Round one of trying to find out how George Prescott and his wife Olive (Garlinghouse) Prescott are connected to Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse is over. I started with going over previous records of Amanda and her family that I've already collected, and finding out more about Amanda's other children besides Susanna to see if there's a connection to George Prescott. I have discovered a couple of very interesting details, but nothing that really answers the question definitively yet. Here's what I now know:
1. In the 1856 Iowa state census, Olive's parents David and Catherine Garlinghouse were enumerated in the household of COB and Kizia Garlinghouse, and over a dozen other Garlinghouses (none of whom I have definitely connected to mine, but they could be related). Also in that household were Thomas and Elizabeth McCormick, brother and sister and both natives of Ohio. Later that same year, Elizabeth McCormick married Lacey Garlinghouse, the oldest of my ancestor Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse's children.
2. Four years previously, in the 1852 Iowa state census, Wapello county, David Garlinghouse is listed next to J Garlinghouse, John Garlinghouse, E Belknap and James Belknap. It's not one of those censuses that list all household members by name, unfortunately. But the numbers are pretty close for J Garlinghouse to be Josiah, E Belknap to be Elijah Belknap (Amanda's father) and James Belknap to be Amanda's brother. That puts him smack in the middle of Amanda's immediate family in the right time and place that they were there, and would give her father, mother, brother, and potential her husband and herself time and opportunity to get acquainted with the family Olive Garlinghouse would be born into in 1858.
These two discoveries help close the proximity gap between my Amanda (Belknap) Garlinghouse and the (still disconnected) George Prescott and his wife Olive Garlinghouse a little. It seems that Amanda and her family (both her parents and brother, as well as possibly she and her husband Josiah and their kids would have known David and Catherine Garlinghouse just a few years before Olive was born. If they remained in contact until Amanda's death in 1882, that would mean an association of 30 years or more. Even if David and Catherine had passed away, having known them and their children for so long, Amanda may have been perfectly comfortable spending her final moments in Olive's home.
The 1856 Iowa state census shows David and Catherine Garlinghouse were in the household of a very large Garlinghouse family in Van Buren county, the county that was kitty-corner southeast of where they were living in 1852. It would make sense that they would move to be nearer to family. But did they leave one family gathering place to go to another? Were they leaving family behind (Josiah Garlinghouse and his extended family) to live with other family members (COB Garlinghouse and his extended family)?
Still no answers yet. Guess that means more digging! I think I need to work on assembling Olive's family tree, her parents David and Catherine Garlinghouse, and see if they aren't connected to my Garlinghouses. There was obviously a large extended Garlinghouse family in Iowa, and I think it's time to put all those pieces together.