Burials in Pryor Cemetery, Sumner County TN

I recently looked at the Pryor Cemetery on FindAGrave.com. There are 14 burials or Pryors and Gregorys recorded. They appear to be correctly noted and not phantom graves (people who have no recorded burial but end up in plot on Find A Grave).

My notes from the Sumner County Cemetery Book, state the cemetery is located 2 & 7/10 miles N of Hwy 31E on Rock Bridge Road; then 6/10 mile NW on Pryor Branch Road. Cemetery is on N side of road. Only 6 burials were recorded, perhaps because markers were obscured or no longer existed.

PRYOR, Elizabeth – 19 Dec 1825 – 22 Feb 1865 – Aged 39 yrs 2 mos 6 days
PRYOR, Infant son of A. & E. Pryor – 16 Sep 1857 – 21 Jun 1858
PRYOR, Infant son of A. Pryor – Died 15 Feb 1865
PRYOR, Henry D. – ____ Oct 1858
PRYOR, Eugenia – Age 73 yrs
PRYOR, Edward – Died 19 Jan 1945 – Aged 93 yrs 1 mo 16 days ***

Additional Burials per Other Sources

PRYOR, Thomas Jefferson b. 1845, died May 22, 1912. Son of William Pryor and Margaret Curry. Thomas was the father of Willie Pryor who married Thomas Gregory. Gregory’s first wife was Betty Pryor, a daughter of Allen L. Pryor. It is speculated that William Pryor was Allen’s brother. Obituary of Thomas Pryor states he was buried in the Allen Pryor Cemetery.

GREGORY, Thomas Washington b. 25 Aug 1864 – 25 Sep 1931, son in law of Allen L. Pryor. Johnny Adcock 5 Jan 1895 reported in a first hand account that he helped with the burial of Thomas Gregory in the Pryor cemetery off of Rockbridge Rd.

GREGORY, Vernon Head
b. 16 Dec 1890 – 11 Jun 1909. Son of Thomas Washington Gregory and Betty Pryor. His burial in the family cemetery was reported by his brother Thomas M. Gregory.

PRYOR-GREGORY, Betty b. Jul 1861 – 15 Jan 1909, daughter of Allen L. Pryor. Obituary states she was buried in the family burial plot on the same farm on which she was raised.

*** Death record confirms this was John Edward Pryor, son of Allen L Pryor.

Nat Pryor b. 1826, An African American from VA

The following information about Nat Pryor was previously published as a web page.

African American Pryor Line from Virginia living in Bastrop, Lee, and Fayette Co., TX. The patriarch of this Pryor line was Nat Pryor born about 1826 in Virginia. He and his family are on the 1870 Census in Fayette Co., TX. Nat, his wife, and 7 of his 8 children (two of his daughters were married and living nearby in 1870) were born in Virginia. His eighth child, Susan Pryor, was born in Texas in 1861. Texas was a slave state, so there’s the possibility that this family came to Texas in 1861 with a slave owner. In 1880 there is an African American man named Wyatt Rucker born in VA. He was living with Nat’s son, Thomas Pryor. Could Wyatt Rucker be a clue to the Virginia origins of this Pryor line? There’s a younger Wyatt Rucker in Campbell Co., VA. He was also an African American. There were connections between the white Pryor and Rucker families of Amherst Co., VA: Daughters of Peter Rucker (Mary and Edith) married sons of Col. John Pryor, a son of Nicholas Pryor.

For more information on slavery in Texas, visit the Online Handbook of Texas
tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/SS/yps1.html

1880 Census, Lee Co., TX
Ch. C. B. Moor? white male 29 farmer VA VA VA
Clara A. white female 24 wife AL AL AL
Whyat (Wyatt?) Rucker black male 79 laborer on farm VA VA VA
Tom Prior black male 26 farmer VA VA VA
Seely Ann black female 24 wife TX VA unk.
Josephus black male 4 son TX VA TX
Bedford black male 2 son TX VA TX.

This family was counted twice
Tom Prior 25 black male farmer VA
Celian black female 22 wife keeping house TX
Ceephus black male 3 son TX
Bates black male 2 son TX

1870 Census Fayette Co., TX
West of Caldwell Road, page 503b.
Nat Prior 44 male black field hand VA
Phebe 48 female black house hand VA
Doctor 19 male black field hand VA
Thomas 14 male black at home VA
Shepherd 12 male black field hand VA
Armstead 13 male black field hand VA
Sandy 11 male black field hand VA
Susan 9 female black at school TX

1880 Census Fayette Co., TX
Phibbie Pryor 59 keeping house VA (widow of Nat Pryor)
Shep black male 23 son works on farm VA
Susan black female 18 daughter works on farm TX
Nellie Clark black female 15 gr-dau works on farm TX ?? VA
Lee Clar black male 9 gr-son works on farm TX ?? VA

A marriage for Sallie Pryor to Green Dedrick on 8 Feb 1870 in Fayette Co., TX. Sallie may be a sister to Thomas because Dedrick Green and family were living near the Pryors in 1870 and in 1880 on the census records.

