Tag Archives: Nashville

1778: Pryors in Buckingham County, VA

The first Pryor I spotted was “David Pryer”. His signature is on a 1778 Inhabitants Legislative Petition in Buckingham County, VA. He’s on the same page with Anthony Dibrell. (2 of David Pryor’s grandaughters married Dibrells in AR).

Also on the same petition… Edward Prior. He’s on the same page with Peter Fore (Foree), John Garrott, William Flowers, Edmund Glover, Samuel Glover, Thomas Ballow. Is this the Edward Prior who went to GA? Not so sure. When Edward in GA signed his will in 1796 he made his mark with an “X”. Could he have been too old or sick to sign his name? Or are they completely different Edward Priors?

Connecting Members of Lincoln County, TN Pryor Line

We can ID another Tennessee Pryor marriage. The Nashville City death record for Mary Abbey Gill born 1839 states her parents were William Pryor born in NC and Jane Hopkins also born in NC. I found the Gill family on the 1910 Census in Nashville; at that time her mother’s place of birth was recorded as AL.

I agree with online researchers who’ve matched her as the daughter of William and Jane C Pryor who were counted on the 1850 US Census in Lincoln county, TN. This was further confirmed by looking at the 1870 Census — Mary and her husband Charles W. Gill were counted below Jane Pryor’s household in Lincoln county.

I’ve updated Mary Abbey Pryor Gill’s memorial on Find A Grave.

Nashville Pryor Murdered

A man named Hill was arrested and sent to jail lately, in Columbia, Tenn., for stealing mules in Davidson county, where he was tried for murdering a man named Pryor some years ago. A few days after he went to jail he was found dead, suspended by the neck in his cell, thus ending a life of vice and crime.
Poughkeepsie Journal, NY 6 July 1844.


This earlier post on the Pryor murder mentioned that the suspect was Thomas Hill. So as late at 1844 Hill was still alive and involved in crimes in TN. Hmmm, I wonder how much time (if any) he did for the murder of William Pryor.

Category: Tennessee Pryors | Tags: ,

Nashville Pryor Names in A 1836 Chancery Sale in Williamson County, TN

This Chancery Sale notice was published in The Tennessean on December 13, 1836. It refers to Pryors in Franklin, TN. Williamson County was formed from Davidson County, so it doesn’t surprise me that the names in the notice were commonly associated with the Nashville Pryors.  The sale involved the sale of 3 slaves: Nancy and her children Reuben and Henderson.


Banister L. Pryor (was the “L” sometimes transcribed as a “S” or vice versa?) was the postmaster in Prince Edward County, VA in 1831 and was recorded again as postmaster in Charlotte County, VA in 1840 and also on the 1840 Census in the same county. Were there two Banisters who separated themselves by using middle initials? Was there one Banister Pryor who was in VA and a defendant in a suit in TN?

I’ve seen Lancaster S. Pryor noted in online family trees as Banister’s brother, yet I’ve never seen his name mentioned in print before. I’ve tried to tackle the siblings in this family before (see post)

The sale wasn’t probably for Bannister’s brother Zachariah B Pryor because his will was signed on 19th September 1837, after this estate sale.

Zachariah B Pryor of Nashville and Virginia

Nashville, TN Pryor
Zach. B. PRIOR has long been grouped by researchers with the Nashville Pryors who are thought to be children of David Pryor of Buckingham County, VA.  The earliest record of Zachariah is a 1809 VA Chancery Court Case filed in Prince Edward County by Murphy Brown — Zachariah Pryor and Banister L. Pryor of Buckingham County were summoned to appear in court. One of the last records was the 1830 Census in Davidson County, TN — he was 50-59 years old.

Zachariah died around 1838. His will names his nephews, children of Mitchie Pryor: John Jefferson son of Randolph Jefferson and Muno Johnson, son of Josiah Johnson who was Mitchie’s second husband and executor of Zachariah’s estate.

Zachariah B Prior dec’d will.
Recorded Aug’t 4th 1838

19 Sept. 1837– In the name of God Amen. I Zach B Pryor being of sound mind but weak of body, do make and establish this my last will and Testament. I desire that all my just debts be paid. I afterwards wish the whole of my present crop, all the stock of every description household, Kitchen furniture and farming utensils, my one cart and a oxen to belong to Ann Wright, except my small cart which I gave to Thornton Wright and my bay colt which I give to Ben Wright Junr. The balance of my property I will to be equally divided between my two nephews: John Jefferson and Munro Johnson. If after the payment of my debts and (etc.) my Executor should have sufficient means arising from my estate then I will that he proceed to buy for the said Ann Wright and her three children now living a good house to be held by them on common forever. All my negroes shall have the privilege to choosing their masters or mistress. I desire and request Josiah Johnson of Williamson County to act as my Executor.
Test. Ben F. Foster, John Maxey
(signed) Zach. B Pryor {seal}

The following year Zach’s brother-in-law and executor conducted a sale of two child slaves. I guess Johnson decided not to stand on Zachariah’s will that the slaves should be able to choose their masters or mistress. Not exactly freedom any way you look at it.