Tag Archives: Clay County

Alice M. Pryor from Overton County, TN

We have a researcher who in interested in the family tree of William H. Pryor and Rutha Dial. They have an old tin-type portrait that is believed to be Alice M., daughter o William H. and Rutha.

Alice was identified as a 10-year-old daughter in William H.’s household on the 1880 Census. This record may be the only record of her made during her lifetime. If she was born in 1870, it was likely after the census as she does not appear on the census in that year.

In 1900 a grandson named Eddy C. Pryor was recorded in William H.’s household. Although this boy carried the Pryor name, it’s believed that his mother was Alice because his death record in 1958 identifies his mother as Alice Pryor.

Does anyone have any information on Alice– when she died, where she is buried, who was the father of her son Eddy?

Thomas Rodney And Another Pryor in The Kentucky Wilderness

Point Pleasant Battle

This is not another Lewis and Clark story… for the most part. The Lewis-Clark.org site has an article titled “A Curious Piece of Workmanship” (see the article). It should perhaps be titled “A Curious Piece of History.” The website reports the meeting of Meriwether Lewis, as he set off on the great expedition to the Pacific, and Thomas Rodney who was on his way to Natchez, MS and his own place in history.

Ceasar Rodney Quarter

I first read about Thomas Rodney when I was looking for Abner Pryor, however I stumbled upon Abraham Pryor from Delaware who received a letter from Thomas Rodney giving the account of a vision he had before the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War (see the letter).  I can’t help thinking of “Ancient Aliens” and their recount of George Washington’s visions at Valley Forge as encounters with creatures from outer space. Yes, it’s pretty a far-fetched idea.

I like working with the research desk at my local library. They found that Rodney kept a diary were able to find a copy of the book: “A Journey through the West: Thomas Rodney’s 1803 Journal from Delaware to the Mississippi Territory.” I wanted to  read about Mr. Rodney’s curious meeting with Mr. Lewis, then I found he mentioned some meetings with a Mr. Pryor and possibly a second Mr. Pryor.

OHIO: CINCINNATI TO LOUISVILLE: … As we akord (anchored) in the evening near to a settlement I went on shore while the rest were cooking.  A Mr. Pryor and his wife from near Richmond, Virginia, and their nine children, 4 girls and five boys lived there; and there was a nephew to D. Boon and his wife there and several others who had come to see them.  Pryor told me he had lived there five years, that it is 25 miles below Kentucky river and 35 above Louisville, and that there are but few settlements till we git within ten miles of Louisville…

Falls on the Ohio from Virginiaplaces.org

There’s may be a clue to the ID of this Pryor family — it sounds like Samuel Pryor and Mary “Polly” Curd who settled in Henry County, KY.  I think another clue is in “THE OLD MEN OF CLAY COUNTY, Liberty Weekly Tribune; Date: 1870 Sep 02. We request every citizen in Clay county, over sixty years of age, to send us his name, age, place and date of birth, disfranchised or not, and any prominent circumstances connected with his life.” (https://files.usgwarchives.net/mo/clay/newspapers/theoldme55gnw.txt)

I was born in Henry county, Kentucky, on the 20th day of February, 1804. My father was a native of Goochland county, Va., and emigrated to Kentucky in 1790. My maternal uncle – John Curd, now, if living, in Logan county, KY., – was a soldier in the Continental army and was wounded. My father died when I was so young that I was unable to retain in memory any facts connected with the Revolution. I came to Clay county, Mo., in 1835, and have lived here ever since. I have always been a Democrat. I am a voter. GEORGE M. PRYOR.

It could also be John A. Pryor, Samuel’s step brother. He was in the same area of northern KY with 5 boys and 4 girls, however his children were older and were not likely “boys” or “girls” and some were married before 1803.

There’s another Pryor who shows up in Rodney’s journal in 1803. He refers to him as “A” Mr. Pryor which sounds like he was a different Pryor than the family from VA. Remember, Point Pleasant is on the Ohio side of the river.

This is a noble river in appearance. We saw the Major and Shields on shore at Point Pleasant and the Major requested me to come on shore; and I ordered Buckhanan to throw out the ankor and I went on shore on the point. The Major has several human bones in his hand. A Mr. Pryor was with him and informed us there was 40 ft. water in the Canhawah and a 70 gun ship would go 50 miles up and a boat of 5 turns about a hundred; but beyond that there was so many rocks and falls there was no navigating it.

An interesting side note is that Thomas Rodney also spent his last years in Natchez, as a judge. And how’s this for a little plot twist– in January 1807 Aaron Burr (read post) was brought before Judge Thomas Rodney before he was returned to the east for stand trial for treason (see BelcherFoundation.org).

