Category Archives: Research Help

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.

Was a Pryor at Mountain Meadows Massacre?

I was recently contacted by a researcher who is looking for information on any Pryor family members who may have been on the ill-fated wagon train that was attacked in 1857.

In 1857 a group of settlers from Carroll, Benton and Johnson County, Arkansas were ambushed outside of Cedar City, UT in what would become known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. 17 children lived and were returned to their families in Arkansas.

I’ve searched several of the websites who mention the names of the survivors and victims, but have not been able to find any Pryors. There were several Pryor families in Arkansas at that time, but no one seems to be missing from the census records. I’ve looked at the family of Lindsey W. Pryor who was reported to have died en route to the California Gold Rush. I suspect that he died before 1850 (his widow may be the Jane McMillan with son John S. counted on the 1850 Census in Franklin Co., MO).

Is anyone award of a Pryor that may have been involved in this tragic event?

Unique Family Bible Now on Website

Researcher Marc Pryor has contributed copies of inscriptions from the Thomas David Pryor Family Bible. This Pryor family was in Cocke Co., TN in 1850 and in Jefferson Co., TN in 1860 through most of the Civil War.  Thomas was born in about 1816 in Sullivan Co., TN. Marc has also provided photos Thomas Pryor’s sons, a Civil War news clipping, and a letter written by Thomas David Pryor during the Civil War.