Category Archives: Tennessee Pryors

Samuel Pryor of Clarksville (b. 1771-1780)

Looking at the Samuel Pryor d. 1811 has caused me to look again at the Samuel Pryor in Montgomery County, TN to see if I could sift through and make better sense of him.

Samuel’s Wife Ann Frances or Frances Ann

Frances’s grave is located in Cadiz, Trigg County, KY. The grave marker helps to establish her birth was in about 1775 (or at least in the 1700’s).

The Mortal remains of
Mrs. Frances Ann Pryor relict of Samuel Pryor Esq.
Obit A. D. Dec. 23, 1847
Aged 62
Entombed beneath this sacred urn,
She lies whom many children mourn
Not for her loss but theirs.
She’s gone
To praise her saviour
at his throne,
Where scenes of joy
and peach and love
Ever delight the blest above.

Estate Settlement in Hardeman County (1836)

When Samuel died in about 1830-1837, he died intestate. His estate was settled in Hardeman County, TN. The division of property, namely the slaves, provided the names of his heirs: widow Ann F., and Richard H. , Frances A., Bernard H., Attaway E., and Samuel B.

Estate of Samuel Pryor, decd 1836
State of Tennessee
Hardeman County
We the undersigned commissioners (after being duly sworn) by leave to present to your worships the following schedule of settlement made in pursuance of the above order
Mr. E. L. Pryor Dr.
For the hire of Sam for 1834 & 1835 at one hundred Dollars each year $200
Hire of Sally 2 years at $50 — $100
Hire of Hellen 2 years at $50 — $100
Cr for keeping 5 negro children $50… $350.00
And the hire of Mary, Ellen, and Spencer (about 9 years old) to be included in the support of the other file unto with the fifty dollars
To present 2 negores sy Saml & Sally sold at Bolivar 19th December 1835. —- $997
Sold at Jackson a negro boy sold at public auction in the Town of Bolivar on 4th Jany 1836 — $305
Hire of Isaac $50
1 cart steer & a cow $60— $110

No. 2 Estate of Saml Pror decd
To E. L. Pryor Dr.
Sudry Duty
Voucher No. 1 paid to Joel L Jones shff Fayette County $198.89
No. 2 ” ” ” $200.00
Int on do 14 monthly $14.00
No. 3 “” $10
No. 4 “” $179.97
Interest & cost on Do $255.23
No. 5 “” $9.62
Interest 2.38
No. 6 ” ” $2.13
No. 7 $116.50
No. 8 $5.88
No. 9 $96.44
No. 10 $14.97
No. 11 $26.00
No. 12 $25.05
No. 13. $18.75
No. 14 is missing a number in the column.
[total] $1788.42

Page 2
Six Legatees Divided $375 each
Mrs. Ann F Pryor widow takes Hellen $475.00
Richard H. Pryor takes Spencer $400.00
Miss Frances A Pryor ” Mary Ellen 400.00
Bernard H Pryor ‘ ‘ Turner 350.00
Miss Attaway E Pryor ‘ ‘ Louisa $250.00
Samuel B. Pryor ‘ ‘ Beverly & Sydney 375.00
Mrs. A. F. Pryor pay to Attaway E Pryor $100
Miss Frances A Pryor to Attaway E Pryor $25
Richard H Pryor to Attaway E Pryor $25 to make equal
This 31st May 1836
Sworn before me in open court June 6th 1836 by J. W. Haden, Wm. Irious? . [additional witness Jas. R. Houston]
My note: John W. Haden, William Irious? and James R. Houston appear near one another on the 1836 Tax list for Hardeman county.

Guardian Bond in Montgomery County (1837)

A guardian bond was filed in Montgomery County in 1837 naming Ann F. Pryor and three minor children: Bernard, Bolen, and a daughter named Attway.

