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Updates and Corrections on the Tree of Thomas Pryor and Telitha C.

At last an answer to some of the questions in a recent post (Tabitha is Telitha C. Pryor of Wilson Co., TN and Franklin Co., IL). The answer is a good one because it really helps to straighten out this line.

Josie Pryor Franklin Co. IL

I asked who were the parents of Josephine/Josie Pryor (or Prior) who married James Purcell. Was she the daughter of Thomas and Telitha Pryor born about 1861? — the Josephine born about 1861 who appears on the 1870 with her mother in 1870. Or is she the daughter of Young Pryor (son of Allen and Cinderella Pryor of Jackson Co., TN)?– there’s no Josephine in his household in 1870, she stated her age and therefore her year of birth on the 1920 census as 1868, and relations of Young Pryor were recorded in her household through various census records.

Well, thanks to the researcher who has provided her death record! It states her father was Young Pryor/Prior. So beware, there is no evidence to connect Allen and Cinderella to Thomas and Telitha. It may look like Josie/Josephine on the 1870 Census in Telitha’s household could be Young’s daughter (because she’s not in Young’s household), but go to the 1880 Census where she is still in Telitha’s household and is recorded as her daughter.

What happened to the Josephine Pryor, daughter of Thomas and Telitha C.? It’s possible that she’s the Josephine Pryor who married F. T. McNail on 7 Dec. 1874 in Franklin Co., IL. They are on the 1900 and 1910 Census in Hamilton Co., IL. In 1910 and 1920 (Logan Co., IL) her parents were recorded as born in TN and IL which match to the 1850 and 1860 Census records in Wilson Co., TN for the births of Thomas and Telitha.  The index to her death record states her mother’s surname as Durham and father “Pryor….”  and there are some family trees on Ancestry that include Telitha C. Durham and a 1849 marriage date to Thomas Pryor — just be aware that their sources are on the skimpy side and source documents or links are not attached.

Time to do some corrections on the TN Pryor website.

Tabitha is Telitha C. Pryor of Wilson Co., TN and Franklin Co., IL

wilson county


This is a find that may be of interest to the Jackson County and Williamson County, Tennessee Pryors, as well as anyone looking at Pryor in Wilson Co., TN. I found the will of Telitha C. Pryor of Franklin Co., IL. I think she’s the woman who was counted with Thomas Pryor on the 1850 and 1860 census in Wilson Co., TN. I know this line is a bit tricky with twists and turns, so I thought I’d take another look.

On the 1850 Census she was recorded as Tabitha and in 1860 as Thabitha. How the heck did she get to be Telitha in Illinois records? Darned if I know! I just wanted to know if I was on the right track… is this indeed a recording error… so I started a chart just to see how the information lines up. Yes, it quickly turns to spaghetti! Not only does her name change between records, but her age jumps from census to census from 22 to 32 to 40 to 52 in 1880 to 72 in 1900. Her age seems fairly consistent except for the 1870 census when she was recorded as 40.

Thank goodness, her children has some pretty odd names which helps to match them up across records.  Her daughter born about 1850 was recorded throughout the years as Sursilda, Sarilda and Serilda. Another daughter Roxanna born 1856 shows up as Roxanna on the 1860 census, the same spelling in 1870, and as Roxanna married to Alfred Groves in 1900 — I’m certain it’s the same Roxanna because Telitha C. Pryor’s will appointed her grandson Henry Groves as her executor.

Alas, the spaghetti… those wild lines and arrows running over my chart. Alfred Prior who was living with Josephine Pryor Purcell in 1920 is recorded as her “uncle”. I think this is the Alfred Pryor who was the son of Cinderella (and Allen Pryor) of Jackson Co., TN who was on the 1870 Census in Franklin Co., IL with his mother.  When Alfred died in 1921 in Perry Co., IL the death record states his father was Allen Pryor.

click on image to enlarge

click on image to enlarge

I continue to suspect Josephine to be the daughter of Thomas and Telitha C. Pryor.  Josephine born 1861 is on the 1880 Census with Telitha and recorded as her “daughter”. I don’t find any children of Allen and Cinderella with a daughter named Josie or Josephine. While it looks like like Alfred and Josephine connect the lines of Thomas and Allen Pryor together it bugs me that Alfred was recorded as an uncle. Is that because he looked too old to be a cousin? Or their relationship was too distant to describe with just one word?

