Tag Archives: louisville

Steamboat Captain Pryor

The children of Moses Tandy Pryor (probably born in Henry County, KY) and Barbara Giltner were on the 1850 and 1860 Census in Carroll County, KY. Noble Pryor died a few months of his brother in June 1909.

Two Captains Die.

Two steamboatmen, well known in the Paducah port, have answered the last call. Captain N. Parker Pryor of Louisville, and Captain William Baxter, of St. Louis. There is an old saying among river men and it has often proved true, that when two river men die about the same time there will be a third river man in a short time to die.

Captain N. Parker Pryor was one of the best known steamboatmen on the Ohio river. He died at the Pope Sanitorium, Louisville, after an illness of nine weeks with apoplexy. Captain Pryor was 42 years of age and had been running on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers since he was a boy. During his experience he had been captain on the government boat Cherokee and the tug Hanover, also pilot on the Falls City, the Park City and Major Slack. It was while taking a trip up the Kentucky river in December on the Major Slack that he was stricken while at the wheel. Although he fell over in great pain, Captain Pryor managed to bring the boat to landing and then an investigation by the engineer resulted in his being found unconscious at the wheel.

Captain Pryor was a member of a family of well known river men and has two surviving brothers, both of whom are steamboat men.

Captain Noble Pryor, of the Falls City, The Kentucky river packet, is seriously ill at an infirmary in Philadelphia, while Michael Pryor, captain of a towboat, is suffereing with yellow jaundice at Frankfort, Ky.

— Paducah Evening Sun, 6 February 1909



Charles R Pryor b. 1832 in Brunswick County, VA


Time to dot an “i” and cross a “t” in the Virginia Pryor families.  Charles R. Pryor was a physician, a newspaper editor, and a high-ranking member of the Confederate government. https://tennesseepryors.com/texas-pryors/mid-19th-century-pryors-in-dallas-tx/

Charles all but disappeared after the Civil War. In 1880 he was living in Kentucky in a Shaker community. I can’t believe it… I found his death record which sheds more light on his later years.

He died 26 August 1882 in City Hospital in Boston, MA. He was buried in Gloucester, MA (cemetery not recorded), The MA death record states he was a resident of Louisville, KY and his occupation was a “reporter”.  He was 50 years old and of course, born in VA.

Jacob Pryor / Jacob Reager of Louisville, KY

On 27 February 1883 The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) published an article titled The Famous Falls. The actual title is a bit more wordy The Famous Falls of the Ohio and Their Pristine Surroundings Eloquently Pictured at the Polytechnic. Yes, quite a mouthful! It is by Col. R. T. Durrett, “Who produces much valuable historical material hitherto hidden.” And he managed to produce a Pryor name I have not seen associated with Louisville!

The topic of Col. Durrett’s speech was on the great floods that the Ohio experienced and how through erosion land was being swept down to the Gulf of Mexico. He mentioned the “great flood” of 1832 and another in 1847 — which swept away landmarks. I suppose this would be important to know for anyone, including genealogists, searching property lines from the old days of Jefferson County.

Durrett mentioned the names of the early explores, but under a separate section he names “Early Settlers.”

Jas. Patton, his wife Mary and three daughters, Martha, Mary, and Peggy. Martha married John Nelson, Mary married John Vaughn, and Peggy married Nathan Pryor.

He mentions also

Jacob Pryor, his wife Elizabeth, his two daughters, Dora and Maria, and his son Henry.

and another family connection

Edward Worthington , his wife Mary, his son Charles and his two sisters, Mary Ann and Elizabeth. Mary Ann married James Graham and Elizabeth (married) Jacob Pryor.

Something must have gotten scrambled. Perhaps it was that darned old handwriting again. Perhaps the “G” looked a bit like a “Y?” I suspect Jacob wasn’t a Pryor. There are several family trees that state his name as Jacob Reager there is indeed a Jacob Reager on the 1789 Jefferson County Tax List. There’s an online family tree that names a Henry Reger — I wonder if this is the Henry, so of Jacob that Durrett was talking about. http://susanleachsnyder.com/Genealogy/Generation7HenryReger.html

Back to chasing down Pryors!

