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Found – Descendant of Pryor-Fenner

Yesterday I posted information on Olivia M. Pryor and husband Dr. Christopher Smith Fenner. Today I have more information on this Pryor line.

The book referenced yesterday stated that Dr. Fenner d. 1879 in Louiville, KY. I located his death record on It turned out that it was transcribed and indexed as “Dr. Martha Fenner”.  The record clearly states it is Dr. C. S. Fenner.  I have no idea how they came to index the entry as  “Martha” — just an oops.

An Ancestry User Submitted tree connects Olivia Maria Pryor b. 1834 as a daughter of Green Pryor of Marshall Co., MS.  In 1860 a child named Olivia Fenner b. 1856 is living in the house of James Henry Alexander and Martha Elizabeth Pryor (another daughter of Green Pryor and his wife Olivia).  I’m unable to find either Olivia b. 1834 or her husband Dr. Fenner on the 1860 or 1870 Census.

The book that referenced Dr. Fenner stated he moved to Louisville in 1872, so it is consistent with that account to find Olivia P. Fennerb. Jan. 1857 in TN living in Louisville, KY on the 1880 and 1900 Census. Dr. Fenner’s death record states he was living at 410 6th St. in Louisville at the time of his death, and that is the address at which Olivia is recorded on the 1880 Census!  In 1900 Edward A. Lyon b. 1867 was living in the same household as Olivia, and in 1910 she was counted in his household in Union Co., NJ. The 1910 Census is quite interesting because the relationship between Olivia and Edward A. Lyon was recorded as cousins.

Well, by now you probably know I  ask a lot of questions and follow every lead!

I suspect that Edward A. Lyon, if truly a cousin, is related to Olivia P. Fenner through her mother’s Pryor, Polk or Alexander lines as Dr. Fenner was born in Rhode Island.  In 1900 Lyon stated on the census that he was born in IN and his parents in KY. Then in 1910 both he and his parents born in KY. His place of birth also changes between KY and IN on the 1920 and 1930 Census records.  There are few Edward Lyons in the census records of KY and IN. The only possibility I found was Edward Lyon who was on the 1880 Census in  Vandenburgh Co., IN– son of Matthew Lyon born in KY and Sarah born in TN.

That’s where the trail grows cold. No answer yet of how the lines connect.

Olivia M. Pryor b. 1836

I was doing a Google search through their book section and stumbled upon a Pryor connection. The Physicians and Surgeons of the United States by William Biddle Atkinson, page 70 states Christopher Smith Fenner married Olivia M. Pryor who was born in Marshall County, MS. This appears to be the Olivia M. Pryor who was at the Nashville Female Academy, a boarding school in Nashville, TN on the 1850 Census. The article indicates that Dr. Fenner was a famous ophthalmic surgeon and author (Vision: Its Optical Defects And The Adaptation Of Spectacles ). He was born in Smithfield, RI in 1823. In 1854 he arrived in Memphis  and married on 11-9-1853 (so did he marry in Nashville and move to Memphis?).  In 1872 he moved to Louisville, KY to further his medical studies. On I found a passport application from 1867 for a Christopher S. Fenner, but no information to further the search. He died in 1879.

 I can’t find either Olivia or Dr. Fenner on the 1860 or the 1870 Census. Has anyone had better luck finding information on this couple? Is she the daughter of Green Pryor and Olivia Mareberry Polk of Marshall Co., MS?

Forgotten TN Pryor in Pennsylvania

Popular history covers the frequent migrations of pioneers over the Appalachian trail from Virginia and the Carolinas. But what about the people who were born in the frontier and returned to the East?

James R. Pryor, the lone Tennessee Pryor on the census records of Blair Co., PA has been identified by his descendant. In 2005 I was contacted by a Pryor researcher who offered terrific information that connects him to the Pryors of McNairy County, TN. James R. is now identified as JAMES RICHARD Pryor. His grave marker states his name as J. Richard, although the 1870 and 1880 Census records in PA state his name as James R. His descendant has discovered through an old letter and family information that James Richard came from McNairy County. He was captured during the Civil War while serving in the Confederate Army and when released, stayed in the North. There is a Richard Pryor of the correct age on the 1850 census in McNairy County, living in the home of Andy Smallwood.