Know all men by these presents that we Ann F Pryor & F H Badger are held and firmly bound unto Charles Baily Esq Chairman of the county court of Montgomery County his successor or successor, survivor or survivors, his administrators or assign in the sum of Twenty Eight Hundred Dollars in trust for the benefit of Burnard, Allaway & Bolen Pryor Infant heirs of Saml Pryor deceased for the payment of which we bind ourselves as his executors and administrators and assign jointly & severally firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated this 7th day of August 1837. The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas Ann F Pryor has been appointed guardian of the said Bernard Allaway & Bolen Pryor infant heirs as aforesaid. Now if the said Ann F. Pryor shall well and faithfully make — — and settlement make with the county court of Montgomery agreeable to laws during her said Guardianship and at the exparation thereof shall well and faithfully account with the justices of the county court of Montgomery and pay over to them order the pro–ssts of said Burnard, Allaway & Bolen Pryor that may come into her hands by virtue of said guardianship agreeably to law and then this obligation to be – else remain in full and virtue in law.
Acknowledged in open court this 7th day August Term 1837
Ann F. Pryor
Felix H Badger, by his attorney in fact Chas Baily
Harriet Pattison by her attorney in fact G. A Henry

The photo of Frances the widow of Samuel grave marker is magnificent, not just because her details are legible but also because it captures a small tombstone to the right. This smaller grave is Jesse Armistead, son of “R.A. and Atway E. Armistead.” Attway Pryor married Richard Armistead, a physician, on 27 Nov 1842 in Trigg County. There’s another child named Atway Armistead buried in the same cemetery, perhaps another child of Richard and Attway Pryor Armistead. This helps to confirm we have the right Samuel and Frances both in Montgomery County and Trigg County.

I think the children attributable to Samuel and Frances are:

  • Edward L. Pryor (b. 1805) in VA. He married Martha A. Ryburn. He was in Hardeman County, TN in 1840 and in Hempstead County, AR in 1850. He was security for the estate of Richard Pryor (b. 1798 in VA) in Hempstead County in 1864. See Ryburn v. Pryor that states Samuel Pryor was Edward’s father.
  • Harriet Pryor (b. 1801-1810) A Harriet Pryor married Joseph Hise in Christian County, KY in 1824. There is a Joseph Hise on the 1830 Census in Montgomery County, TN. I wonder if she’s the Harriet Pattison/Patterson on the guardian bond.
  • Richard H. Pryor (b. ?) Named in the estate settlement. There was a Richard H. Pryor who died in Vicksburg, MS about July 1836, after Samuel’s estate was settled. Richard died intestate and his business partner Samuel Gordon was appointed the administrator which may indicate he didn’t have any close kin in MS.
  • Mary Amanda Pryor (b. about 1813). A possible daughter. There are family trees online that show her as the wife of Felix H. Badger (a dentist and one of the parties in the guardian bond filed in 1837), however neither she nor her husband were named in the 1836 estate settlement. She is on the 1850 Census in Hickman county, TN.
  • William Pryor (b. abt. 1814). A possible son. On March 31, 1833 William Pryor was found murdered in Nashville with friend Michael Hoover after a night of gambling (reported in the Nashville Banner). He was a Navy midshipman from Clarksville, Montgomery Co., TN (The Military and Naval Magazine of the United States, Vol. 1,  from March to August 1833). He was deceased before Samuel’s estate was settled.
  • Bernard H. Pryor b. 1823. He was counted on the 1850 Census in Trigg Co., KY with a Frances A. Pryor who was a year younger. If this was a sister then it should be questioned why she wasn’t named on the guardian bond. Although there was a Miss Frances A Pryor noted as an heir of Samuel Pryor on the estate settlement. He married Laura Jane Cole and settled in McCracken County, KY.
  • Attway E. Pryor b. 1826 married Richard Armistead, a physician. They were in Trigg County in 1850 and by 1880 they were living in Vanderburgh County, IN.
  • Frances A Pryor may have been born about 1827 if she is the woman counted in Bernard’s household in 1850.
  • Samuel Bolen Pryor b. 1833. There are slim records for this Samuel. There’s a Samuel B. Pryor age 18 on the 1850 Census in Hickman County, TN. I think he’s the S. B. Pryor who enlisted in the US Army at age 30 in 1863 in Trigg County, KY. He is probably the Samuel B. Pryor in Vanderburgh County, IN who was counted on the 1880 Census and in city directories dating back to 1876. He died in 1884 in McCracken County, KY and in his will he gave his brother Bernard a town lot in Cadiz, Trigg County. I’m a bit concerned that Samuel was not a child born of Frances Ann Pryor because if her grave marker is correct, she was 57 in 1833!
Samuel B. Pryor counted in Hickman County (1850)