Or do these relationships eat at me because Lulu Merkel b. 1891 was living with Josie Purcell in 1910 and recorded as her “niece”? Lulu was the daughter of James Merkel and Ruthy Pryor, a daughter of Young Pryor and Betty Corneyhon. Young was counted near Cinderella Pryor in 1870— he’s believed to be another son. If Josephine were Young’s daughter then the relationships described on the census would be correct: Alfred would be her uncle and Lulu her niece.

OK, so was there ever a Josephine born 1861/1862 counted in Young’s household?  In 1870 there was a Susan born about 1858/1859 and a Melvina born about 1862 — both born in IL. The only child near that age in Young’s household in 1880 was Sindarilla born 1866 who is the same age as the child named Eliza who was on the 1870 Census.

The last wild arrow on my chart is the proximity of Alfred P Swallows and James Merkel on the 1880 Census in Perry Co., IL. James Merkel was married to Ruthy Pryor, daughter of Young Pryor (grand-daughter of Allen and Cinderella Pryor).  Alfred P Swallows was a cousin of the Ellen Swallows who was living with Logan Pryor on the 1870 Census in Perry Co., IL.  (Logan was the son of James and Nancy Pryor of Overton Co., TN). [I wrote about the Pryors and Swallows last year]

I look at this stuff over and over again each time a new piece of documentation is revealed. You’d link something would lift the fog.

Last Will and Testament of Telitha C. Pryor, deceased

Know all By These Presents: That I Telitha C. Pryor, of the City of Benton in the County of Franklin, and State of Illinois, do make, publish and declare this my Last Will And Testament:

First: It is my will that my general expenses and all of my just debts be fully paid.

Second: I direct that my Executor, hereinafter named, erect to me a monument of the cost of seventy-five dollars, said monument to be paid for our of the proceeds of the sale of my property herein after described, before any distribution of said proceeds is made among my heirs.

Third: I direct that as soon as convenient and practiable after my death, my Executor, hereinafter named, dispose of all my property of which I many die seized, that he is empowered to sell at private sale all my personal property, and that he sell to the highest bidder at public sale, my homestead described as follows: Lot No Forty-six (46) in the south west Quarter of Section No. Eighteen (18) in Township No. Six (6), South Range Three (3), East of the Third P. M. in Franklin County, Illinois, after giving notice for three successive weeks of said sale of said homestead. Said notice to be published in some weekly newspaper published at Benton, Illinois. My said Executor is empowered to execute deed to highest bidder, said permises to be sold on such terms as Executor may think best.

Fourth: I direct that out of the proceeds of the sale of my said property all my debts, expenses of administration and cost of monument be first paid, and that the residue thereof then he distributed among my legal heirs according to the Statues of Descent of the State of Illinois.

Lastly: I hereby appoint my grandson, Henry Groves, to be the Executor of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made, and I direct that my said Executor be appointed without bond. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the Twenty third day of April in the year of our Lord One Thoursand Nine Hundred and Eight.

Telitha C. Pryor (her mark X) [seal]

The above instrument sonsisting of one sheet, was now here subscribed by Telitha Pryor, the Testator, in the presence of each of us, and was at the same time declared by her to be her last Will and Testament and we at her request sign our name hereto in her presence as attesting witnesses.
Thomas J. Layman of Benton, ILL
Lulu Layman of Benton, ILLProof of will filed 28 Dec 1908

Source: Illinois Probate Records, 1819-1970; pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-15881-13510-17

*** See edits in subsequent post Updates and Corrections on the Tree of Thomas Pryor and Telitha C.

Shadowing Elijah Ewing Reveals New Clues for the Pryors

I like to scope out the “neighborhood” — I like to see who was living around the Pryors and then see where they came from and where they went for more clues. By shadowing them (following them  around) I hope to turn over even more new leads. Let’s hope for some great shadowing results this year and let them start with Elijah Ewing.

