Tag Archives: mcnairy county

Elizabeth Pryor, Grand-Daughter of William Butler Sr.

tn-pryorsI heard from Pryor researcher Nova Lemmons in response to the Boteler/Butler post. She identified Elizabeth Pryor as probably the daughter of Lewis Rector and as the wife of Philip Pryor of McNairy County, TN.  I was reminded of a post from 2011 about the Pryor and Rector connections (see post Pryor And Rector Family Virginia Connections).

Sumner Co., TN: Neighbor Bartholomew Stoval

Campbell County Pryor FamiliesI’ve been hot on the trail of anyone and everyone who was mentioned on records with John Pryor of Campbell County, VA (Bedford County too).  I’m curious to see if they stayed in VA or migrated to parts of TN near any of my Pryor family.

First I found that Murrell Cunningham had moved to Sumner County (see post). Then I found that John Kitchens went to Anderson County, TN (see post).

I think I found kin of Thomas Stoval /Stovall (he and John Pryor witnessed the will of Jacob Rector in Bedford County in 1779).  Bartholomew Stoval b. 1760 was a Revolutionary War vet who migrated to Sumner County, TN (see pension application). He’s recorded on the 1840 Census in Sumner County as an 80 year old veteran.  I also found an online family tree Benjamin Stoval’s Family (his father was George Stoval):  http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/u/r/Robert-Arthur-Murphy-florida/GENE3-0006.html

Then there’s a nice little topper to the sundae, I found a McNairy County bio of the Stovall family that expounds of the line of Bartholomew Stoval (Stovall),  stating the name of one of his sons as George Pryor Stoval (read the bio). I found George on the 1840 Census in McNairy County. His neighbors were Ambrose Shull, Joseph Kincheon (related to the Kitchens?).  George is also on the 1850 census with a year of birth about 1798 in Tennessee.

Documentation for John Hughes Pryor’s Family Tree

The case filed in the Goochland County Chancery Court after the death of William Pryor, brother of John Hughes Pryor, may help researchers confirm parts of their family tree.

Samuel T Pryor  vs.
Administrator of William Pryor, etc.
Filed in Goochland County, VA

This listing of siblings is gleaned from the case:

1. Samuel T. Pryor, the plaintiff in this case.
2. William Pryor, deceased and died intestate in the summer of 1856.
3. Martha A. Meriwether
4. Judith N. Duke
5. Mary W. Turner
5. John H. Pryor  “who died many years ago in the state of _____ leaving eight children whose names are unknown to your orator that some  of the said eight children died some years since leaving two children as your orator has been informed whose names he does not know, that the said descendants of the said Jno. Pryor dec’d are now scattered in Western and South Western states of the Union.”
7. Nancy Woodson dec’d, mother of Eliza Woodson – now Eliza Haden
8. Sally Payne dec’d, mother of George A Payne

I wrote about John Hughes Pryor and his daughters a couple years ago (read post). It’s nice to have some documentation to help confirm relationships– An 1857 receipt included with the case papers indicates that by that time the heirs of John H. Pryor had been found:John Hughes Pryor - his children

Listed above are:
1. Judith N Duke (sister of John Hughes Pryor, living in McNairy County, TN in 1850 and 1860)
2. A. C. Sublett and wife (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Louisa Ann married A C Sublett, living 1850 – 1880 in Rutherford County, TN)
3. Isaac H Rainey and wife (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Elizabeth married Isaac Rainey, living in Henry County, TN)
4. A W Batt (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Amanda, married William P. Batte, living 1850 – 1870 in Sumner County, TN)
5. E A Sangredge
6. William Hargove (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Mary Janett, married William Hargrove, living in McNairy County, TN in 1850)

I don’t recognize #5. Do you?

John Hughes Pryor of Goochland Co., VA and Rutherford Co., TN

Summer Article Series

I’m taking time off from the website and blogging in July and August. I work as a web designer and internet consultant and will be enjoying some vacation time and time to write my stash of blog articles for months to come. However there will be plenty to read here on the Tennessee Pryors blog! I’m running a series of blog posts of Internet Genealogy tips, the same tips I use to find all those lost Pryors! So encourage your research friends and family to subscribe to the blog RSS feed or get email updates through Feedburner.