The 1830 Census, Montgomery County, TN

How do these children stack up against Samuel’s household on the 1830 census? Edward was probably still at home–the Ryburn lawsuit indicates he didn’t marry until 1836. Harriet (whether a daughter or not) would probably have been in Joseph Hise’ household. So a rough draft of matching possible children to the people counted in the household in 1830:

Males 11111001
1826-1830 Samuel B?
1821-1825 Bermard
1816-1820 William
1811-1815 Richard
1801-1810 Edward
1771-1780 Mr. Samuel

Females 1012001
1826-1830 Attway ?
1816-1820 Miss Frances?
1811-1815 Amanda
1781-1790 Mrs. Frances

If the 1830 Census is correct, Mrs. Frances Ann was younger than the age recorded on her tombstone and of an age to be the mother of Samuel B. in about 1833.

Attway Pryor Armistead was counted on the 1880 census and it was recorded her father was born in Virginia and her mother was born in Kentucky. If her mother was born in KY it should be considered that perhaps Samuel had a wife before Frances who was the mother of Edward. Edward was counted in 1880, stating both parents were born in Virginia.

Hopkinsville Kentuckian, January 7, 1908

Samuel Pryor Timeline

  • Samuel born 1771-1780 in Virginia
  • Frances Ann (maiden name unknown) born 1781-1790, possibly in KY
  • Edward L. born 1805 in Virginia
  • 1820 Census Samuel Pryor counted in Christian County, KY
  • 1823 Bernard H. Pryor born in Hopkinsville, Christian County, KY
  • 1830 Samuel Pryor counted in Montgomery County, TN
  • 1830 Writ of Attachment – 20 Jan 1830 writ returned to the Montgomery County Court of Please and Quarter Session, “commanding E.L. Pryor to be attached to answer the complaint of Saml. Pryor. (Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Law and Equity of the State of Arkansas, Volumes 13-14, pub. 1889)
  • 1830-1836 Samuel Died before his estate was settled in Hardeman County, TN in 1836
Cadiz – Hopkinsville – Clarksville (Google Maps)

Samuel Is Not…

There are a lot of Samuel Pryors. I found only one marriage of a Samuel Pryor to a Frances/Fannie/Ann (and all the variations of the name): Samuel Pryor who married Frances Ferguson in Prince Edward County (1789). The Samuel who was in Clarksville is not the Samuel who married Miss Ferguson. This other Samuel died before this Samuel (see post).

Category: Tennessee Pryors

Possible KY Kin of Capt. Samuel Pryor of Nashville

Before I leave Capt. Samuel Pryor (d. abt. 1811) to examine him again in the far future, I’d like to tie Samuel to his probable family line.

When I was the admin of the Pryor Y-DNA project we had a male tester who
traced their lineage through Benjamin W. Pryor. The preliminary results of his test kit placed him in Haplogroup I1, the group that includes other testers who trace their lineage to Samuel Pryor (the one associated with the possible Prudence Thornton) of VA and Matthew Pryor of Marion Co., TN. This connection presents the probability that Benjamin W. and Capt. Samuel Pryor who died about 1811 are descendants of the same line of Pryors. If there are any male Pryors out there who think they are descended from Benjamin W. Pryor, I’m sure this group of testers would really appreciate them getting at least a Y37 test to solidify that relationship. 

