Tag Archives: Christian county

Richard and Mourning Pryor: Christian County, KY Tie-In

Richard Pryor and Other Pryors Genealogy Chart

I’d like to thank Beverly Watson from the My Jackson Purchase Families website for starting a new conversation on Richard and Mourning Pryor (his wife). She found in the Christian County records on FamilySearch.org an estate inventory and sale for a John Prior Sr. who died in about 1806/1807.

The Christian County estate sale occurred 25 July 1807 and the list of people who purchased from the estate are as follows (the list was written phonetically and I’ve tried to sub-in some common spellings of names):

Robert Sharrard, Elizabeth PRIOR, John PRYOR, Elizabeth Henkman (or Kirkman), James PRYER, John Burdine, Obadiah Dewhit (DeWhitt), John Bayley (Bailey), Vinson Layston, Jacob Dalmaldson (possibly Donaldson?), Hoxa Boren, James Nunn, Able Crawford, Matthias House, William Dunlop, Peter Simon, John Burdine.

There was a John Pryor on the 1794 Tax list in Logan County. In 1796 John Pryor Sr. and John Pryor Jr. were chain carriers when Richard Pryor‘s land was surveyed in the same county. It’s likely that John Sr. is the John Pryor counted on the 1800 Tax list in Logan County with a James Pryor. And that John Sr. and John Jr were the men (or some of the men) who married in Logan County:

Rebecca Baily married John PRIOR on 11 Jan 1800
Polly Heathman married John PRIOR on 22 May 1800
Elizabeth Crawford married John PRIOR on 12 Mar 1803
Yes, there is a Crawford and a Bailey listed on the estate sale which may support that these families married into the Pryors.

It’s  not that Christian County and Logan County are near each other on a map, as I read through documents I began to see names from Logan County on Christian County documents. For instance, Finis Ewing (founder of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church) is in Wikipedia as a resident of Logan County (no mention of Christian County), yet I found in Christian County (see the estate of James and Ethelred Scoggins, 1809). And if you remember an older post, an Elijah Ewing was often found on records near Richard Pryor and people suspected to be from his line of Pryors.

Beverly also found that a Mrs. Elizabeth Pryor married Absolom Bert (or Best) on 6 August 1808 in Logan County. Perhaps Elizabeth is the widow of John Pryor Sr.– an Elizabeth Pryor purchased his watch from the estate sale and the 1808 marriage is near the time of John Sr.’s death.

The recent DNA testing has only pointed out again just how many John and William Pryors were running around TN and elsewhere. It’s frustrating, however by following the paper trail I think we’re getting a better idea of who is who.

The Pryor Chart

So, lets look at the chart. I think there’s certainly some fodder here, some food for thought, some fuel for more record searching.

  1. John Pryor Sr. John was referred to as Sr. on both the Logan Co. survey of Richard Pryor’s land and in his 1807 Estate in Christian Co. There’s a possibility that these Johns were one person.
  2. John Pryor. There’s a John Pryor, not differentiated with Jr. nor Sr., who was “bonded” in Sumner Co., in 1791 in a court case with Howell Tatum. Has anyone ever looked at this document? Howell Tatum. An 1802 indenture, a land record in Smith County [Deed Book B, Pages 94-95], names Mourning White, formerly Mourning Prior, and land described as formerly belonging to Howell Tatum. There’s so many John Pryors, this John and John Sr. may be one man or two, however they both may have had ties to Richard Pryor.
  3. James Pryor. Again we may have one man or two. James B. Pryor b. 1788 in VA and counted in 1850 in Pike Co., IL was the widow of Rebecca Pryor whose obit stated they had lived in Christian County, KY AND Stewart County, TN. Then isn’t it interesting that a James Pryor purchased items from the estate of John Sr. in 1807 also in Christian County? And there’s a James Pryor named on Stewart County documents with the William “of Botetourt County”.
  4. William Pryor and Richard Pryor – As discussed under John and James, William appears to be connected to both of these Pryor names. The survey of Richard’s land in Logan County was witnesses by John Sr and John Jr. William and Richard are associated with the Ewings: Elijah, Robert, James.

William Pryor of Botetourt County, A Bit About Texas & Kentucky, and the Tennessee Connections

Back to the Botetourt County Pryors (Pryors in Botetourt County, VA and Later in Kentucky). I heard from Betty who’s researching William Pryor, one of Austin’s Colony who settled in Austin’s Colony– before Texas was a Republic or a state, back when most of Texas was Mexico. Betty also reminded me that William made out his will and clearly stated he was born in Botetourt County. VA!

William’s will is in the courthouse in Bellsville, TX. It begins, “IN THE NAME OF OMNIPOTENT GOD, AMEN. I William Pryor, a native of Bottertot County in the state of Virginia, one of the United States of the North, and now a colonist of Austin’s Colony…” It’s dated 1832.

