Tag Archives: DNA. Sumner County

The Huddleston Line May Solve The Mystery of Phereba Pryor

Remember Phereba Pryor who was counted in Spicy Taylor Pryor’s household in 1850? I recently saw a family tree on Ancestry.com that claimed Phereba as a direct ancestor. OK, they have my attention! I was a bit skeptical that Phereba or the children in her household could be found anywhere, but this tree looked like a lead worth investigating.

The tree owner’s descendant was William J Huddleston. William was born in March 7, 1856 per his 1943 death record. He died in Indianapolis. His parents were William Huddleston and Anna Pryor, both born in TN.  His daughter Mrs. (Nora) Forman supplied the information on the death record.

Can we confirm that the Anna Pryor on the death record is actually the Phereba Pryor from TN census records? Perhaps.

William J Huddleston married Lucy Peak in Meade County, KY in 1877. I found Lucy’s obit. She died in 1937. The obituary was published in the Indianapolis Star on 29 November 1937. It states Lucy was from Meade County, KY. Her daughter Nora Forman was also mentioned in the article. Mead county birth records state Lucy O Peak was born 20 December 1857 to John C Peak and Elizabeth Allen.

There were 7 surviving children from William and Lucy’s marriage. That’s the potential for a lot of descendants from this line.

The owner of the Ancestry family tree places William Huddleston also in Meade County. If his wife Lucy was from there then it makes sense that William could be found in the same county. They have the 1870 census as source record for William and this is where it gets INTERESTING.

In Garnettsville, Dist 5, page 357a there’s also a James Huddleston age 20 who was born in TN. He is living in the household of Mary E Riney, working as a farm hand. The only other Huddlestons in the county were also in Garnettsville, Dist. 5, page 361a: Phebe Huddleston 40 and William 16– both born in Tennessee.

The last time we found Phereba Pryor on a census was in 1860, living in Sumner County TN just a few lines from Massie Taylor Pryor.  Amazingly the names and ages of sons James and William match up! I know that Phebe/Phereba’s age doesn’t mesh, however her age was 21 on the 1850 Census, so it didn’t match up well with the 1860 census. If she was about 20 in 1850, 30 in 1860, then she would be about 40 in 1870.

1860 Census of Sumner Co., TN – 11th Dist.
House 104 Fereby PRIAR 24, James PRIAR 10, William PRIAR 7, John KEYSER 37 PA, John RYAN 37 GA, Silas ??? 50 PA

There must be a story as to why Phereba and her children were counted as Pryors on the 1860 Census. Why were they Huddlestons in 1870 but not in 1860? Was Phereba never married to Mr Huddleston? Was she a widow or divorced in 1860? Did a neighbor supply the census information in 1860 and they knew her as a Pryor relation? Were they living in Meade county after the Civil War because of the Civil War?

The good news is that if this is Phereba, then she was still alive in 1880. There’s an “Anna Hudelson” b. 1833 in TN counted in Garnettsville in 1880. She stated both of her parents were born in VA which matches how other known children of William Pryor and Spicy Taylor responded on the census. She listed her marital status as “widowed” in 1880.

Why was I looking at this Ancestry tree? Their autosomal kit matches to mine. We also share these matches who are connected through the Pryors, Taylors, and Garretts:

Overton Pryor, son of William Pryor and Spicy Taylor (daughter of Edmund Taylor and Elizabeth Garrett)

Louisa Pryor McCullough, daughter of John Pryor and Massey Taylor (daughter of Edmund Taylor and Elizabeth Garrett)

Ann Eliza Garrett Overstreet, daughter of Stark Garrett

Shadrack Garrett and wife Lector Ann Taylor, daughter of Hezekiah Taylor (son of Edmund Taylor and Elizabeth Garrett)

Robert S Taylor, son of Hezekiah Taylor (son of Edmund Taylor and Elizabeth Garrett)

Ancestry predicts my relationship to the test subject as 5th cousins, sharing Edmund Taylor and/or Elizabeth Garrett as our common ancestor(s), or that we share a common Pryor ancestor, or both.