If Capt. Samuel Pryor and Thornton Pryor were brothers, they were probably the sons of Joseph Pryor of Bourbon County who named sons Samuel and Thornton in his 1812 will. The problem I have with that relationship is that Samuel was deceased BEFORE Joseph signed his will that recorded a son named Samuel.

Samuel Pryor of Nashville, TN (died about 1811)

I’m looking at Samuel Pryor of Nashville again to hopefully separate the lives of a couple of Samuel Pryors (see previous post samuel-pryor-president-andrew-jackson-and-a-horse-named-tuxton). The following pieces of data are attributable to one Samuel Pryor Andrew Jackson’s horse trainer:

  • 1800 Tax List in Woodford County, KY (connection to Woodford county hinted in 1809 ad in Nashville). He was probably over 21 years old at that time.
  • 1806 Letters held at Nashville Post Office for Samuel and Thornton (politician Henry Clay from Kentucky thought they were siblings)
  • 1806 Training Andrew Jackson’s horse Truxton. Samuel Pryor was referred to as “Captain” Pryor in racing articles–possibly a respectful title; if he had served in the military during the Revolutionary War he may have been in his 50’s or 60’s at the time he was training horses in Nashville.
  • 1807 possibly the Andrew who started a dry goods store in Nashville
  • Name of store “Samuel Pryor and son” in Nashville hints that he had children.
  • 1808 TN Supreme court case Samuel PRYOR vs. Jackson-Hutchins. Contract dispute. Case names Andrew Jackson (Yes, same Samuel because his estate lists one of the purchases resolving a debt from this case)
  • 1809 Ad for Wiatt (spelled Wyatt in other documents), a runaway slave in Nashville. Said slave was brought from Woodford County, KY. Wyatt is listed in the inventory of Samuel’s estate in 1811.
  • Died in late 1810 or early 1811 – He left an estate in Nashville and a Susannah Pryor was appointed the administrator.

The 1800 will of Luke Pryor in Woodford county names his brothers Edward and Joseph Pryor, uncle Luke Pryor and aunt Susanna. Samuel was alive 10 years after Luke’s will and not mentioned–does that mean they weren’t all related?

The administrator of Samuel’s estate was Susannah Pryor. In February 1811 she placed a notice of the estate sale in The Democratic Clarion and Tennessee Gazette, hinting that Samuel had died in late 1810 or early 1811. Who was Susannah?

  • She’s probably not the Susannah Pryor who married Jasper Sutton in Nashville in May 1808 because her married name of Sutton would likely have been used on the estate in 1811.
  • Was she “aunt” Susannah, probably the wife of Luke Pryor?– she died in 1817 in Jessamine county, KY.
  • Another possible candidate is Susannah Ballow Pryor, widow of David Pryor of Buckingham County, VA– she died in Nashville in 1832 and her son Nicholas B. Pryor was in Nashville as early as 1811 and just guessing–she came with him at that time. This Susannah was probably 60 years old or older in 1811–would she have been capable of handling the disposal of the estate? Her son Nicholas was active in Nashville business and would have been a more likely person to handle an estate.
  • Was she Samuel’s wife (and possibly the mother of Susannah who married Jasper Sutton?). The previous post resolved that Samuel was married in 1807. He may have been still married at the time of his death.
  • Or was she Samuel’s wife and the administrator of his estate in February 1811 and married to Jasper Sutton on May 6, 1811.

