Tag Archives: Iowa

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.

Pryors in Pittsylvania County, VA

Pryors Pittsylvania County
I’ve discussed Thomas Pryor the nephew of Major John Pryor of Richmond. Their relationship prompts the question: Who is the father of Thomas and the brother of Major Pryor? I don’t know. There are Pryors and other families that seem to be connected to the Major and Thomas and for them Pittsylvania County should be at the center of our queries.

BOX 1 – Thomas Pryor 1830
Thomas Pryor was in Pittsylvania County in 1830. I believe he is the most likely candidate to be the Thomas Pryor mentioned as a nephew in Major John Pryor’s will. He is about the same age as the other nieces and nephews mentioned in the Major’s will. He is also connected to the Archers, a tidewater family aligned with the Major’s Pryor line. Thomas was near Elizabeth Pryor Archer on the 1820 Census in Rockingham County, NC and then on the 1830 and 1840 Census in Pittsylvania County before moving to Fayette Co., IL.

BOX 2 – Catherine Pryor and Henry Lansford
The Pittsylvania County, VA connection is at the top of my research list. Thomas Pryor and Elizabeth Pryor Archer were in Pittsylvania Co. in the 1820’s. I noticed Isham Lansford is on line 4 and Thomas Pryor is on line 7 of the 1830 Census – – Isham is reported in several online family trees to be the son of Henry Lansford and Catharine Pryor. Henry and Catharine were also the parents of Susannah Lansford who married George Reynolds and moved to Williamson Co., TN. They son Henry went to Henry Co., GA.

BOX 3 – Edward Pryor 1782 & 1784
Edward Pryor was in Henrico County, VA as early as 1735. It’s recorded in the vestry register that he was a processioner of the lands of John Martin and that Nicholas Pryor was present. In 1745 Nicholas Pryor sold land on Drinking Hole Branch of Tuckahoe Creek which were originally part of John Martin’s land. On a 1754 deed to between Richard East and William Buxton their property is described as being located on Drinking Hole Branch adjoining land belonging to Edward Pryor. Edward and Nicholas Pryor appear to be connected. I suspect he’s the same Edward Pryor who was in  Wilkes County, GA in 1785 and that he was related to the John Pryor in Henry County, GA who witnessed a deed with Henry Lansford  (Jr).

BOX 4 – Mrs. Elizabeth (Perkins) Pryor and Hendley Stone
Elizabeth first married John Pryor, son of John Henry Pryor. After her husband’s death she married Hendley Stone and migrated with her sons Peter and Green Pryor to Williamson County, TN. If you look at BOX 2- Catharine Pryor Lansford’s daughter Susannah also went to Williamson County.

When I found George Reynolds 1813 Will from Williamson County, TN (see above) — it mentions his wife Susannah, his son Richard, and land near Wm. Stone and Pryor Reynold’s line. It would be a pretty wild coincidence, so it’s probably no coincidence at all that Catharine Pryor’s daughter was living near William Stone, the husband of Rhoda Pryor, a daughter of John Henry Pryor! Catharine isn’t mentioned in John Henry’s long will filed in Orange Co., NC — it’s long because it named 11 children.  I believe now that perhaps Catharine, although not a daughter of John Henry Pryor, may be related in some other way.

BOX 5 –  Perkins and William Harding
I don’t think I made this clear in the box, so hoping I can describe it better. John Henry Pryor who died in Orange Co., NC in 1771 was the father of Green Pryor who married Susannah Perkins. Susannah was a niece of William Harding of Henrico County who posted surety for the estate of Nicholas Pryor (d. 1746). Green’s son John Pryor married Elizabeth Perkins, perhaps a cousin. When John died Elizabeth married Hendley Stone. Elizabeth and her husband Hendley went to Williamson County, TN and lived near William Stone and Rhoda Pryor and Susannah Lansford Reynolds (daughter of Catharine Pryor Lansford).

BOX 6 – Montford Eilbeck
Montford Eilbeck is mentioned on NC deeds with John Henry Pryor’s family. There was a Montford S.Pryor born 1798 in Pittsylvania County (per his army records). He enlisted in the military in Louisville and was discharged in Iowa. If you go looking for  him there are several variations of his name — Montford, Montfort, Mountford, Mountford. He may have died after 1835 as I haven’t found records of him after the 1836 census in Dubuque, IA. Montford was a single man on the census, so he may have died without issue.

Pryor House in Decatur, IA

Frances Snow Pryor House, Decatur, IA.

Frances Snow Pryor House Office

Allen Pryor and his wife Frances were on the 1870 Census in Decatur County, IA. Allen and his family were from Kanawha County, VA (now WV) and migragted to Wyandot County, OH before moving to Iowa. http://www.tnpryors.com/states_census/iowa.htm#decatur

Pryors Indexed Under Surnames Starting with “Poy”

Oh dear, just when I thought I had seen every possible misspelling of Pryor! While researching the Pryors in Hardin County, TN I came across a George “Poyer” in Ancestry’s index. George and family from the 1870 Census are now on the TN Pryor website as the handwriting definitely says “PRYOR” and the family members match with Pryors on later census records in the same county.

Margaret Pryor, daughter of Samuel Pryor of Blount County is on the 1870 Census as “Poyer”.

Samuel W. Pryor of Adair Co., IA is indexed as “Poyor” for the 1870. Census.

John Pryor b. 1816 in TN is on the 1870 Census of Linn Co., OR. His is the John or Johnathan Pryor in Davis Co., IA in 1860 and in 1850 in Menard Co., IL. He was the son of John Pryor and Ruth Sherrill. It looks like this Pryor family did some traveling. A grandson living nearby in 1870 was born in Montana. John is indexed as “Poyer” in 1870!

Help in sorting out the Pryors is always welcome! There really is a surname “Poyner” and there were quite a few living in Henry Co., TN, so please report only true “Pryor” discoveries. Thanks!