Just when you think a Pryor has fallen out of the family tree… there’s new info that lights a path of research.

Happy New Year to all the our Pryor kin!

Ancestry DNA and William Pryor of Sumner County, TN

It’s time to make some comments on DNA testing. While it may not be the end-all for determining relationships; it can help to shine some light on who is related to whom and point to a direction for further research. Finding out that the surname you’ve been searching may be a “detour” may be disappointing however it shouldn’t detract that we are part of a family’s story and shared in the journey of that family. Rather than exclude us it shows more clearly how we became included!

So what’s new with the Pryors? We have perhaps a clearer picture of the family William Pryor of Sumner County, TN who died en route to the California Gold Rush in the 1840’s.

A male Pryor who can prove his line back to William tested several years ago via an Ancestry Y-DNA test. His kit was a VERY distant match to other Pryors from the known line of Allen L Pryor of Sumner County.

This was a bit of a surprised because William’s grand-daughter Willie Pryor was referred to as “cousin Willie” after she married Thomas W. Gregory whose first wife was Allen L. Pryor’s daughter, Bettie.

When I went back to working the chart for my Pryor autosomal DNA results I discovered there’s an Ancestry DNA kit for William’s line. They are a descendant of Thomas W Gregory and his second wife Willie Pryor. They are a very high match to my test and they also match to other known Gregory tests.

So who do they match to with the Pryors, Taylors, and Talleys? That’s where it gets to be interesting. There are 12 tests that are very clearly matches to these lines. Willie’s descendant matches up with only one of the 12 tests (the tester is a ggg-grandson of Allen L Pryor).

From the male Y DNA testing there was a low expectation that a descendant of William Pryor would match to the Pryors and Taylors, so the results are pretty much as expected.

HOWEVER, Willie Pryor’s mother was suppose to be a Talley and a sister of Elizabeth Talley who married Allen L Pryor. I’d expect a match to the kits among the 12 that are descended from Allen L Pryor and wife Elizabeth Talley. There is still only that one lone match.

Where does the break in the DNA lineage occur? Was Willie not a daughter of a Pryor and a Talley? Possibly not. If her mother had an affair then she would still match to some of the Talley kits, so results so far indiate her mother wasn’t a Talley.

Some fodder for research.

Generations Shown in Pryor AncestryDNA Testing

Another observation came out of the Ancestry DNA. The first test submitted was for one of my kids. They were a willing subject and it seemed like a keen way to find out more about BOTH sides of their family tree. After a productive telephone chat with another researcher I decided to submit my own test.

What a difference a generation can make! My results included matches that weren’t even in my daughter’s results.

FTDA’s Family Finder autosomal test projects results back to 5 generations. AncestryDNA claims results may show results back to 8 generations, but their own graph shows how little common DNA they’re working with at that point. https://www.ancestry.com/dna/learn

One of the testers who descends from William and Spicy Pryor can claim them as their 5th great grandparents. They are separated by 7 generations. The hope of shedding light on their connection to earlier generations which may include kin of Edmund Taylor, Elizabeth Garrett, or any Pryors is quite slim.

There’s a couple ways to make AncestryDNA work for research.

Not just a concept from my results (you’ll hear others online make this recommendation). Test yourself AND also test your oldest relatives.

When looking at your results zero in on matching test who are the LEAST number of generations from your most distant relative you’re searching. For example, the test I mentioned above claims William and Spicy as their 5th great grandparents. Other kits claim them as 3rd and 4th great grandparents.

Ancestry rates their matches as Extremely High, High, Good and Moderate. I found that testers who were connected to a common 3rd great grandparent were “Extremely High” but when comparing to a tester who shared the same ancestor, but at the 5th great grandparent distance, our relationship was rated as “Good”. None of the results on my now long and slightly unwieldy chart were rated as “Moderate”.

