful about the change in family dynamics in the 20th century, it is that father’s could hold their babies and play with their children. This is George Raymond Prince (1895-1939) holding either George Raymond Jr. (1921-2004) or Paul Everett Prince (1924-1991). I live the casual informality here but my heart breaks a little as this photo is included in an album my grandmother Kathryn Preston put together for my father about his family. Sadly, Barclay Gibbs Jones Sr. never got to hold Barclay Jr. this way.
George R. Prince, Philip H. Prince and Kathryn M. Prince were the children of George Cornell Prince. They make up the New Jersey branch of this early Bradford County, Pennsylvania family.
George R. Prince, Sr. lived in Camden and worked the family business at Prince Concrete. He married Clara about 1920 (would love more detail on this!) and they had five children: George R. Jr. (1921-2004), Alice Rae (1922-1922), Paul Everett (1924-1991), Joyce Eleanor (1926-2003) and David Roger (1924-2004).
In this #52Ancestors essay I am going to explore the life of a person I only remember dimly: Philip Hine Prince, the brother of my grandmother Kathryn Marie Prince Jones Preston. He died when I was about 9, but I have a very vague memory of being with my family at my grandparent’s house at 22 Euclid Ave. in Merchantville, New Jersey and being told that this slight, spare man was my great uncle. Not being well versed in genealogical terms, my young mind struggled to comprehend how someone so slight could be “great.”
Philip Hine Prince was born on December 3, 1896, to George Cornell and Minnie Arabella Hine Prince. While his older brother George Raymond Prince was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, Philip was the first child born in New Jersey after the family moved to New Jersey. My grandmother came along several years later in 1904.
Both Raymond and Philip have Census entries marked for World War I service but I have only been able to document Philip’s service. He joined up on 2 June 1918 at Fort Slocum, NY and was assigned as a private to Company B, 548th Engineers. Before shipping out to France, Philip was promoted to sergeant. The 548th was classed as an Engineer Service Battalion, and was attached to the 20th Engineers. The 548th arrived in Cherbourg just as the Armistice was consummated, and were utilized in the great drive to keep the A. E. F. warm during the ensuing winter. Most of their service was in the northern districts and the upper Loire basin.
With his brother Raymond, Philip joined the family business, Prince Concrete Co. On 3 February 1923, Philip married Gertrude Helen Williams (1893-1969), daughter of David C. and Martha Jane Reynolds Williams. They had two children:
Phyllis Martha Prince (1926-1985) married John Howard Walter Perkins
Janet Rae Prince (1928-) married George W. Johnson
Philip and Gertrude were active in the Baptist church, attending and serving in many capacities at Rosedale Baptist Church. I have quite a few memories of this church from summers spent with my grandparents Kathryn and Leonard Preston (Kay’s second husband.) This was the first church in my memory that had a full immersion baptismal pool and I remember staring at it in wonder. My grandfather carefully explained that it was not a swimming pool. I had not, at the age of ten, ever seen anyone baptized, either infant or adult, so I am sure I pestered him with questions.
Philip eventually rose to become vice president under his father at Prince Concrete. He also served on the Pennsauken school board for two terms between 1954 and 1956, and then as president in 1957.
Philip Prince died 31 October 1974 at West Jersey Hospital in Camden and is buried at Bethel Memorial Park.
This week in #52ancestors I bring you quite the character: George Mortimer Prince. He was born on 27 September 1837, the third of six children of George Washington (1808-1888) and Emmaline Terrell (1810-1884) Prince.
George M. served in the US Civil War in the 5th Regiment, New York Cavalry as a corporal in Co. G. His dates of service are October 1861- November 1862. He is not mentioned in regimental histories and his military service was interrupted by a bad case of chronic diarrhea for which he was discharged. But more on that later.
George M. Prince married Elizabeth Alma Buttles (1842-1906) on 5 March 1864. They had three children:
George Cornell Prince (1869-1959)
unnamed daughter (22 June 1875-23 June 1875)
Edna Mabel “Ted” Prince (1878-1947)
They lived in Bradford county, Pennsylvania until the late 1890’s when they relocated to Federalsburg, Maryland, bringing their daughter Edna Prince (Ted) with them.