1870 Census Fayette Co., TX
West of Caldwell Road, page 503b.
Green Dedrick 25 male black field hand TN
Sallie (Prior) 21 female black VA
Henry 15 male black TN
Dink 12 female black TN
John 4 male black TX
Lou 1/12 female black TX (born in July)

Another possible relative is Charlotte Prior born 1847 in VA. I found that she married Jim Hudson in Fayette Co., TX in 1870.

1870 Census, Bastrop Co., TX – page 543a
Jim Hodgson (sic) 24 male black farm hand TN
Charlotte 23 female black keeping house GA.

1880 Census, Bastrop Co., TX – page 186b
D. Oliver Hill white male 36 famer TX GA GA
Nannie Hill white female 32 wife TN KY TN
Sue B. white female 12 daughter TX TX TN
Walton Hill white male 10 son TX TX TN
T. Oliver Hill white male 5 son TX TX TN
Charlotte Hudson mulatto female 35 servant VA VA VA
Martha Prior black female 2 daughter TX Unk VA
Nat Prior black mu male 10/12 (born Sept.) TX unk VA
William Seay? white male 28 laborer SC VA GA

In 1910 she was 62 divorced and born in VA, as were her parents.

1920 Bastrop Co., TX
ED14, page 15b
Sealie? Williams head female black 30 single TX TX TX
Ernest Williams brother male black 29 TX TX TX
Chester? Williams nephew male black 9 single TX TX TX
Charlotte Pryor mother female black 73 widow TX TX TX

Estate Sale of Massey Taylor Pryor, 1867 Sumner Co.,TN

State of Tennessee, Sumner County. This day appeared before me Allen L. Pryor, administer of Massey Pryor deceased, and swore an oath that the above is true and correct inventory of the estate of his mother. Sworn to before me 3 June 1867. Signed Allen L. Pryor. Witnessed by John Bugg and J.A. Truesdale.

State of Tennessee, Sumner County. Personally appeared before me William Matthews, an acting justice of the peace for said county, F.M. Elliot and made an oath that the within account as stands charged is just and true this 14th day of September 1867. Signed F. M. Elliot. (The account that was attached was for shoeing horses for Massey Pryor from 1856 to 1861).

List of Items Purchase Amount Purchased By (Relationship)
2 Single Bed 0.35 Allen L. Pryor (son)
1 Candlestick 0.50 Allen L. Pryor (son)
2 Qt. Bottles 0.50 Allen L. Pryor (son)
1 Lot of Bottles 0.10 Allen L. Pryor (son)
5 Bottles 0.15 Allen L. Pryor (son)
2 Small Bottles 0.05 Allen L. Pryor (son)
1 Dressing Table 1.25 Allen L. Pryor (son)
1 Mule Colt 117.60 Allen L. Pryor (son)
1 Chest 1.90 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Box of Books 0.45 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Lot of Books 0.30 Sam Pryor (son)
Lot of Bacon 2.35 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Axe 0.35 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Small Mare 28.50 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Fork and Knife 0.11 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Looking Glass 0.15 Sam Pryor (son)
6 Chairs 2.35 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Water Bucket 0.35 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Keg Molasses 1.25 Sam Pryor (son)
2 Plows 1.25 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Barrel 0.50 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Bridle 0.25 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Coffee Mill 1.05 Sam Pryor (son)
Pot Rack and Hooks 0.50 Sam Pryor (son)
1 Bible 0.50 Grant Taylor (african-american)
Barrel of Lye 6.25 Betsy Pryor (dau. or dau. in law?)
Sugar Chest 3.75 Betsy Pryor (dau. or dau. in law?)
1 Water Can 0.25 Betsy Pryor (dau. or dau. in law?)
Pot and Hooks 1.10 Betsy Pryor (dau. or dau. in law?)
Small Pot and Hooks 2.00 Betsy Pryor ((dau. or dau. in law?)
Bacon 5.55 Luisa McCulley (Daughter)
3 Plates 0.25 Luisa McCulley (Daughter)
1 Stone Jug 0.30 Luisa McCulley (Daughter)
1 Bottle 0.15 Luisa McCulley (Daughter)
1 Lot Bottles 0.50 Luisa McCulley (Daughter)
1 Pair Hound Dogs 4.00 Luisa McCulley (Daughter)
1 Plow 1.00 George Pryor (Son)
6 Plates 0.25 George Pryor (Son)
1 Sugar Bowl 0.25 George Pryor (Son)
1 Jug 0.35 George Pryor (Son)
1 Small Jar 0.05 George Pryor (Son)
3 Hogs 11.30 Mrs. Luisa Williams
2 Forks 0.10 Mrs. Luisa Williams
1 Clock 2.50 C. Brazil
3 Small Hounds 7.20 E.D. Robinson
1 pair __? 0.35 Allen L. Pryor (son)
1 side __? 12.60 Allen L. Pryor (son)
1 _____? 0.80 John Laskey

Chesley W Taylor: Changed His Name to Richard Taylor?

