Category Archives: Tennessee Pryors

Wm Pryor Signature – 1794 Sumner County, TN


Signature of William Pryor on marriage bond for Jenny Pryor in 1794.

William P Pryor (Land) In The Cumberland River

This plat map is the first I’ve ever seen and definitely worth sharing. The survey for William P Pryor in Davidson County, TN in 1829 was for land “in” the Cumberland River rather than “on” or bounded by the river. Whaaaat?

I’d love to know what he did with the land. Was it a strategic purchase to control property on either side of the river? Was it to have access to the river? Did he operate a ferry?

Who was William P Pryor? I haven’t seen a William who used the middle initial P. Nor is there a William Pryor on the 1830 Census in Davidson County. Was this William T Pryor a son of Nicholas B Pryor?

I was also curious about where this land may have been located, so I set out to see it it was visible in current maps of the area. This was a small parcel – 4 1/2 acres. There are a few small pieces of water bound pieces of land in Davidson county, but I highly doubt it can be ID’d today after almost 200 years of erosion and sedimentation.

William P Pryor Record Transcript:

Ploted by a scale of 20 poles to an Inch.
State of Tennessee Davidson County
by V–y of Entry No 781 Dated Sept 14th 1829 founded on the Consideration of one cent per acre paid into the entry taken off– of Davidson County I have surveyed for William P Pryor four and a half acres of land in said county and in Cumberland River. Beginning at the lower point of a sand bar below the first Island in Cumberland river below Nashville thence Running up the Southers Sluce with its meanders at low water mark south fourteen degrees east thirty poles, South twenty and a half degrees East twenty six poles, south twelve degrees. East twenty one poles to a stake in John Boyd’s line of an Eighteen and a half —? survey, which includes said Island thence with said line North ten poles to a Stake said Boyd’s corner with his line South twnety seven degrees East twenty six poles to the northern sluice at low water mark, thence lower said sluice with its meanders north two degrees East Eight poles, then North twenty three degrees west Twenty six poles, North Eight degrees West twenty four poles North twenty degrees West twenty four poles North thirty degrees West Eighteen poles then North Sixty four degrees west and a half poles to the Beginning the balance of said Entry could not be satisfied by reason of water and an older claim.
Surveyed Oct 2nd 1829
(signed) Sam. Weakley SDC
Isaac Clemmons
Joseph Parks

 

Peter Nance and Mary Pryor Query from 1906

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It’s interesting to look at the old genealogy columns published in newspapers at the turn of the century. I thought this one was a great example of lots of names but not documentation. It was published on July 15, 1906 in The Times Dispatch, Richmond, VA.

I’m curious. What records were available to researchers 110 years ago? I suspect all research was done in the county record office or a researcher was hired to do it for you. In this newspaper column the reference to Edward and Nicholas Pryor in Henrico county sites the years and not the reference material. From what we know today, it’s likely they were citing the dates of Vestry Records.

And of course Roger A Pryor was still alive in 1906 and his involvement in US and Virginia politics, service as a Confederate General during the Civil War and appointments as a New York Judge were all well known and documented in newspapers.

I think there’s an interesting aspect to the query. In 1906 the writer was aware of who their ancestors were. Peter Nance was recorded with his wife Mary Pryor on the 1850 Census in Knox County. By 1860, when he was 86 years old, Peter Nance was living in Blount County, TN. So somewhere in the 40 or less years since his death, where in VA they originated from and who were their parents has disappeared from the family story.

This news clipping should be a reminder of why research continues and supporting documentation is needed for our findings. The writer never made a connection between the Pryors mentioned– they simply were dishing out names.

A Pryor Featured in Documentary on Netflix

Searching for Augusta, a 2015 World War II documentary, showed up in my Netflix queue. The documentary follows the heroic exploits of a Belgian-Congolese nurse named Augusta Chiwy and an American doctor: John “Jack” Prior. It’s quite a fantastic story of bombings, explosions, and evading the Nazi’s during the infamous Battle of the Bulge.

The film states Dr. “Jack” Prior was from St. Albans, VT and the son of Pearl Prior (his father). While the documentary locates Ms. Chiwy and features the children of Dr. Prior. I did some searching to see if I could find more about him. He was in his parents’ household on the 1930 census records. After the war he became practiced medicine in Syracuse, NY — there’s an article on Syracuse.com.

Category: Tennessee Pryors