Tag Archives: Ohio

Following the Family Line of Britt Pryor from Nebraska

I was looking for something else when I found an obit for Britt Pryor in the June 4, 1958 Lincoln Star (Nebraska). I don’t know if you ever go “down a rabbit hole” with your research — I sure get sucked down there from time to time!  These are the times that what I find may be productive for others, but doesn’t help the information I’m attempting to tease apart.

Britt Pryor got my attention because I couldn’t immediately figure out who his parents were. His Find-A-Grave memorial isn’t connected to a parent or siblings. Telling what I’ve learned in the order I’ve learned it is far from a linear tale.

1880 Census – William Pryor (born in Illinois) and wife Mary E were counted in Furnas County. They were young and didn’t have children in their household.

1881 – William and Mary E Pryor had a son named James Oscar Pryor. A death notice published in 1917 states James was born in Furnas Co. NE and “Oscar” was living with his father in 1900.

1883 – William and Mary E Pryor had a son named Jesse Warren Pryor. Jesse was living with his father in 1900.

1884 – William L Pryor of Furnas County filed the final proof of homestead on his land. This helps to support that the family was still in Furnas County.

1885 – William and Mary E Pryor had a son named Fred H Pryor. Fred was living with his father in 1900.

1888 – Draft registrations and grave marker for Britt Pryor state he was born in 1888. His obit as well as draft registrations state he was born in Arapahoe (Furnas County).

1891 – In July 1891 I think Mary E gave birth to a son named Lewis Pryor. She died roughly 3 months later was buried in Edgar Cemetery in Clay Co., NE. Her grave marker states she was the daughter of J and S Carson. Joseph and Susan Carson are on the 1880 Census in Clay County. Their places of birth correspond with those stated as parents’ birthplace on Mary E. Pryor’s census record. Joseph Carson died in 1899 per his gravemarker in the same cemetery as Mary E.

1900 – William Pryor and sons (James) Oscar, Jessie, and Fred were counted in Franklin County, NE. William and Oscar were both working as Plaster Masons. Britt Pryor was not in the household. In another county, the widow Susan Carson was counted with Lewis Pryor age 9 “nephew.” Was this her grandson or did the census taker speak with her son Robert Carson who was living in the household who referred to the boy as his nephew? — wait… this all gets cleared up in 1910!

1910 – Jess Pryor born 1883 in NE and a Brittania Pryor born 1889 in KS were both counted in Denver, CO and working as plasterers. While Jess appears to be clearly the son of William and Mary E. the waters are a bit murky when it comes to Brittania. It’s the close to Britt (Britt was recorded as Britton on the 1920 Census) and both are working as what appears to be a family profession: plastering. In 1910 Lewis was still living in Nuckolls County with Susan Carson and at that time he was recorded as her grandson. Lewis was working as a Paper Hanger which ties in nicely with his siblings working in plastering.

1917 – James Oscar Pryor died and is buried in the same cemetery as his mother, Mary E. (see Find A Grave)

1920 – The 1920 census may be the best evidence that Jess and Britt were related because both men who had been in Colorado were counted in Lancaster County, NE.

It was actually Lewis Pryor’s obituary from October 9, 1954 in The Lincoln Star that helped to tie up all the suspected family relationships. It states that Lewis Pryor, Britt Pryor and Jesse W. Pryor were brothers.  Bam!

Because the Carsons took in young Lewis Pryor after his mother’s death I started looking at them further hoping to find Britt living with a Carson relative in 1900. I found Joseph and Susan Carson living in Guthrie Co., Iowa in 1870. Their daughter Mary E was 9 and counted in their household. In 1870 they had a 16 year old male named Joseph Carson in the household. In 1900 there’s a 46 year old J W Carson in Guthrie County with a Thomas Prior age 76 in his household — recorded as his father-in-law.

It looks like this Thomas Prior is a good candidate to be the father of William Pryor who married Mary E. Carson because Thomas and his family were also in Guthrie Co., IA in 1870. Counted in his household was a son Willie age 11 who was recorded as William Pryor in Furnas County, NE in 1880. Thomas’ daughter Ellen is the right age to be J W Carson’s wife in 1900.

Alas, I climbed out of the rabbit hole (or down from the family tree?) without finding Britt Pryor in 1900.

