Tag Archives: MIssouri

Butler County, AL: Tracking The Children of Francis Pryor Born in GA

I found a 1907 Obituary for a Pryor in Florida and ended up following a line of Pryors through the South. These Pryors are a bit of a mystery (well, aren’t they all?!)– name variations, missing from census records, traveling salesmen who were counted in multiple locations on census records. The best place to start is where everyone seems to be stumped: The 1860 Census.

1860 Butler Co., AL
Pct 15, House 2 Francis PRYOR 30 farmer GA, Caroline 25 GA, M. Pryor (f) 5 AL, Geo. Pryor 3 AL, Francis Pryor 1 AL.
Pct 15, House 3 Geo. Mayes 37 GA, Susan 31 GA, N. A. (f) 14 GA, J. T. (m) 9 GA, W. G. (m) 7 GA, Martha 5 GA, G. W. (m) 1 GA
Pct 15, House 7 J. M. PRYOR 33 GA, S. Pryor (f) 26 GA, J. T. (male) 8 GA, J. R. (f) 7 AL, T. J. (male) 6 AL, W. G. PRYOR 6/12 (m) AL.

The obituary of George Pryor in 1907 helped to match up George with his brother Frank/Francis.

Will Occur This Afternoon at 3 O’Clock, Services Being at the Home. The funeral of Geo. W. Pryor who expired at his home in New City on Friday afternoon, after an illness covering two weeks…friends of the deceased will act as pall bearers: Capt. R. M. Bushnell, J. J. Sullivan, Joe Roth, R. S. Mitchell, Lamar Howard, and W. T. Reager….Frank Pryor a brother of the deceased who resides in Nashville, reached the city yesterday afternoon.
The Pensacola Journal., February 03, 1907

I found brother Frank in 1900 in TN, 1910 in Kansas City, MO, and in 1920 in Mobile AL. On the 1860 Census he is ID’d as Francis and on all subsequent census as Frank, however the name on his death record (filed in Montgomery, AL) is Franklin Cornelius Pryor.

1900 Census, Davidson County, TN
Nashville, 6th ward, page 241, house 439 Frank C. PRYOR 8/1858 41 md 7 yrs. AL VA AL ind. life insurance agent, Sarah? R. wife 9/1862 37 no children TN TN TN

A tidbit in the same newspaper contained the ID of another brother: O. M. Pryor had come to town for George’s funeral.

… He also leaves a brother, O. M. Pryor, formerly of this city, who reached here last night acompanied by his daughter.
The Pensacola Journal, February 02, 1907, Page 7, Image 7

Obed M. Pryor is buried in the same cemetery as his brother George (see http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=25097089), so we know his full name too. You gotta love these newspaper articles because another article identifies Obed as residing in Mobile, AL and gives the name of a sister:

Mr. and Mrs. O. M. Pryor, who came over from Mobile to attend the funeral of the late Geo. W. Pryor, spent yesterday in the city. Mr. Pryor returned to Mobile last night, but Mrs. Pryor will remain here for several days. Mrs. Melissa Owen and daughter, Miss Queenie, the former being a sister of Mr. Pryor, are also in the city.
The Pensacola Journal, February 05, 1907, Page 3

However, and there always seems to be a “however” with the Pryors, I located a Melissa who was recorded as Celissa on the 1900 Census in Mobile, AL. She was born in 1855 in AL, so I suspect she’s the 5 year old female whose initial was “M” on the 1860 Census.  She appears on the 1920 Census also as Celisa/Celissa. Perhaps the 1907 newspaper was incorrect (just like they hadn’t picked up that she was then a Morris). Perhaps Melissa was an error that combined Celisa/Celissa with another name that begins with M, after all it looks like she was a “M” on the 1860 census. I wonder if “M” was for Morris… that it was a given name and the 1900 Census is incorrect.

1900 Census Mobile co., AL
Mobile, ward 5, page 308a, house 351 Monroe St., Celissa Morris  Feb 1855 45 divorced AL AL AL 4 children/4 living, Robert P. Owen son Sept 1878 21 AL AL AL, Truman C. dau married Dec 1880 19 2 children/2 living AL AL AL, Lula Owen dau Jul 1883 13 AL AL AL, Queenie V Owen dau Mar 1885 15 AL AL AL.

The name raises a lot of questions– like am I sure this is the woman referred to in the 1907 news article. Yes, because in 1920 she is recorded on the same page of the census with Sallie Pryor, widow of Obed Pryor.  Celisa/Celissa also had a grandson named Pryor Huggins living in her household.

