Category Archives: Kentucky Pryors

John Pryor, Trustee, on Rockcastle Circuit Court KY Chancery Case

Two notices were published in The Olive Branch and Danville Advertiser on June 6, 1829. This paper was published in Danville, KY which is now part of Boyle County — Boyle was formed from Mercer County in 1842. The one on the right names a John Pryor, a trustee.. Perhaps the same John Pryor/Prior who appeared on Mercer County marriage records…(see post)

STATE OF KENTUCKY
Rockcastle Circuit, Sct
March Term 1829
JOHN PRYOR Trustee for the benefit of Elisba Rucker, William Haynes and Elizabeth Fulcher, Admr. or the estate of John J Fulcher dec’d– Complainant,
Against
William J Thurman— defendant
IN CHANCERY.
THIS day came the complainant by his counsel, and was made appear to the satisfaction of the court, that the defendant Wm J Thurman is not an inhabitant of this commonwealth, and have failed to enter his appearance and answer the complainant’s bill agreeable to the law. Therefore it is ordered that unless the said defendants appear here on or before the first day of the next term of this court, and answer the complainant’s bill that the same will be taken as confessed against him; further ordered that a copy of this order be published in some authorized newspaper printed in this commonwealth for two months successively, as the law directs.
A Copy Test,
JAMES TERRILL, CLK.
APRIL 25 1829

These surnames look familiar so I’m taking a guess… I think these folks are from Amherst County, VA. Mary Rucker married John Pryor in Amherst County in 1844 — long after this notice. He was born about 1818 (calculated from the 1850 Census), so he’s likely to be too young to be John Pryor the Trustee in KY. His father was also a John Pryor and was also alive in 1850, so there’s a possibility that he was the Trustee. These Johns were the son and grandson of Capt. William Pryor, the Revolutionary War pensioner.

The Haynes name also points to Amherst County. Thomas M Pryor married Elizabeth Haynes in Campbell County, VA in 1843 and after living awhile in MO, they were living in Amherst County at the time of the 1880 Census. Mary Rucker (the one named above) is reported by researchers to be the daughter of Peter Rucker and Jane Haynes. Other researchers have reported that William Haynes on the 1850 Census in Audrain County, MO was married to Mary “Polly” Pryor (she was born 1781 in VA per the census entry).

The name William Haynes appears with Pryors also in Tennessee. I don’t know if it’s the same William Haynes

1805 Deed in Stewart County, TN – William PRYOR deeded land to William Haynes, witnessed by Benjamin Downs and W.M. Hicks.

Interesting, but I think the Pryor-Haynes connection to Amherst County is more likely. Remember the will of David Crawford that was filed in Jefferson County, KY, but witnessed by a John and William Pryor in Amherst County, VA? (see post). David Crawford willed “to my wife part of land where “I now live,” bought of Robert Johnston and William Haynes.” Isn’t it interesting there were two Pryor and Crawford marriages in Mercer County in 1795?

And Thurman or Thurmond… there were neighbors of this name near the Pryors in Amherst County.

Deed Book D, p. 166 3 Jan 1774 WM. PRYOR & wife MARGARET, AC, to PHILIP THURMOND, AC, for L114-11, 395 acres on the blue ridge; branch of Irish Creek. Wit: Roderick McCulloch, David Crawford, Isaac Wright, Wm. Crawford (1774)

These surnames are on the 1783 State Enumeration of Amherst County: Haynes, Pryor, Rucker and Thurmond… and a John Fulcher. There’s an Elizabeth Fulcher who was head of household in Amherst County in 1810.  Elizabeth could be John’s widow and admin of his estate as a John Fulcher married Elizabeth Huckstep in Amherst County on January 4, 1788.

I’ve written in the past about the Amherst County names who show up in Wilkes County, GA:

Benjamin Catching : A Man Amongst the Pryors

The notice on the left newspaper notice also caught my eye because it’s another suit against William J. Thurman (aka Thurmond?). It names Frederick Hawk, plaintiff vs. William J. Thurman, Philip Thurman, Hardin Perkins and other defendants (Who were they?). The name Philip Thurman jumped out to me because there was a man by that name in Amherst County.  When I looked for these men on census records I found there was a Hardin Perkins in Buckingham County, VA. There were a few Philip Thurman/Thurmond names, however in 1810 there was both a William Thurman and Philip Thurman (and several more men of this name) counted in Lincoln County which boarders Rockcastle where the the complaint was filed. I also looked on this census for names that begin with “P” and there are a couple where the handwriting is so bad they could be Prior. Ancestry has the last one on the “P” page indexed as “John Pavi”.

Well, I’m not going keep us all in the dark for another post. At least these Thurmonds were from Amherst County. William J Thurmond and Philip Thurmond noticed the deposition of William Thurmond in AMHERST COUNTY VIRGINIA in the same court and in the newspaper The Olive Branch and Danville Advertiser on November 17, 1825.

Looks like we have some more researching to do!

Kentucky Pryor Signatures on Mercer County KY Marriage Bonds

Comparing signatures can feel like figuring out if you’ve got the right name for any of John and Kate’s sextuplets… after a while they all look the same! The samples below are of 4 John Pryor signatures from Mercer County. They range from 1793 to 1833.

