Samuel Pryor and Hamlin Surname

va-pryorsSamuel Pryor married Mary Ann Hamlin on 16 Oct 1821 in Amelia County, VA.

In 1841 James Boisseau Hamlin, a minor, sued his father’s estate. This case filed in the Amelia County, VA Chancery Court names James’ father William B. Hamlin, his widow Ann P Hamlin, and James’ siblings William B. Hamlin, Edward Y Hamlin, and Mary Ann Hamlin, wife of Samuel Pryor. The dispute seems to have been over advances in the estate given to James’ siblings before his father’s death. Edward was given slaves and land in Dinwiddie County. Mary Ann Pryor had received 8 slaves. The case also revealed the deceased Hamlin had 65 slaves in Virginia and 10 slaves in Tennessee.

Then in another Chancery Court Case filed in 1848 Samuel and Mary Ann Hamlin’s children are named. Samuel Pryor was the guardian of his infant children Samuel Edward, William, Anna, Virginia Frances, Lucy Osborne, and Agnes Epes Pryor. The suit also mentions a married daughter Mary Elizabeth Pryor, wife of James R. Craig. The suit was filed to gain interest in the estate of Anna Hamlin, widow of W B Hamlin.

Samuel Pryor and his children on the 1850 Census.

Samuel’s daughters were living near him in Dinwiddie County, VA: Southern Div., Page 478b, house 136 Lucy O. Field 40 VA, Susan E. J. Field 9 VA, Mary A. J. Field 7 VA, Sally J. J. Field 5 VA, Wellington E. Webb 33 Episcopal Clergyman 33 London, Eng., Sarah C. Webb 24 VA, Fanny V. PRIOR 13 VA, Lucy O. PRIOR 11 VA., Agnes E. PRIOR 8 VA.

Southern Div., Page 479a, house 142 Samuel PRIOR 50 farmer VA, Ann E. 53 VA, Anna J. 16 VA, Martha P. Broadnax 24 VA. (Samuel and wife Ann were on the 1860 Census in Campbell Co., VA. See Chancery Court case filed in Amelia County for names of other Pryor children.)

His sons were living apart from their father and sisters: William H Pryor was living in the household of a blacksmith in Hanover County and Samuel E. Pryor was a student residing in the Pike Powers Academy in Augusta County, VA.

The Hamlins were still in Amelia County in 1850 and onward. Anna P Hamblin age 55 and James B Hamblin age 24 were recorded in the same household on the 1850 Census (and together in 1860).

Now that I’ve jumped to the 1850 Census I need to look backward a quarter century and into Tennessee. On 19 April 1824 the following notice was published in the Nashville Whig (Davidson County, TN):

In Equity: Calvin Morgan, Gideon Morgan and Rufus Morgan, Com’s vs. Samuel Elam, and Elizabeth his wife, William B. Hamlin, Thomas Crutcher, and Nicholas B. Pryor, defts. William B. Hamlin not a resident of the state.

There was only one William B Hamlin on the 1820 Census and he wasn’t a resident of Tennessee… it’s the William B. Hamblin in Amelia County, Virginia who was counted with 60 slaves. This sounds like the same William B who was the father in law of Samuel Pryor. The 1820 census was recorded in alpha-order so it’s difficult to piece together who was living near who.

Criminal Cases: John/Jonathan Pryor of Sumner County

sheriff-badgeMurder Conviction, 1860

In 1860 JOHN PRYOR was counted on the Davidson Co., TN Census. He was 30 year old, born in TN, and in the State Penitentiary in Nashville. The book “Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary by Chuck Sherrill states “Jonathan Pryor was received on March 12, 1860. Convicted of “malicious stabbing” in Sumner Co. and sentenced to 3 years. Age 30. Occupation none. Birthplace Tennessee. Discharged January 2, 1863. Released under the Act of 1863.

In prison ledger 86, number 2128. Additional information for prison ledger 87: Born and raised in Overton Co. Father dead. Mother and one sister, wife and three children live in Sumner Co. One sister and three brothers in Overton County.

Additional records obtained on this John Pryor has caused me to look again and the possibilities of who were his kin.

John’s wife and children are the easiest kin to explain. The divorce record for this John Pryor reveals that his wife was Eliza Beasley and that she filed for divorce in 1860 (Sumner County) because he was incarcerated.. Eliza was counted on the 1860 Census in Sumner Co. The divorce record states that Eliza and John only had one child. Two more children appear to be from John’s first marriage to Ellen Lee: William E. Pryor and Mary Pryor. These children were living with the Mays family in 1860.

An additional suit that names this John Pryor confirms he was AKA Jonathan Pryor, confirm the identity of his first wife, and it confirms his children (see post Sumner County: Jonathan Pryor Who Was in Nashville Penitentiary)

A far as other kin, first let me explain who I think aren’t his parents. I don’t think this is John Pryor, son of James and Nancy Pryor of Overton County.  This other John Pryor was the father of Mary Ellen Pryor born September 1862 to Candis Malone–since this was well into John Pryor’s prison term it probably rules him out.  The children of James and Nancy had no known connections to Sumner County, which also helps to rule them out.

Why don’t I think this John Pryor was a son of John and Massey Pryor? A Jonathan Pryor age 25 was living with Massey Pryor on the 1850 Census at the same time that this John/Jonathan was counted as a head of household with wife Ellen Lee. There’s always the possibility that John/Jonathan was counted twice, however I have to think the census is correct unless there is evidence otherwise.

