Tag Archives: John and Massey

Sumner Co., TN: Alfred Pryor Is A Son Of John and Massey Pryor

Alfred Pryor EstateThe records from Sumner County, TN  have started to arrive and there’s lots to talk about. One of the first records to arrive is the inventory of the estate of Alfred Pryor, recorded 20 May 1851.

Alfred is on the 1850 mortality schedule — he’s listed as a 22 year old blacksmith who had died of Typhoid fever in May 1850. He’s long been thought to be a son of John and Massey Pryor because he lived in Sumner County.  Just because they were in the same county is weak proof of relationship. However, the inventory more strongly indicates a relationship because John and Massie’s son Allen L. Pryor was the administrator of his estate.

Alfred’s estate was pretty small: a saddle, a horse, 2 pairs of horse shoes, 1 lot of iron, a lot of horse shoes (did I mention he was a blacksmith!), and something that I thought was very interesting… a fiddle.

It was a short list of items and a short list of men who purchased from the estate: George Bumpass, William P Smith, and Alexander Graham. Do any Sumner County researchers have any information on William P Smith? I’m curious — is he related to the Smiths in Overton County, is his middle initial “P” for “Pryor”?

Accounts due the estate (and this is hard to read because the names are spelled phonetically): Paul Dismukes, William P Smith, William Talley, William Randle, Stephan Willis?, Elizabeth Turner, G. W. Bumpass, Ruben Hays, James Talley, Thomas H. Carr, Pinkney Gipson (Gibson?). Thomas Franklin, John L. Dorsey, Fanny Straton, Daniel Elam, Alexander Graham,  D. S. Willace (Willis?), James Cane, William Savely, Lark G. Bevins, Stephen Williams, William Hulett, William Wallace, James Wommac (Womack?), William P. Smith.

His brother, Allen L. Pryor, was married to Elizabeth Talley, daughter of William Anderson Talley of Cumberland County, VA and Sumner County, TN. In 1850 James Talley, a machinist*,  was counted as head of household on page 243a of the Census in District 7 of Sumner County. His father William Talley and mother Mary (Dowdy) were included in his household. James Talley had married Elizabeth Savely on 2 December 1847. I think James Talley and William Talley who were recorded as indebted to Albert Pryor were these men.

Several of these individuals are on the 1850 Census, living near one another in District 8 of Sumner County, so many of them I have to wonder if Alfred lived or worked in the same district.

Extracts From the 1850 Census
names in italics match to the list of Alfred Pryor’s debts

Page 250a

House 3 William Randle 43 minister, Louisa 39, Clinton 21, Georgiann 18, Wiley 16, Fountain 11, George 8, Martha 6, John Garrett 21, P M. Eskew 14, George Plummer 12.

House 4 Sally Willis 64 TN, Stephen 30, Mary 23

House 5 Daniel Elam 44 tailor KY, Julia 34, Thomas 15, Robert 13, Clinton 11, Sarah 9, Mary 8, Juliet 6, James 4, Elizabeth 1

House 6 Elizabeth Turner 46 TN, Minerva 16

House 7 William Smith 39, Elizabeth Ann 35, George 15, Mary 8, Peter 4, Albert 2

House 8 and 9 Savely families.

House 110 Thomas Franklin 37 TN, Amanda 27, John 9, Mary 8, Smith 7, Abraham 6, James 3.

Page 251b

House 22 Daniel S Willis 68 NC, Lavinia 30, Sarah 18, Nancy 79

House 25 Pinkney Gilson 28 TN, Sarah 26, Zachary 1, Margaret 8, Mary Ann 4

Page 252a

House 33 Larkin Bevins 26, Susan 38, Mary 17, James 12, William 10, Amanda 6, Sarah 65

Other pages of interest in District 8….

Page 255a

House 82 Samuel Savely 52 TN, Dicey 46, William 24, Elizabeth 22, Winney 21, Amanda 17, John 14, Nancy 13, Henry 12, Martha 9, Ellison 7

House 84 John Stark 62 VA, Margaret 62, John 26, Ann 26, Malvina 20, Thomas 13, John 11 (There’s a marriage recorded 27 Sept 1847 for Alfred Pryor to Sarah Stark. I haven’t found Sarah on the census or any other record of her, so she may have died before Alfred)

* In his Goodspeed biography Allen L. Pryor states he was apprenticed in his youth to learn to be a machinst: “The subject of our sketch was educated in the common schools of Sumner County.  At the age of 18 he became an apprentice to the spinning machine trade, under squire William Matthews. “