Pryor Line in Devon and Cornwall, England

I came upon a Richard Pryor who immigrated from England and lived in the US. His biography includes a photograph– cool! (see bio in Google books). Richard H Pryor gave a pretty nice… and complete… account of where he came from and who he was related to. He states he was from Devon, yet I found an Ancestry family tree for him that uses Cornwall census records as sources. We all have some red-faced mistakes in our family trees. I only found this Richard Pryor in Devon– very close to Cornwall, but definitely not in Cornwall.

richard h pryor

The beauty of genealogy blogging is that it’s a journey where ideas evolve over time. As new information is developed it can be pieced together and change how we view a family line. Cool beans!

1861 Census Devon, England
Tavistock, Devon, Brook St., 53, John PRYOR married 35 bonnet and fancy draper, born Tavistock. Kezia wife 27 bonnet maker born Inwardleigh. Mary C Pryor daughter 12 scholar born Tavistock. Richard Pryor son 7 scholar born Tavistock. Francis Pryor son 3 born Tavistock.

1851 Census, Devon, England
Tavistock, Pepper Street John PRYOR married 25 miner and straw dealer born Tavistock. Ann L. Pryor wife 24 milliner born Tavistock. Mary G. Pryor daughter 1 born Tavistock. William A son month born Tavistock. Keziah Pryor sister in law unmarried 17 (this is Keziah Hawking who was in William Hawking’s household in 1841) assistant milliner born Ingwardleigh.
Next household…
Tavistock, Pepper Street #120 Anthony PRYOR married 47 miner grocer and tea dealer born Helston Cornwall, Grace Pryor wife 43 born Laneast. Thomas Pryor son 6 scholar born Tavistock. Elizabeth Pryor daughter 1 month born Tavistock.

1841 Census, Devon, England
Page 20 Pepper St., Anthony Pryor 35 minor tin and copper not born in county, John Pryor 15 miner born in county. Thomas Pryor 13 born in county. Richard Pryor 11 born in county. Grace Easter 65 housekeeper born in county. Mary Ann Hunting 15 not born in county.

The bio of Richard H Pryor states his grandfather was William Hawkins an accomplished wheelwright. I found his grandfather on the 1841 and 1871 Census — on both records he is a Hawking not a Hawkins. Ooops.

1841 Census, Devon
Inwardleigh, The Field Cottage, William Hawking 40 wheelwright born in county, Grace Hawking 35 born in county, Elizabeth Hawking 12 born in county,
Mary Hawking 10 born in county, Kezia Hawking 7 born in county, Sarah Hawking 4 born in county, John Hawking 2 born in county

1871 Census, Devon
Inwardleigh, #23, Elmead, William Hawking 75 married 75 farming 270 acres employing 1 man Devon Buckland, Grace Hawking 65 wife b. devon Hasherleigh, Richard PRYOR grandson 17 born Tavistock, Francis PRYOR grandson 13 born Tavistock

 

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Captain Prior at Fort Defiance (OH) in 1794

mystery-pryor-manReported in The Maryland Gazette (Annapolis, MD on 2 October 1794). This report is of a battle between Americans and British/Native-American forces. Fort Defiance is where the town of Defiance, OH now sits.

LEXINGTON, September 8.
An express arrived here on Saturday evening about 8 o’clock, with letters from the army, from which we have collected the following particulars:–
On the 20th ult. about 146 miles advanced of Greenville, the advance guard, consisting of two companies, were attached by about 1100 Indians and Canadian militia; the attack being sudden and unexpected, the advance guard fell back on the main army and threw them into confusion, which occasioned a retreat of about one hundred paces before they formed again; after forming, not more than two heavy fires were exchanged before they were ordered to charge the enemy, which was instantly done; upon which the enemy immediately gave ground, and our men rushing forward with such imperosity, the enemy were dislodged from their coverts, and the cavalry taking advantage of that event, pursued them about two miles, when they dispersed. The action continued about an hour and a quarter; we had about 30 men killed, and 80 wounded; among the former are captain Campbell of the cavalry, and lieutenant Towles of the infantry. Among the latter are captain Slough, captain Vanransalear, Captain PRIOR and lieutenant Campbell Smith, of the federal army; –Seven of the volunteers were killed, and fourteen wounded. One hundred and twenty seven scalps were taken, and a number killed in the river that were not scalped. The army remained three days on the ground, and returned to Fort Defiance, at the mount of the Auglaize, where they were on the 24th ultimo.

The action happened within sight of a strong British fort, regularly built, and garrisoned with three hundred men, between forty and fifty miles below Fort Defiance, on the Maumee or the lakes. The commander in chief, sent a flag to major Campbell, commander of the British garrison, to march his men out to the nearest British post, and give up the fort, both of which he positively refused. The Indians had 5000 acres of land in corn, all in excellent order on the bottoms of the Miumee river, a considerable quantity of which the army have destroyed.