1870 Census, Cheatham County. Chesley W Taylor. His sister Mary Ann Taylor Allen is also on this page.

It’s so frustrating to run into the name switcheroos among the Pryors (see Shadrack to Chesley post) Wouldn’t you know, I also run in to mysterious name changes among the Taylor cousins who settled in TN.

I’ve been trying to flesh-out the family tree on Chesley Taylor about 1785 in VA. Edmund Taylor, the father, died in VA in 1827. William Pryor and Spicy Taylor were in Overton County, TN by the 1820 Census, and soon after Edmund’s death Chesley and his other Taylor siblings followed, including Massey Taylor and her husband John Pryor. He married Mary Ann Hardeman in Sumner County in 1829 and settled in Davidson County.

Chesley left a very small trail. There was a post the Tennessean giving notice that here was a letter held for him in Nashville in 1835. At some point a baby or young boy came to live with Spicy Taylor and William Pryor; they named him Chesley. From 1835 to his death in 1839, Chesley Taylor and his wife Mary Ann had 4 children: Susan, Mary Ann, John Edward, and Chesley Washington– Chesley Washington b. 1837 again brings up the issues of name changes.

Chesley Washington Taylor was recorded on all census records as C. W. His name Chesley Taylor appears on a land grant in Cheatham County. However, C. W. appears on the 1880 Census in Chatham County and there are several children recorded in his household who were recorded as sons and daughters. When those children died, their death records and social security records state their father was Richard Taylor.

His son James General Taylor:

His son George Washington Taylor:

His daughter Ella Catharine (Taylor) Wilkerson:

His daughter Rosa (Taylor) Demonbrun

So Richard it is. Did he have multiple names? Did he drop one name for another? Absolutely confounding but also a great reminder that evolving research means being open to new data and asking new questions.

My new question: When we can’t find Taylors and Pryors are we looking for the wrong first name?

 

John Pryor of Orange County, NC and Daughter Dorothy

Sometimes it’s interesting to continue to dig for Pryors by following the trail of men with the first name Pryor. You never know if it will lead to related families of the Pryor surname. I saw this announcement in an 1838 newspaper

We are authorized to announce Gen. Pryor M Grant of Columbus, a Candidate for the office of Major General of the Fourth Division of the Mississippi Militia, composed of the counties of Lowndes, Noxubee, Kemper, Oaktibbeha, Winston, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott, Smith, Atalla, Choctaw, Carrol, Yalabusha, and Tallahatchie.
Published in Southern Argus, 2 January 1838

Who was General Pryor M Grant? Online family trees show him as the son of Henrietta McNeill and Joshua Grant of Person County, NC. Boddie and Allied Families, by John Thomas Boddie (pub 1918) states “(Henry McNeil) married at Petersburg, Va. Dororthy Pryor, born in Virginia, 23 March 1755, died in Christian County, Ky., 17 March 1824, daughter of John Pryor, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.” They lived in Person County, NC before moving to KY. They were the parents of Henrietta McNeill who married Joshua Grant, and thus Dorothy Pryor Grant was the grandmother of Pryor M Grant.

There is a Dorothy Pryor named as a daughter of John Pryor in his will dated 1771 in Orange Co., NC

“…to my daughter Dorothy Pryor my negro girl named Cloe and one feather bed and furniture, two cows and calves one horse or mare and saddle when she arrives to lawful age or married to her and her heirs forever…”

If this is the same Dorothy Pryor who married Henry McNeill, she was underage when her father died in NC and perhaps of age when she married in Petersburg, VA. Petersburg is interesting. Why Petersburg and not in NC? I checked Google maps and it’s about 120 miles between the two areas. The Boddie book also states she was a  “daughter of John Pryor, of Dinwiddie County, Virginia.”

I wonder where this Pryor and McNeil information came from. The editor of the book writes of having letters from the 1700’s when McNeil had to prove his relationships in order to claim an inheritance. It would have been nice if he had printed transcripts and sited complete source information in his book.

If you like a swashbuckler ending: The Madison Whig (MS) on 16 March 1839 reported Pryor W (sic?) Grant and Maj S F Butterwoth “both of Columbus in this State” had fought with “four pistols each, at thirty paces.” The duel ended without death or injury. It sounds like Roger A Pryor of Dinwiddie County who got into scraps when he disagreed.