All we know of William Pryor is that he was born in Botetourt County, VA, was in Stewart Co., TN by 1804, moved to Clarke Co., AL in 1816, went to Texas in about 1824 and then died in San Felipe, TX in 1832.

William’s In Laws:

We’ve been able to fill in some of William’s kin. Betty found a court document showing that William became the guardian of Sampson Trammell’s minor children, helping to connect his wife to the Trammells (Sampson is likely her father).  

William’s Brother?

One more piece to the puzzle: Betty found the March 2, 1849  death notice from the Nashville Christian Advocate:  “REBECCA PRYOR wife of JAMES PRYOR, died Pike Co., Ill., Jan. 7, 1849; moved from Christian Co., Ky. to Stewart Co., Tenn., to Pike Co., Illinois.” A James B. Pryor was buying land in Pike County in 1840 and there’s a James Pryor on the 1850 Census in Pike County. He’s a postmaster (that’s a topic for yet another post on the Pryors!), born 1778 in VA, living  near a Sarah Pryor Conner age 27 who was born in KY (possibly Christian County, KY?). So this is probably the James Pryor who was on the census with William Pryor in Stewart County and he’s certainly the right age to be William’s brother!

William’s Nephew?

Civil war records for William Pryor of White Co., IL reveal he was born in Stewart County, TN (about 1802) as well as his son James in 1825. William married Martha Ross, probably a relation of Captain Ross who was in charge of the 1809 Tax List in Stewart County. We know from the will in Texas that William who died in San Felip had one son named Trammel J. Pryor and he was removed from the Austin Colony on criminal charges and disowned in his father’s will, it’s clear that William born 1802 is not his son —perhaps a son of the James or John Pryor who were also on the 1809 Tax List of Stewart County.

More Nephews?

Geography plays a part in figuring out the kin of William of San Felipe.  The land William settled in Stewart County, TN was in an area that is now a National Park called the Land Between the Lakes.  Bordering this area of TN is Trigg and Christian Co., KY. Rebecca’s death notice and the early deed both indicate a connection to Christian Co.  James Pryor who was in Stewart Co. and later was in Pike Co., IL, may be the same James Pryor who was on the 1840 Census in Trigg County.  A Mary Pryor was on the  1820 Census in Stewart County and was living in Trigg Co., perhaps an indicator that William b. 1804 and James b. 1803 (Mary was living with him) and John b. 1813 are William’s nephews.

Who is William’s Father?

There weren’t too many Pryors in Botetourt at the time William was born (about  1770).  The contenders are Luke, Joseph, and John Pryor.  I haven’t seen any information on children born to Luke Pryor and his wife Susannah. John Pryor is likely the John Pryor who was the father of Nathaniel Pryor (based on one report that he moved to Botetourt with his brother in-law John Floyd).  Joseph Pryor died in Bourbon Co., KY in 1812, mentioning his son William in his will.  Betty and I are leaning toward Joseph as the father of William Pryor of San Felipe

* Joseph had a son named William. We know from census records and marriages that other children of Joseph and Mary Pryor were born between 1766 and 1784. The right time span for William of San Felipe.

* Joseph’s son William was alive in 1812 (at the time of his will).  William died well after that date in San Felipe.

* There was no William Pryor recorded as a head of household in Bourbon County in 1810 until a much younger William was recorded on the 1850 Census.  This fact leave open the possibility that William was living elsewhere, even at the time of his father’s will when he would have been an adult head of household.

* William had one son named Trammell J. Pryor. “Trammell” was carrying on the name of his mother’s side of the family. “J” may have been for “Joseph” or another “J” name on his father’s side of the family.

I’m not completely convinced that William Pryor was the son of Joseph Pryor and Mary Fleming, but for now they seem to be the most convincing set of parents I have for him.

John Pryor and Rebecca Cook: Connection to Other Pryors?

I’ve heard from a researcher who is working on the line of William Pryor who married Mahala Lewis in Montgomery Co., AR.  William is probably William Henry Pryor who was born in 1829 in TN, the same man who served in Co. H. , 1 (Colquitt’s Arkansas Infantry) during the Civil War.  It’s suspected that he’s the Henry Pryor who was working as a farm hand in Wilson Co., TN in the Ricketts household at the time of the 1850 Census.

Some researchers have included Henry William Pryor as a son of John Pryor and wife Rebecca Cook.

So which line of Pryors is this John Pryor from?  He was married in Rutherford Co., TN in 1823.  There’s an Allen Pryor on the 1820 Census in Rutherford Co. John and Rebecca were on the 1830 and 1840 Census in Wilson Co., TN. From these census entries we can surmise that John was born between 1800 and 1810. By 1850 John was probably deceased, his wife and several children were in Chistian Co., KY.

