Two Nice Tie Togethers from Williamson Co., TN Probate Records

photo (14)I was in the Williamson County, TN probate records again, looking for another family I’m researching and I found a couple records on the Pryors.

I was reading through the accounts filed by Henly/Hendley Stone in Williamson County for the care of Green and Peter Pryor, orphans of John Pryor. The 1812 settlement is a list of expenses that make the Pryor boys sound like a couple of dandies.
linen for pantaloons
Latin book, Cicero
2 striped waistcoats
Cash for a 4th of July frolick (yes, it really said frolick!)
Money to go to Nashville
a payment to a singing master… Mr. or Ms. Brown
wool socks and corderoy
3 hanks silk
tuition paid to Blackbourn
Maj. Maury for Peter and Green’s board
Payment of taxes on their land in Wilson County and taxes on land in VA
The expenses were offset by a credit for the rent of slaves: Sukey and her 4 children, Chloe, Hannah and her 4 children, Jude and 3 children, Joe, Sam and George. Rent of land in VA.
Signed April 1813 by N. Perkins Senr. Dan’l. Perkins, Robert McLemore, and Edward Warren.
Williamson County, TN. Inventories. Inventories, Wills, 1811-1818, Vol. B, page 17


The account of 1815 expenses and income is also interesting:

5 pairs of shoes or half boots
Tax on Wilson County land
Expenses for Green to travel to VA and back
Expenses for Green to attend a ball with Agness in Franklin.
Cash to Green to go to Brother Bartons on July 11th
A hat, a ham
Feed for Green’s horse
Cash “when Green started to the Army”
Cash paid to Thos. Reynolds for Green’s gun
Tuition paid to Mr. Blackburn
Peter Pryor to hire of Sam

Any idea what this expense was? Who was William?  I think a half eagle is a gold coin “Nov. To half eagle sent to Green & William to the Army by Maj’r Reed.”

This record answers one of the Pryor riddles and whittles down the number of John Pryors we’re researching. There’s Pryor land on the 1804, 1805, and 1806 Tax Lists for Wilson County, TN. It’s recorded as owned by the heirs of John Prior/Pryor. Hurray, from these records it appears the heirs are Peter and Green Pryor. One less John and now a bushel of new questions for researchers of this line — How did these boys get land in Wilson Co.? Did John receive the land before his death? Was it a military land grant? Did he buy the land?


I like this next record because it nicely connects Peter and Green Pryor to their siblings, the children of Hendley Stone. Hendley Stone’s 1829 will names his children, but not the Pryor boys, so it’s nice to have this record to support the probability that Hendley Stone married Peter and Green’s mother.

HENDLEY STONE Receipt July Session 1817 March 17th 1817. We have received of Hendley Stone our Guardian all the Negroes belonging to us in his posession agreeable to a division made the 15th of Jan. 17999 between us and our mother and on the 11th day of June 1817 we received our part of negroes in full which is our third part, that is three Negreoes namely Stepney, Mar., and Jacob and $75 in cash in full of all demands against H’dly Stone our Guradian, the balance of our mother’s part of Negroes, namely Pat, Jane, Henry, Fanny, Easter, S’l., Simeon, and Sally and their increase is to be equally divided between our 2 sisters Agnes P. Jenkins, Mary M. Stone, and our 2 brothers Alfra Stone and N’s P. Stone, our sister Agnes Jenkins is to leave Easter and Simeon for her part valued to $625 1/6 part of the above named Negroes as witnesses we have hereto set our hands this 11th day of June 1817. Signed Peter Pryor, Green Pryor. Which rcp’t as above recited was produced in C’t. July Session 1817 and ordered to be rec’d.
Williamson County, TN. Inventories, Wills, 1811-1818, Vol. B, page 359


I’m looking at the chart at the top of the page and how George Reynolds is in the middle… does he connect up the Reynolds with the Pryors on the left side of the chart?

