Death of Jane Pryor Gilly (1852)

John B. Gilly’s name is found in connection with Nathaniel Pryor (of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (See ). I recently spotted a death notice for Jane Pryor, widow of John B. Gilly.

DIED: On Saturday, July 3, at Bay St. Louis, Hancock County, Miss., Mrs. JANE BUCHANAN PRYOR, aged 66 years. relict of the late John Baptiste Gilly, late of the City of New Orleans.
The New Orleans Crescent, July 6 1852

Oh goody, 1852! That means she may be on the 1850 census. Instead of finding a census record of Mrs. Gilly, I found a additional possible referencss to her husband in the press.

A “Scheme” or lottery was set up “for the erection of a college at the Bay of St. Louis. J. B. Gilly was one of the managers
Natchez Gazette, May 30, 1818

Up river, there was a letter held for John B. Gilly at Natchez, MS Post Office
Natchez Gazette, April 7 1821

Jane Pryor Gilly Signature
Signature of Jane B Gilly from her husband’s estate: 1830 New Orleans, LA

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.

Captain Pryor Steamboat Pilots: Accident on the River

I was looking for a Pryor who was a river boat captain when I came across the story of a steam boat wreck on 27th December 1833. I now know how to say steam boat in French: bateau a vapeur. That piece of vocabulary probably won’t be useful if I vacation in France– still love this kind of stuff!

I can make out details in the French account from the Baton-Rouge Gazette, January 11, 1834. that a steam boat named Telegraph was piloted by Captain Pryor, and had an accident near Palmyra Island. Two or Three hours later the boats Cincinnatian and North Alabama picked up the passengers to continue their trip.

The accident was also recounted in English in Mississippi newspaper: Vicksburg Whig, January 15, 1834

The news even made it into a northern newspaper- The National Gazette, Philadelphia. January 21, 1834.

The lingering question is which Captain Pryor was piloting the boat?** The accident occurred near Palmyra Island, a location on the Mississippi River in Warren County, MS. Was this one of the Pryors of Louisville, KY? Joseph E. Pryor of Pope County, IL was recorded as a pilot on the 1850 Census. Another candidate would be the Captain Pryor in an account of a freed slave.

** A Pryor researcher has contacted the webmaster to point us in the direction of Joseph Everett Pryor whose biography mentioned the wreck of the Telegraph (see Google Books: Biographical and Memorial Edition of the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois)

Category: Mississippi Pryors | Tags: ,