The one thing that seems to have people stumped who are searching for this line — where is this family of Pryors in 1870? An online family tree suggests there’s a family story of Francis and Caroline killed in a buggy accident. I think I have a partial answer — I found Celisa/Celissa and her brother Francis/Frank/Franklin on the 1870 Census. They were living with Patrick Drake and his wife Martha Gellbrath Drake (they were married in Greene Co., GA in 1826):

1870 Census Butler Co., AL
Greenville, Twp. 8, page 341b, house 199 Pat’k Drake 70 farmer VA, Martha 70 GA, Celisa 15 AL, Frank 12 AL

Were the Drakes related? I don’t know. Where were George and Obed? I don’t know. Where was Francis and Caroline Pryor in 1850? I don’t know. There’s more research needed on this line of Pryors. I’d like to figure out where Francis Pryor was in 1850. Maybe someone from this line will step forward for a Y-DNA test and we’ll at least know which line of Pryors these folks connect to.

Prayor or Pryor?

Migration Direction

The Sikeston Herald (MO)
22 Dec 1938
Mrs. C I Hall visited her sister, Mrs. Elza Lepley, one day last week when en route to Memphis. She was accompanied by her mother, Mrs. W. E. Pryor, and two other sisters: Mrs. G. W. Terrell and Miss Corette Prayor, all of Wyatt.

When I stumble upon a news article that mentions Tennessee I have to take a deeper look. Are these TN Pryors?

It piques my interest even more when I see that the mother’s name was spelled “Pryor” and the sister was a Miss “Prayor” Were they Pryors or Prayors?

I found Corette Prayor on the 1930 Census with the same spelling of her surname. She was born in MO in 1915 and working as a servant in the household of James Pierce. She was living in Sikeston, Scott Co., MO. It also noted that both of her parents were born in KY.

The good news that shortened my search was that Corette was counted twice on the census. She was also in the household of William E. Prayor b. 1877 and his wife Irene, both born in KY. The family is also on the 1920 Census in Mississippi County, MO. The Find A Grave memorial for William Elza Pryor states he was born in 1879 in McLean Co., KY.

Well, there seems to be some confusion of Prayor vs. Pryor But it looks like they were visiting TN not living there.

Gasconade County, MO – Pryor Records

This is for our Missouri “cousins” who connect with Edward Pryor of Wilkes County, GA. I spent some time in the Gasconade County records and pulled out a few Pryor Records. The transcriptions are below…

Gasconade County, MO Administrator, Executor, Guardian Bonds, 1825-1848, vol. A, page 137

https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-45903-7468-41?cc=2399107&wc=SHN7-GPD:1327958501,1328035990, image 11

[Note: an part transcription of this bond states James Kerley “chose” William Pryor as his guardian. I think the correct reading of this bond disproves this earlier interpretation. Chose may mean chosen by the court or selected by the community/family.)

Know all men by these present that I Wm. Pryor as principal Guardian of James Kerley and we Samuel Abott and William Kerley as securities do acknowledge ourselves to and stand indebted unto the State of Missouri in the penal sum of three hundred dollars lawful money of the United States for the true payment of the same we bind ourselves our heirs and legal representatives firmly and jointly by these presents signed with our hands and sealed with our seals and dated this 15th day of August 1826.

The concition of this bond is such that whereas the said William Pryor has this day been chosed guardian of James Kerley of said County now if the said William Pryor shall faithfully discharge the duties of guardian of said James Kerley according to law then this bond to be void else to remain in full force and virtue in law.
Witness, David Waldo
William Pryor “his mark” {seal}
William Kerley “his mark” {seal}
Samuel Abbott “his mark” {seal}

Gasconade County, MO Administrator, Executor, Guardian Bonds, 1825-1848, vol. A, page 137′

https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-45903-7442-51?cc=2399107&wc=SHN7-GPD:1327958501,1328035990,  image 25

[Note: Samuel Sherrill was also security for Jacob Watson for the estate of Henderson Campbell, 26 Jan 1837]

Know all men by these presance that I John G. Huffman as principle and one Samuel R. Sherill, J. B. Harrison as securities acknowledge ourselves and stand indebted to the State of Missouri in the sum of Seven Hundred Dollars and for the payment of the same well and truley to be made and bond ourselves, our Heirs, and legal representatives Jointly and Severly by these presents. Signed with our hands and sealed with our seals this 11th day of February 1837.

The Condition of the above Bond is such that if the above Bond John G. Huffman administrator of the estate of Robert Pryor, Deceased Shall well and truly administer said estate according to law account for pay over and deliver all moneys and properties of said Estate and perform all the things ____? said administrator required by law or the order of any Court having Jurisdiction there and then this obligation to be void else to Remain in full force and virtue in law Given under our hands this day and date above written.
John G. Huffman {seal}
Samuel R. Sherrill {seal}
J. B. Harrison {seal}
Duly Recorded this 22 day of Feby 1837
Eli M Lilton? Clk

Gasconade County, MO, Administrator Letters, 1825-1857, vol A-B, page 41

https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-45903-13710-38?cc=2399107&wc=SHJF-RMS:1327958501,1327997356, image 58