So I pass on this cheeky advice: if you’re old or have an even older relative… test ’em!



Pryor and Taylor Marriages Cloud AncestryDNA Results

I’ve created a mega chart of Pryors from AncestryDNA kits. These are the Pryors in Sumner County and Overton County, TN. I will share what I’ve found in a few posts. I’m going to follow the same guidelines I used as admin of the male Y-DNA project through FTDNA– I won’t divulge test names, names of the testers, or other identifying info. I will refer to refer to dead people, most of whom passed more than 50 years ago.

A few years ago I started off with one test from a descendant of Allen L Pryor b. 1816 and tried to figure out how it matched with others. One of the worst methods of searching was searching by the surname Pryor– it picks up on all Pryors many of whom have no relationship to you (that’s me!).

Gradually more descendants of Allen L Pryor have tested. Tests matches include descendants of his children John Edward, Betty, Annie, and Lycurgus. What’s especially splendid is that Ancestry predicts the same generation distance as predicted through paper research.

Using the Autosomal Ancestry DNA test to match up people only goes so far because of all the marriages between lines. For instance, there’s a test that can matches to Allen’s projected sister Louisa. It’s helpful in matching her to the Pryor line until you look down the list of Louisa’s descendants and realize they married into the same Taylor family as the Taylor grandparents of both Allen and Louisa. This means the match can be for Pryors or Taylors or both.

There are now AncestryDNA tests for descendants of the children of William Pryor and Spicy Taylor who lived in Overton County. They match to tests on the Allen L Pryor side of the tree. However, Allen’s parents were John Pryor and Massey Taylor, the known sister of Spicy Taylor. So are the tests matching on the Pryors or Taylors or both?

See how the marriages between lines can cloud things?






Another Pryor Y-DNA Match: News for GA, TN, and VA Pryors

Working GA MapSome big news for some of the Pryors — there is a new Y-DNA test result. This is a tester who can trace their lineage to Edward Pryor of Wilkes Co., GA.  I hope that piques your attention because Edward Pryor is quite a nice find. His son, John, is Patriot ancestor used by researchers for admission to the DAR. If John was an adult at the time of the Revolution how far back does Edward go?–Maybe pretty far back because he signed his will in 1796 (see will).

Thank goodness for an Edward Pryor because it’s refreshing not have to search for another John, William or Samuel!  I’m very interested in the Edward Pryor recorded in Henrico County, VA. Could he be the Edward Pryor in GA?

1. A Nicholas Pryor processioned the land of a Abraham Childress in Henrico County per a 1736 vestry entry.

2. In 1746 David Pryor, deceased, was recorded in Goochland County Records as having sons John and David. Abraham Childress was appointed guardian of the young David.

3. An Edward Pryor was named on a 1757 Vestry record with Lemmy Childers (another spelling for Childress), also in Henrico County.

I’m open to the possibility that this Edward Pryor is connected to Nicholas Pryor (a Nicholas Pryor was deceased by 1746 when a Susannah Pryor was appointed administratrix of his estate in Henrico County). In 1741 John Shoemaker’s deed stated his land in Henrico County was adjacent to “Nikolas Pryor” on Deep Run. In 1754 Edward Pryor was recorded on a deed between Richard East and William Buxton, stating Edward’s land was on Deep Run.  And Edward was still there in 1760 when he was recorded as the owner of land adjoining land William Price.

Time to get down to the results of the Y-DNA test.  The tester for Edward Pryor’s line connects with the tester from William Pryor of Campbell County, VA and Overton Co., TN on 12, 25, 37, 67, and 111 markers. They are a 105 out 111 marker match which according to FTDNA’s infomation, they are related within 7 to 12 generations. (see FTDNA chart)

The tester for Edward can trace their family tree 8 generations to Edward. The tester for William can trace their family tree 6 generations to William and with speculation, two more generations to John who may be the orphan of David Pryor who died in about 1746. Please note these are not family trees carved out of solid stone, but are meant to be guidelines for further research.