May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity of light be yours, may the fluency of the ocean be yours, may the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life. ~ John O’Donohue
15618. Gov. Thomas Prence, son of  Thomas Prence, was born about 1600 in Lechdale (Gloucestershire) England, and died 29 March 1673 in Plymouth, New Plymouth Colony. He married (as his first wife) 5 August 1624 in Plymouth,
15619. Patience Brewster, who was born about 1603 and died before 12 December 1634 in Plymouth, daughter of  William and Mary (—) Brewster.
Immigrants from England.
On the ship Fortune, Thomas arrived from All Saints Barking, London, at Plymouth in 1621, and Patience arrived in Plymouth on the ship Anne in July of 1623, a young woman of 20 years. Theirs was the ninth marriage performed in Plymouth. Patience probably died (of a “pestilent fever” that was taking many lives) before Thomas became Governor of Plymouth Colony in 1634, an office he also occupied in 1638 and from 1657-1672.
Thomas married (as his second wife) 1 April 1653 in Plymouth, Mary Collier, who was born before 18 February 1611/12 in Southwark (Surrey) England, and died about 1644, daughter of  William and Jane (Clark) Collier. By 1637 they had moved to Duxbury. In 1644, probably after Mary’s death, Thomas moved to Eastham, out on Cape Cod.
Thomas married (as his third wife and as her second husband) before 1662, Apphia (Quick) Freeman, who died before 1 August 1668, daughter of William Quick, and divorced ex-wife of Samuel Freeman. Between this marriage and the next Thomas moved back to Plymouth in 1665.
Thomas married (as his fourth wife and as her second husband) between 26 February 1664/65 and 1 August 1668, Mary (—) Howes, who died 9 December 1695, widow of Thomas Howes.
Thomas owned many books and two Bibles, at one time valued at about £14. The following is from Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, eds., 12 volumes in 10 (Boston 1855-1861):
Thomas Prence, Esquire, Governor of the jurisdiction of New Plymouth, died the 29th of March, 1673, and was interred the 8th of April following. After he had served God in the office of Governor sixteen years, or near thereunto, he finished his course in the 73 year of his life. He was a worthy gentleman, very pious, and very able for his office, and faithful in the discharge thereof, studious of peace, a wellwiller to all that feared God, and a terror to the wicked. His death was much lamented, and his body honorably buried at Plymouth the day and year above mentioned.
Patience & Thomas were the parents of four children:
i. REBECCA PRENCE, born about 1625. She married (as his first wife) 22 April 1646 in Plymouth, Edmund Freeman, who was born in 1620 and died 29 March 1673, son of  Edmond and Bennet (Hodsoll) Freeman. Rebecca & Edmund were the parents of two daughters: (a) Patience Freeman; and (b) Rebecca Freeman.
ii. THOMAS PRENCE, born about 1627, died before 13 March 1671/72 in England.
iii. HANNAH PRENCE, born about 1629. She married (as her first husband) 13 February 1649/50 in Eastham, Nathaniel Mayo, who was born about 1627 in England, and died in 1662 in Eastham, son of  John and Tamosin (—) Mayo. Hannah & Nathaniel were the parents of six children: (a) Thomas Mayo; (b) Nathaniel Mayo; (c) Samuel Mayo; (d) Hannah Mayo; (e) Theophilus Mayo; and (f) Bathsheba Mayo. Hannah married (as her second husband and as his second wife) about 1671, Jonathan Sparrow, who was born about 1629, son of Richard and Pandora (—) Sparrow. Hannah & Jonathan were the parents of two children: (g) Patience Sparrow and (h) Richard Sparrow.
