THE PRATT FAMILY. For more than a century the Pratt family with which this sketch is concerned has held a place of central prominence in the annals of Buffalo. In that community the distinctions attaching to the name of Pratt are multifold, and include the honors which belong to pioneer hardihood, soldierly courage, industrial enterprise, civic service and social leadership.
The name Pratt is derived from the Latin Pratum, a meadow, its etymology being referred to in the motto "Rident Florentia Prata" - -"The flourishing meadows smile" - found in the emblazonry of Pratt of Ryston Hall, Norfolk, England. With changes due to the difference of languages the name appears as that of several persons in France and the south of Europe, notably of one possessing the barony of Pratella, near Rouen, France, whose lord, in 1066, is found on the Roll of Battle Abbey as accompanying William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings. In 1096 Le Sire De Preaux, whose arms were gules, an eagle d'or, followed Duke Robert Compte Hare of Normandy in the First Crusade, and John and William De Pratelles, brothers, were companions of Richard Coeur de Lion. The records of the Pratt family appear in almost every county in England, but are particularly identified with those of Hertford and Norfolk. In the former, about 1538, lived Thomas Pratt of Baldock. His son Andrew was the father of the Rev. William Pratt, whose son John was the founder of the Pratt family in America. The date when John Pratt came to the Puritan Colonies is not settled, but he was in this country as early as 1639. He was one of the original proprietors of Hartford, Conn.; his sons were John and Daniel. John Pratt (2d), eldest son of John and Elizabeth Pratt, was born about 1638. He was several times chosen for public office. He was twice married, his first wife having been Hannah Boosey, and his second Hepzibah Wyatt. Jonathan Pratt, son of John Pratt (2d) and Hepzibah Wyatt, was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1683, and died there in 1755. Aaron Pratt, son of Jonathan and Mary (Benton) Pratt, settled in Westminster, Vt. In 1757 he married Mary Clark, Of East Hartford, by whom he had six children. Aaron Pratt died in Buffalo, February 9, 1807, and his widow died in the same city, November 20, 1809.
SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I