One scenario, and it’s the one I’ve thought to be correct for some time,  John Pryor is a son of Spicy and William Pryor of Overton Co., TN. This kinship can be explained by census records and the relationships stated in the prison record. First if William was his father, he was deceased by 1860 (he was not counted on the 1850 Census). His mother, Spicy, was counted in 1850 in Overton Co. with a Phereba Pryor in the household. Phereba may be the sister referred to in the prison record as she is counted in 1860 living close to Massy Taylor Pryor in Sumner Co. The sister and three brothers living in Overton Co. were probably Mary Pryor, wife of Loderick Garrett; Edward Pryor, Overton Pryor, and Chesley Pryor.

But wait a minute…

I’m keeping an open mind because as we discovered in 2014 (PRYOR DNA RESULTS: Part 2 William Pryor and Spicy Taylor of Overton County, TN), Chesley Pryor is likely not a genetic child of William and Spicy Pryor. Would John have counted him as a brother? I think because Chesley was integrated into the family as a brother, whether he was adopted or the product of an affair, John would have counted him as a brother.

 

Who was Richard Pryor in Catahoula Parish Feud?

diggingforroots
Nothing about the Liddell-Jones feud ended well (see post). After Charles Jones killed St. John R Liddell on the river boat Welcome, mob justice was unleashed on Jones– the mob killed Charles Jones, his son William Jones, and possibly his son Cuthbert Jones. The Ouachita Telegraph describes this a “tragedy”, however I suspect in our time we’d call this a lynching. (see article)

Who was the Richard Pryor involved in the feud? What was his fate? I think the Richard who became involved in the Catahoula Parish feud was the son of William Bland Pryor (born 1793 in VA). This is the Richard Pryor who brashly demanded the head of Abraham Lincoln at the start of the Civil War (see post). The feud was fought near Trinity, LA (#1 on the map below). In 1850 Richard was living with his parents in Madison Parish, LA (#2) and was counted in 1860 in nearby Vicksburg, MS (#3).

catahoula louisiana richard pryor

google maps

Richard Pryor In Richmond, VA and In Madison County, AL

va-pryors

Why on earth are there so many men named Richard Pryor in the 1820-1830’s? While looking at Richard Pryor of Hempstead County, AR I also noted a Richard H. Pryor in Samuel Pryor’s estate in Hardeman County, TN, then there was Richard Pryor the gamble and hothead in Catahoula Parish, LA. So why not look at one more!

Then there was Richard Pryor who was in Madison County AL. Richard was in this county as early as 1822 when he first started appearing as a named party on lawsuits. The first US census of the county wasn’t taken until 1830– his age was recorded between 30-39 years old. His presumed wife, Dolly, was 52 in 1850 so Richard may have been born close to 1798. Richard wasn’t on the 1809 Census of Madison County, so, he must have arrived in the county sometime between 1809 and 1822.

I’ve written a few times about the death of Beverly Pryor (see posts). He was killed on a Mississippi racetrack in 1836 and his father traveled from Alabama to collect his body. In 1837 Richard Pryor (about age 36-45) was appointed the administrator of Beverly’s estate (Madison Co., AL). Was Beverly 21 or older when he was killed in MS? — that would make Richard about 17-27-ish at the time of Beverly’s birth. They could be father and son.

I can’t mention Beverly without mentioning the demise of the man who killed him — he was later beheaded and it was assumed he was killed by one of the Pryors. Involved in horseracing — a revenge killing —  that would possibly describe this Richard Pryor as a “blackleg” or in our contemporary terms, a “bad ass.” I wonder if he was the Richard Pryor who was in Catahoula Parish, LA (see post).

In 1836 an Alabama Legislative act changed the name of Dolly Beverly B Harrel to Dolly Beverly B Pryor and recognized her as the legitimate child of Beverly Pryor. And she was recognized as the rightful heir of Richard Pryor. Dolly B (born 1835) was living in the older Dolly Pryor’s household in 1850. I’ve long suspected that Richard and the older Dolly were kin. An old newspaper clipping helps to ID as husband and wife.

TO RICHARD PRYOR AND DOLLY HIS wife, George W. Turner and Catharine G. his wife, Ursula D. Ragland, John Brown, —-Anderson and Octavia his wife, and A. Cook and Judith his wife.
As you are not residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and have no agent therein known to us, you will hereby take notice that we shall proceed on Thursday, the 28th of February, 1850, and between the hours of 9 o’clock, AM and sunset of that day, at the office of Messrs. Meredith and Young. Attorneys at Law in the City of Richmond, to take the depositions of John Sheppard, Wellington Godin and others, to be read as evidence on behalf of the defendants in a certain suit now pending in the Superior Court of Chancery for the Richmond Circuit, in which you and others are plaintiffs, and ourselves and William Davis, Hardin Davis, Spotswood G. Waldrop, Alfred Winston, John Clash, and others, are defendants, and which suit is now on the rules docket of said court; and if from any cause the said depositions be not commenced, or being commenced shall not be completed on that day, the taking thereof will be continued from day-to-day at the same place, and between the same hours, until the taking thereof shall be completed.
JAMES S RYALL
SAMUEL DAVIS
Executors of John D Brown, deceased.
(Richmond Enquirer, February 08, 1850)

 

In older posts I mused over the first name Beverly as a possibly Beverly surname connection to Major John Pryor of Richmond. Isn’t it interesting that we now know this Richard Pryor had some kind of tie to Richmond?

I’m thinking through all the possibilities. What if Richard was still alive in 1850 and still alive in 1852 to be involved in the feud in Catahoula Parish? Could the Richard in Catahoula Parish and in Madison County, AL be the same Dick Pryor who was racing horses up in Nashville? I don’t think so and will explain in my next post.