Tag Archives: Anderson

Richard Pryor of Richmond and Madison Co, AL

Back in 2014 I posted about Pryor men from Alabama who returned to their home state of Virginia and were accused of causing a ruckus in their relatives’ household. The complaint was lodged by Brown and it sounds like sexual advances were made against the elder Pryor’s wife’s female Anderson kin.


Then in 2016 I wrote about Richard Pryor of Madison County and wife Dolly who were named in a notice regarding a Richmond, VA suit. Named in the same notice were John Brown, —-Anderson and Octavia his wife. The notice was regarding a Chancery Court case the estate of John D Brown. Perhaps that was the case of John Brown, etc vs. Nancy Brown, widow filed in the Richmond Chancery Court in 1849 (see LVA index).


After doing some searches I found that there’s a William Armistead Anderson who married a Catherine Octavia Ruela Brown. The 1850 notice was addressed to Richard Pryor and his wife and also Mr. Anderson and his wife, stating that they were not residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

So if the Anderson and Brown relations are the same families named in both sources, then the father and son team who were accused of causing havoc in Richmond are probably Richard Pryor and his son Beverly Pryor.

When I was searching out the names in the 1850 notice I found an Ursula Ragland age 82 who was born in VA– she was counted in the household of Samuel Ragland age 44 in Franklin County, AL. Researchers have her as the mother of the Ragland males in the household: Samuel 44 (head of household), John 57, William A 52 and Nathaniel 47. I have to include a TN connection– Ursula D Ragland was on the 1820 Census in Smith County, TN. What really piqued my interest was that Samuel had a son living in the household named Beverly Ragland– a nice tie-in perhaps to Richard and Dolly Pryor’s son named Beverly.Ra

In December of 1850 Dolly Pryor died at the home of S J (Samuel) Ragland. Was Dolly a Ragland?

Mrs. Dolly Pryor of Huntsville on the 15, age 62 years. She died at the residence of S J Ragland. (Tuskegee Republican 5 Dec 1850)

Knox County TN Pryors: The Bastard Child of Harris Pryor

I contacted the Knox County Archives and requested a copy of the bastardy case filed in 1805 against Harris Pryor. I’ve seen these cases in other counties and they can be chuck-full of great information like the child’s name, the witness names. Unfortunately this was a one page record. Perhaps it was a short-lived case because Harris not only agreed to support the child, but married the mother, Keziah Maxey in 1807.

First, the most disappointing thing: it doesn’t say who the the child was. The child was neither named in the case nor does the case hint at the child’s sex through references to “he” or “she”. Drats! However, there is information on the date the child was born– Keziah swore out her statement naming Harris on 17 September 1805 and at the time stated her child was born about 3 months prior to that date.

I think Harris may have made some moves between TN, KY and VA. In 1801 Harris (Jr.) was on the delinquent tax list in Knox County and we know he was in Knox County at the time the suit was filed in 1805 and he was in Knox County in 1807 when he married Keziah. By 1819 he was in Louisville, as he had been sued by William Dickinson in a Chancery Suit filed in Bedford Co., VA. He reported he was living in Louisville in 1820 (his sister Juggy Pryor Mays was in Breckinridge County, KY).  Keziah Maxey’s family was from the same area of VA as the Pryors: Harris Pryor (Sr) was in Prince Edward County, VA in 1784 as was Keziah’s father Shadrack Maxey.

The mother-lode of information may be in the names of the two men who stood as security for Harris Pryor: William Anderson and Benjamin Burnett. Again, these names hint that I’m on the right track when I connect Harris Pryor to the Pryors in Sumner County and Overton County, TN.

Allen L. Pryor of Sumner County, TN married Elizabeth Talley, the daughter of William Anderson Talley who was born in Cumberland County, VA and named for his maternal grandfather William Anderson.  Hmmm… I wonder if the Anderson on the suit and the Andersons in the Sumner County Pryor line are connected?

And the Anderson surname crops up over and over again in the Sumner County Pryors and their relations– Lucy H. Talley, another daughter of William Anderson Talley, married Robert Anderson Wright in Sumner County. When Allen L. Pryor’s wife died  he remarried to Margaret McWhirter, the spinster daughter of Isaac McWhirter and Emaline Anderson Tyree (daughter of Samuel C. Tyree and Elizabeth Anderson).  Anderson Woodson witnessed the will of Edmund Taylor (grandfather of Allen L. Pryor). Edward Pryor, son of William and Spicy Pryor of Overton County, TN, had a son named William Anderson Pryor.

