Category Archives: About TN Lines

1893 Pryor Death in Memphis, TN

In 1893, before death certificates in Tennessee, the suicide or murder of a “Pryor” about age 35 was recorded in the Shelby County death register. Date of death was March 23, 1893. No first name was recorded.  No place of birth. Cause of death was “Throat Cut”. He was buried in Potter’s Field. His last known residence was “Foot of South Br (Bridge).”

I found that the death of Mr. Pryor made it into The Tennesseean on March 25, 1893

pryor-memphis-murder

I did a search for Anderson Pryor on Ancestry.com and found that he may be the man listed in a Memphis city directory in 1893: Pryor Anderson c, driver, res rear 10 Exchange.” I think the small italic “c” denotes racially he was identified as “colored.”

I’m not coming up with a likely identification for this person. Perhaps it will help someone complete a blank in their family tree.

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Criminal Cases: John/Jonathan Pryor of Sumner County

sheriff-badgeMurder Conviction, 1860

In 1860 JOHN PRYOR was counted on the Davidson Co., TN Census. He was 30 year old, born in TN, and in the State Penitentiary in Nashville. The book “Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary by Chuck Sherrill states “Jonathan Pryor was received on March 12, 1860. Convicted of “malicious stabbing” in Sumner Co. and sentenced to 3 years. Age 30. Occupation none. Birthplace Tennessee. Discharged January 2, 1863. Released under the Act of 1863.

In prison ledger 86, number 2128. Additional information for prison ledger 87: Born and raised in Overton Co. Father dead. Mother and one sister, wife and three children live in Sumner Co. One sister and three brothers in Overton County.

Additional records obtained on this John Pryor has caused me to look again and the possibilities of who were his kin.

John’s wife and children are the easiest kin to explain. The divorce record for this John Pryor reveals that his wife was Eliza Beasley and that she filed for divorce in 1860 (Sumner County) because he was incarcerated.. Eliza was counted on the 1860 Census in Sumner Co. The divorce record states that Eliza and John only had one child. Two more children appear to be from John’s first marriage to Ellen Lee: William E. Pryor and Mary Pryor. These children were living with the Mays family in 1860.

An additional suit that names this John Pryor confirms he was AKA Jonathan Pryor, confirm the identity of his first wife, and it confirms his children (see post Sumner County: Jonathan Pryor Who Was in Nashville Penitentiary)

A far as other kin, first let me explain who I think aren’t his parents. I don’t think this is John Pryor, son of James and Nancy Pryor of Overton County.  This other John Pryor was the father of Mary Ellen Pryor born September 1862 to Candis Malone–since this was well into John Pryor’s prison term it probably rules him out.  The children of James and Nancy had no known connections to Sumner County, which also helps to rule them out.

Why don’t I think this John Pryor was a son of John and Massey Pryor? A Jonathan Pryor age 25 was living with Massey Pryor on the 1850 Census at the same time that this John/Jonathan was counted as a head of household with wife Ellen Lee. There’s always the possibility that John/Jonathan was counted twice, however I have to think the census is correct unless there is evidence otherwise.

One scenario, and it’s the one I’ve thought to be correct for some time,  John Pryor is a son of Spicy and William Pryor of Overton Co., TN. This kinship can be explained by census records and the relationships stated in the prison record. First if William was his father, he was deceased by 1860 (he was not counted on the 1850 Census). His mother, Spicy, was counted in 1850 in Overton Co. with a Phereba Pryor in the household. Phereba may be the sister referred to in the prison record as she is counted in 1860 living close to Massy Taylor Pryor in Sumner Co. The sister and three brothers living in Overton Co. were probably Mary Pryor, wife of Loderick Garrett; Edward Pryor, Overton Pryor, and Chesley Pryor.

But wait a minute…

I’m keeping an open mind because as we discovered in 2014 (PRYOR DNA RESULTS: Part 2 William Pryor and Spicy Taylor of Overton County, TN), Chesley Pryor is likely not a genetic child of William and Spicy Pryor. Would John have counted him as a brother? I think because Chesley was integrated into the family as a brother, whether he was adopted or the product of an affair, John would have counted him as a brother.

 

Cleaning Up John Hughes Pryor’s Children

I was recently asked about John Hughes Pryor‘s children. I’ve written about them before but thought the question was good and worth revisiting this Pryor line. A post I wrote a couple years ago Documentation for John Hughes Pryor’s Family Tree only documented some of his children. So I’m posting a transcript of the Chancery complaint Continue reading

Taylor Family (Pryor Kin) in Sumner County and Overton County, TN

french-art2My ancestor John Pryor of Campbell County, VA and Sumner County, TN married Massey Taylor, a daughter of Edmund Taylor and Elizabeth Garrett. Edmund’s other daughter Spicy Taylor married  and settled in Overton County. I feel compelled to write a bit about the Taylor Family in Sumner County, TN.  Some of the twists and turns may be of interest even if you’re not related to this line.