Guilford County, NC Pryor Family

The parents of these Pryors are unknown, yet they were most probably deceased by 1820 when Alson and Dennard were recorded as “orphans”. Alson Pryor gives us the best trail to find their parents: He was born around 1807 and stated on one census that he was born in Rowan County and on another in Iredell County.

Sinnie Pryor b. 1789 in NC. Possibly the wife of Andrew Waggoner/Waggonman of Guilford County, NC.  Andrew was a head of household on 1820 Census in Guilford County, NC. Both Andrew and Sinnie are on the 1850 Census in Clinton County, IN.

Thomas Pryor b. 1791-1800 probably in NC. In 1820 Thomas married Betsy Gerringer; Samuel Pryor was bondsman.  Thomas is on the 1840 Census in Clay County, MO– his wife Elizabeth/Betsy was on the 1850 Census in Lawrence County, MO.

Elizabeth Pryor b. 1799 in NC. Wife of George Wynick/Wyrick/Wannick/Winnick/Waynick (Yup, probably more ways to spell than Pryor!). They are on the 1850 Census in Dickson County, TN. She named a son Denhardt Alson Pryor.

Samuel Pryor born about 1800 in Guilford County. In 1820 he was the bondsman for Thomas Pryor‘s marriage. He married Theresa Nicks in Guilford County in 1822. Samuel is on the 1850 and 1860 Census in Wilkes County, NC. The 1850 census recorded his place of birth.

Dennard Pryor b. 1801-1810 probably in NC. In 1820, he and his brother Alson were apprenticed to Andrew Waggoner/Waggonman in Guilford County, NC. His first known child James T. Pryor stated on Civil War Record that he was born in Guilford County, NC in 1830. Dennard only appeared on the 1840 Census in Clay County, MO, although he lived to 1863 or thereafter.  He served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Alson Pryor b. 1807 in NC. He was apprenticed with Dennard Pryor to Andrew Waggoner/Waggonman in 1820. In 1828 Alson married Lucinda Nicks. Alson was on the 1840 through 1880 Census in Guilford County.


Other Possible Pryor Kin:

Eliza Pryor b. 1809 in NC. Eliza was living with Elizabeth Betsy Pryor and her husband George Waynick on the 1850 Census in Dickson County, TN and with Elizabeth on census records in Houston County, TN. She is described as “single” and as an “aunt”; since Elizabeth’s son in law was the head of household we know Eliza wasn’t his aunt. She may have been a younger sibling Elizabeth and the Pryors listed above.

David Prior d. 1816. His estate was settled in Iredell County, NC. Thomas Prior and Andrew Waggaonman purchased items from the estate. David Pryor was surety for a 1803 Marriage Bond – Asa Carman and Isabel Cummings on 25 Nov 1803.



Pryors from Guilford County, NC – Connections to IN and TN and MO

I heard from a researcher who is descended from some of the Pryors from Guilford County, NC who made their way to Dickson County, TN. They have a family story penned by a relative long ago.  It’s a lovely, romantic tale of siblings Tommy Pryor (or Thomas) and his sister Elizabeth who traveled to see another sister named Sinnie who was married and living in Guilford County.  The tale is unclear where the Pryors were traveling from. Elizabeth met and married George Waynick (there are multiple variations of the spelling)– and settled in Guilford County. We know George and Elizabeth “Betsy” married around 1814 (around the time their first child was born) which helps to date the story.

But I take these stories with a hefty dose of skepticism. Do any of the facts match the records? Do any of the facts help to explain the paper records? Well, in this case there’s a little of both.

Part of the story is that on this same trip, brother Tommy Pryor met a beautiful farmer’s daughter and married her shortly thereafter. This is probably an embellishment because there is a marriage record for Thomas Pryor who married Elizabeth Gerringer on December 8, 1820 in Guilford County.

The researcher suspects that these Pryor siblings were related to Denard Pryor (grandfather of famed trombonist Arthur Pryor) and Alson Pryor who were orphans and apprenticed to Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner in Guilford County in 1820. It’s not just a hunch based on the surnames showing up in the same locale — Betsy Pryor Waynick named a son Denard.

Thomas and Denard have a connection. There is a Thomas Pryor and Denard Pryor on the 1840 Census in Clay County, MO. Thomas had died before the 1850 Census and Thomas’ widow was Elizabeth later recorded in Lawrence County, MO.