I’m now wondering if John Pryor is the connection to link up some of the “straggling” Pryors in the census records. There’s the Allen Pryor in Rutherford Co. 1820, then an Allen Pryor on the 1830 and 1840 Jackson Co. census. We know the Allen born in 1810 in SC and living Jackson Co. in 1850 is related to the Thomas Pryor born 1813/1814 in TN who was living in Wilson Co., TN in 1850. Are John, Allen (and Alfred in Jackson Co.), and Thomas related? How?

Tennessee Pryor Newsletter 1

ALL TN PRYORS UPDATE: The total number of Pryors has gone up and down. The “All TN Pryor” project now contains 479 Pryors who were either born in or resided in Tennessee in 1850 or earlier.

Pryor or Brien?

I recently removed a family who turned out not to be Pryors. John and Lydia of Benton Co. are indexed on Ancestry as “Brien”. I looked at the writing and saw that the B is reasonably clear. I then did some searching of TN Census records of 1850 and found John, Lyddia (sic) and family recorded as Brine.

Thomas M. Pryor of Augusta County, VA

A new Pryor has been added to the list. THOMAS M. Pryor married Patsy E. Hartigan on Aug. 16, 1832 in Augusta Co., VA. I found Martha E. Pryor b. 1820 (age 30) living with the Hartigans in Dickson Co., TN in 1850. Her age varies between census years… 1860 she was recorded as 60 years old. Thomas may have died in VA or migrated with Martha to TN. Since Martha made it TN and is recorded as a Pryor I’ve included Thomas M. Pryor on the list with an note (maybe only his wife lived in TN).

Pryors in Christian County, KY

Another new Pryor was added to the list. William Barnes married MARY JANE Pryor 14 Mar. 1850 in Christian Co., KY. Mary Jane, born about 1832, was counted on the 1850-1870 Census as born in TN. In 1880 and 1900 her place of birth changed to KY. I suspect that the three earlier census entries are correct and that Mary Jane Pryor was born in TN. There are no other known Pryors in Caldwell Co. and only the family of John Pryor and wife Rebecca Cook (from Rutherford Co. and possibly Wilson Co., TN) living in Christian Co., KY. An internet search revealed that Pryor researchers place Mary Jane as a daughter of John and Rebecca. I did not find any source information that confirmed this lineage.

Henry County, TN Pryor

MARTHA A. Pryor b. 1823 NC, married John J. Hurt on 3 Feb. 1845 in Henry Co., TN. Martha was counted on the 1880 Census in Henry Co., stating both parents were born in North Carolina.

What About Pryor Surname in Dallas Co., AR?

SARAH A. Pryor b. 1824 and married Samuel W. Looney on Aug. 22, 1844 in Knox Co., TN is on the 1850 Census in Dallas Co., AR. Upon looking at the AR census there appears to be two groups of Pryors in Dallas Co.: kin to John Pryor and Ann Trigg who are related to the Pryors of Marion Co., TN*, and James Pryor and wife Unith and their children. James Pryor was from NC as was Matthew Pryor, the patriarch of the Marion Co. Pryors. While I have no proof of kinship between these lines, it shouldn’t be ruled out.
* As of 2015 there is no evidence that the Pryors in Marion County, TN are connected to the Pryors in Dallas County, AR.

The Tennessee Pryor Went to Pennsylvania

Another clarification… JAMES R. Pryor, the lone Tennessee Pryor on the census records of Blair Co., PA has been identified by his descendant. I recently received an email from a Pryor researcher who has offered terrific information that connects him to the Pryors of McNairy County, TN. James R. is not identified as JAMES RICHARD Pryor. His grave marker states his name as J. Richard, although the 1870 and 1880 Census records in PA state his name as James R. His descendant has discovered through an old letter and family information that James Richard came from McNairy County. He was captured during the Civil War while serving in the Confederate Army and when released, stayed in the North. There is a Richard Pryor of the correct age on the 1850 census in McNairy County. If you have any information to help this researcher confirm their McNairy County ancestors you can contact him by email DLee166@aol.com

VIRGINIA. Several months ago there the website crashed and the extractions of Virginia census records were lost. This webpage is now being recreated.

MATCHING MARRIAGES TO THE CENSUS. Many thanks to researcher Melody Pryor for creating a spreadsheet of Pryor marriages in the South and Midwest. Marriage information is being added as a notation to the census extractions on the website. My focus has been to first find the Pryor women and their husbands and then adding them to the census extractions. Adding the Pryor women under their married names has helped to add clarity to the census extractions, showing connections been families in each county. While this project is far from completion, you will find numerous marriage notes and families that have been added to the census extractions.