The Prince Family

The Prince family has been traced back to England in the 1500’s. They come from a long line of Princes from Sydney, Gloucestershire, England. They moved to Bristol, and in 1637, Edward came to Virginia and settled in Charles City County. He represented the county at the Virginia House of Burgesses in the 1650’s. They stayed in Virginia until around 1755 when they moved to upper South Carolina. 

Edward N. Prince was born around 1834 in Abbeville District South Carolina to Sylvannius Prince and Francis Prince. Sylvannius was the slave owner and Francis, a slave.  Francis brought her children Edward, Sylvester and Elizabeth to Canada by 1849 along with a family (Rouse) of free blacks that were neighbours in South Carolina.  It is not known whether they were runaways or whether they were given their freedom prior to coming to Canada.

The children were fair skinned enough that they often passed for white at times in their lives.  Two other brothers, Albert and Jonathon, may have come here for a short period. Edward had a sister Elizabeth who married George Chase, and also possibly a brother who was a navy officer on the Thames River who had a diary that expressed his disgust at his brother having married a “Woman of colour”.