George Reynolds, Jr. Dec’d. Account of Sales October Session 1815–
An Invt’y of the sales of the Estate of George Reynolds, Dec’d, made Aug 5 1815.
Pryor Reynolds bought 30 barrels corn $21.25, 1 whip saw $10,d Thos. Reynolds bought 3 books .50, 1 horse whip 2.25, 1 birdle 5.50, 1 feather bed and furniture 35.50, 1 colt 2.31 1/4, Henry Cook 1 cow and calf $12, 1 steer 5.87 1/2, James Tomlin 1 steer 4.50, one ditto 5., Jas. Waddle bay horse 27.75, 1 cow and calf 12.37 1/2, Am’t for’d $145.81 1/4. James Hughes bought 1 ax .43 3/4. S’l. Core bt. 1 apron .25, Peter Pryor bought 1 heifer 4.6 1/4, Joel Hobbs bt. 1 set plain irons 3., 1 cow $8., total 161.56 1/4.
Pryor Reynolds Admr. Which acc’t of sales was produced in Court October Session 1815 and ordered Red’d
N. P. Hardeman
Williamson County, TN. Inventories, Wills, 1811-1818, Vol. B, page 173

Vanessa Wood © 2005 - 2014
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Butler County, AL: Tracking The Children of Francis Pryor Born in GA

I found a 1907 Obituary for a Pryor in Florida and ended up following a line of Pryors through the South. These Pryors are a bit of a mystery (well, aren’t they all?!)– name variations, missing from census records, traveling salesmen who were counted in multiple locations on census records. The best place to start is where everyone seems to be stumped: The 1860 Census.

1860 Butler Co., AL
Pct 15, House 2 Francis PRYOR 30 farmer GA, Caroline 25 GA, M. Pryor (f) 5 AL, Geo. Pryor 3 AL, Francis Pryor 1 AL.
Pct 15, House 3 Geo. Mayes 37 GA, Susan 31 GA, N. A. (f) 14 GA, J. T. (m) 9 GA, W. G. (m) 7 GA, Martha 5 GA, G. W. (m) 1 GA
Pct 15, House 7 J. M. PRYOR 33 GA, S. Pryor (f) 26 GA, J. T. (male) 8 GA, J. R. (f) 7 AL, T. J. (male) 6 AL, W. G. PRYOR 6/12 (m) AL.

The obituary of George Pryor in 1907 helped to match up George with his brother Frank/Francis.

THE FUNERAL OF GEORGE W. PRYOR
Will Occur This Afternoon at 3 O’Clock, Services Being at the Home. The funeral of Geo. W. Pryor who expired at his home in New City on Friday afternoon, after an illness covering two weeks…friends of the deceased will act as pall bearers: Capt. R. M. Bushnell, J. J. Sullivan, Joe Roth, R. S. Mitchell, Lamar Howard, and W. T. Reager….Frank Pryor a brother of the deceased who resides in Nashville, reached the city yesterday afternoon.
The Pensacola Journal., February 03, 1907

I found brother Frank in 1900 in TN, 1910 in Kansas City, MO, and in 1920 in Mobile AL. On the 1860 Census he is ID’d as Francis and on all subsequent census as Frank, however the name on his death record (filed in Montgomery, AL) is Franklin Cornelius Pryor.

1900 Census, Davidson County, TN
Nashville, 6th ward, page 241, house 439 Frank C. PRYOR 8/1858 41 md 7 yrs. AL VA AL ind. life insurance agent, Sarah? R. wife 9/1862 37 no children TN TN TN

A tidbit in the same newspaper contained the ID of another brother: O. M. Pryor had come to town for George’s funeral.

… He also leaves a brother, O. M. Pryor, formerly of this city, who reached here last night acompanied by his daughter.
The Pensacola Journal, February 02, 1907, Page 7, Image 7

Obed M. Pryor is buried in the same cemetery as his brother George (see http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=25097089), so we know his full name too. You gotta love these newspaper articles because another article identifies Obed as residing in Mobile, AL and gives the name of a sister:

Mr. and Mrs. O. M. Pryor, who came over from Mobile to attend the funeral of the late Geo. W. Pryor, spent yesterday in the city. Mr. Pryor returned to Mobile last night, but Mrs. Pryor will remain here for several days. Mrs. Melissa Owen and daughter, Miss Queenie, the former being a sister of Mr. Pryor, are also in the city.
The Pensacola Journal, February 05, 1907, Page 3

