Follow Up To Identifying L M Pryor from Tennessee

I heard from Pryor researcher Nova Lemmons, sharing that there’s a grave site for the Dr. Daniel McPhail mentioned in a 2014 post (read post).  It’s kind of reassuring that well over a hundred and fifty years ago Dr. McPhail’s remains made it back from Mexico for burial in Tennessee. The tombstone states he was born in Scotland.

Nova asked if I had found out anything new about the L M Pryor who’s  name was on Dr. McPhail’s box. When I wrote the post in 2014 I suggested that perhaps Dr. McPhail was friend or family of the Pryors and McPhails in Williamson County, TN. I’m thinking that’s the case. An even earlier post from 2009 also connects Dr. Daniel McPhail to the Pryors in Williamson County, TN through the marriages of Sarah Pryor.(read post). Like Dr. McPhail, Sarah’s husband Angus McPhail was from Scotland.

The Find A Grave memorials are linked incorrectly.

  • The grave for Dr Daniel McPhail is correct, however he’s connected to the wrong mother.  Mary A Carter can not be his mother because she was born over 30 years after Dr. McPhail was born. Nova pointed out that there’s large probate file for Dr Daniel McPhail from 1846 in Williamson County, TN. His widow is recorded as Sarah C McPhail, so Mary A. isn’t the doctor’s mother nor is she his widow.
  • Dr. Daniel McPhail died in 1846 (The inventory of his estate is dated November 1846). The notice in the newspaper (above) states he died in Mexico. The Mexican War began in April 1846, so if his grave marker is correct he died within the first couple months of the war. Nova did some digging and found that McPhail was a surgeon for 1st TN Infantry in Cos. F and S.  He died at Matamoros on 13 Jul 1846 (one says 10 Jul 1846). The Nashville Tennesseean reported on 8 Jun 1846 that Dr. McPhail of Franklin had been appointed as surgeon in Colonel Campbell’s company.

 

Mary A Carter was married to a younger Daniel McPhail, rather than Dr. Daniel McPhail.

  • In 1860 Angus McPhail (widow of Sarah Pryor) was counted on the the US Census in Washington County, TX. Daniel McPhail born 1824-1825 was the head of household.
  • On the 1860 Census Daniel’s probably wife was recorded as Mary.
  • This younger Daniel McPhail returned to Williamson County, TN and was counted in that county in 1870 and 1880. His father’s place of birth was stated as “Scotland” on the 1880 Census, so either Angus or Dr. Daniel could have been his father.
  • Although Daniel born 1824-1825 is on the 1870 census in Williamson County, he wife wasn’t counted in the household. The grave marker for Mary McPhail in Franklin City Cemetery states she died in 1869 which certainly would explain her absence from the census. Her marker states she was the wife of Daniel McPhail – I think her Find A Grave memorial is linked to the wrong Daniel McPhail.

 

So who is the L M Pryor who appeared on Dr. McPhail’s box? I think he may be one of the Williamson County Pryors – Sarah Pryor married a Carter as did the younger Daniel McPhail, Sarah married Angus McPhail, and Angus was living with the younger Daniel. Luke Pryor of Williamson County is probably Sarah Pryor McPhail’s brother. His probate file is dated 1848, so perhaps he became ill or died or both before he could arrange return of Dr. McPhail to Tennessee. Other than Luke, I don’t have any other suggestions.