Tag Archives: Maury County

Sarah Pryor of Williamson County, TN – 5 years Later Time for Another Look

sarah-pryor-mcphailI can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I last wrote about Sarah Pryor Squire McCabe Carter McPhail (see last post). Whew! All those surnames! Sarah Pryor has always been the odd one out in my research and now I realize it’s because my research wasn’t near finished. I may not be at the finish line yet, but I have a clearer idea now of where she fits with the Pryors.

Sarah McPhail left a will in Williamson County, TN dated 1 May 1851. She named her heirs Luke L. Smith, Mary Taylor wife of William Taylor, and she owed debts to Samuel Winstead (husband of Susannah Pryor) and William P. Smith. These heirs are almost carbon copies of those named in Luke Pryor’s will and Susannah Pryor Winstead’s will. The will was disputed and heirs, including Henry B. Pryor and his daughters Rhoda A Pryor Crocker, and Mary A Pryor Crocker were noticed for Chancery Court proceedings.

The first known marriage for Sarah Pryor was to David Squire in 1816 in Williamson County. If you believe her age on the 1850 Census, she was about 35 years old when she married Squire which was rather… well, old… by the standards of the time. David Squire died within three years of the marriage. His will was signed in 1818 in Williamson County, naming a married daughter, Elizabeth Lowry— which strongly suggests that David, like Sarah Pryor, was older at the time of their marriage. David died sometime before the inventory of the estate which was made on 11 Jan 1819 and signed by his wife, Sarah, the executrix.

If anyone if interested in doing more research on David Squire, I spotted a couple of records that may help. In 1809 he purchased items from the estate of John Tapley. I highly suspect John is the son of Hosea Tapley and Lucy Pryor, daughter of John Henry Pryor and wife Margaret. The account of Tapley’s estate sale was filed in April 1809 in Williamson County. People who purchased from the estate align with members of John Henry Pryor’s family who were in Williamson Co.– Peter Perkins, Robert McLemore, Nicholas T. Perkins, Thomas Hardin Perkins. David Squire was the administrator of the estate of Gurdon Squire who died around 1814.

Sarah’s second husband was Hugh McCabe. He applied for a Revolutionary War Pension in 1832 from Maury County, TN (see application). His application states he was about 75 years old in 1832 (born about 1757).  He states at the time he entered service he was “a resident of Amherst County, Virginia on Pedlar River.” Now anyone who has looked at the Pryors in Amherst County, knows that they were on the Pedlar River. I’ve speculated for quite some time that the Hugh McCabe in Amherst Co. was the same one in Maury County, but FINALLY the pension application confirms it. Hugh McCabe’s  Property in Amherst County was recorded near Nicholas Pryor (Was this F. Nicholas Pryor?) and he was engaged in a slander suite with William and Mary Pryor.

Documentation of the death of Sarah’s second husband, Hugh McCabe, can be found in SUNDRIES EVENTS, a log written by James J. Selby, who was born in Kent County, England on 7 June 1773 and lived in Maury Co., TN (see article in Ansearchin News, Spring 1984). Selby first logged–

Departed this life Hugh McCabe an Old Resident of Mt. Pleasant about 10 o’Clock at night

and then on Jan 19, 1833 —

Married in this town Majr Carter to the widow McCabe 6 months & 14 days after the death of her last husband Hugh McCabe (now got 3d)

Ouch! Was Selby making a dig when he logged, “now got a 3rd”–did she marry too soon after her husband’s death, or was a third husband improper, or was the third marriage at age 52 an oddity? It reads a bit catty.

On the 1840 Census Daniel Carter, Sarah’s third husband, was counted on the line following Angus McPhail (her fourth husband) in Maury County, TN. Daniel Carter was another veteran of the American Revolutionary War (see his pension application). There’s an application for the Sons of the American Revolution on Ancestry.com that states Daniel’s first wife, Sarah Conyers, died in 1826. Carter’s will was signed 6 January 1841 in Williamson County, TN and mentions sons Benjamin Carter, Milton Carter, Anderson Carter, and daughters Harriet Roland and Eliza Smith, as well as his wife Sarah, who was likely Sarah Pryor since the will was written long after the first wife’s death and almost 10 years after their marriage in 1833.

I found that Robert Davis was a witness on Daniel Carter’s will in 1841 AND on David Squire’s will in 1818. Maybe I’ve seen too much crime TV, but I thought it a bit odd that Robert Davis witnessed two of her husband’s wills. When I Googled him I found he was a clergyman and had witnessed several Revolutionary War pension applications in the 1830’s, so perhaps he was their minister. And really, 4 marriages over the course of almost 40 years isn’t too eyebrow-raising.