No John – Nathaniel Pryor in the July 25th 1825 Louisville News


In a recent post I said “…it’s time to dig out the July 1825 edition of the Louisville Morning Post to find out which John Pryor that Elizabeth Pryor Harper found had been killed by Indians.” (April 2, 2013: Identity of John Pryor – Revolutionary War Bounty Land in Kentucky). I’m questioning the veracity of the history of John Pryor of Louisville as stated by Ms. Harper. The quote as it appears online…

JOHN PRYOR Military warrant 4,000 acres warrant 126 service 3 years Captain Continental Line Virginia 2-13-1783. Supposed to have been killed by Indians before 1825 – from July 25 1825 edition of Louisville “Morning Post” he was dead by that time. [read online]

I don’t like leaving any stone unturned. I contacted the Library of Congress and got a copy of the July 25, 1825 edition of the Louisville Morning Post. You’ll be happy to know that the newspaper hasn’t turned to dust more than 180 years later. Indeed there is a reference to the Pryors of Louisville, but nothing of John Pryor nor of an Indian attack. The actual notice is above, my transciption follows…

Jefferson Circuit Set June Term, 1825
Daniel Wilson, complainant, against John B Gilly, executor of James Pryor, dec’d. Nathaniel Pryor and Robert McClelland and others defts.—in chancery.
This day came the complainant by his counsel and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court, that the defendants Nathaniel Pryor and Robert McClelland are non-residents of this commonwealth and they have not having appeared and answered the said complainant’s bills; It is therefore ordered that they appear here on or before the first day of the next October term of this court, and answer the said complainant’s bill, otherwise the same will be taken for confessed as to and against them and the matters and things therein contained, decreed accordingly. And it further ordered, that a copy of this order, be published two months successively, in some public authorized newspaper of this state.
A copy — Test.
Robert Tyler, d. e j. e e.
June 23

OK, so it’s not about John Pryor or a death by the hands of Native American. It refers to a suit I haven’t seen before. After reading the Virginia Chancery Court cases I’m drooling over the thought of Kentucky Chancery records!

This little notice helps to tie together members of Nathaniel Pryor’s family. James Pryor’s will names Nathe Pryor, and his nephew James B. Gilly.  Robert McClelland who married Nancy Pryor in Jefferson Co., KY in 1792 has been suspected to be a brother in law an sister of James and Nathaniel Pryor. This appears to be true.

I think most Nathaniel Pryor researchers know that he had moved Westward after the Lewis and Clark expedition. This notice indicates that not only was Nathaniel living outside of Jefferson County, but so were other family members.


Harris Pryor of Knox Co., TN and Bedford Co., VA

While digging into more Virginia records I stumbled upon an old record that’s a big hint to ID some of the Tennessee Pryors. If you’ve got Pryors in early Knox County… this will help.

First stop… Bedford County, VA. A 1819 Chancery Court Case names many of the Pryors in Bedford County.

William Dickinson vs. HARRIS PRYOR. A 1819 summons issued to Edmund Franklin and wife Betsy, William Holliday and late wife Polly, Polly Pryor, Nancy Pryor, Harris Pryor, Richard Mays and Juggy his late wife, heirs of Harris Pryor deceased. Document in filed dated 14 Dec 1820, signed by Harris Pryor in Louisville, KY. States he was formerally of Bedford County, but was then a resident of Louisville.

I think the elder Harris Pryor was the same Harris Pryor who was counted in Prince Edward County in 1784 and again in 1790. On both census there were 10 whites in his household.  I also think I can ID now these 10 people. This is when genealogy gets fun!

1. Harris Pryor Sr. born? (head) – died about 1804 (there’s a Bedford County will)
2. Mary “Polly” Kinnerson** (wife) – Polly is identified as the mother of Juggy Pryor on her marriage record. I believe she remarried to William Holiday in 1812 after the death of Harris Sr.
3 Betsy Pryor (daughter) who married Edmund Franklin in 1794, the record states she was the daughter of Harris Pryor.
4. Juggy Pryor (daughter) who married Richard Mays in 1806.
5. Nancy Pryor (daughter) married Rawley (or Raleigh) Rather in 1819 after the suit was filed.
6. Harris Pryor (son) Living in Louisville in 1820 per the suit. Possibly the same Harris who was on the 1830 and 1840 Census in Knox Co., TN.
7. William Pryor (son), counted on the 1800 Census in Bedford County, surety for marriage of Juggy Pryor in 1806. William is identified as the eldest son of Harris and Mary Pryor in a 1783 suit.**
8. Polly (or Mary)  Pryor (daughter) named on the suit, but no other information is known.
9. Patsy (or Martha) Pryor (daughter) who married Elijah Mays in 1801, the record states she is the daughter of Harris Pryor.
10. Jesse Pryor (son) who married Judith Harris in 1796 in Prince Edward County, and possibly the same Jesse Pryor in early Knox County records with a William and Harris Pryor. I’ve wondered if this is the Jesse Pryor who was in Overton Co. by 1830.

** Chancery Court Case in Prince Edward County (1783) George David vs. heirs of Norton Kennerson, Mary Pryor, married to Harris Pryor and their eldest son named William Pryor, also Agnes Kennerson who married John Alsop. Mary and Agnes were identified as sisters of Norton Kennerson.  The case concerns a land transaction made by Norton in 1773.