However, and there always seems to be a “however” with the Pryors, I located a Melissa who was recorded as Celissa on the 1900 Census in Mobile, AL. She was born in 1855 in AL, so I suspect she’s the 5 year old female whose initial was “M” on the 1860 Census.  She appears on the 1920 Census also as Celisa/Celissa. Perhaps the 1907 newspaper was incorrect (just like they hadn’t picked up that she was then a Morris). Perhaps Melissa was an error that combined Celisa/Celissa with another name that begins with M, after all it looks like she was a “M” on the 1860 census. I wonder if “M” was for Morris… that it was a given name and the 1900 Census is incorrect.

1900 Census Mobile co., AL
Mobile, ward 5, page 308a, house 351 Monroe St., Celissa Morris  Feb 1855 45 divorced AL AL AL 4 children/4 living, Robert P. Owen son Sept 1878 21 AL AL AL, Truman C. dau married Dec 1880 19 2 children/2 living AL AL AL, Lula Owen dau Jul 1883 13 AL AL AL, Queenie V Owen dau Mar 1885 15 AL AL AL.

The name raises a lot of questions– like am I sure this is the woman referred to in the 1907 news article. Yes, because in 1920 she is recorded on the same page of the census with Sallie Pryor, widow of Obed Pryor.  Celisa/Celissa also had a grandson named Pryor Huggins living in her household.

The one thing that seems to have people stumped who are searching for this line — where is this family of Pryors in 1870? An online family tree suggests there’s a family story of Francis and Caroline killed in a buggy accident. I think I have a partial answer — I found Celisa/Celissa and her brother Francis/Frank/Franklin on the 1870 Census. They were living with Patrick Drake and his wife Martha Gellbrath Drake (they were married in Greene Co., GA in 1826):

1870 Census Butler Co., AL
Greenville, Twp. 8, page 341b, house 199 Pat’k Drake 70 farmer VA, Martha 70 GA, Celisa 15 AL, Frank 12 AL

Were the Drakes related? I don’t know. Where were George and Obed? I don’t know. Where was Francis and Caroline Pryor in 1850? I don’t know. There’s more research needed on this line of Pryors. I’d like to figure out where Francis Pryor was in 1850. Maybe someone from this line will step forward for a Y-DNA test and we’ll at least know which line of Pryors these folks connect to.

Vanessa Wood © 2005 - 2014
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Yankee Pryor Men in Mobile, AL – Helps to Figure Out Who is Who in Alabama Records

mobile-cemeteryI was looking for some of the Virginia Pryors from Moblie, AL and stumbled upon the wills of 2 Pryor men who hailed from the North. Both of these men appear to have probably died without male heirs. Mobile must have quite the cosmopolitan port city as I found several wills (not Pryor related) that mentioned connections to other locations, even one that mentioned the deceased’s father in Scotland.

Will of George Pryor of New York City

The People of the state of New York. To all to whom these presents shall come or may concern. Send Greeting: Know ye that we have inspected the records of our Surrogates court in and for the County of New York do find that on the fifteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty tow before James Campbell Esq. Surrogate of said County the last Will and Testament of George Pryor of the City of New York deceased was duly proved, approved and registered and the administration of all and singular the goods, Chattels and credits of said deceased or any way concerning his said Will was subsequently granted unto Grice Pryor the Executor and Brigham Howe one of the Executors in said Will named they being first duly Sworn will and faithfully to administer the same and to make and _____ a true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the said goods, chattels and credits and also to render a just and true account there of when there unto required which said Will is in the words and figures following to wit.

