Tag Archives: civil war

James Pryor of Harpers Ferry, VA

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I’ve wondered if the Ross Co., OH Pryors were related to established Pryor families in Virginia.  James Pryor was on the census in Ross Co. in 1830 and 1840. His children: Hiram, Wesley, Silas, and Bennett were all born in VA; his son Silas was born near Harpers Ferry, VA (now WV).

The US government purchased 125 acres at Harpers Ferry, building the Armory and Arsenal in 1796. The town became an industrial center after 1800, producing small guns for the US Army up to the time of the Civil War in 1861. And yes, it’s the same arsenal raided by abolitionist John Brown.

James Pryor was on the 1810 and 1820 Census in Jefferson Co., VA. The census record for 1820 is unique in that actually states the town: Harpers Ferry. It’s even more unique in that an extra column has been added with the occupation of the head of household. James was recorded as a “musket stocker.”

Unfortunately James died before the 1850 Census when birth places were recorded. Only his son Bennett B. Pryor lived long enough to state his father’s birthplace on the 1900 census and 1910 census: Virginia.

Researchers state that James was the son of Silas Pryor who also was recorded in Ross Co., OH. Like his son, Silas died before the 1850 Census. A research has posted in their Ancestry Family Tree that Silas is the same person named as an heir, and probably a son, of James Pryor in a 1761 Chester, PA.

So it’s likely that these Pryors immigrated in through Boston or Philadelphia and are not related to Pryors who were early immigrants to the tidewater counties of Virginia.

Mid 19th Century Pryors in Dallas, TX

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. It’s hard to believe that the new year is right around the corner.

Early this month I received an email from a researcher who was looking at the two Pryor brothers who were also both physicians in Dallas, TX during the mid-nineteenth century.  Samuel B. Pryor from Virginia was the first mayor of Dallas and his brother Charles R. Pryor was a writer and editor of the Dallas Herald (see article on the Texas State Historical Association site).  Charles was pro-South during the Civil War and served as the Secretary of State in Texas but disappears after the War.

It looks like we now have the answer to the what happened to Charles. There is  a Charles P. Pryor (sic) in Mercer County, KY. I found that he was living in a community of Shakers headed by B.B. Dunlavy.  Charles was recorded as born in VA and his occupation was “physician.”  A Google search turned up a volume of “The Shaker Manifesto” that contains a letter written by a Charles R. Pryor in 1878. Charles states “In spirit I am a Shaker.”

I haven’t found any further record of Charles. When his brother Samuel died his family migrated to Arkansas and can be found on the 1870 Census and later records in Sevier County and Little River County, AR.

William H. Pryor of Overton and Clay Counties

I was contacted by a researcher who was looking for information on William H. Pryor of Overton and Clay Counties. It’s time to look at him again.

William H Pryor was born February 1843 in Tennessee per the 1900 Census. He married Ruth (or Rutha Dial) in about 1857. His marriage date is determined by the years married noted on the 1900 Census (married 43 years in 1900).

Where was William H. Pryor on the 1850 Census? It’s suspected that he may be the “William” aged 15 who was living in the household of Jane Dial and daughter Ruth in District 10 of Overton County. There is no proof one way or the other to confirm this is William H. Pryor.

In 1850 the Pryors living near the Dials were Judy Hummel and mother Anna Pryor. Also Joseph Garrett, probably an uncle of Spicy Taylor Pryor and her siblings.

By 1860 William, his wife Ruth and her son James aged 6 were living in District 7 of Overton County, TN. They were counted near Ruth’s mother, Jane Dial, who was a weaver (Read more about Pryors who were Spinners and Weavers). If the 1900 Census is correct and that William and Ruth were married in 1857, then James was born in about 1853, before their marriage. In fact, James went by the surname “Dial” which indicates he was probably born to Ruth Dial out of wedlock.

