Pryors from Guilford County, NC – Connections to IN and TN and MO

I heard from a researcher who is descended from some of the Pryors from Guilford County, NC who made their way to Dickson County, TN. They have a family story penned by a relative long ago.  It’s a lovely, romantic tale of siblings Tommy Pryor (or Thomas) and his sister Elizabeth who traveled to see another sister named Sinnie who was married and living in Guilford County.  The tale is unclear where the Pryors were traveling from. Elizabeth met and married George Waynick (there are multiple variations of the spelling)– and settled in Guilford County. We know George and Elizabeth “Betsy” married around 1814 (around the time their first child was born) which helps to date the story.

But I take these stories with a hefty dose of skepticism. Do any of the facts match the records? Do any of the facts help to explain the paper records? Well, in this case there’s a little of both.

Part of the story is that on this same trip, brother Tommy Pryor met a beautiful farmer’s daughter and married her shortly thereafter. This is probably an embellishment because there is a marriage record for Thomas Pryor who married Elizabeth Gerringer on December 8, 1820 in Guilford County.

The researcher suspects that these Pryor siblings were related to Denard Pryor (grandfather of famed trombonist Arthur Pryor) and Alson Pryor who were orphans and apprenticed to Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner in Guilford County in 1820. It’s not just a hunch based on the surnames showing up in the same locale — Betsy Pryor Waynick named a son Denard.

Thomas and Denard have a connection. There is a Thomas Pryor and Denard Pryor on the 1840 Census in Clay County, MO. Thomas had died before the 1850 Census and Thomas’ widow was Elizabeth later recorded in Lawrence County, MO.

I decided to play a hunch. What if apprentice-master Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner was not just a master, but a relative? I found an Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner b. 1780 who is ID’d in several family trees as from Guilford County, NC. On the 1850 Census his wife was ID’d as Sinni b. 1789 in NC:

1850 Census – Michigan Twp., Clinton County, Indiana
House 15/15 Samuel Waggoner 27 NC, Malinda 22 IA, David J 5 IA, Andrew V 2 IA, Mary A 4/12 IA.
House 17/17 Andrew Waggoner 70 farmer NC, Sinni 61 NC, Samuel 3 IA, John Burket 11 IA

andrew-waggoner-denard-pryorSinnie in these Family Trees is recorded as Cynthiann Thomas. Does that crush the idea that she may be Sinnie Pryor? Not yet because the family trees are unsourced.  Looks like more homework is needed to figure out if she’s a Pryor or a Thomas, or if she was a Pryor who had married a Thomas. Any Waggonmans out there who want to offer a source for Sinnie’s surname?

Find A Grave has memorials for both Andrew and Sinnie. Sinnie’s doesn’t contain a photo and the birth year is 10 years earlier than the age reported on the 1850 Census, so approach with caution:

S. Waggonman:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=26012639&ref=acom

The story of the Pryor siblings gave an account that George Waynick and family had stayed in Indiana to grow one crop before moving into TN, so perhaps the Waynicks and Waggonmans both went to IN from NC.

If indeed Sinnie, Tommy, and Betsy are related to Denard and Alson, then we may also know the identity of Tommy.  Denard only shows up on one census records and it’s on the same page in Clay County, MO with Thomas Pryor b. 1791-1800. Thomas’ wife was recorded as Elizabeth and their first known child was David Josiah b. 1825 in NC –  could Thomas be the same man who married Betsy Geringer on 8 Dec 1820 in Guilford County with bondsman Samuel Pryor?

There’s a Guilford County marriage on http://ncgenweb.us/nc/guilford/marriages-g/:
Andrew Gerinor [Gerringer] + Elisabeth Wyrick ~ 16 Feb 1803 bond ~ Andrew Waggonman [Waggoner]

This marriage brings together the Gerringer, Wyrick, and Waggonman surnames. That certainly helps to tie together the story, the surnames and the Pryors.