In the (missing word “name”?) of God Amen. I George Pryor of the City and State of New York. Merchant being weak in body but of sound mind memory and understanding blessed be Almighty God for the same do make, publish, and declare this my last will and Testament that is to say First I do hereby order and direct that my debts and funeral expenses shall be paid by my executors hereinafter mentioned as soon as the same can conveniently be done after my decease. Secondly I give, divide, and bequeath unto my beloved wife Grice and to her executors, administrators, and assigns forever all my household furniture of every kind and description, beds, bedding, plates, and silver ware I also give to my said wife Grice my gold watch to held and kept by her until my daughter Catharine Jane shall attain the age of twenty one years at which time it is my will and request that my said wife shall give the said gold watch to my said daughter. Thirdly, I give, devise, and bequeath to my said wife Grice the one mostly or half part of all the net income rent issues and profits of all my real Estate for and during her natural life. Fourthly I do hereby give, divide, and bequeath unto my daughter Catharine Jane and to her heirs and assigns forever subject nevertheless the right to my wife Grice to receive and enjoy the one moiety or half part of the nec income rents issues and profits there of during her natural life. Fifthly I do hereby order and direct that the Mortgage executed by me and my said wife Grice and the bond therein described and all other debts and demands due or to become due from my estate shall be paid out of my personal estate as soon as the same can conveniently be done after my decease. Sixthly I do hereby will order and direct that my Brother Jasper Pryor shall have the use of twelve thousand dollars being part of my personal estate for the term of five years from the time of my decease without security and without interest and that my stock of oils and candles shall be taken by him at the cost price thereof as part of said sum of twelve thousand dollars and that at the expiration of the said term of five years the said Jasper shall pay the said sum of twelve thousand dollars to my Executrix and Executors for the use of my estate and I do hereby authorize and empower my Executrix and Executors the survivors or survivor of them if they shall deem it advisable so to do at the expiration of the said term of five years to loan to my said Brother Jasper the said term of five years to loan to my said Brother Jasper the said sum of twelve thousand dollars or a part thereof for the further term of five years to commence at the expiration of the first term of five years without security and at five percent interest per annum. Seventhly, I do hereby give devise and bequeath to my wife and to her executors, administrators and assigns forever the one moiety or half part of all the rest, residue and remainder to my personal estate. Eighthly, I do hereby give, desire, and bequeath unto my daughter Catharine Jane the remaining moiety or half part of all the rest residue and remainder of my personal estate and I do hereby declare that the desires and bequest by me given by this my last Will and testament to my said wife are so given and devised to her and are intended to be in lieu and in bar of her dower or right of dower and thirds(?) in my real and personal estate and in as much as I have provided my brother Jasper with the means of establishing himself in business I do earnestly recommend to him the care and protection of our dear Mother, Sisters, and brother and lastly I do hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my said wife Grice to be executrix and my said brother Jasper and Brigham Howe to be Executors of this my last will and Testament and also to be the Guardians of the person and estate of my said daughter Catharine Jane and I do hereby revoke all other and former Wills by me made in witness whereof. I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of May in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two.
George Pryor {seal}
Signed sealed published and declared by the above named George Pryer as and for his last will and Testament in our presence who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses the words executrix and erased and the word Jane added after the word Catharine on this page before the execution here of Floyd T. Ferris residence No. 555 Pearl Street, City of New York. F. Gross residing 207 Henry Street, City of New York. All of which we have caused by these presents to be exemplified and the seal of office of the Surrogate of the County of the New York to be hereto affixed.
Signed by James Campbell of the Surrogate Court on 17 September 1834.
Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1895, Wills 1813-1857, vol. 1, page 204 [familysearch.org, image 119-120]

NOTE: I found Grice Pryor age 70 and daughter Catharine age 39 on the 1870 Census in New York City living on West 27th St, between 6th and Broadway. They were counted twice. The second entry shows and estate of “$40,000 undivided.” Find A Grave indicates Grice and Catharine are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn.

Will of Asa Prior (MA) and the Estate of His Wife Sarah H. Cornell/Connell Prior (NJ)

NOTE: More research is needed on Asa Prior. A long time ago I located a death notice for an Asa Pryor in the Huntsville Democrat dated 1832. Since his will was not written until 1835 we may be dealing with 2 Asa Pryors or perhaps the date is incorrect on the death notice.