I decided to play a hunch. What if apprentice-master Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner was not just a master, but a relative? I found an Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner b. 1780 who is ID’d in several family trees as from Guilford County, NC. On the 1850 Census his wife was ID’d as Sinni b. 1789 in NC:

1850 Census – Michigan Twp., Clinton County, Indiana
House 15/15 Samuel Waggoner 27 NC, Malinda 22 IA, David J 5 IA, Andrew V 2 IA, Mary A 4/12 IA.
House 17/17 Andrew Waggoner 70 farmer NC, Sinni 61 NC, Samuel 3 IA, John Burket 11 IA

andrew-waggoner-denard-pryorSinnie in these Family Trees is recorded as Cynthiann Thomas. Does that crush the idea that she may be Sinnie Pryor? Not yet because the family trees are unsourced.  Looks like more homework is needed to figure out if she’s a Pryor or a Thomas, or if she was a Pryor who had married a Thomas. Any Waggonmans out there who want to offer a source for Sinnie’s surname?

Find A Grave has memorials for both Andrew and Sinnie. Sinnie’s doesn’t contain a photo and the birth year is 10 years earlier than the age reported on the 1850 Census, so approach with caution:

S. Waggonman:


The story of the Pryor siblings gave an account that George Waynick and family had stayed in Indiana to grow one crop before moving into TN, so perhaps the Waynicks and Waggonmans both went to IN from NC.

If indeed Sinnie, Tommy, and Betsy are related to Denard and Alson, then we may also know the identity of Tommy.  Denard only shows up on one census records and it’s on the same page in Clay County, MO with Thomas Pryor b. 1791-1800. Thomas’ wife was recorded as Elizabeth and their first known child was David Josiah b. 1825 in NC –  could Thomas be the same man who married Betsy Geringer on 8 Dec 1820 in Guilford County with bondsman Samuel Pryor?

There’s a Guilford County marriage on https://ncgenweb.us :
Andrew Gerinor [Gerringer] + Elisabeth Wyrick ~ 16 Feb 1803 bond ~ Andrew Waggonman [Waggoner]

This marriage brings together the Gerringer, Wyrick, and Waggonman surnames. That certainly helps to tie together the story, the surnames and the Pryors.


William H Pryor of Clay County and Blessed Bruington

WAR of 1812: Claim of Widow for Pension, under the Provisions of Sections 4736 to 4740 inclusive Revised Statutes, and the Act of March 9, 1878.

State of Tennessee
County of Clay

On this 25 day of January, AD one thousand eight hundred and eighty personally appeared before me W W W Hearn, the same being a Court of Record within and for the county and State aforesaid, (1) Blessed Bruington age 88 years, a resident of Clay Co., in the State of Tennessee, who being duly sworn according to law, declares that she is a widow of (2) James Bruington deceased, who was the identical (3) James Bruington, who served under the name of (4) James Bruington as a (5) private in the company commanded by Captain Sutton, in the regiment of Infantry, commanded by William Woodfork in the War of 1812; that her said husband (6) was drafted at Jackson Co., Tenn on or about the 1st of September, AD 1814, for the term of 6 months and continued in actual serviced in said war for the term of (7) 6 months, and whose services terminated, by reason of (8) discharge at Fort Jackson, on the ____ day of March, AD 1815.  She further states that the following is a full description of her said husband at the time of his enlistment, viz: (9) stout, dark complexion, height not known.  She further states that she was married to the said james Bruington, at the city (or town) of _________, in the county of Jackson, and in the State of Tennessee, on the 11th day of ____ AD 1812, by one (10) Hollingsworth, who was a (11) Justice of Peace and that her name before her said marriage was Blessed Smith, and that she has not remarried since the death of the said soldier; and she futher states that (12) neither she nor her husband had been previously married and that her said husband (13) James Bruington, died at Putnam Co., in the state of Tenn., on 14 day of October, AD 1864; and she futher declares that the following have been the places of residence of herself and her said husband since the date of his discharge from the Army, viz; (14) Jackson Co., Tenn and Putnam Co., Tenn. She makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the pension to which she may be entitled under the provisions of Sections 4736 to 4740 inclusive Revised Statues, and Act of March 9, 1878, and herby constitutes and appoints with full power of stubstitution and revocation. J. L McFarland of Washington, DC her true and lawful attorney, to prosecute her claim and she futher declares that she has heretofore made a application for (13) pension, which she is informed is incorrect and substitutes this therefore and that her residence is Clay Co., Tenn and she is physically unable to go before the clerk of court Oakley, Overton Co., Tenn.

Signed Blessed Bruington (her mark)
Attest: John M. Hummel
Attest: William H Pryor

Tennessee Death records are  now available on Ancestry.com. John McDonald Hummel is not only living near Blessed Bruington and William H Pryor in 1880, but his mother Judith Hummel was living with him. Hummel’s death record confirms his mother was Judith Pryor Hummel. 

So, not only did Mrs Bruington choose these two neighbors to witness the pension application, but two neighbors who were Pryors. I think researchers of William H. Pryor’s line should consider that he and Judith are related.

Category: War of 1812 | Tags: ,