John Hughes Pryor of Goochland Co., VA and Rutherford Co., TN

John Hughes Pryor is one of the sketchier Pryors. I assume he was a fine human being, but the information about him is sparse… and sketchy.

It’s believed that he was the son of William Pryor born about 1785 and Elizabeth Hughes.  John married Sallie Smith in 1802 in Goochland County and was on the Goochland County Census in 1820. John was the grandson of Col. William Pryor and the great-grandson of Col. Samuel Pryor who were the patriarchs of large Pryor families and a long lineage of Virginia Pryors.

On the 1830 Census he was recorded as Jno.  H. Pryor in Rutherford County, TN. He moved his family to Williamson County some time before 1840. The Minute Book Genealogy of Williamson County , Tennessee 1799-1865 by Albert L. Lawson contains a reference to John Pyor: “1834 (13/381) In the case of Clouston vs Healy & Pigot there is mention of lands on the waters of West Harpeth bounded on the north by the heirs of Pryor and in the waters of Liepers Fork of West Harpeth adjoining the lands of John Pryor on the east.” So if John Pryor was in Williamson County in 1834, and most researchers date his death as 1841, who were the “heirs of Pryor”? Were they the heirs of another Pryor who was deceased? Who was this other Pryor?


John Hughes Pryor had 5 known siblings. His sister Judith Neville Pryor b. 1786 married Fonatine Duke in 1808 in VA. She was on the 1850 and 1860 Census in McNairy Co., TN. Another sister,  Martha “Patsy”, married Robert Meriweather and was still in Goochland County in 1850. Robert Meriweather may have been a distant cousin, in that John Hughes Pryor’s aunt Frances Morton Pryor had also married a Meriweather.  A mental note should be made that Meriweather Lewis, half of Lewis and Clark was from the Meriweather family, was from the same area of Virginia as these Pryors and chose a Pryor as part of his expedition (Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor). While I can’t prove a connection between John Huges Pryor and the explorer, these facts may indicate that these families traveled in similar social circles

Looking at the children of John Hughes Pryor I came across family trees on Ancestry.com with conflicting information.


Allen Pryor born 1802.  I suspect the family trees that include Allen as a son of John Pryor have drawn their information from the census records that show an Allen Pryor in Rutherford County on the 1820 Census. The Allen on the 1820 Census was born between 1775 and 1794. He appears to be a contemporary of John Hughes Pryor, not a son. If John Hughes Pryor is the same John on the 1810 and 1820 Census in Goochland County, he had no sons recorded on either census.


John Pryor of Goochland County has six younger females living in his household in 1820. Six daughters? Holy cow!

1. Louisa A. Pryor born 1800 in Virginia. She married Abner C. Sublett in about 1829, so Louisa would have been one of the daughters in the Pryor household on the 1820 Census.  They are on the 1850 though 1880 in Rutherford County, TN. Louisa’s children were named Susan Amanda, Valentine A., John C., Sarah J., and Horace A.

2. Mary Jane Pryor. Born 1808 in Virginia. She married William James Hargrove in 1826 in McNairy Co., TN.  Their children were Benjamin Franklin, Sarah Frances, John Hugh, James Monroe, Amanda, Mary L., Thomas Caldwell, and Robert Ezrell.  Mary and her family were on the 1850 Census in McNairy County, not too far from her aunt Judith Pryor Duke, a sister of John Hughes Pryor.  The Hargroves and the Dukes appear to be educated, town-dwellers as William Hargrove was a grocer and a physician was living in the Duke household. William Hargrove was recorded on the same page as John Hughes Pryor on the 1840 Census in Williamson Co., TN.

Mary was recorded on the 1860 Census in Hardin County, TN as “Mary Hargroves”, living with children Mary L, Thomas C., and Robert L.  Living near her are also her children Amanda Hargrove Cowan, and John H. Hargrove. Despite one Ancestry Tree that states Mary died 1866 in Norwoodville, Sevier Co., AR—Mary and her children were still in Hardin Co., TN on the 1870 Census.  By 1880 Mary’s children and their families were in Sevier County, AR.

