Debunking a Daughter of Explorer Nathaniel Pryor

Recently I found the book “Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. 48” by James Shannon Buchannan, et. al., published 1936 in Google Books.  It tries to make a connection between an Osage woman named Mary Jane Pryor and the Lewis and Clark explorer, Nathaniel Pryor.

“The Osage Rolls contain clues for tracing the decendants of Pryor and Osinga… alottee No. 251 He-he-kin-to-op-pe, Jan. 1, 1894 Full (Mary Jane Pryor); 450 (Mary Pryor) Jan 1, (dead).”  The book further states that this is probably the Mary Jane Pryor who married Charles Alderman on 17 March 1849 in Franklin Co., MO.

The Internet is such a wonderful place for genealogists and family history researchers.  With digitized records it’s now easy to search and compare informaton in books.  I found Charles Alderman on the 1860 Census in Jackson Co., MO. He appears to be the same man who married Mary Jane Pryor in 1849.  The pieces add up that Mary Jane was the daughter of Lindsey Pryor and Jane Renfro, not Nathaniel Pryor.

  • Lindsey W. Pryor was living in Franklin Co. in 1840. He was married to Jane Renfro.
  • There was a young girl in the household on the 1840 Census.
  • Lindsey’s son John S. Pryor was living in Jackson Co., MO in 1860 in the same town as Charles Alderman.
  • The oldest child in the Alderman household, William, was born in about 1853, after the 1849 marriage.
  • Living with the Aldermans  —  Jane Pryor who is the right name and age to be Lindsey’s widow Jane Renfro.

Mary Jane is not on the 1860 Census. It appears she was deceased. Therefore she wasn’t the daughter of Nathaniel Pryor,  nor was she the Mary Jane on the 1894 Osage Rolls.