Here we go…

1793 Tax List Sumner County, TN
Counted in Capt. Young’s Company: John Pryor, Elijah Ewing, William Pryor, Philip Trammel Sr. and Philip Trammel Jr.

Ewing and Trammel Connection
An Ancestry family tree states Elijah Ewing married Elizabeth Trammel, a daughter of Philip Trammel. The Trammel surname is familiar to Pryor researchers — William Pryor of Stewart County, TN married Betsy Trammel and in 1811 William was appointed the guardian of Samson Trammel’s orphans (Samson was a son of Philip Trammel).

1794 Tax List Sumner County, TN
Elijah Ewing, William Pryor

1796 KY Land Grant
to Elijah Ewing on Ducks Lick in Logan County, KY. Surveyed 23 Sept 1796.
Richard Pryor’s land grant wasn’t on a watercourse and was surveyed 13 Jul 1796.

1801 – Signers of petition against using Smith County land to make Wilson County
John Pryor, William Pryor, Elijah Ewing, Caleb Job, Joseph Pryor (Caleb Job, William Pryor, and Joseph Pryor were heirs of Richard Pryor the husband of Mourning Thompson)

1802 Tax List Jackson County, TN
Capt. Fitzgerald’s Company Elijah Ewing with Daniel Job, William Pryor, Ezekial Rhea, Elijah Ewing, James Taylor (Daniel Job, William Pryor, Ezekial Rhea were heirs of Richard Pryor the husband of Mourning Thompson)

1808 TN Land Grant
to Elijah Ewing on Roaring River in Jackson County, TN

1812 Tax List Jackson County, TN
Elijah Ewing

Mystery Tax List on Ancestry.com – Sometime between 1803 and 1820… 
Elijah Ewing was counted in perhaps Jackson County in Captain Prescott’s Company near William Crocker, William Stafford, Thomas Pryor, James Whitson, and Joseph Pryor. More investigation is needed to pin-down this mystery list.
[…read more in last post] (Researchers have placed James Whitson b. 1761-1770 as a husband of Elizabeth Pryor, possibly related to Jeremiah Whitson b. 1774 who may have been married to Susannah Pryor on the 1850 Census in White Co., TN)

1820 Census in Franklin Co., IL
Elijah Ewing – oldest male in  household was over 45 years.

Elijah had a son born 1802/1803 who was also named Elijah. Elijah Ewing Jr. who is on the 1850 Census in Franklin Co., IL. This is kind of interesting because there’s a Jerry Odle age 23 living in his house and the following household is Isaac Odle age. 22. The Odles are of interest because Enoch Odle married Catherine Pryor and was also in Jackson Co., TN records. And just to put that icing on the cake, there is also a Trammel Ewing on 1830’s Franklin County land records– a first name which seem to confirm these are the same Ewings who were in early Sumner County!

Another Jackson County – Franklin County Connection?
Cinderella of Jackson County was the widow of Allen Pryor b. 1810 had to Franklin Co. and was counted there on the 1870 Census. Tabitha Pryor, the widow of Thomas Pryor b. 1813/1814 moved from Wilson Co., TN and was counted in Franklin County in 1870.
[… read more ]

We need some investigation to see if these folks are related.