Shortly after the death of his wife Alma (15 May 1906), George placed an advertisement in the York Gazette. I find the summary of his story here somewhat confusing: he appears to have written to the postmaster stating that he had recently lost his wife by death and would “be pleased to correspond with a Hanover widow of forty-five or fifty years of age, with a view to matrimony.” I don’t know if the rest of his letter explained his relationship with the people of Hanover, or if the postmaster simply assumed that a Civil War veteran writing fondly of Hanover must have fought in the battle at Hanover. However, George Prince had already been discharged due to disability in November 1862, which to my mind would make it very tricky to take part in a battle that happened on June 30, 1863. The 5th Cavalry was definitely there, engaged in hand to hand combat with Stuart’s cavalry, but George should have been at home by then.
He did, however, find a wife. And this is where the story gets complicated. My first inkling of this was in looking through a box of family photographs that came from my dad’s side of the family. The photos all seemed to be identified by my grandmother, which made me wonder if my father had sat her down and made her look through them. Among the Prince family images was a photo of a woman identified as “Hattie Duff, George M. Prince’s second wife?” The question mark was part of her name. When the dickens did he remarry? Elizabeth Alma died in 1906 and George M. died in 1909 so this must have been a whirlwind romance, or something.
According to George’s Civil War pension record, George M. married Hattie E. Duff (ne Jessop, widow, aged 55 years (more likely 62 years)) on 10 November 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. Hattie Duff had apparently lived in Baltimore for some time with her first husband and children, but had been a widow since 1904. George M. Prince died on 28 February 1909, leaving everything to his new wife. She inherited everything, including his veteran’s pension.
This leaves me wondering just how his two surviving children felt about this. Perhaps it is summarized in that question mark on the back of her photograph.
Here are two images of George Mortimer and Alma Buttles Prince at the end of their lives.
I grew up hearing stories about George Cornell Prince. Unfortunately, I did not ask the right questions of the people who knew him and I am left with a life story with a few holes in it. Perhaps one of my cousins will read this #52ancestors essay and can help fill in the blanks.
George C. Prince was born on 23 Mar 1869 in Bradford County, Pennsylvania to George M. and Elizabeth Alma Buttles Prince. He was one of three children but one of two who lived to adulthood. George grew up near Potterville, a very small community in Orwell township.
On 9 July 1894, George married Minnie Arabella Hine. They were both residents of Bradford County at the time, and their first child, George Raymond Prince was born there on 28 April 1895. However, by the time their second child was born (Philip Hine Prince (3 Dec 1896-31 Oct 1974), the family was living in Camden, New Jersey.
They do not appear on a census until 1910, at which point they have three living children: George R., Philip H., and my grandmother Kathryn Marie (1903-1993). I learned through the New Jersey birth index that there was a fourth child, Edwin Everett Prince who was born 9 June 1898 but who died 24 Feb 1899.
So this is the first mystery: why did they pull up roots in Bradford County and move down to New Jersey? Philip is born there as are Edwin and Kathryn but the family does not appear in either the federal 1900 census or the 1905 New Jersey census. And yet, in a 1955 Camden Courier-Post article, George C. Prince is credited with forming the Prince Concrete Company in 1905.
This article provided clues to George Prince’s public service: he served on the Camden City Council as well as the School Board. Widening the search to include Philadelphia area newspapers found articles about his election as President of the Camden Baptist Church Extension Society as well as a member of the Bradford County Society of Philadelphia. One intriguing article talked about the role Prince Concrete played in the construction of the new Camden High School, which opened in 1926. My father Barclay Gibbs Jones attended that high school.
George Prince died on 20 December 1959 at the home of Kathryn and Leonard Preston (22 Euclid Ave.). His wife Minnie preceded him in death on 23 June 1931. They are buried in the Prince family plot in Bethel Memorial Park in Pennsauken, NJ. My grandparents Kathryn and Leonard still owned that property when I was a child and my cousin would terrify me with ghost stories about all the relatives who died in that home. I was too young, and too modern, to realize that being able to die at home surrounded by family was probably the best way to go.
