Tag Archives: marriage records

Percy C Pryor and the Actress (Florence Oakley)

Florence Oakley Pryor Stone
Florence Oakley Pryor

The San Francisco Call announced the speedy marriage of Florence Oakley to Percival C. Pryor with a news blurb titled “Capitalist’s Son Marries Actress” (published September 17, 1909).

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Pryor Wedding in Greenwich, CT – Looking Backward to VA

1910 st louis - Pryor Wedding

Greenwich, CT is noted for old wealth and high society.  So a marriage announcement for a Pryor wedding in Greenwich can be assumed to be a society event.  The marriage of Jacques F. Pryor was announced in the New York Tribune in January 1921, stating the family was from New York and Greenwich (a double-barreled proclamation of social status!). Follow this link to view the original newspaper on the Library of Congress website:

But these Pryors weren’t always living on the East Coast. Jacques F. Pryor was living with in his father’s household in 1910 in St. Louis, MO. His father was Samuel Frasier Pryor. On the 1910 Census his grandmother Frances Frasier Pryor (nee Bailey) was was also living in the household. Frances Bailey married Joseph W. Pryor in 1850 in Fayette County, VA.  They later lived in Marion County, MO. There is an unsourced bio of Joseph W. Pryor www.genealogy.com/ftm/p/r/y/Daniel-Corbit-Pryor/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0161.html that states his parents were William Pryor and Charity Bynum.

Flowers Family with the Pryors and Campbell County Families in Roane County

5982837164_aa57b8bd61_bThis is a short post of the Flowers family connections between the Pryors and associated lines. The names are all woven together in Campbell Co., VA: Butler, Cunningham, Rector, Pryor, Taylor, Oglesby and Rev. William Flowers. If you look at Overton County records there are Flowers marriages into the Pryor line as well as the Taylor and Garrett families.

  • 1790 Murrell Cunningham on Bill of Sale to John Pryor in 1790
  • 1791 Martin Rector and John Pryor signed Petition in Campbell County.
  • 1792 marriage of John Kington/Kingston to Eleanor Caffrey, witnessed by her cousin Sarah Martin Rector, wife of Martin Rector, by Rev Flowers a Baptist Minister. Per Kington’s Revolutionary War pension. Also states Kington was acquainted with Thomas Butler, another pensioner.
  • 1796 marriage of Henry Boteler to Kesiah Oglesby, by William Flowers
  • 1799 marriage of Sarah Cunningham to William Boteler Jr. Surety William Boteler, Murrell Cunningham. By William Flowers
  • 1800 marriage of Elizabeth Pryor to John Harris, by William Flowers
  • 1802 marriage of Samuel Davidson to Frances Oglesby, by William Flowers (Likely Rev. Samuel Davidson who married William Pryor and Spicy Taylor in 1809. Frances Oglesby was Mary Oglesby’s sister).
  • 1807 marriage of Hezekiah Taylor to Mary Oglesby, by William Flowers
  • abt. 1825 Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of Thomas Taylor of Sumner County, TN married James Flowers.
  • abt. 1836 Overton Pryor married Patsy Flowers in Overton County, TN

Lincoln County, NC Marriages – Looking For Patterns Among the Pryors

wedding bouquet on a ChairI noticed a pattern among the Pryor marriages in Lincoln Co., NC: V McBee was a witness on several of them (I think there’s  problem with the marriage transcript because McVee was the Clerk of the Court who probably would have signed the marriages). A more interesting patter are the multiple marriages into the Tucker and Kincaid families.

Thomas J. Pryor married Polly Tucker 20 Oct 1817. Daniel Tucker bondsman. V. McBee witness.

Wiley Pryor married Martha Tucker married 21 September 1821. Wilson Tucker, bondsman. V. McBee, witnesss.

Burton Pryor married Catherine Kincaid 8 Jul 1827. John M. Jacobs, bondsman. V. McBee, witness.

David Kincaid married Golsey Pryor 14 Nov 1827. Isaac Lowe, bondsman. V. McBee, witness. (and by the way, David and his wife are on the 1850 census and she’s a head of household in 1860. Her name is recorded as “Gadsey/Gadsy” not Golsey).

David J. Pryor married Jinsey Janet Shelton on 23 May 1832. George W. Kincaid, bondsman. L. McBee, witness

I’ve seen another marriage listed on Ancestry family trees yet I can’t find a source. It looks like folks have gleaned a marriage from the death record of Robert Pinkney Pryor (see his Find A Grave Memorial): John Pryor to Liza Hord.  Robert was born in 1845 so his parents may have been married about that time although I’m unsure where researchers are finding a 1827 marriage date or a record from Lincoln County, NC. Have you seen it?

**There’s a very nice article available online that mentions Vardy McBee (V. McBee) in context of developing Greenville: Hampton-Pinkney Historical District: Celebrating Two Centuries of Greenville’s History (Wayback Machine link), by Robert Benedict.



Internet Genealogy: How to Confirm a Marriage When You Can’t Find a Marriage Record


US Census records will only take you so far in tying up the 19th Century relationships in your family tree. In 1880, almost a hundred years after the first US Census, relationships were recorded for the first time. Before 1880 it was guess work to figure out who was related to whom in a household. The 1900 Census introduced the question of how long spouses had been married which helped to determine when they were married.

Confirming a marriage can frustrate a dedicated family historian, the search is compounded by the lack of marriage records due to fires that burned court houses and record offices, and marriages that were only recorded in lost church registries, or performed by traveling preachers who didn’t keep records. Rather than relying on guess work or leaving a blank on a family group sheet I can suggest a trio of sources to confirm a marriage when an official record can’t be found.

Court Records: Court records can be a wealth of information. Lawsuits and wills can identify a spouse and may even mention the spouses’ siblings or other kin that can confirm relationships. These records may contain evidence of prior marriages, or clues the approximate date of a current marriage. My personal favorite of all court records are Divorces-they don’t even have to be your own kin’s divorce! I’ve had success finding affidavits in siblings or friends’ divorce records that confirm my own ancestors’ marriage date. Divorces at times occurred in counties different than where the marriage took place, so if marriage records were destroyed a divorce record in another county may still exist.

Civil War Pension Files: If a relative survived his service in the Union Army, the pension file index must be searched. The pension application process, especially when a surviving wife was the applicant, called for confirmation of the veteran’s marriage. The confirmation often took the form of an affidavit form or at times individual affidavits from people who knew the couple. The last pension record I requested contained an affidavit that told the marriage date, where it occurred, who officiated, and a description of an old traditional “shivaree” to welcome the newlyweds.

Google Books: With over ten million books scanned and available online at Google, you’re bound to find an ancestor in one or two of them! A search will turn up numerous genealogy digests and histories. The real treasure is in the biographies that gained in popularity around the mid 1870’s to the beginning of the 20th century. Some of these books were written as the nation became interested its history around the time of the centennial, while others were “vanity” biographies that prominent citizens purchased because their own history was included in the book. The biographies are usually first-hand accounts of the subject’s heritage, thus a reliable source to quote in documenting a family tree.