Tag Archives: Illinois

Following the Family Line of Britt Pryor from Nebraska

I was looking for something else when I found an obit for Britt Pryor in the June 4, 1958 Lincoln Star (Nebraska). I don’t know if you ever go “down a rabbit hole” with your research — I sure get sucked down there from time to time!  These are the times that what I find may be productive for others, but doesn’t help the information I’m attempting to tease apart.

Britt Pryor got my attention because I couldn’t immediately figure out who his parents were. His Find-A-Grave memorial isn’t connected to a parent or siblings. Telling what I’ve learned in the order I’ve learned it is far from a linear tale.

1880 Census – William Pryor (born in Illinois) and wife Mary E were counted in Furnas County. They were young and didn’t have children in their household.

1881 – William and Mary E Pryor had a son named James Oscar Pryor. A death notice published in 1917 states James was born in Furnas Co. NE and “Oscar” was living with his father in 1900.

1883 – William and Mary E Pryor had a son named Jesse Warren Pryor. Jesse was living with his father in 1900.

1884 – William L Pryor of Furnas County filed the final proof of homestead on his land. This helps to support that the family was still in Furnas County.

1885 – William and Mary E Pryor had a son named Fred H Pryor. Fred was living with his father in 1900.

1888 – Draft registrations and grave marker for Britt Pryor state he was born in 1888. His obit as well as draft registrations state he was born in Arapahoe (Furnas County).

1891 – In July 1891 I think Mary E gave birth to a son named Lewis Pryor. She died roughly 3 months later was buried in Edgar Cemetery in Clay Co., NE. Her grave marker states she was the daughter of J and S Carson. Joseph and Susan Carson are on the 1880 Census in Clay County. Their places of birth correspond with those stated as parents’ birthplace on Mary E. Pryor’s census record. Joseph Carson died in 1899 per his gravemarker in the same cemetery as Mary E.

1900 – William Pryor and sons (James) Oscar, Jessie, and Fred were counted in Franklin County, NE. William and Oscar were both working as Plaster Masons. Britt Pryor was not in the household. In another county, the widow Susan Carson was counted with Lewis Pryor age 9 “nephew.” Was this her grandson or did the census taker speak with her son Robert Carson who was living in the household who referred to the boy as his nephew? — wait… this all gets cleared up in 1910!

1910 – Jess Pryor born 1883 in NE and a Brittania Pryor born 1889 in KS were both counted in Denver, CO and working as plasterers. While Jess appears to be clearly the son of William and Mary E. the waters are a bit murky when it comes to Brittania. It’s the close to Britt (Britt was recorded as Britton on the 1920 Census) and both are working as what appears to be a family profession: plastering. In 1910 Lewis was still living in Nuckolls County with Susan Carson and at that time he was recorded as her grandson. Lewis was working as a Paper Hanger which ties in nicely with his siblings working in plastering.

1917 – James Oscar Pryor died and is buried in the same cemetery as his mother, Mary E. (see Find A Grave)

1920 – The 1920 census may be the best evidence that Jess and Britt were related because both men who had been in Colorado were counted in Lancaster County, NE.

It was actually Lewis Pryor’s obituary from October 9, 1954 in The Lincoln Star that helped to tie up all the suspected family relationships. It states that Lewis Pryor, Britt Pryor and Jesse W. Pryor were brothers.  Bam!

Because the Carsons took in young Lewis Pryor after his mother’s death I started looking at them further hoping to find Britt living with a Carson relative in 1900. I found Joseph and Susan Carson living in Guthrie Co., Iowa in 1870. Their daughter Mary E was 9 and counted in their household. In 1870 they had a 16 year old male named Joseph Carson in the household. In 1900 there’s a 46 year old J W Carson in Guthrie County with a Thomas Prior age 76 in his household — recorded as his father-in-law.

It looks like this Thomas Prior is a good candidate to be the father of William Pryor who married Mary E. Carson because Thomas and his family were also in Guthrie Co., IA in 1870. Counted in his household was a son Willie age 11 who was recorded as William Pryor in Furnas County, NE in 1880. Thomas’ daughter Ellen is the right age to be J W Carson’s wife in 1900.

Alas, I climbed out of the rabbit hole (or down from the family tree?) without finding Britt Pryor in 1900.