A notice of Samuel’s estate administration was filed in court on 17 May 1811. Men who purchased from the estate sale were Willie Barrow, Nicholas Raymond, Wm T Lewis, Joseph Coleman, John Bernard, Benj. W. Pryor, Peter J Voorhies Thomas G Bradford, John S Williamson, Moses Eakins, James McBride, Hinson Hardy, Robert Wood, Danl McBean, E. Bennet, Metcalf, John Moore, John C. Hall, B. P. Pryor, Jasper Sutton, George Poyzer (see TN Probate Records,, Image 731-732/1007, page 112-113.

  • Willie Barrow (his will probated July term 1825). Barrow not only purchased from the estate, he later offered a property for rent in 1812 stating “it is the place where the Nashville turf formerly was kept by Samuel Pryor, deceased.”
  • John Bernard married Laura L Pryor (born about 1792 in VA) in Davidson county in 1808. They are on the 1850 census in Tipton County, TN, ages 68 and 58 respectfully. Laura’s first son was named Samuel Pryor Bernard and another son was named Benjamin.
  • Benjamin W. Pryor (born about 1788 in VA). He had a letter at the Nashville Post Office in 1807. Benjamin’s son , William Oscar Pryor, married Laura Pryor Bernard’s grand-daughter, Laura Elizabeth Bernard in 1850 Tipton Co., TN.
  • B. P . Pryor may be an error (actually B.W.?) or an unidentified Pryor
  • Jasper Sutton married Susannah Pryor in Davidson County in 1808. Jasper offered a horse for sale in a Nashville newspaper in 1813 and was counted in Maury County in 1820 (Jasper born 1790-1800 and if the older woman in the household was Susannah then she was born 1780-1790). In 1850 Jasper was counted in Hickman county living with Laura Humphreys born about 1830– a possible daughter.

This estate helps to scoop us some of the stray Pryors I have in my notes and at least move them into a potential family line.

The estate sale not only names possible relatives of Samuel Pryor, but it also ties up some of the another documented event in Samuel’s life: the runaway slave Wyatt (aka Wiatt) was found and sold in the estate to resolve the judgment of the TN supreme court case that named future US President Andrew Jackson.

And sold to George Bell the following negroes to wit Wyatt, Charlotte, Sally, Sucky, George, Patsey, and Parralee for the sum of $2727.50 appropriated to the payment of a judgement in favour of Jackson and Hutchings for $2597.50 and a judgment in favor of Lassley $130.

Notices appearing in the Nashville press offer insights into where Samuel worked and how he lived.

  • The location was described in a 1812 ad as 8 miles above Nashville and “the place where the Nashville turf formerly was kept by Samuel Pryor, deceased.”
  • His estate consisted of stock of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs, all the household and kitchen furniture and utensils of different kinds (from estate sale announcement in 1811)

Was Samuel a sibling of the Pryors who purchased from his estate? Or was he their father?

So Samuel wasn’t named in Luke Pryor’s will, it’s troubling that a Samuel Pryor was named in Joseph Pryor of Bourbon County, KY will. Because Samuel was deceased years before Joseph. However, statesman Henry Clay provided the clue that Samuel and Thornton Pryor were brothers (see post Pryor Brothers: Thornton and Samuel). Something to explore.

I’m left with eraser in hand. I had previously connected Samuel of Montgomery County, TN to Thornton Pryor and Andrew Jackson and Nashville. Since that Samuel Pryor lived into the 1830’s I’ve erased the connecting dots and moved this second Samuel onto a branch of his own.

Category: Tennessee Pryors

Samuel Pryor, President Andrew Jackson, and a Horse Named Truxton

Samuel Pryor Race Horse Trainer

It’s been about 7 years since I wrote about Samuel Pryor and his brother Thornton Pryor and a race horse named Truxton (see I’ve turned over some new information on this Samuel Pryor and hopefully it clarifies yet another Pryor who was in Tennessee.

Samuel Pryor appears in several contemporary newspapers in association with future President Andrew Jackson. Whether it was truly a military title or a title of respect, he is referred to as Capt. Pryor in some articles. Pryor was the trainer of Jackson’s race horse named Truxton.