In the name of God Amen. I Asa Prior of the County of Mobile in the State of Alabama being of sound mind do make this my last will and Testament in manner following to wit. All the personal and real estate I may devised or possessed of I hereby give and bequeath to my beloved wife Sarah H. Prior to have and to hold the same to her the said Sarah H Prior her heirs and assigns forever. Hereby requesting my said wife after my decease so to provide by her will or other wise that any personal or real estate which she may receive under and by virtue of this my last will and testament and which she shall not otherwise have disposed of may be given one thousand dollars to my sister Rhoda Bodfish of West Barnstable, Massachusetts** or to her heirs at law in case my said wife should survive my said sister and the remainder to the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Mobile to be by them invested in the Stock of the Bank of Mobile and dividends of such stock to be by said mayor and aldermen appropriated to make and benefit of the Presbyterian Sunday School in the City of Mobile so long as said school my continue and after its discontinuance to such charitable purposes as they the said Mayor and aldermen may think proper. I hereby nominate and appoint my beloved wife Sarah H Prior and my friend Eward (sic) Dunning to be the Executrix and Executor of this my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal at the county of Mobile this the second day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five.
Signed sealed declared Asa Prior {seal}
and published by the said testator as his last will and testament on the day and year therein named in our presence and at the request of the said testator we have subscribed our names as witnesses in his presence and in presence of each other also on the day and year therein named.
S. Southworth
L. A. Lewis
H. Lewis
Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1895, Wills 1813-1857, vol. 1, page 239 [familysearch.org, image 136]

**Rhoda Bodfish is on the 1850 Census in Barnstable, MA. Her place of birth is recorded as “Do” among births that are cited as MA. Original hand-written town records for Barnstable state she was the mother of Asa Prior Bodfish born in 1817. Please be aware when looking at the Ancestry records that although she is on the 1850 census there is a link to Find A Grave that states her death was 1847, yet the photo of the marker states 1857 and this year is also stated in the town records.

I also found the Administrator Account for the estate of Sarah H. Prior:

To the Hon. Price Williams Jr., Judge of the Court of Probate for the County of Mobile
The petition of James W. Holmes, Thaddeus Harrison respectfully shows that the late Mrs. Sarah H. Prior who was an inhabitant of this county at the time of her death departed this life on the 5th day of February 1880 in Mobile leaving a last will and testament duly Executed by her and attested by Wm. J. Ledyard, Daniel Wheeler and H. R. Holmes who reside in the County in which petitioners are named as Executors which said will is herewith produced and propounded for probate and record. Petitioners further state that the next of kin of said deceased so far as they have been able to ascertain are the children of Moses Lyon deceased the Brother of Mrs. Sarah H. Prior viz Sarah H. Cornell (or Connell?), Elizabeth W. Kellogg, Mary F. Hoe?, Moses Lyon, Jas. W. Lyon, Martha J. Lyon, Asa P Lyon, Kate L Doggs, and John H. Lyon all of whom reside in the state of New York and in or near the City of New York and the children of Richd. Lyon dec’d the brother of Mrs. Sarah H. Prior who resides in the State of Michigan. But at what point your petitioners have been unable to find___. Petitioners are also informed that descedent had relatives in Elizabeth City New Jersey, But how near, how many, or what are the names or ages of these parties in Michigan and New Jersey Petitioners have not been able to ascertain. Petitioners further state that by the provisions of said will many legacies are created and all of the estate of said deceased is disposed of to parties named in the same. In consideration of which petitioners pray that a day may be set for the hearing of the matter of this petition that subpoenas may issue to the subscribing witnesses that due notice may be given to the next of kin of the deceased that such other proceedings orders and decrees may be made as may be requested proper to effect the due probate record of said will according to law.
Note her estate is recorded and “Receipted for by A or “a” Rog. Pryor att.”
Subscribed and sworn to this 31st day of March 1880. S. Stone Clerk.

J. W. Holmes
T. Harrison

Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1895, Administration Accounts 1872-1880, vol. 62-64, page 270 [familysearch.org, image 279]

NOTE: Sarah Prior age 70 was recorded on the 1870 Census in Mobile County, AL. She is recorded as Sarah Hendrix Prior on a Find A Grave memorial, burial at Church Street Cemetery in Mobile, however the gravemarker has not been photographed.

Vanessa Wood © 2005 - 2014
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