At the time of her death Sarah Pryor was known as Sarah McPhail. There’s a marriage in Williamson county dated 28 Oct 1844 for Sarah Carter to Angus McPhail. Sarah McPhail was recorded on the 1850 Census in Williamson County– age 78 born in SC, so she was about 72 when she married last husband. There really aren’t many records available on husband #4 Angus McPhail. He was probably married before Sarah Pryor to another Sarah– there’s a gravemarker for Sarah McPhail (died 1840) “consort” of Angus McPhail in the cemetery in Franklin, TN (see Find A Grave). I’ve thought that Angus possibly out-lived Sarah Pryor because I found an Angus McPhail and his son Daniel on the census in Washington County, TX in 1860 and then Daniel shows up on the census in Williamson County, TN in 1870.

Well, Sarah is definitely one of the more interesting Pryors. Now, I’m wondering if she and all these Williamson County Pryors are somehow more closely connected with the Pryors in Amherst County. More digging ahead.

#3 Bible Entry: On His Father Green Pryor

Entry 3 Form the Bible of  John Polk Pryor

Family Memoranda, Script 1867, continued…

It follows from the facts stated in the first part of the foregoing paragraph, that, beyond my immediate family, I have no near relatives of my own name.  My half-brother, Sam, and my children, are the only Pryors (living in 1867) whose “kinship” I can trace. Roger Pryor of Virginia sojourning in New York (1867), sent me word once by my old partner, Dr. Georgelya) that he and I were certainly kin, for that his father, The Pryor (a Presbyterian clergyman) possessed a “Family Tree” upon the branches of which he had found the names of my father and myself.

Uncle Peter Pryor died in my native Lauderdale Co., Alabama, near Florence. He was a gay, extravagant, fast living, impulsive young man, very fond of pleasure — in all which respects he was the very reverse of his only brother, my father, who was gentle, grave, prudent, and of a religious turn from his earliest youth. And yet these two brothers loved each other with a more than brotherly affection, the younger being generally taken for the elder, and indeed, watching over his welfare with the interest and affection, joined to the prudence and fondness of a father. A year or two after Uncle Peter’s death, my aunt (his then still young and beautiful widow) married Col. Wm W. Crawford, (a nephew of Gen. Andrew Jackson) by whom she had some  9 or 10 children. Col. C. becoming dissipated, the family reduced to comparative poverty, and was only rescued from absolute want by the friendly intervention of my father and cousin G. W. Perkins. Indeed, my father did more for his poor kinfolk, generally, than any man of moderate fortune I ever knew. For example, he mainly supported for twenty years his half-brother, Alfred Stone, with his large family, his foster-brother William Stone with his large family, his brother-in-law and  half sister Walter and Agnes Jenkins with their 8 or 9 children — educating several of the latter; — besides contributing largely to the support of his half-brother Nicholas P. Stone after the latter  lost his property and many others whose names escaped me. Economical and self-denying to a degree seldom surpassed, he was nevertheless always liberal and bountiful to the loved ones at home, and to every unfortunate neighbor; indeed, he came as near living up to the “two  great commandments” on which “bring all the — and the prophets,” as perhaps any Christian in this country ever did. Assuredly, if ever man did, he loved God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. A devoted communicant of the Presbyterian Church for 25 or 30 years, he assuredly contributed largely of his means to church purposes, and to every educational or charitable object that —— his assistance. Born in 1796 in Pittsylvania Co., VA: reared in Williamson County, Tenn; married in Maury County, where we resided a few years; thence recurring to Lauderdale County, Ala., where he remained about four years; thence to Hardeman County in Tennessee where he sojourned seventeen years (til 1842) and thence to Marshall County, Miss. 18 miles S. W. of Holly Springs, where he resided to the day of his death in 1852; — in all these places, after he attained to man’s estate, he left behind him a reputation as a perfectly good and true man, of which his children may be justly proud, and by which one of them, I am sure, has been a thousand times and in a thousand ways incalculably benefited. He was, beyond questions, “A righteous man.” I never met one of his contemporaries, who had known him well, who was not ever enthusiastic in praise of his integrity, his piety, his benevolence, and the rare gentleness and goodness of his character generally; some of the sweetest enjoyment of my life has occurred from listening to these eulogies of my father by his old friends. A warmer heart than his, I think, never beat in a human bosom, and it seemed that he  loved his children with a love passing that of women. And the great regret of my life since his death has been, that, although, I did indeed love him deeply and truly, yet I fear I did not show him my heart as much or as often as I ought while living


J. P. P.

 TN Pryor Notes:

Green and Peter Pryor are on the 1820 Census in Maury Co., TN

Green Pryor was in Marshall County, MS for the 1850 Census. Also in the same county were his step-sister Angnes Stone Jenkins, son James Polk Pryor, his daughter Martha Elizabeth Pryor Alexander.

Are you a direct descendant of John Polk Pryor? Want the family Bible?

The genealogist who supplied the scanned Bible records would like to reconnect the book with the rightful family. If you are interested, please contact me through this website and I will forward him the contact information of all interested parties.