This week in #52ancestors I once again come up against that age old genealogical principal of looking for one record and finding not that record but another that solves a different mystery.
I can track back to George Mortimer Prince (born Bradford Co. PA 1837, died Federalsburg, Md. 1909) with great assurance but the leap to George Washington Prince (1808-1888) is more difficult and further back is going to require feet on the ground in Massachusetts doing hard research. If I am correct in my conclusion that George Washington Prince is the father of George Mortimer, then Chandler Prince is an uncle. Confused much?
Jonathan (1769-1831) and Patty Vinton (1770-1831) Prince had nine children, all born in Massachusetts, the first five in Oxford and the last four possibly in Sturbridge. The fourth child in birth order is Chandler Prince, born 14 June 1797 in Oxford, MA, and the eighth is my ancestor, George Washington Prince, born 17 July 1808 in Sturbridge.
Chester Prince (1792-1867)
Lydia Prince (1793- )
John Prince (1795- )
Chandler Prince (1797-1852)
Dolly Prince (1799-1866)
Sanford Prince (1803-1872)
Merrick Brainard Prince (1805-1862)
George Washington Prince (1808-1888)
Julia Prince (1809- )
I find Chandler as the head of household with a family in the Census in 1830 in Orwell, Pennsylvania as well as in 1840 and 1850. From this I draw the conclusion that Chandler married Sally [possibly Lovette] prior to 1825, but I have not been able to find a marriage record yet.
Chandler and family appear to have been involved in the Presbyterian Church, as on 14 January 1845, Chandler Prince puts up $5.00 toward the building of a Presbyterian church in Rome, Pennsylvania.
The next time I find mention of Chandler is in the burial inscriptions from the Orwell Valley Cemetery, Bradford County, Pennsylvania: Chandler H. Prince, died 9 Feb 1852, aged 55 years.
No will or estate is listed in the index to Registers for Chandler Prince but I did discover that the Index to Register’s Docket is up online through FamilySearch. And there, nestled between Chester and Ermina Prince is none other than George W. Prince’s will. Now I am off to write the Bradford Clerk of Courts for a copy of that will, which appears to have been executed by none other that George M. Prince.
Have you ever started out on a research journey and gotten distracted by one of the tools you found along the way? Well, that happened this week in my #52Ancestors task. My goal was to find and document a death date for Hermina Prince Eastabrook. Yes, I know the prompt for this week is to look in the Census but…
My father’s mother’s family has deep roots in northeastern Pennsylvania. Namely Bradford County. Apparently, a group of folks from Connecticut started out west in the late 18th century to prove Connecticut’s claim to a western boarder on the Pacific Ocean. I find this bit of American history fascinating, especially when I was living in Ohio and often had to explain to people why the northeast corner of the state was called the Connecticut Western Reserve and therefore the land records are in the Connecticut State Archives.
The Prince family is one of my lines and as near as I can tell Jonathan Prince (1769-1831) bundles his wife and children up in a wagon and sets off shortly after his 1792 marriage to Patty Vinton. They make it as far west as Bradford County and decide to stop. But that is the very beginning of the story. Let’s fast forward to his son George Washington Prince who has six children in Bradford County, one of whom is Hermina G. Prince, born on 29 January 1839.
I had found a burial record years ago, showing that Hermina and her husband Charles J. Eastabrook were buried in the Rome Cemetery in Bradford County. At the time, I had no further information. So my challenge this week was to try to find an obituary or death record. I hit pay dirt when I discovered that Ancestry and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission have partnered to put the state death certificates online. What a treasure trove!
Thus began my OCD journey to search out every possible Pennsylvania death on my tree occurring between 1906 and 1964. I will warn you that the indexing is very poor. Apparently, there was no ability to use the printed index to connect with the original certificates. If you decide to explore, search on the name and if no results, try just a first name and a death date or variations like that. I found Eastabrook, Eastabrooks, Eastbrook, etc. when the written record quite clearly indicated Eastabrook. Nevertheless, I added ten new spouses, and scores of death dates and burial places to my database. What a lovely, fruitful distraction.