Tag Archives: African-American

Slaves Among the Priors and Pryors in Edgefield County, SC

slavery1The book Edgefield, South Carolina, Slave Records, 1774-1866 by Gloria Ramsey Lucas on Ancestry.com has proved to be a good source for Pryor names. The author delved into property records (slaves were property) to find her African American ancestors. In the forward the author states,  “After examining these inventory and sales documents, I realized that the information contained within them could help thousands of other African Americans who were researching their family roots, but were unable to get beyond the 1870 United States census.” Yes, and it adds useful information for tracing the white Pryor slave holders families.

Daniel Shaw 1/25/1796 to John PRIER
Box 45, pkg 1921
Binah (negro, old wench) and Phillis, Shade and Prince

Jno. PRYOR 7/11/1797 to Hannah Puckett
Box 22, pkg. 802
Mary and Lewis (negro woman and child)
(I found an online family tree for John Pryor who died about 1797 – see tree)

John PRIOR 12/7/1816 “Sale Forbid”
SS Book 1844-1852, page 28

John PRIOR 5/18/1818 to Jno. Grubs PRYOR, Wm P. Tobias Pryor, Tobias Pryor Grubs
Equity File #41
Dick, Ellick, Jack

Richard Coker et al 2/6/1843 to Sarah M PRYOR
SS Book 1840-1853, page 75

Daniel Prince 12/12/1843 to Jno. Grubs Pryor, Tobias P and Wm P.
Box #90, pkg. 3633
Allen, son of Dealy
at the same time Daniel Prince sold Robert Prince a woman named Dealy.

Martha PRIOR 12/1/1845 “Sale Forbid”
SS Book 1844-1852, page 28
Fortune, Gadock, Granderson, Hannah, Jane, Judy, Rachael, Susan, Dianna, Ned

Tobias PRIOR to Richard Pryor 8/16/1848
Deed book EEE, page 450
3 young boys, George, Henry, and Jacob who was just 7 months.

What happened to the Pryors and their slaves? I looked at the 1860 Census and found that there were 3 slaves owned by a Pryor/Prior were in Edgefield County, SC — the slave holder was Mary Prior. This is likely Mary who was the widow of Tobias Pryor. They were counted together on the 1850 Census and she appears as a head of household in 1860. The names of the slaves don’t indicate they were being traded or deeded between the Pryor family members. Since there’s no sale information recorded in Gloria Ramsey Lucas’ book, I have to wonder what happened to African-Americans who were held by the Pryors before the Civil War. What happened to these people?

Newsletter #17

More Pryors added to the 1920 Census transcripts of TN. 3 households in Dist. 1 of Overton Co.


Does anyone know how to interpret the cemetery records on Ancestry.com? The book/source information is not present in direct context with the data. I found “William T. Pryor, Revolutionary Soldier, Virginia”. I’d like to clarify where his grave was found. Is it in the Cleveland Family Cemetery in Philadelphia, TN?

FOUND! Jackson Co., TN Pryors… Remarkably another Pryor family has been found on the 1860 Census. Sindarilla Pryor, widow of Allen Pryor from SC appears on the 1850 Census. She has now been found in District 13 of Jackson Co. with several of her children. If you try to find her in Ancestry.com… watch out! She’s indexed as Lindanter Pasc. No wonder it’s so hard to find our kin!


Charlotte Pryor b. 1816 in Mississippi added to the African American section. Read this interesting article to discover her connection to the noted Luke Pryor and his son John Benjamin Pryor of Adams Co., MS.

Did you know… the TN Pryor PDF file is searchable? If you’re using a PC press CTRL F. A pop up window will apear. Type in a word you’d like to search. Try searching by county. You may find some lost kin!

Cornelius Pryor of Hardeman (1860), Davidson (1870) and later Warren (1880) counties in TN has been identified as Cornelius Winter Pryor. He married in Dorset, England in 1844 and appears on the 1841 UK Census of Dorset.

Newsletter #5

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PRYOR MYSTERY SOLVED!… Barbara VanHout has solved a Pryor mystery and found her place in the Pryor lines of Sumner and Overton Counties. Barbara’s great grandmother, Mary Ellen Pryor b. 1851 married William M. Kinkade and settled in White Co., IL. Mary Ellen’s father is identified as Jonathan Pryor on her death record and her birthplace was noted as Gallatin, TN on an old photograph. The 1870 Census revealed that Mary is the daughter of Jonathan Pryor (son of William and Spicy Taylor Pryor)and his first wife Ellen Lee. In 1860 Mary Ellen Pryor was living with Major and Virginia May in Sumner County while her father was serving a prison term in the Nashville State Penitentiary. The 1870 Census of White Co., IL yielded not only Mary Ellen and her husband, but Virginia Lee and several of her Taylor cousins. The census information has been added to the Illinois records of the US CENSUS section of the website.
A PHOTO TOO… Barbara VanHout has contributed a photograph of Mary Ellen Pryor b. 1851. You may see a family resemblance. The photo was added to the PHOTO GALLERY section of the website. [ view photo ]
A PRYOR NAMESAKE… I received a query this month from a researcher whose ancestor bore the first name “Pryor.” In this case the family came from Grainger County, TN. While in some instances the Pryor surname has been used for naming, in this case the name had a different origin—a famous namesake. Pryor Lea born 1794 in Knox County and a resident of Grainger County, served in the US Congress and was a noted states rights advocate and supporter of the Confederacy. He lived in Alabama and later in Texas where he became active in promoting railroads. He died in 1879. A search of the  1870 Census revealed at least 250 men named Pryor and 35 of them who appear to have been named a variation of Pryor Lea.
BOOK REVIEW…This month I read a terrific book,”The Sweeter the Juice” by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip. It’s a memoir of her family and her journey of tracing her African American and white ancestry. Haizlip recounts the division of her multi-racial family: aunts, uncles, cousins lost when they “disappeared” to live as whites. Her genealogy quest resulted int he poignant reunion of her mother and aunt… after a 75 year separtation! The book includes the story of where and how she obtained records to trace her African American ancestry.
REQUEST… I want to start adding more African American Pryor information to the website. We all have a wealth of information from our Pryor families. Do you have a will, court document, deed, etc. that names slaves owned by a Pryor family? These names can be an important starting point for someone tracing their family tree. Please email me the names and the source information (document title, date, location, names in document) and we’ll get started on this important project!
PRYOR GRAVE MARKER… James Chambers Pryor was born 1871 in Davidson Co., TN, a son of James J. Pryor of Nashville and a grandson of Thomas M. Pryor b. 1800 who was an Irish immigrant who settled in Franklin Co., TN. James C. Pryor was on the 1880 and 1900 Census in Davidson Co. In 1900 his occupation was recorded as Navy Physician. A photograph of his grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery can be viewed at