Sarah Pryor of Williamson County, TN – 5 years Later Time for Another Look

sarah-pryor-mcphailI can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I last wrote about Sarah Pryor Squire McCabe Carter McPhail (see last post). Whew! All those surnames! Sarah Pryor has always been the odd one out in my research and now I realize it’s because my research wasn’t near finished. I may not be at the finish line yet, but I have a clearer idea now of where she fits with the Pryors.

Sarah McPhail left a will in Williamson County, TN dated 1 May 1851. She named her heirs Luke L. Smith, Mary Taylor wife of William Taylor, and she owed debts to Samuel Winstead (husband of Susannah Pryor) and William P. Smith. These heirs are almost carbon copies of those named in Luke Pryor’s will and Susannah Pryor Winstead’s will. The will was disputed and heirs, including Henry B. Pryor and his daughters Rhoda A Pryor Crocker, and Mary A Pryor Crocker were noticed for Chancery Court proceedings.

The first known marriage for Sarah Pryor was to David Squire in 1816 in Williamson County. If you believe her age on the 1850 Census, she was about 35 years old when she married Squire which was rather… well, old… by the standards of the time. David Squire died within three years of the marriage. His will was signed in 1818 in Williamson County, naming a married daughter, Elizabeth Lowry— which strongly suggests that David, like Sarah Pryor, was older at the time of their marriage. David died sometime before the inventory of the estate which was made on 11 Jan 1819 and signed by his wife, Sarah, the executrix.

If anyone if interested in doing more research on David Squire, I spotted a couple of records that may help. In 1809 he purchased items from the estate of John Tapley. I highly suspect John is the son of Hosea Tapley and Lucy Pryor, daughter of John Henry Pryor and wife Margaret. The account of Tapley’s estate sale was filed in April 1809 in Williamson County. People who purchased from the estate align with members of John Henry Pryor’s family who were in Williamson Co.– Peter Perkins, Robert McLemore, Nicholas T. Perkins, Thomas Hardin Perkins. David Squire was the administrator of the estate of Gurdon Squire who died around 1814.

Sarah’s second husband was Hugh McCabe. He applied for a Revolutionary War Pension in 1832 from Maury County, TN (see application). His application states he was about 75 years old in 1832 (born about 1757).  He states at the time he entered service he was “a resident of Amherst County, Virginia on Pedlar River.” Now anyone who has looked at the Pryors in Amherst County, knows that they were on the Pedlar River. I’ve speculated for quite some time that the Hugh McCabe in Amherst Co. was the same one in Maury County, but FINALLY the pension application confirms it. Hugh McCabe’s  Property in Amherst County was recorded near Nicholas Pryor (Was this F. Nicholas Pryor?) and he was engaged in a slander suite with William and Mary Pryor.

Documentation of the death of Sarah’s second husband, Hugh McCabe, can be found in SUNDRIES EVENTS, a log written by James J. Selby, who was born in Kent County, England on 7 June 1773 and lived in Maury Co., TN (see article in Ansearchin News, Spring 1984). Selby first logged–

Departed this life Hugh McCabe an Old Resident of Mt. Pleasant about 10 o’Clock at night

and then on Jan 19, 1833 —

Married in this town Majr Carter to the widow McCabe 6 months & 14 days after the death of her last husband Hugh McCabe (now got 3d)

Ouch! Was Selby making a dig when he logged, “now got a 3rd”–did she marry too soon after her husband’s death, or was a third husband improper, or was the third marriage at age 52 an oddity? It reads a bit catty.

On the 1840 Census Daniel Carter, Sarah’s third husband, was counted on the line following Angus McPhail (her fourth husband) in Maury County, TN. Daniel Carter was another veteran of the American Revolutionary War (see his pension application). There’s an application for the Sons of the American Revolution on Ancestry.com that states Daniel’s first wife, Sarah Conyers, died in 1826. Carter’s will was signed 6 January 1841 in Williamson County, TN and mentions sons Benjamin Carter, Milton Carter, Anderson Carter, and daughters Harriet Roland and Eliza Smith, as well as his wife Sarah, who was likely Sarah Pryor since the will was written long after the first wife’s death and almost 10 years after their marriage in 1833.

I found that Robert Davis was a witness on Daniel Carter’s will in 1841 AND on David Squire’s will in 1818. Maybe I’ve seen too much crime TV, but I thought it a bit odd that Robert Davis witnessed two of her husband’s wills. When I Googled him I found he was a clergyman and had witnessed several Revolutionary War pension applications in the 1830’s, so perhaps he was their minister. And really, 4 marriages over the course of almost 40 years isn’t too eyebrow-raising.

At the time of her death Sarah Pryor was known as Sarah McPhail. There’s a marriage in Williamson county dated 28 Oct 1844 for Sarah Carter to Angus McPhail. Sarah McPhail was recorded on the 1850 Census in Williamson County– age 78 born in SC, so she was about 72 when she married last husband. There really aren’t many records available on husband #4 Angus McPhail. He was probably married before Sarah Pryor to another Sarah– there’s a gravemarker for Sarah McPhail (died 1840) “consort” of Angus McPhail in the cemetery in Franklin, TN (see Find A Grave). I’ve thought that Angus possibly out-lived Sarah Pryor because I found an Angus McPhail and his son Daniel on the census in Washington County, TX in 1860 and then Daniel shows up on the census in Williamson County, TN in 1870.

Well, Sarah is definitely one of the more interesting Pryors. Now, I’m wondering if she and all these Williamson County Pryors are somehow more closely connected with the Pryors in Amherst County. More digging ahead.