My conclusion is that Mary Jane is of the right social status and lived in the right geography to be a daughter of John Hughes Pryor.

3. Amanda F. Pryor born 1809 in Virginia. Married William P. Batte in 1827 in Rutherford County. They are on the 1850 through 1870 Census in Sumner Co., TN.  There is a William D. Batey born between 1800 – 1810 on the 1840 Census in Rutherford County. The 1850 Census reveals their children were named Augustus Washington, William B., Elizabeth P., and James H (James Hughes?).  Amanda’s age, place of birth, and where she lived strongly suggests she may be one of John Hughes Pryor’s daughters.

4. Henrietta Lee Smith Pryor born 1815 in Virginia. Henrietta married Goodwin Davis. I haven’t found them on the 1850 Census, however they were on the 1860 Census in Bedford County, TN. Their known children are Able, Archibald, William, John Louis, Alabama, Robert Young, Sarah Louisiana, Mary Margaret, Valentine Sublett, Martha Tennessee, Jane Washington.  Mrs. H. Davis is recorded directly under John Hughes Pryor on the 1840 Census in Williamson Co., TN. I believe the names of her children connects her to Louisa Pryor Sublett and her position on the census near John Hughes Pryor is further evidence of the relationship.

5. Sophia Weston Pryor born 1818 in Virginia. Sophia married Ezra Keyser born in PA. They married in 1838 in Rutherford Co., TN. Their children were Sally and Mary R. They are on the 1850 Census in Fulton Co., KY and in 1870 through 1880 they are in Gonzales Co., TX.  Not conclusive, the daughter named Sally, could have been named for her mother Sallie Smith.  I’ve wondered if Ezra Keyser was related to Joseph Kizer who filed an assault charge against Thornton Pryor in Robertson County in 1814. There’s also a Keyser connection to the Phereba Pryor who was living with Spicy Taylor Pryor in Overton County, TN in 1850– when she was recorded on the 1860 Census in Sumner County she was living with a John Keyser and a Silas Ryan born in PA. Could there be a connection between the Pryors in Sumner County and Overton County Pryors with Sophia and perhaps John Hughes Pryor?

6. Elizabeth Smith Pryor born 1808 in Virginia. Married to Isaac Rainey.

7. Martha Pryor born 1812 in Virginia. Martha married Benjamin Potter.  They are on the 1850 Census in Rutherford County, TN. Their children were named John and Amanda, names that could follow names in her own family: father named John Pryor and a sister named Amanda.

8. Virginia W. Pryor born 1823 in Tennessee. Virginia married Thomas W. Hill in Williamson Co., TN in 1842. They are on the 1860 through 1870 Census in Wayne Co., IL. They are on the 1880 Census in Philips Co., KS. Their children were named Adelia, Sarah C., John G., Mary J., Basil, Oscar James, and Laura M.

Since all of these women who researchers suggest as daughters appear to have married after 1820, there are more suggested daughters than female children in the Pryor household on the 1820 Census.  Unfortunately we don’t have enough information to draw conclusions: either two of the women are not his daughters, they may have been living with relatives in 1820, or attending a private school, or other scenario.

Forgotten TN Pryor in Pennsylvania

Popular history covers the frequent migrations of pioneers over the Appalachian trail from Virginia and the Carolinas. But what about the people who were born in the frontier and returned to the East?

James R. Pryor, the lone Tennessee Pryor on the census records of Blair Co., PA has been identified by his descendant. In 2005 I was contacted by a Pryor researcher who offered terrific information that connects him to the Pryors of McNairy County, TN. James R. is now identified as JAMES RICHARD Pryor. His grave marker states his name as J. Richard, although the 1870 and 1880 Census records in PA state his name as James R. His descendant has discovered through an old letter and family information that James Richard came from McNairy County. He was captured during the Civil War while serving in the Confederate Army and when released, stayed in the North. There is a Richard Pryor of the correct age on the 1850 census in McNairy County, living in the home of Andy Smallwood.