Mrs Elizabeth Pryor Lewis – Can we match her to a family?

A few years ago I wrote about an Elizabeth Prior who became a victim of a bigamist and serial killer.

Elizabeth Prior, Death At The Hands of A Serial Killer (1919)

I recently came across a photo of her in a New York newspaper. The account in the the Daily News on April 30, 1919 is that Huirt was the accused killer; he had married 7 women in 10 months and 5 of them were missing. Is this the same case?– the man in San Quentin was named Watson or Lewis or something else! The account in the Daily News reported he married women also under the names of Harvey and Hilton. Perhaps his prison record sheet was too small to add all of his alias.

The story gets even wilder in other newspapers. The Akron Evening Times had more room to print the story (slow news day?), reporting Huirt married 25 women and also used the surname Gordon.

I haven’t matched Miss Pryor to her family.

Positive ID on Richard Pryor and Son Beverly Pryor

I found a newspaper article that will help to turn up the ID to “positive” for Richard Pryor and son Beverly Pryor in this recent post.

Richard Pryor of Richmond and Madison Co, AL

When the tale of their Virginia adventure made it’s way into an Alabama newspaper, the editor chose to ID the Pryor men.

From The Selma Daily Reporter, September 19, 1835

I can’t let go of Richard Pryor of Madison County without some more pondering of his possible connections.

Richard was born in 1798, but I’ve seen the surnames involved in the Richmond “ruckus” that took place in the 1830’s connected to a Pryor line. In 1774 a notice was published in Rind’s Virginia Gazette; it mentioned business conducted by Matthew Anderson of King and Queen County and Christopher Pryor of Gloucester Courthouse. There’s the Anderson surname again.

Hmmm… Christopher Pryor? His Son married Betty Armistead Tyler and his daughter was named Elizabeth Whiting Pryor. Both Armistead and Whiting are names that come up with Richard Pryor of Madison County.

I’m putting Richard and his line again on the the back burner, but considering he may be connected to the Pryors in Gloucester County.

Richard Pryor of Richmond and Madison Co, AL

Back in 2014 I posted about Pryor men from Alabama who returned to their home state of Virginia and were accused of causing a ruckus in their relatives’ household. The complaint was lodged by Brown and it sounds like sexual advances were made against the elder Pryor’s wife’s female Anderson kin.

Two Gamblin’ Alabama Pryors in Trouble in the Old Virginia (1835)

Then in 2016 I wrote about Richard Pryor of Madison County and wife Dolly who were named in a notice regarding a Richmond, VA suit. Named in the same notice were John Brown, —-Anderson and Octavia his wife. The notice was regarding a Chancery Court case the estate of John D Brown. Perhaps that was the case of John Brown, etc vs. Nancy Brown, widow filed in the Richmond Chancery Court in 1849 (see LVA index).

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

After doing some searches I found that there’s a William Armistead Anderson who married a Catherine Octavia Ruela Brown. The 1850 notice was addressed to Richard Pryor and his wife and also Mr. Anderson and his wife, stating that they were not residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

So if the Anderson and Brown relations are the same families named in both sources, then the father and son team who were accused of causing havoc in Richmond are probably Richard Pryor and his son Beverly Pryor.

When I was searching out the names in the 1850 notice I found an Ursula Ragland age 82 who was born in VA– she was counted in the household of Samuel Ragland age 44 in Franklin County, AL. Researchers have her as the mother of the Ragland males in the household: Samuel 44 (head of household), John 57, William A 52 and Nathaniel 47. I have to include a TN connection– Ursula D Ragland was on the 1820 Census in Smith County, TN. What really piqued my interest was that Samuel had a son living in the household named Beverly Ragland– a nice tie-in perhaps to Richard and Dolly Pryor’s son named Beverly.Ra

In December of 1850 Dolly Pryor died at the home of S J (Samuel) Ragland. Was Dolly a Ragland?

Mrs. Dolly Pryor of Huntsville on the 15, age 62 years. She died at the residence of S J Ragland. (Tuskegee Republican 5 Dec 1850)

African American Pryor Family – VA and Washington DC

While researching another Pryor line I went down the proverbial rabbit hole. While this may not benefit my Pryor line, it may be of interest to other Pryors. It was interesting to me – which explains why I went astray.

I came across Dr Ellsworth Pryor III, an infectious disease doctor who was featured in 1980 in an article from a California Newspaper. I wondered who Ellsworth the 2nd and Ellsworth the 1st could be.

