Prince/Printz Family History

From "Brentz" in Duehren, Germany to "Printz" in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to "Prince" in Ohio and Beyond

Old Family Letter Found In Prince Family Bible 

This comes from an old letter in the family bible from P.A. Printz of Urbana, Ohio.  We believe it was written to a member of the Prince family in Rockwell City, Iowa sometime around 1933. (To see more information on the Prince branch in Rockwell City, Iowa, go to this link.)

Dear Cousin,

The sun has just emerged from behind a great big black cloud and illuminated many objects only dimly discerned.  In looking about for some amusement, I discovered your card of Dec. 14 which expressed a wish for information about Dr. B. F.  (Note: This is a reference to Dr. Benjamin Franklin Prince, a longtime member of the Wittenberg University in Ohio.  His former house is now the university president's house.  See the page on this site all about him.)  ...

You will note that you are a second cousin of Dr. B. F. as were also my father and mother and Dr. Edward Trenton.  Dr. E. T. III lives as Moulton Appanoose Co. which borders on Missouri and is probably 100 miles SE of Rockwell City.

I was a bit surprised to find that you belonged in the Fourth Generation.  Always thought of you as being about the same age as myself (which is correct) and of course would be in the fifth.

Further study of records explained the matter.  Adam was married in 1802 and William was born five years later.  William was married in 1827 and B. F. was born 13 years later, which was 26 years before your time.

Phillip married in 1804 and John was born 13 years later. John was married in 1842 and Lillian was born 24 years later.

Your father was 25 when he married and 49 when you arrived.  Abraham married at 21.  Isaac born 15 years later, married at 18. ET (Edward Trenton) born 3 years later and married at 20.  Peter married at 19. WIlliam born 8 years later, married at 17. Isabel born 5 years later, married at 26.

Mrs. P. A. had an uncle Lonathan Atkinson who located at Marshaltown before the Civil War.  He was owner of a stage line.  He had children who lived in that vicinity but we never had any letters from any of them.

My Great grandfather Abraham was given a land grant in Iowas for his service in the War of 1812.  I have never been able to discover its location nor learn where or how it passed from the family.

Edward, youngest brother of William, located in Jasper Co., Ill.  Some say that he later moved to Missouri.  I have never been able to locate any of his decendents.  It is said his children were Alice, John Noah, William, Ferdinand, Albert and Flora. (Some say they lived in Cooper Co., Mo.

There was a William who died at Indian Town, Iowa in 1860.  His brother Leander lived at Indian Town or Mason City and had 2 sons, Michael and George.  A sister married George Brentner and they lived in Mason City.

Your Grandfather had a brother George who settled on land given by his father for services in the Revolutionary War.  It was located in Boyle Co., KY.  Although there are a lot of Printzes scattered over KY and Tenn, I have never succeeded in making contact with any known descendents.  George was a great uncle of Dr. B. F. and B. F.'s father Captain William was born at the Kentucky homestead....

On account of the pressure of business responsibilities, which kept increasing each year, I have done very little on the family history since about 1916... By studying the records I have, I am learning a great deal about the early days, and the lives of our people, their fortunes, and misfortunes.  For instance, your grandfather Phillip was unable to decide whether he wanted to live in VA, Ohio, or Indiana and kept moving back and forth until he wore himselve out and became a heavy and unhappy change on his children.  Adam, his brother, settled on land in this county. The deed was signed by James Madison.  This land is still in the possession of the family.  He acquired more land and a part was given to each of his children.

Then sometimes there is deep tragedy, unhappy fate, sorrows, undreamed that overwhelm.  For instance, there was Bernard (son of Peter) who was his father's favorite and trusted son.  He was steady, sober and industrious.  At age of 24, he married Ananne Printz and they were the parents of 13 children.  First born 1849, second 1850, third 1851, fourth 1853, fifth 1854 then death claimed the 2nd on May 20 and the 5th on June 6 1855 - then the stork arrived with the 6th October 6th, the 8th and 9th on October 7 and the 7th on October 10, 1861.  The 10th born January 27, 1862 lived 3 days.  The 11th born 1863, 12th 1864, 13th born 1867 died 1879.  The mother died in 1897, after 49 years of married life, age 67. The father died in 1907 aged 83.  (Their eleventh child Herbert had 13 children.)

Let us pray behind the curtain of the past.  There can you see them.  A noble young man - the glory, the pride, the joy of a pious father, a son of much promise, merit and worth, at the many and romantic age of 24, exchanging the sacred marriage vows with a sweet and lovely maid of 18.  Gravely, happily facing life together, fully expectant of the happiness, the bliss, the joys and the blessings which sometimes are bestowed on mortals.  Perhaps not a thought entered their minds of clouds, darkness, pain, trials, sorrows and death.  Youth only wants pleasant thoughts.  It does not entertain unpleasant ones unless it absoutely must.  We'll have had our glimpse of the beginning and the end and between we can see the accidents, the shock, the heavy sorrows and consuming grief that beset them.  Well, what say you?


Now wishing you good luck and happiness for every day of the year 1933.

I will say good night,

Truly your cousin,

P. A. Printz

A Family Tree In the Letter

 1st2nd  3rd4th 5th 6th 7th 
  Adam - born 1781, married 1802, died 1849 William 1807, 1827, 1848 Rev. Dr. B. F. - b 1846, m 1869   
  Phillip - m. 1804 John - 1817, 1842, 1903 Lillian - 1866   
  Abraham - 1789, 1810, 1878 Isaac - 1825, 1845, 1892 Ed. Trenton - 1846, 1866, 1902 Peter. A. - b 1867, m 1889 Ivan - b 1893Donald O. - Graduated UHS 1932 
  Peter - 1791, 1810, 1866


Solomon - 1816, 1837, 1876


Ed. Trenton - 1856-1930

 Ed. Trenton III