iv. MERCY PRENCE (7809)
Thomas & Mary were the parents of two daughters:
i. JANE PRENCE, born 1 November 1637 in Duxbury (Plymouth) Massachusetts and died between May – 28 June 1712. She married (as his second wife) 9 January 1660/61 in Eastham, Mark Snow, who was born 9 May 1628 and died after 23 November 1694, son of  Nicholas and Constance (Hopkins) Snow, and widower of Anna (Cooke) Snow. Jane & Mark were the parents of eight children: (a) Mary Snow, married William Nickerson, six children, Mercy, Nicholas, Ebenezer, Jane, Mary and Thankful; (b) Nicholas Snow, married Lydia Shaw, eight children, Jonathan, Mark, Nathaniel, Joshua, Thankful, Sarah, Phebe and Prence; (c) Elizabeth Snow; (d) Thomas Snow, married first Hannah Sears, five children, Elizabeth, Mary, Josiah, Ebenezer and Hannah, Thomas married second, Lydia (Sears) Hamlin, four children, Lydia, Thomas, Aaron and Ruth; (e) Sarah Snow; (f) Prence Snow, married Hannah Storrs, eight children, Jabez, Hannah, Samuel, Mercy, Prence, Jonathan, David and Mary; (g) Elizabeth Snow; and (h) Hannah Snow.
ii. MARY PRENCE, born about 1639. She married about 1661, John Tracy, who born about 1632, son of Stephen and Tryphosa (Lee) Tracy. Mary & John were the parents of two daughters: (a) Apphia Tracy, married John Sparrow, four children, Rebecca, John, Elisabeth and Stephen; and (b) Susanna Tracy, married James Rogers, six children, Mary, Isaac, Susanna, James, Abigail and Thomas.
Thomas & Apphia were the parents of three daughters:
i. JUDITH PRENCE, born about 1645. She married (as her first husband) 28 December 1665 in Plymouth, Isaac Barker, who was born about 1632, son of Robert and Lucy (—) Barker. Judith married (as her second husband) after 1693, William Tubbs.
ii. ELIZABETH PRENCE, born about 1647. She married 9 December 1667 in Marshfield (Plymouth) Massachusetts, Arthur Howland.
iii. SARAH PRENCE, born about 1648, died 3 March 1706/07 in Yarmouth (Barnstable) Massachusetts. She married about 1669, Jeremiah Howes, who was born at sea about 1637 and died 5 January 1705/06, son of Thomas and Mary (—) Howes. Sarah & Jeremiah were the parents of six children: (a) Ebenezer Howes, married first, Sarah Gorham, five children, Sarah, Thomas, Elizabeth, an unnamed son and Ebenezer, Ebenezer married second, Lydia Joyce, seven children, Samuel, Thankful, Mary, Anna, Prince, Susannah and Mercy; (b) Jeremiah Howes; (c) Prince Howes, married Dorcas Joyce, eight children, Ebenezer, Desire, Mary, Prince, Dorcas, Jeremiah, Thomas and Lot; (d) Sarah Howes, married Cornelius Higgins; (e) Thomas Howes, married Sarah Hedge, two children, Thomas and Mary; and (f) Mary/Mercy Howes married Joseph Hawes, four children, Temperance, Thankful, Edmund and Mary.
Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, Register of Pedigrees and Services of Ancestors, The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, 1941, Hartford, CT, (Hartford, Connecticut: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1941), 469, 597
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III (Online database: NewEnglandAncestors.org), (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), “Electronic.”
Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691, (Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 1997), Thomas Prence
Lucy Hall Greenlaw, “Early Generations of the Brewster Family,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol 53: 111
George Ernest Bowman, “The Deaths of Patience (Brewster) Prence and Fear (Brewster) Allerton,” The Mayflower Descendant, Vol 30: 97
“Freeman Compilation,” MS, c. 1875; Harwich, Massachusetts, 5
Benjamin Shurtleff, Descendants of William Shurtleff of Plymouth and Marshfield, Massachusetts, Vol I, (Revere, Massachusetts: Privately printed, 1912), 164
Hubert Kinney Shaw, revised by Ann Smith Lainhart, Families of the Pilgrims – Stephen Hopkins, (Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1982), 5
John D. Austin, FASG, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume 6, Second Edition, Family Stephen Hopkins, (Plymouth, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1995), 9, 14
Joshua Crowell Howes, Genealogy of The Howes Family in America, Descendants of Thomas Howes, Yarmouth, Mass. 1637-1892, (Yarmouthport, Massachusetts: Privately printed, 1892), 10, 11
Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, editors, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England (New York: AMS Press, 1968)
Josiah Paine, “The Freemans – The Eastham Branch of the Sandwich Family – Major John Freeman,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol 20: 59
Last Revised: 9 June 2011