An obituary for Ellsworth Pryor from the Los Angeles Times on October 23, 1982 is for the father of Dr. Pryor and it also mentions that his father, the doctor’s grandfather, was living at the time. Because it states their ages we know Ellsworth Pryor II was born in about 1922 and Ellsworth Pryor I was born in about 1892. Ellsworth Pryor II worked for Pete Wilson who later became governor of California.

Ellsworth Pryor Obituary

Published in the Los Angeles Times on October 23, 1982.

 

Ellsworth Paxton Pryor (Ellsworth Pryor I) born 1892 in Nebraska died in 1991 in San Diego. That means that all three generations of Ellsworth Pryors lived in California. The CA death record states his mother’s surname was Braxton. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Omaha, NE where I see an older Ellsworth Pryor is buried. So this totally shifted the numbering of the Ellsworth Pryors. The Doctor was actually the FOURTH.

The first Ellsworth Pryor was born 1864 in Virginia. I found him and Ellsworth P Pryor in the same household in 1920, living in Omaha, NE. Ellsworth born in 1864 was recorded as black and the younger Ellsoworth, born in 1892, was recorded as mulatto. They were recorded as father and son.

In 1920 the Ellsworths born in 1864 and 1892 were recorded on the census working as a steward and shipping clerk respectively. When I took a hop backward to the 1880 Census, Ellsworth IV was recorded in his father’s household in Washington DC. His father was Charles R Pryor born 1825 in VA. Ancestry.com transcribed Ellsworth’s occupation as a student at Harvard University. A close look at the handwriting reveals he was a student at Howard University, a traditionally African-American university in Washington, DC. He graduated from Howard per a notice in the National Republican on 28 May 1881.

A small blurb in the Washington Bee announced that Ellsworth Pryor (probably b. 1862) and his wife were going to be making Omaha, NE their home. This helps to ties the Ellsworth Pryors in Omaha to the family on the census in Washington, DC.

Ellsworth Pryor b. 1862 would have been the CA doctor’s great-grandfather and Charles R Prior of Washington DC was the doctors’ great-great-grandfather. I’ve run into Charles R Prior on records before. His daughter (Ellsworth’s sister) married William H. Grimshaw the author of “Freemasonry Among the Colored People in North America“.

Charles R Prior, when counted on the 1870 Census in Washington DC, was working as a carpenter. His race was recorded as mulatto. There’s an Ely Pryor age 8 in his household that I suspect was Ellsworth, although the census recorder marked him down as “female”.

Charles R Prior was an interesting man of color because he and his wife, Angeline, were on the 1860 Census, BEFORE the Civil War. He was a free mulatto living in King George County, VA working as a carpenter. It’s likely that he’s the same Charles Prior who was recorded in the household of Henry Stephens on the 1850 Census in King George county. There’s a long history of free African Americans named Prior in King George county. (see King George County census)

Thomas Pryor Of Guilford County, NC – Deed For A Saw Mill

Thomas Pryor was mentioned in an 1828 notice in an Alabama newspaper.

POCKET BOOK LOST
On Saturday evening last, between Huntsville and Triana, the subscriber lost a Red Morocco Pocket Book, containing sundry papers– amongst them a conveyance from Thos. Pryor, of Guilford County, NC for a patent right for a Saw Mill, for a sawing circular lumber, &c. Also several receipts, accounts, and some notes. The finder will be rewarded for his trouble by leaving the same at the Democrat Office, or delivering it to me at Triana
Wm B Johnson
Nov. 21, 1828
The Democrat (Newspaper), Huntsville, AL

I wonder if Pryor’s mill was in NC or did he own land in Alabama. In 1822 a Thomas M Pryor served on a jury in Madison County (Huntsville is in Madison County). Did the same Thomas Pryor venture from NC to Alabama?

Another Pryor from the Huntsville area was named in another lost wallet notice:

Pocket Book Lost
Lost on Tuesday evening last in the vicinity of Huntsville, a pocket book containing a fifty dollar note on the Branch Bank at Mobile, and some change tickets. Also the following notes of hand, viz: One on F. ?. Newmann for $60, one on C D Kavannaugh for $???, three notes on Beatman and Cox– one for $700 and for $200, and one for $125. Also the following
Also the following — in favor of different persons drawn by Richard Pryor, viz: One for $73– one for $50– one for $150–one for $49–one for $33–one for $?? and one for $25: all of which were paid by –. Any person who may have found said pocket book and contents shall be entitled to $25 by returning the same or for such information that I recover the —-. The drawers of the above described notes and forfeiture from paying the same to any person except myself, as they belong alone to me.
B. Jolley
The Democrat, January 4, 1840