Tag Archives: Davidson County

Possible KY Kin of Capt. Samuel Pryor of Nashville

Before I leave Capt. Samuel Pryor (d. abt. 1811) to examine him again in the far future, I’d like to tie Samuel to his probable family line.

When I was the admin of the Pryor Y-DNA project we had a male tester who
traced their lineage through Benjamin W. Pryor. The preliminary results of his test kit placed him in Haplogroup I1 https://www.familytreedna.com/public/pryor?iframe=yresults, the group that includes other testers who trace their lineage to Samuel Pryor (the one associated with the possible Prudence Thornton) of VA and Matthew Pryor of Marion Co., TN. This connection presents the probability that Benjamin W. and Capt. Samuel Pryor who died about 1811 are descendants of the same line of Pryors. If there are any male Pryors out there who think they are descended from Benjamin W. Pryor, I’m sure this group of testers would really appreciate them getting at least a Y37 test to solidify that relationship. 

If Capt. Samuel Pryor and Thornton Pryor were brothers, they were probably the sons of Joseph Pryor of Bourbon County who named sons Samuel and Thornton in his 1812 will. The problem I have with that relationship is that Samuel was deceased BEFORE Joseph signed his will that recorded a son named Samuel.

William P Pryor (Land) In The Cumberland River

This plat map is the first I’ve ever seen and definitely worth sharing. The survey for William P Pryor in Davidson County, TN in 1829 was for land “in” the Cumberland River rather than “on” or bounded by the river. Whaaaat?

I’d love to know what he did with the land. Was it a strategic purchase to control property on either side of the river? Was it to have access to the river? Did he operate a ferry?

Who was William P Pryor? I haven’t seen a William who used the middle initial P. Nor is there a William Pryor on the 1830 Census in Davidson County. Was this William T Pryor a son of Nicholas B Pryor?

I was also curious about where this land may have been located, so I set out to see it it was visible in current maps of the area. This was a small parcel – 4 1/2 acres. There are a few small pieces of water bound pieces of land in Davidson county, but I highly doubt it can be ID’d today after almost 200 years of erosion and sedimentation.

William P Pryor Record Transcript:

Ploted by a scale of 20 poles to an Inch.
State of Tennessee Davidson County
by V–y of Entry No 781 Dated Sept 14th 1829 founded on the Consideration of one cent per acre paid into the entry taken off– of Davidson County I have surveyed for William P Pryor four and a half acres of land in said county and in Cumberland River. Beginning at the lower point of a sand bar below the first Island in Cumberland river below Nashville thence Running up the Southers Sluce with its meanders at low water mark south fourteen degrees east thirty poles, South twenty and a half degrees East twenty six poles, south twelve degrees. East twenty one poles to a stake in John Boyd’s line of an Eighteen and a half —? survey, which includes said Island thence with said line North ten poles to a Stake said Boyd’s corner with his line South twnety seven degrees East twenty six poles to the northern sluice at low water mark, thence lower said sluice with its meanders north two degrees East Eight poles, then North twenty three degrees west Twenty six poles, North Eight degrees West twenty four poles North twenty degrees West twenty four poles North thirty degrees West Eighteen poles then North Sixty four degrees west and a half poles to the Beginning the balance of said Entry could not be satisfied by reason of water and an older claim.
Surveyed Oct 2nd 1829
(signed) Sam. Weakley SDC
Isaac Clemmons
Joseph Parks


Will of Zach B Pryor of Nashville, TN

Thank you Ancestry.com for putting up wills in Tennessee! Access these record has given me the opportunity to see if there are some Pryors I’ve missed.  I had found Zach B. Pryor of Nashville, TN on the index long ago, so it’s awesome to see his actual will. 

Continue reading

Alexander Donelson Estate and the Pryor Family in Nashville

President Alexander Hamilton

I had figured out Alexander Donelson a while ago, however I’m just getting around to correcting his ID on the TNPryors.com website. Donelson was the elder brother of Rachel Donelson, wife of President Andrew Jackson.

I had gone on a dig for Alexander Donelson’s will. It was signed 9 September 1826. He appointed Nicholas B. Pryor as his executor. It’s important to look at documents – a transcript provided by another Pryor family researcher identified a witness as “Lain B. Pryor.”  There is no record of a Lain B. Pryor. I think the signature is Zach B. Pryor– Zachariah B. Pryor was counted on the line above Alexander Donelson on the 1820 Census in Davidson County, TN.

Alexander Donelson will Nicholas B Pryor executorAn obit for Alexander Donelson (see Find A Grave) indicates he died 23 May 1834. I looked for an inventory of his estate to see if Nicholas B. Pryor signed it as executor. Probably not because his family recorded his death as January 1833. I’m guessing Donelson’s estate may have gone into Chancery Court for an administrator to be appointed due to the death of the executor.

obit for Alexander Donelson

Nicholas B. Pryor moved in some pretty elite crowds. His sister married Thomas Jefferson’s brother and he was associated with the in-laws of another president.

Finding Dick Pryor’s Nashville Race Track & Tracking Pryors


Part I: Dick Pryor’s Race Track

The Normal College, later known as the Peabody Normal College was located at 614 Broad St., Nashville. In my previous post (see post) Miss Jane H Thomas stated this was where Dick Pryor and Patton Anderson used to run their race track.

We know the track was a VERY long time ago because Patton Anderson was murdered in 1811. How long the racing went on after his death — I don’t know.

I attempted to find the College using Google Maps, however the address doesn’t appear to exist anymore.  I tried street view to see if I could spot this building on the current site the Peabody buildings associated with Vanderbilt University. No Luck.

Any suggestions for an old map that shows the location?

There’s a Richard Pryor in Capt James Bennings Company on the 1811 Tax List for Davidson County. Nicholas B. Pryor was in another Company clearly designated as the town of Nashville, although the Captain’s name is illegible. That’s about the right time-frame for the Dick Pryor we’re looking for.

In Wallace’s Monthly, a horse magazine published in February 1878, there’s a memoir that recounts meeting General Jackson and Patton Anderson in 1805 while Jackson was racing Truxton. You know you’ve been doing too much Pryor research when you remember the names of their horses!– Jackson bought Truxton from Thornton and Samuel Pryor of Bourbon County, KY (read post about Truxton).

If I were a betting woman… my wager would be that Dick is Richard Pryor a relation of the Bourbon County Pryors.

Part II: Tracking Pryors

I got curious about Miss Jane H. Thomas. Where the heck was she living in 1850 — was she living near any of the Pryors or their kin? I about fell off my seat when I found her on the census. Miss Jane was aged 50, born in VA, living in house 669 with the family of John M. Bass. Bass was the “Prest. U. B. Tenn” with an estate valued at $100,000. Next to them was house 668— James W. McCullough age 25, a carpenter, born in TN with an Elizabeth Pryor age 13 in the household!

This may be a stretch, but it may also be a lead. James W. McCullough married Mildred Yandle in 1846. There’s a Miles Yandle family in house 744 in Rusk County, TX in 1850. In house 766 is Solomon Coates and family who were on the same page with John Bernard and wife Laura Pryor in 1840 in Tipton Co., TN. I’ve always suspected that Laura Pryor was connected to Benjamin W. Pryor b. 1788 in VA and on the 1850 Census in Ellis Co., TX.

I wonder if John Bass was living in the spot in 1840? J. M. Bass is on the census in Ward 4 of Nashville, however there isn’t a woman the age of Miss Jane in the household. A few lines down is the Nashville Female Academy with 225 students.  Is this the school that Miss Jane discussed in her memoir?