Tag Archives: Graves

We’ve Got a Mystery: Who’s In Jamyes Grave?

When Luke Pryor of Williamson County, TN made his will in 1844 he carefully described the property lines of the real estate he was leaving to his wife Nelly. One landmark is described as “a line beginning near old Jamyes grave coming down the to the Creek.” Who is old Jamyes? A neighbor, a relative, a slave, a horse?

Luke Pryor married Nelly Rogers in Orange County, NC in 1799. They are named in an 1819 notice of an estate as some of the heirs of James Rogers (see post). That raises a question: Did they bring her father to Tennessee. There is a James Rogers who died in 1815 in Williamson County, TN. He died intestate, the estate administrator was Robert Rogers and there are no Pryor names in the estate file. Could this be the same man who is in the 1819 NC estate notice?

Does anyone know where Luke Pryor’s property was located and if there is a cemetery on the property? And who was in old Jaymes grave?

1891 News of Pryors in Graves County, KY

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Burials in Pryor Cemetery, Sumner County TN

I recently looked at the Pryor Cemetery on FindAGrave.com. There are 14 burials or Pryors and Gregorys recorded. They appear to be correctly noted and not phantom graves (people who have no recorded burial but end up in plot on Find A Grave).

My notes from the Sumner County Cemetery Book, state the cemetery is located 2 & 7/10 miles N of Hwy 31E on Rock Bridge Road; then 6/10 mile NW on Pryor Branch Road. Cemetery is on N side of road. Only 6 burials were recorded, perhaps because markers were obscured or no longer existed.

PRYOR, Elizabeth – 19 Dec 1825 – 22 Feb 1865 – Aged 39 yrs 2 mos 6 days
PRYOR, Infant son of A. & E. Pryor – 16 Sep 1857 – 21 Jun 1858
PRYOR, Infant son of A. Pryor – Died 15 Feb 1865
PRYOR, Henry D. – ____ Oct 1858
PRYOR, Eugenia – Age 73 yrs
PRYOR, Edward – Died 19 Jan 1945 – Aged 93 yrs 1 mo 16 days ***

Additional Burials per Other Sources

PRYOR, Thomas Jefferson b. 1845, died May 22, 1912. Son of William Pryor and Margaret Curry. Thomas was the father of Willie Pryor who married Thomas Gregory. Gregory’s first wife was Betty Pryor, a daughter of Allen L. Pryor. It is speculated that William Pryor was Allen’s brother. Obituary of Thomas Pryor states he was buried in the Allen Pryor Cemetery.

GREGORY, Thomas Washington b. 25 Aug 1864 – 25 Sep 1931, son in law of Allen L. Pryor. Johnny Adcock 5 Jan 1895 reported in a first hand account that he helped with the burial of Thomas Gregory in the Pryor cemetery off of Rockbridge Rd.

GREGORY, Vernon Head
b. 16 Dec 1890 – 11 Jun 1909. Son of Thomas Washington Gregory and Betty Pryor. His burial in the family cemetery was reported by his brother Thomas M. Gregory.

PRYOR-GREGORY, Betty b. Jul 1861 – 15 Jan 1909, daughter of Allen L. Pryor. Obituary states she was buried in the family burial plot on the same farm on which she was raised.

*** Death record confirms this was John Edward Pryor, son of Allen L Pryor.

Allen L Pryor Cemetery in Sumner County, TN

During the summer of 2016 a Pryor researcher sent me photos of the grave markers in the Pryor Cemetery near Sumner County, TN (near Gallatin). My apologies for being slower than maple syrup in January in getting these posted! I’ve got some photos I took in the 1980’s – I’ll have to see if I can find them. It’s interesting to compare what is known of a cemetery at different times. For instance, there are only 6 burials noted on a Rootsweb page. It’s possible that those were the only markers visible when the survey of the cemetery was done for the book Sumner County, Tennessee Cemetery Records.


“Infant son of A Pryor died Feb, 15, 1865.”


Allen L Pryor infant son grave marker

Infant son of A Pryor died Feb, 15, 1865


Small part of a grave marker

Small part of a grave marker


Henry Pryor

“Henry Pryor … was born”



Henry Pryor, close up


broken marker

Infant son Pryor

(In)fant son of A. and E. PRYOR born Sept.

Another view of Infant son Pryor marker

Another view of Infant son Pryor marker


Pryor grave maker

Broken grave marker


Elizabeth Pryor grave marker

Memory of ELIZABETH PRYOR was born Dec 19, 1825. Died Feb. 22, 1865. Aged 39 years. (Elizabeth Talley wife of Allen L Pryor)


Monument put up many years after Allen L Pryor’s death in early 1900’s.


