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William Prowse (abt. 1794 - 1864)

William Prowse aka Prouse
Born about in Devon, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
Husband of — married 10 Feb 1822 in East Stonehouse, Devon, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 70 in Brackley, Prince Edward Island, Canadamap
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Profile last modified | Created 20 Jun 2014
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William Prowse was born about 1794 in Devon, England.[1] Parents unconfirmed, but could be Robert Prowse and Mary Jarvis of Malborough, Devon.[2]

William married Agnes Rider on February 10, 1822 in East Stonehouse, Devon.[3] They had two children in Devon - Richard Rider Prowse, who lived for only a month, and Joseph Jarvis Prowse, b. 1824. The young family left Devon between 1824 and 1828[4] and settled in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, along with Agnes's parents and some of her siblings. William & Agnes had five more children after their arrival in Prince Edward Island - Margaret, born in 1828, William, born in 1831, Agnes, born in 1833, Samuel, born in 1835 and John, born in 1837.

On November 28, 1828, William submitted a petition for land, requesting "Pasture Lot No. 490 in the Royalty of Charlotte Town".[5] This petition was granted and the license issued on December 9, 1828. According to this petition, he had previously been granted Pasture Lot 470 as well.

In the 1861 Census,[6] William is listed as a farmer, with a household of 4 (including servants): 1 male under 5, 1 male 45-60, 1 female 21-45, 1 female over 60. It is likely that William's age was marked in the wrong column, as he would have been over 60. As for the female between 21-45 and the male under 5, these could be a servant and her child (or a daughter and grandchild?)

William died on Sept 23, 1864 in Brackley, Prince Edward Island,[7] "in the 70th year of his age".[8]


  1. Personnel of the Senate and House of Commons, Eighth Parliament of Canada, Elected June23, 1896, Biographies of the Member, John Lovell & Son, 1898, pg 86 - Hon. Samuel Prowse, Kings, PEI
  2. There are trees on Ancestry with two different theories. One is that William was born in Torquay, Devon. This is clearly incorrect, as that William appeared on the 1851 UK Census, whereas this William was in Canada in 1851. The 2nd theory is that William was born in Malborough, Devon, to Robert Prowse and Mary Jarvis. This theory is more plausible, as a) Jarvis is the middle name of one of William's children, b) Malborough is near South Milton where Agnes Rider was born, and c) William's birth in 1794 fits with other children of Robert Prowse and Mary Jarvis, with births in 1792 and 1795. This still to be confirmed.
  3. "England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 February 2016), William Prowse and Agnep Rider, East Stonehouse, Devon, England; citing Marriage, The Devon Record Office, Exeter.
  4. Biographies of Samuel Prowse and Albert P Prowse give varying dates for William and Agnes's immigration to Canada. Some say 1823, others say 1830. The earliest it could have been was 1824, as their son Joseph was born in 1824 in England. The latest it could have been was 1828, as William made a land petition in PEI in 1828, and their daughter Margaret was born that year, in PEI.
  5. Prince Edward Island Archives and Records Office, Petition 738, File 40 - William Prouse - land petition (note that while the transcript reads "Prouse", on the image, William's signature is clearly "Prowse")
  6. 1861 Canada Census, Library and Archives Canada; PEI, Queens, Charlottetown, wards 4 and 5; Page 16 - Family of William Prouse, Farmer
  7. "Prince Edward Island Death Card Index, 1721-1905," images, FamilySearch, Nelson - Quigley > image 972 of 1000; citing Public Archives, Charlottetown. - Death of William Prowse, Brackley
  8. The Islander, September 30, 1864, transcribed in Century of Immigration, Marriage and Death Records from Prince Edward Island Newspapers, 1780-1900, by Leland Currie, Page 1049


Thanks to larryjtyrell on Ancestry for sharing his theory on William's parents.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with William:

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