I think #1 and #3 were written by the same hand. The “J” in John has a bottom loop that floats to the left. The “P” has a straight back and the “y” has a bottom loop that points almost to the same angle as the bottom of the “J” in both signatures.

The second and fourth signatures are up for good guesses. I think the fourth is the most interesting because it’s signed by John Pryor and witnessed by people who signed their names “Prior”.

1793 Marriage Bond from Mercer County, KY – John PRYOR and William Robertson, for marriage of William Robertson and Sally PRYOR. Witness Thomas Allen.

robertson-pryor

1795 Marriage Bond in Mercer County, KY – William Crawford and John PRYOR for marriage of William Crawford to John Pryor’s daughter Mary PRYOR. Signed 12 May 1795

crawford-pryor-2

1795 Marriage Bond in Mercer County, KY – William Crawford and John PRYOR, for marriage of John Pryor to Mary Crawford signed 18 May 1795.

crawford-pryor

1811 Marriage Bond in Mercer County, KY – Rebecca PRYOR, daughter of John Pryor to William Martin. Witnesses John PRIOR and Agnes PRIOR. Signed 23 September 1811.

john-pryor-agnes

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Joseph Pryor and John Pryor Signatures in Bourbon and Owen Counties KY

I heard from another researcher in answer to the last post. Thank you to Beverly Watson from the My Jackson Purchase Families website. She has an 1815 Bond from Bourbon County, KY signed by Joseph Pryor and John Pryor. These men were seeking a bond to open a tavern. It looks like their signatures are a very good match to the signatures on the 1829 marriage bond for Juliet Pryor in Owen County, KY.

I think the strongest part of the match are the “P” in both Pryor signatures. It’s also a good match on the tilt of the “h” in Joseph and the loop shape and direction in the “y” in John Pryor.

Since Joseph Pryor Sr. was deceased by about 1813, the signature is most likely Joseph Pryor Jr. on both documents.

Another observation is the time span between documents… 14 years. John Pryor’s projected year of birth from most researchers is about 1773. He was 77 at the time of the 1850 Census. It’s interesting that his signature was consistent.

 

 

 

Sam Pryor: Sharing A Swig From General Santa Anna’s Bottle

General Santa Anna c 1853

A Pryor researcher brought up an old newspaper article that mentioned a Ketucky Pryor and General Santa Anna. I admit I have a very limited knowledge of Santa Anna – mostly that he led the Mexican troops against the Texans at The Alamo. When I turned to Wikipedia for more information I was surprised to see him in a photo 20 years post-Alamo looking like quite an affable fellow. Guess if you involved in the death of Davy Crockett you’re going down in the American history books as the villain!

The article they referred to was found in Newspapers.com: Bourbon News, Paris, Kentucy on 19 October 1883:

John Mooreland visited Sam Pryor last week, and both drank out of the same bottle that Henry Clay and Gen. Santa Anna once drank from, while guests of Mr. Mooreland’s father at the old stage stand at Mooreland’s on the pike near Houston’s.  Henry Clay and Santa Anna were en route for Washington City, by stage.

When would this drink have happened? The battle at the Alamo was in 1836 and Santa Anna was returned to Mexico in 1837, so we have a time range.

This is a pretty interesting tid bit! Wikipedia tells that after Santa Anna was eventually defeated he was sent into exile in the US and in 1837 was transported by ship back o Veracruz, Mexico. There are some chunks of information missing– How did he get from Texas to Washington, DC? Did the USS Pioneer take him all the way from Washington, DC to Veracruz? Some time ago I read how during the Mexican War (10 years later) ships from New Orleans took troops to embark on the east coast of Mexico (Veracruz is on the same coast). So, perhaps Santa Anna passed through Kentucky on his way to or on his way back from Washington, DC.

Texas A&M University’s website (TAMU.edu) provides an explanation that fits in with this article, filling-in answers to these questions. It describes Santa Anna’s trek included a steamboat up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River and on to Louisville (reached on Christmas Day 1836). He was treated well

…when the party stopped at Lexington, they were accorded marked attention, and many members of the Kentucky legislature came over from Frankfort to pay their respects.

Senator Henry Clay

In 1836 Henry Clay was a US Senator and a Lexington native.  It’s interesting to note that the Pike is the road connecting Paris, KY with Lexington, KY, so stopping along this road may have been possible as well as the possibility that Clay and Santa Anna met over a bottle.

“The Lexington (Kentucky) Gazette of the 5th inst. speaks of the departure of Santa Anna from that city. He was well treated there, and the editor thinks, that as a “distinguished” stranger in  a neutral country, he is entitled to the hospitality of every citizen.”
— North-Carolina Standard, 25 January 1837

Was it just a passing comment in the 1883 article that Santa Anna stopped on the pike near Houston’s? Was it a stab at irony? Santa Anna had surrendered to General Sam Houston, the same Houston who had been made President of the Republic of Texas, and had agreed to send Santa Anna off to Washington, DC. I’m not the only one wondering about a Houston connection between the families in Bourbon county and the man in Texas. A 1998 post asks, “Is anyone researching the HOUSTON family of Bourbon County? We are trying to find a connection between Sam HOUSTON, of Texas fame…” (see post)

I’m just impressed that someone held onto a bottle of hooch for almost 50 years. It must have been an honored meeting between Mooreland and Sam Pryor!