In working with this researcher we found that there is a Civil War Pension application for William H. Pryor. The Pension App and the 1890 Veteran’s Schedule indicate the William H. Pryor served with the Tennessee Volunteers, 2nd Regiment, Co. H. Being a big Google fan I searched this regiment.
Here’s a great photo! [View Photo]
You can also view the photo on Rootsweb and the people already identified [View Page]
Can anyone ID William H. Pryor in the photo?  Does anyone have his Civil War Pension record?

I suspect that Ruth was the daughter of James Dial of Lawrence County, TN.  This suspicion is based on her naming her first-born James and this record which possibly connects the Dial and Pryor families: 

Mary Mathena Brashears, 17, b. KY, c. 1833 Lawrence Co, TN Minutes Book, 1851-1858, p. 162:¸”Nov 1, 1852.¸John Brashears has died intestate.¸Robert Newton appt. Admr.” Lawrence Co, TN Wills and Inventories, 1852-1856, p. 87:¸Dec. term 1852. Inv. and sale bill of estate of John Brashears, dec’d, Nov 20, 1852.¸Among buyers: Mary Brashears, Lawson Williams, William Inzer?, Elijah Alsup, Berry Brashears, John H. Johnston, J. M. Halcomb, D. J. White, Shadrick Chapman,J. J. Kelton, Wm. P. Halcomb, James Dial, Wm. Pryor, John Brashears.¸Robert Newton, Adm.¸The proceedings mention 400 ac. in Lewis Co. and 250 ac. in Lawrence Co.

The Pryors in Lawrence County were descended from Thompson Pryor, a son of Richard and Mourning Pryor. The Census Extracts of Lawrence County show the Pryors and Brashears mentioned above.
https://tennesseepryors.com/pryor-website/tn-records/tennessee-counties-l/#Lawrence . If William H. Pryor is connected to these Pryors, it’s not yet know how.

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?

Scipio Africanus Pryor, Aaron Lindsey Pryor, and Weakley County and Civil War

A PRYOR MYSTERY… The website has had several queries in the past months from family researchers looking for the lineage of SCIPIO AFRICANUS PRYOR of Benton Co., AR. Scipio was in AR as early as 1840. He was born between 1813 – 1815 in TN and is named after a Roman general, which seems fairly urbane compared to the Biblical or traditional English names of most of our Pryor ancestors. Scipio’s wife Sarah, was born in TN (probably Warren Co.), however it appears they married in AR. Scipio’s twelve children were named Elizabeth J., Mary Angeline, Franklin H., Andrew C., Nicholas, Sarah E., Albert L., John, Nancy A., Arminta, Laura T., Margaret. Scipio died in June 1860 per his tombstone, although his daughter Margaret was born about 1864. Does anyone have ideas for helping these folks trace Scipio’s TN roots?
New GILES COUNTY web page in the Pryor Histories section of the website. Researcher Trish Smith is looking for information on her kin and has provided photos of Pryor grave markers from Columbia, TN. Her ancestor AARON LINDSEY PRYOR was a blacksmith and may be related to the line of Richard and Mourning Pryor through their son Thompson Pryor and Dicey Tripp.
Query from researcher Barbara McKnight. Barbara has come across an 1841 proclamation announcing a reward for two Fletcher brothers who killed their brother in law, JOHN PRYOR, in Weakley Co., TN. Any ideas who this John Pryor might be?
FREE Access to IL Civil War Muster Records. Researcher Barbara VanHout found several TN PRYORS listed on the State of IL website (as of December 2019 link is not available). There’s a James PRIOR b. 1823 in Stewart Co., TN and living in White Co., IL in 1861; William PRIOR b. 1802 in Sumner Co., TN also living in White Co., IL; Alfred S. PRYOR b. 1833 in Knox Co., TN and living in Pike Co., IL in 1861; William PRYOR b. 1841 in Blunt (sic- possibly Blount) Co., TN and living in Union Co., IL. This last Pryor mustered in at Camp Anna so he may not have had residency in Union Co.