Floyd Jackson Pryor to Nathaniel West Pryor and Backward

diggingforrootsI was recently contacted by a Pryor who wanted to know more about their family tree. They found the Find A Grave memorial for Floyd Jackson Pryor b. 1938 Sumner Co., KS, d. 2011 Wichita, Sedgwick  Co., KS (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=75755548).  I took a stab at trying to see how far I could go back with her family tree with just the Internet sources available.

The first clue came out of the Find A Grave memorial; it mentions that Floyd had a brother named Melvin and one named Lloyd and that their father was Nathaniel Pryor. There’s a family with 3 sons by that name on the 1940 Census in Sumner Co., KS.  The father was Nathaniel J Pryor born about 1902.   I didn’t have to go too far online because I found that Nathaniel Pryor also has a memorial on Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=58331038). Now if this is your line, make note that there’s a Masonic symbol on Nathaniel’s grave maker– you may find newspaper clippings of Mason events that he participated in. The marker also gives his name as “Nathaniel J. Jack Pryor.”

Both the 1940 and 1930 Census state that Nathaniel J. Pryor was born in AR, but I didn’t have any luck finding him by that name on earlier census records. I went back to his memorial on Find A Grave and clicked on the left link to “Find all Pryors in Caldwell City Cemetery.” There’s a few but I thought Winifred Leighton Pryor was of interest because he was close to Nathaniel’s age. I found Winifred on the 1940 census. He was in the military and stated he was living in Perry Co., AR in 1935. Winifred led me to look in Perry County.

1940 Census
Caldwell, Sumner Co., KS
Nathaniel J Pryor 37 AR, Mabel E 30, Charles 11, Dorothy 10, Lloyd D 8, Helen L 7, Rosetta A 5, Katharine M 3, Floyd J 1, Melvin 9/12

1930 Census
Bluff, Sumner Co., KS
Benjamin Builta 45 KS, Rosa E 45, Roy A 22, Mabel Pryor 20, Nathaniel J. 27 AR, Charles L 1, Dorothy 0

When I found the 1910 Census for Perry Co., AR I found a “Jack” Pryor who is the right age to be Nathaniel J, or as his grave marker says, “Jack.” The head of household was John H. Pryor born 1873 in AR. There’s a 1897 marriage for John H. Pryor to Alice Ramey in Conway Co., AR.

1910 Census
Casa, Perry Co., AR
John H Pryor 37 AR, Alice 34, Bertha 10, Jack 7, Mary 4, Theodore 1

1910 Census
Higgins, Conway Co., AR
Marley L Gibson 40, Sallie 35, James B 15, Mantie L 13, Lela11, Lanick  7, Okla A 3, John H Pryor 78 AL father-in-law

In 1910 a daughter Bertha was living in the household of John H. Pryor. She was also in his household of “J. H. Pryor Jr.” on the 1900 Census in Conway County, AR.  John H.’s birth date was recorded as September 1875 rather than 1873 in 1900. Also in the same county was J. H. Pryor born 1837 in AL, living with his daughter Narcissa 26.

John H. Jr. was in household of “J. H. Prior” on the 1880 Census in Conway Co., AR. Another child in the household was Nathen Prior (sic), perhaps the namesake of John H. Pryor’s son Nathaniel Jack.

1880 Census
Conway Co., AR
J H Pryor 46 AL GA AL, N Jane 38 GA SC SC, W Ann 11, M S 10, John H 7, Sallie 6, Nathen 2, Lee Collins Pryor 4mos., Mary Jennings 16 step-daughter

In 1870 John Pryor Sr. and his family can be found in Perry Co., AR.

It was a pretty easy jump to find John H. Pryor as a 14 year old on the 1850 Census. He was living in his father’s household in Lafayette Co., MS. His father was John Pryor b. 1804 in NC (the “C” is exaggerated and looks like a “J” however it matches the “C” in SC on the same page). Also in the same household is a Nathaniel W Pryor b. 1832– this is Nathaniel West Pryor who settled in Iron Co., UT.

I found in my notes, a brother of Nathaniel West Pryor was William Montifort Pryor. The name Montifort may be a family name to be explored: see my post that includes Montiforts (March 2014 post).

Other researchers have uncovered that John Pryor b. 1804 was married to Malinda Gurles and they had lived in Jefferson Co., AL before migrating to Mississippi. I’ve seen that researchers also state John was a son of John Henry Pryor and Elizabeth Stokes of Casewell County, NC. The relationships get a little cloudy that far back, however the common thought is that this John Henry Pryor is son of John Henry Pryor who named him in his 1772 will filed in Orange Co., NC.

The online  resources are great to give you a course to research, but just because someone is found in a county with another Pryor on a census record, you can’t rely that they’re related. Nothing beats good old fashioned paper research: order death records, get copies of marriage records, glean information from military pension files, get your hands on the old deeds, and court cases.

And most import… please share with us what you find!!! There are other researchers from this line who are interested in their Pryor ancestry.