For years I had argued with Taylor researchers that Pleasant Taylor was a son of Edmund and Elizabeth Garrett. Their relationship was stated in Edmund’s Campbell County will and in a later Sumner County lawsuit that named his son Pleasant. The dispute was that some researchers of Thomas Taylor and his wife Mildred Markham were convinced that Pleasant was Thomas’ son.  This belief originated with a transcript of Thomas Taylor’s 1836 will in Sumner County, TN.  His son’s name was erroneously transcribed as Pleasant.

thomas-taylor-will-1

But when you look at the actual will, Thomas’ son is recorded as Jarratt Taylor. The whole will is on http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~providence/will_taylorthomas.htm

Thomas Taylor Sumner County TN will

Now Jarratt Taylor is very interesting indeed. Thomas Taylor’s Revolutionary War pension application helps to support that Jarratt or even Garrett may be a family name (see application http://revwarapps.org/w873.pdf). The family record attached to the pension names his son as Garard Taylor. There’s even an affidavit from Jarratt E Taylor of Monroe County, KY who states he was Thomas’ brother and that he recalled Thomas and Mildred’s marriage in Cumberland County, VA in 1785 (after the War).  Both Thomas and Jarratt had beautiful clear signatures… no X’s.

Now this is where the whole Pryor and Taylor search takes on a wild hook. There are several family trees on Ancestry.com that link Thomas Taylor as the son of Samuel Taylor and Sophia Childress (a daughter of Abraham Childress). Remember Samuel Taylor? He was appointed guardian of John Pryor after the death of his father David Pryor in 1747. Abraham Childress was the guardian of David Pryor, the son of the deceased older David Pryor. Hmmmm, I’m approaching the link of Thomas Taylor to Samuel Taylor with a dose of skepticism because none of the trees include his brother Jarrett/Gerard/Garrett Taylor.

Are Thomas and Jarrett Taylor related to Edmund Taylor the father in law of John Pryor and William Pryor? I’m looking at records because not only do I suspect John Pryor who was in Bedford and Campbell Counties in VA was from Cumberland County, VA — I also suspect the Taylors had ties to these same counties. Here’s some additional records that make for interesting reading.

  • Thomas Taylor’s son Jarrett Taylor married Delilah Anglea in Sumner Co., TN.  In Cumberland County, VA there’s a 1795 Chancery Court case titled Creed Taylor vs. William Anglea.
  • Thomas Taylor’s will was witnessed by Wrenny Crews (his name was also recorded incorrectly on the transcript). Wrenny Crews signed a 1791 petition in Campbell County, VA  with John Deckey, Edward Deckey, Wrenny Crews, Martin Rector, Thomas Oglesby, Murrell Cunningham (Murell Cunningham also went to Sumner County). Edward Dickey was the father of Sally Dickey Giles who married Hezekiah Taylor, son of Edmund Taylor.
  • Thomas Taylor’s daughter Betsy married James Flowers (The Flowers family was connected to the Pryors in Overton County and were also in Campbell County, VA  see post)

Orange County NC Record Mentions Luke Pryor of Williamson County TN

Looking at NC Pryors I hope to find answers for us questioning our Tennessee Pryor families. Luke Pryor is one of the folks in Williamson County, TN I looked at through probate records a while ago (see post). His wife was Nelly/Eleanor. I looked recently at the will of William Rogers, her father. It adds another piece of documentation to support she was a Rogers.

luke-pryor-orange-county-nc

31st August 1819, Estate divided among heirs by commissioners in Orange Co., NC. William and John Rogers signed the estate sale as administrators.
Wife, Elinor Rogers
William Rogers
John Rogers
Heirs of James Rogers
John Sharp and Luke Prior
—? Holmes, husband of Janet Rogers
John Sharp, husband of Polly Rogers
Luke Pryor, husband of Nelly Rogers
Robert Hunter, husband of Peggy Rogers

Luke Pryor was named on 1805 and 1810 Tax lists in Williamson County, TN. It looks like he may have been living outside of NC at the time of the settlement of his father-in-law’s estate.

My last post may be of significance for anyone searching this line.  The Pryors in Guilford County, NC were connected to the Waggamon/Waggoner family.  When Luke Pryor married Nelly Rogers in Orange County, Peter Waggoner was bondsman (see post).