(The Impartial Review and Cumberland Repository, Nashville, April 11, 1807)

A letter from Pryor to Jackson in early 1807 reveals some genealogy clues: Samuel Pryor offered greetings from his wife to Jackson’s wife. Samuel was married and she was alive in 1807. Pryor wrote at the top of the letter that he was in Woodford County, KY which would correspond with a Samuel Pryor recorded on that county’s tax list in 1800. The letter also offers a possible example of Pryor’s signature.

Woodford County Kentucky March the 5th 1807
Dr Sir
As I find it will be out of my power to be in Tennessee in time to prepare the horses for the spring races owing to my illness as I am now not able to [rouse?] my self in my bed without assistance nor have I been —-ly able since I was taken which was the first day of February as the manner in which I was taken with a violent puking and dysentery which weakened me so fast, took me of my feet immediately though I think I am now mending a little and am in hopes will be able to be down to the races but shall not be able to give you any assistance must request it as a favor of you to make provision for the people at the Jockey club races and prepare the nags and any part of the profits that you think equitable you shall have as your know General that if the place was not provided with proper accommodations it would loose its credit and would injure me very much must therefore request you to manage it just as your own and take what part you think right for trouble, I wish you to run the filly when and where you please and do with her just as your own believe me my General that as soon as I can get up and be at business I shall — my self to make you restitution and shall not think hard to make any sacrifice to comply with my contract with you. Present my most worshipful compliments to your Lady. Mrs. Pryor presents hers to your Lady. I am with respect. Your —
Saml Pryor
[The envelope states it was posted from Frankfort KY on March 13 to General Andrew Jackson in Tennessee near Nashville.]
Letter is from the Library of Congress website

Saml. Pryor (Samuel Pryor)

“In 1805 a friend of Jackson’s deprecated the manner in which Captain Joseph Erwin had handled a bet with Jackson over a horse race. Erwin’s horse, Ploughboy was scheduled to race Jackson’s horse, Truxton… Erwin’s son-in-law, Charles Dickinson became enraged and started quarreling with Jackson’s friend which led to Jackson becoming involved”…a duel ensued on May 30, 1806. Jackson was hit in the chest and Dickinson was killed. (see

I had searched the National Archives website hoping to find another letter that was referred to in the press twenty years later (1827). I didn’t find the letter which would have been dated around 1806 (the time of the duel), so perhaps no letter existed and the 1827 article was meant damage the character of Jackson before his run for the presidency (he became president in 1829). Or perhaps the letter disappeared with Pryor’s effects since the letter was sent to him.

“Soon after the duel, Jackson wrote a letter to Sam. Pryor, a noted gamester, and a crony of the General, then residing in this state, giving him an account of it. In the letter the HERO expressed himself to this effect–‘I reserved my fire, and when I did shoot him, you may be assured I left the damned rascal weltering in his blood.” It is many years since our informant heard the letter read. But the expressions, he says, and we can believe it, made an impression upon his mind which time cannot obliterate while memory endures.”
National Standard, from Middlebury, VT, dated July 10, 1827… from the Richmond Whig (VA) on June 22, 1827

I have a few more bit of information on this Samuel Pryor for the next post.

Alice M. Pryor from Overton County, TN

We have a researcher who in interested in the family tree of William H. Pryor and Rutha Dial. They have an old tin-type portrait that is believed to be Alice M., daughter o William H. and Rutha.

Alice was identified as a 10-year-old daughter in William H.’s household on the 1880 Census. This record may be the only record of her made during her lifetime. If she was born in 1870, it was likely after the census as she does not appear on the census in that year.

In 1900 a grandson named Eddy C. Pryor was recorded in William H.’s household. Although this boy carried the Pryor name, it’s believed that his mother was Alice because his death record in 1958 identifies his mother as Alice Pryor.

Does anyone have any information on Alice– when she died, where she is buried, who was the father of her son Eddy?