Lots of Anderson connections.  So my next question was about the Burnetts. Are there Burnett connections to the Pryors?

John Pryor, who is our best suspect to be the father of William (married Spicy Taylor) and John (married Massie Taylor — they are the parents of Allen L Pryor), purchased land in 1788 in Campbell County, VA– the deed was witnessed by William Burnett. Later John Pryor witnessed a 1790 deed in Campbell County, VA with Martin Rector. Martin was married to Betsy Burnett.

There’s a marriage between a William Pryor and Sallie Burnett in 1826 in Roane County. I wonder if William was Harris’ son who was born in 1805.

Online I found a brief bio of Benjamin Burnett http://genforum.genealogy.com/burnett/messages/4347.html. This seems to be the man who was security for Harris Pryor (Jr) in 1805. There are several VA Chancery cases involving Burnetts in Bedford County (the same county that Harris Pryor hailed from), however the Buckingham County cases are not in the database.

So stay tuned. We’ve got more digging to do.

Jesse Pryor of Knox County– Is He the Jesse Pryor in Overton County?

juda-pryorWow, the TN Tax Lists are INTERESTING! In 1804 there was a Jesse Pryor on the Knox County Tax list. I can’t tell much about him — he had one pole and no acres recorded. There was also a Samuel Pryor in Knox County with the same status. They were both in Captain Steel’s Company that consisted of 66 taxpayers.

I wondered in print (Harris Pryor of Knox Co., TN and Bedford Co., VA) if Jesse Pryor of Knox County was the same Jesse Pryor who went to Overton County, TN.  Myself and other researchers have long speculated that Jesse was the father of Juda Pryor who married William Huston Hummel (Juda is on the 1850 Census with an older Anna Pryor who may be her mother). When Juda’s son John McDonald Hummel died in 1915 his mother was reported as “Julie Pryor” born in “East Tenn.” How about that… Knox County is in East Tennessee.

If Jesse is the of Harris Pryor of Bedford County, then I suspect Samuel is related to this line. They seem to stick with each other through the records. This is the point to pour your second cup of coffee before we jump into the puzzle.

Yes, the pieces of the puzzle start to stack up to complete the picture that Jesse and Samuel were related.

  • Samuel and Jesse were on the 1804 Tax List in Knox County – Both living in Captain Steel’s Company.
  • The administratrix of Samuel Pryor’s estate was Fanny Ferguson Pryor and a later Roane County court case ID’s Samuel Pryor as the grandfather of P. Miller Freels. There was a John Foggueson (sic) also in Captain Steel’s Company on the 1804 Knox County Tax List.  John Ferguson may have been Fanny’s brother as there is a John Ferguson, deceased, named on a 1839 Cumberland County Chancery Court suit that also names Fanny Pryor and her children.
  • Jesse Pryor is spectulated to be the father of Juda Pryor Hummel of Overton County whose son’s death record states she was born in East Tennessee.
  •  Samuel Pryor died in Anderson County, TN in about 1815 (that’s when Fanny was appointed administratrix). There’s a Jesse Pryor on the 1805 Tax List for Anderson County. Jesse was recorded as #119. I found #85 Isaac Freels, #96 Burrell Hudson, #157 and #158 were Edward and Thomas Freels, #191 John Rector–a daughter of Samuel and Fanny Pryor married Edward Freels around 1813 or earlier. Another daughter, Mary, married Barry Hudson. John Rector was recorded near Fanny Pryor and her son Harris Pryor on the 1830 census in Roane County.
  • Jesse Pryor, son of Harris Pryor and Mary Kinnerson was from Bedford Co., VA. Juda Pryor Hummel stated her parent’s place of birth as VA on the 1880 Census.
  • The Jesse Pryor on the 1830 Census in Overton Co., TN was born between 1771-1780. Samuel’s wife is on the 1830 Census in Roane Co., TN and was also born between 1771-17780, so perhaps Samuel was also born about the same time, which would make Samuel and Jesse contemporaries.
  • I believe sons of Harris Pryor of Bedford County, VA came to Knox County at the end of the 1790’s. In 1799 William Pryor (Harris’ oldest son) signed a petition for tax relief for an impaired neighbor (Richard Shields). In 1801 Harris Jr. (he didn’t use Jr on documents – I’m just using it to distinguish him from his father) was on the deliquent tax list for Knox County. In 1801 Jesse Pryor was a defendant in a crime.
  • Samuel is not mentioned in any Bedford County, VA records so, I don’t yet see how he’s related, though he lived around Harris’ family in TN and named his son Harris.

Happy to hear from anyone who wants to contribute to this theory with a pro or con!