Beatrice and Willie Ann Lee, grand-daughters of Willie Pryor Gregory.

Beatrice and Willie Ann Lee, grand-daughters of Willie Pryor Gregory.



The Kin of Major John Pryor of Richmond, VA


I keep trying to piece together the family of Major John Pryor of Richmond. If you’ve heard any loud frustrated sighs, that’s probably me. The Major had no children so what I’m curious about is who were his siblings and who was his father. This week I’m taking another look at his family tree with some of the new information I’ve found.

First Wife: John Pryor married Anne Beverly Whiting, the daughter of Thomas Whiting and Ann Sewall. Anne was a socialite with dwindling fortunes. They married in 1796 when the Major was in his late forties, over-weight and in poor health and Anne was in her teens.  The marriage dissolved when Anne ran off with her French tutor, Mr. Fremon. In 1811 Major Pryor asked the Virginia Legislature for a divorce, however there is no evidence that they ever granted a divorce, in fact there is strong paper evidence they said “no.”

Second Wife: The Major was a creature of  habit– he married twice and each time married considerably younger women. In 1815 at the age of 65 Major Pryor married Elizabeth Quarles Graves, who was about 15 years old. They remained married until his death in 1823. There is a fat file of depositions which were collected in the 1850’s when Elizabeth applied for a Widow’s Revolutionary War Pension. A deposition from Sarah Hatcher of Richmond states she was the daughter of Methodist minister Edmund Lacy who married John Pryor and Elizabeth Graves. She said she remembered the ceremony because of the “disparity” of their ages. Sarah also remembered that John was related in some manner to Elizabeth. A letter in the file written and signed by Elizabeth herself states she was the grand-daughter of the “reputed” Major James Quarles. A while ago I figured out that Major James Quarles was married first to Major John Pryor’s sister, Mary Pryor, and Elizabeth was a daughter born to Major Quarles and his second wife Dorothy Waller. Therefore, Major Pryor and his wife were related, but not by blood.

There is some other connection between the Virginia Pryor families and the Wallers. I’m not exactly sure how it came about. Here are some more posts where the name Waller was discussed. So this is another connection that remains on the back-burner for now.


Sister, Mary Pryor Quarles: The Major’s marriage to his brother-in-law’s daughter (It starts to sound like a soap opera!) is supported by the Revolutionary War Pension application made by Patsy Minor Quarles the wife of Robert Quarles and also the mother of Pryor Quarles. Patsy states that Robert’s mother was Mary. http://revwarapps.org/w9868.pdf. There is  still a question whether Mary was a sister or an aunt– Major Pryor named his nieces and nephews in  his will, however Robert Quarles was still alive at the time was not named in the will.

Sister, Elizabeth Pryor Hankins, born about 1755. Elizabeth probably pre-deceased the Major as she was not named in his will although her children were named:

  • Archer Hankins b. 1771 – 1780. He was the presiding justice in James City. He’s on the 1830 Census in James City.
  • Pryor Hankins b. 1782. In 1810 Pryor was counted in York County and in 1830 and 1850 he was counted in James City, VA.
  • Dorcas Hankins b. 1785-1790. Dorcas married John Bryan and is named as Dorcas Bryan in Major Pryor’s will. Researchers state her husband died in 1806 which I believe pushes her year of birth back to around 1785 – 1790. Dorcas is a head of household on the 1810 and 1820 Census in York Co., VA (probably Williamsburg area). There are several Hankins households near Dorcas on census records and Pryor Hankins administered the estate of her step-son Frederick Bryan.

A Hankins Mystery:

There are Hankins families on the 1850 Census in Knox County, TN. Eli Hankins was married to Nancy Graves and had a son they named Pryor Hankins. I suspect there is a connection to the Hankins, Graves, and Pryor families from Richmond, VA. Are other Pryors in Knox County related to the Richmond Pryors? Well, I may have the answer to this in my next post!

Nieces, Elizabeth Taylor and Rebecca Taylor – These nieces were probably daughters of the Major’s sister, Sally Pryor Taylor, who was deceased by 1800 per the Major’s will. I do not not know which Taylor married Sally Pryor.

Niece, Mrs. Charlotte Morrison (of Williamsburg, VA) was counted on the 1850 Census in York County. Charlotte was the widow of George F. Morrison.

Nephew, Thomas Pryor. I believe he is the Thomas Pryor on the 1820 Census in Rockingham County, NC. He was counted one line above Elizabeth Pryor Archer. They both have connections to Pryors in Pittsylvania County, VA. There’s a whole lot more on Thomas in one of my next posts!