Logan Pryor of Overton County, TN and Perry County, IL

I’m passing along a small find in case it helps to advance someone else’s genealogy research. Logan Pryor was the son of James and Nancy Pryor of Overton County, TN. On the 1870 Census in Perry Co., IL Elmana Swallows age 9 was living in his household. I think she’s Ellen A Swallows buried in the Mueller Hill Cemetery, Pinkneyville, Perry Co. She died 3 Dec 1871, and she was the daughter of E A Swallows and L M. I betting the L M inscribed on her gravemaker is incorrect, there is no actual photo of the gravemarker online so I can’t tell if I’m right. I suspect possibly someone transcribed in it incorrectly and it’s actually I M Swallows. I found Isaac M Swallows (IM?) also buried in Pinkneyville, IOOF Cemetery. He died 15 Feb 1862 in the Battle of Fort Donelson (that was a Civil War battle in TN). On the 1860 Census Isaac Swallows is in Jackson Co., TN. He was 28 (born 1832) married to Elizabeth Swallows 24, with a daughter Sarah 3. I found another interesting Swallows: Alfred P Swallows b. 1855 in TN. On the 1860 Census in District 10 of Overton Co. living with his parents Reuben and Bethenia Swallows. Ruben and son Alfred were in District 13 of Jackson Co., in 1870. Alfred P Swallows was in Tyrone, Franklin Co., IL in 1880. He was married and just a couple houses from Isaac Copeland. Children of Allen and Cinderella Pryor of Jackson Co., TN were in Franklin Co. in 1880 and living very close to Alfred Swallows. I’m not saying there’s a connection… just making an observation. I checked the 1850 Census and found that Rueben Swallows had a son named Isaac, but he was 10 years too young to be the Isaac in Pinkneyville. But I found Isaac born 1832 in Dist 1 of Overton Co., he was the son of Andrew Swallows. I suspect that the two Swallows, Alfred and Isaac, were cousins. Hmmmm I wonder if Alfred’s middle name was Pryor. Sorry I don’t have anything definite, but on the way (perhaps) to explaining who Miss Swallows was who was living with Logan Pryor.

More Pryors and the War of 1812

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Another Pryor marriage from the War of 1812 Pensions: John Bohannon married Sarah PRIOR on 6 Jan 1812 in White County, TN. They were married by Thomas Bounds Esq., a justice of the peace.  The marriage information is a big find because there’s a note in the pension file from the county clerk in 1871 searched for the marriage record and deemed it lost or destroyed. The Bohannons were living in Putnam County in 1850 and at the time they were applying for pensions. John Bohannon used attorney Winburn W. Goodpasture in Livingston, TN to apply for his pension in 1850. It’s been speculated that Sarah Pryor was the daughter of William Pryor of White County. Witnesses who swore on the character and knowledge of their marriage were J. D. Hyder, John Barnes, Curtis Mills, William Bohannon, Vivrett Henry, Susan Roberson (speculated by researchers to be a sister of Sarah Pryor Bohannon), H Denton, B. D. Hunter. There’s an additional application for William Bohannon, John’s brother.  For Bohannon researchers — William Bohannon married Polly Job on 9 January 1816 at Winchester, TN (that’s in Franklin County). Both men claimed to have served at the Battle of New Orleans.

In a recent post I referred to an older post about William G. Pryor of Overton County who served in the War of 1812.  William married Spicy Taylor in 1809 in Campbell County, VA and it appears that he was in Tennessee before the death of his father-in-law, Edmund Taylor (after Edmund’s death in 1824 Spicy’s siblings moved from Virginia to Tennessee).  Here’s the complete list of the company in which William Pryor served.


John Allen
William Allen
John Armstrong
James Atkins
William N Barham
John Batts
George Black
Lewis C Bryant
Alexander H Clifton
John Cobler (or Cobbler)
John Collins
William C Drew
William H Elam
E Folks
Abel Fulks
Daniel Fultrill
John Garrett
Samuel Gealnet
Corace Harding
Isaac Henry
Thomas P Henson
Joseph Herton
James B Hindman
Anderson Howell
Herbert J Lee
James Lewis
John Marchant
James Markum
William McCandless
John McClure
John Merchant
James Nail
John L Nail
Joel Parrish, Capt.
John Pintard
William G Pryor
Wright A Reeder
Ebelleam Reaves
Henry Redley
John Ross
William Russell
Jerres Rust
Gabriel Taylor
William Thompson
Grain Townsend
John Waggoner
Richard B. Walthall
Eser Whytus (Whitis?)
Jesse Wilkinson
Benjamin Williams
James Williams
Etheldridge Williams