Emory Dent Pryor of Henry County, TN

Emory Dent Pryor is another Pryor who was in Guilford County, NC and made his way to TN. I haven’t yet connected him to the other Pryors in Guilford County. I worked my way backwards, starting with his will.

Johnson County, IL

In the name of God Amen. I Emory Dent Prier feeling weak in body though of sound mind and disposing memory for which I thank God and feeling to according to the stern desire of heaven that all men must Return to their mother — and that my time is near at hand and wishing to dispose of all such worldly goods as God has been pleased to bless me with I therefore give and bequeath the same in manner as follows to wit—
1st it is my will and desire and I hereby give and bequeath to my beloved wife Sarah S. Prier all my property to wit Land and Tennents, money, cash notes, stock of every kind to have and to hold and to enjoy and dispose of the same without any restraint whatever first paying all my just debts. In testimony where of I have her unto and seal this 6th day of September.
A. D. 1857
E. D. Prier {seal}
Gabriel Utley
John Jones
State of Illinois, Johnson County
I certify that on the 18th day of September A. D. 1854 —-ally appeared Gabriel Utly and John Jones the subscribing witnesses to therefore giving Last will and testament and being first duly sworn according to law depose and says that they attested at the request of said E. D. Prier that the said E. D. Prier acknowledged the same in these presents to be his Last will and testament and that they believe that the said E. D. Prier was of sound mind and memory at the time of signing and acknowledging the same in testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of Johnson County County Court as officer in Vienna this 18th day of September 1854
J N Pearce clerk

1850 Census Henry Co., TN – Dist. 15, page 384, house 117 Emory D. Pryor 51 teacher NC, Sarah 21 TN. Emory had married Sarah Burton in 1848. Sarah who was three decades younger than Emory is most likely Sarah Burton since the 1854 will clearly mentions Sarah his wife.

1830 and 1820 – Emory D. Pryor was on the US Census in Rockingham County, NC, a neighbor of Guilford County. In 1820 he was living near a Thomas Pryor and Elizabeth Pryor Archer. Elizabeth’s grandson recorded she was a Pryor, daughter of David Pryor and Mary Cunningham. This is cause to reassess Thomas and Elizabeth and which David was their father.

1820 Marriage in Guilford County.  Emory married Jane Knight.

1804 Will, explains Emory’s other kin. His mother was Eleanor who died around 1804. If Emory was born about 1799 (see 1850 Census). he was only about 5 years old when his mother Eleanor Pryor wrote her will. The will also named another son, Paschal Benjamin? Pryor. I haven’t found a trace of Paschal, yet there are other men in Guilford County who carried the first name and surname Paschal.


Sherrill Pryor of White County, TN — His Will Filed in MO

I didn’t think I’d revisit John Pryor and Ruth Sherrill so quickly. I recently posted about their son William (see post).  It looks like we now have information of what happened to their son Sherrill Pryor. His will was found in Polk County, Missouri. It mentions his wife Rebecca* (he married Rebecca* Hitcherouth in Sangamon County, Illinois in 1832 Continue reading

William Pryor Estate in Hancock County, IL

The estate of William Pryor piqued my attention since it’s thought that he was from a Pryor line that was in early Greene County and later White County and migrated into Illinois Continue reading

Samuel Pryor of Perry County, IL (James and Nancy Pryor Line from Overton Co., TN)

Some time ago I was contacted by a researcher who identified the wife of Samuel Pryor who lived in Perry County, IL. Just passing along this research info.

Samuel Pryor b. 1832 in Tennessee is believed to be a son of James and Nancy Pryor from Overton Co., TN. Samuel left Tennessee with his probable brother Jesse some time between April 1849  and September 29, 1850 when he was counted on the Census in Carroll County, AR (Jesse’s son was born in TN about that time).

Samuel’s wife is reported to be Sarah Jane Poston, also from Overton County, TN. She and her family are on the 1850 Census in Overton Co. Samuel and Sarah married about 1856. Their first child was born in 1857 in Illinois. By 1860, Samuel’s brother Henry Logan Pryor had married Sarah Elizabeth Mize. Both of these Pryor men were counted on the 1860 Census in Perry Co., IL.

If you’re a male who carries the Pryor surname from the line of James and Nancy, there are female researchers who’d appreciate your Y-DNA test through the Pryor project.  https://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Pryor. The testing is a mouth swab (no blood needed), and we have a great representation of American and UK Pryor families, so odds are good that you’ll find a match to your family line.