State of Missouri
Gasconade County
Eli M. Litton, Clerk of the County court in and for the County of Gasconade and State of Missoui to all whom these presents Shall come Greeting where as it is represented that the Estate of Robert Pryor deceased is unrepresented by an administrator. Therefore is hereby to authorize and require William Bumpass who is the authorized Public Administrator for the County of Gasconade and State aforesaid to administer according to law all and singular the Goods and chattels land and tennants rights and credits money and effects of the Said deceased and I do further ___? hereby authorize and require the said William Bumpass as Public Administrator to administeter said Estate according to law of the said deceased Robert Pryor

In testimony where of I have her unto set my hand and affixed my official seal at my office in Mt. Sterling this 18th day of March 1837
Eli M. Litton, Clk
State of Missouri
Gasconade County
I Eli Litton Clerk of the County Court of Gasconade County and State afforesaid do hereby certify that the foregoing letters of Administration to have been duly recorded on the 18th day of March A. D. 1837.
In testimony wherere of I have unto set my hand and official seal this 18th day of March 1837
Eli. M. Litton, Clk.

Gasconade County, MO, Probate Court General Index, Vol. 1

ROSANNA Pryor, et al
Guardian C93, Ord. 94, Ord to give bond 114. Allow D26, Sett. 47, Attach 58
Minor heirs of Robert Pryor

Guard D49, Discharge 62, charge 62
Infant heirs of Robt. Pryor

WILLIAM Pryor, dec’d
Bond App D75, Sett 83, Allow 86, Final Set. 129, Final Set 351

JAMES Pryor, dec’d
Ord. Cont. D94

PLEASANT Pryor, dec’d**
2 allow E4293, Allow 469, Ex Set 470, Set 542, Fin Set Con. Bond App Fig No of Fin Set 25, Will Will rec. B 131

Gdn & C—E 593, Bond app 612, set con F90, allow 107, set 108, set 154, set con 162, set 214, set 217, set cont 274, set con. 289, ,fin set 296, set con 309, fin set 325
infant heirs of (nothing written in)

George W. Sewel Executor of Pleasant Pryor Estate
Gasconade Co., MO Probates, Probates, 1827-1867, vol C-D, page 280
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-45907-1889-11?cc=2399107&wc=SHXF-VZS:1327958501,1327958506, image 317

1864 Nov. Term To Inventory and Appraisment Bill $402.55
Amt of notes and cash on hand $147.54
To amt of sale bill $243.46
Feb. 12 1868 Balance due Executor $775.22

A Musician in Your Family Tree?

Civil War Musical Instruments

Civil War Drum and Instruments – Gettysburg Visitor’s Center

Got a musician in your family tree? Does music run in your Pryor gene pool? The more I’ve searched for the ancestors of trombonist Arthur Pryor, the more I’ve found musicians named Pryor. My list started with Civil War era musicians listed as drummers and buglers. As I checked census records I found more. Enjoy this list of musicians named Pryor.

Arthur W. Pryor, the trombonist, was listed in the 1887 St. Joseph city directory as a musician.

Walter D. Pryor, brother of Arthur,  was listed in the 1887 St. Joseph city directory as a musician.

Samuel D. Pryor (Arthur’s father) was in the 1888 St. Joseph directory as the leader of Pryor’s Military Band and Orchestra.

Alice Pryor (aunt of trombonist Arthur Pryor).  1880 recorded as a musician living in a rooming house in St. Joseph, MO with an operatic company.

A. Prior (probably an uncle of Arthur Pryor) 1880 recorded as a musician living in St. Joseph, MO

J. B. Pryor b. 1840 in OH, living in Mono Co., CA in 1880. Recorded on the census as a musician.

Emsley R. Pryor (uncle of trombonist Arthur Pryor). 1890 Veteran’s Schedule states he was a bugler during the Civil War.

Milas Pryor was stationed in Norfolk, VA with the US Marine Corps in 1867. His rank was “musician

David E. Pryor served in the Civil War from the State of Indiana as a musician.

John W. Pryor served in the Civil War from the State of Ohio as a musician.

Horace Prior of OH served in the Civil War as a bugler.

Richard Pryor served in the 61st Colored Infantry during the Civil War as a musician.

Theodore Prior born in NY in 1860 was recorded as a musician on the 1880 census.

Civil War Coronet and Saxohorns – Gettysburg Visitor’s Center

James Prior who immigrated from Ireland in 1833 was a musician.

Frisby Prior served in the 81st Colored Infantry during the Civil War as a musician.

Charles Prior – In 1862 he enlisted in the Civil War in NY as a musician.

Miss Theresa Prior of Evanston, IL was in the 1890 directory as a musician in Prior’s Orchestra.

C. M. Prior of Evanston, IL was also listed as a member of Prior’s Orchestra. As was Miss Emelia Prior and Frank A. Prior.

Hershal D. Pryor served in the Marine Corps from 1917 as a drummer.

George Pryor of Helena, MT recorded on 1890 Veteran’s Schedule as a drummer during the Civil War.

[This summer I visited Gettysburg and took photos of Civil War era instruments that were on display]

Joseph A. Pryor of Greene Co., MO

Thank you to Glen Pryor who has ID’d Joseph A. Pryor of Greene Co., MO as the son of William H. Pryor.

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