The following list of the names of the killed and wounded of the Kentucky volunteers, was received this day.
KILLED. John Jackson, Alexander Innes, William Mitchell, Thomas Moore, William Steel, Benjamin Bell, and James Wiley. WOUNDED. Captain Rawlings, lieutenant McKinney, ensign Duncan. Privates George McCullock, John Howard, Robert Scott, John Hinkston, Isaac Rankins, James Cost, James Stewart, Benjamin Bantle, John Montgomery, and William Woodrow.

I hate the use of “former” and “latter” as much as anyone else. In this article the word “killed” is the former event, indicating that Captain Prior was killed in action. Of course another newspaper account didn’t mention Captain Prior as one of the men killed:

Killed by Indians and Canadian Militia near Ft. Defiance, Ky on 20 Aug. 1794: Capt. Robert CAMPBELL (of the dragoons), Lt. Henry B. Towles (of the 4th Sub-Legion) and the following Ky. Volunteers: John JACKSON, Alexander INNES, William MITCHELL, Thomas MOORE, William STEELE, Benjamin BELL, And James WILEY (BVCG 29 Sept. 94, VCGA 6 Oct 94, VGRMA 6, 13 Oct 94, VGRC 3 Oct 94, HNPA 4, 7, Oct 94)
— Genealogical Abstracts from 18th-century Virginia Newspapers by Robert Kirk Headley

So who was Captain Prior and what really happened to him? Alan D. Gaff in his book Bayonets in the Wilderness: Anthony Wayne’s Legion in the Old Northwest also was interested in what happened to this Prior:

“Although Captain Prior of the First Sub-Legion was listed as wounded in Wayne’s report, his injury must have been minor since General Wilkinson* failed to mention it in his two surviving accounts of the fight.”

Captain Prior was Abner Prior who I wrote about in Abner Prior, A CT Yankee Among the Wabash Indians — Captain Solomon Van Rensalear, Captain Campbell Smith, and Captain Jacob Slough who were named in the newspaper report and were all also named and reported as “wounded” on the company roster.

* General James Wilkinson is the same man who was entangled with Aaron Burr (see post)

I Need to Mention Edward W. Tupper Among The Pryor Names

Edward W. Tupper shows up with Pryor names in a couple of places and even pops up on a historical occasion. I’m passing his name along as it may help you connect the dots with your Pryor research or rule out a connection. Tupper was the son of a Revolutionary War soldier, Benjamin Tupper, from Sharon, MA who settled in Marietta, OH (see Wikipedia)

1800 Land Grant – 19 May 1800. Grantee(s): Edward W Tupper and Allyn PRIOR in Kanawha County, VA. Description: 18,970 acres. Source: Land Office Grants No. 44, 1799-1800, p. 448 (Reel 110). (Allyn is thought to be a revolutionary war soldier from Connecticut.)

1803 Administration of Estate in Washington County, OH – Isaac PRIOR, administrator of Timothy PRIOR. Security: Adam McCurdy, Jacob Ayers. Witnesses: Edward W. Tupper, Matthew Backer, Adam McCordie, Lewis Cass. Dated 23 December 1803. (Timothy Prior is possibly the same man who was on the 1790 Census in Washington Co., PA.)

“Late in the winter of 1806 Floyd bore a letter from (Aaron) Burr to Edward W. Tupper of Marietta (in OH), who had offered his services in case of a war with Spain, and a gift of books on military tactics accompanied the missive.40 From these activities, as emphasized in subsequent disclosures, we may infer that Floyd knew in substance Burr’s plans to invade Mexico.” – The Burr Conspiracy In Indiana, By Isaac J. Cox, pub. 1929.

“General Edward W. Tupper‘s Brigade, Ohio Troops, Sept. 4, 1812 to Jan. 27, 1813.” From “Soldiers of the Revolution and the War of 1812 buried in McLean County, Illinois”

 

Priors in Trumbull County, OH in 1806

I found two Pryors (Jesse and John) on an early plot map from Ohio. I decided to copy down the rest of the names on the map in case this helps ID the Pryor line.

Arnold Henry Dohrman helped the American cause in the revolutionary war at great expense while living in Portugal. Unable to fully compensate him monetarily, Congress granted him township 13 of range 7 in what became known as the Dohrman Tract or Dohrman’s Grant, now a part of Harrison and Tuscarawas Counties (in Ohio) — Wikipedia

List of Plot owners in Township 13 , Range 7 as of  January 1806

Caleb Dunn
Jos. Clark
George Crane
James Horton
Price & VanHorn
Martin C———-
Samuel Hill
David Finley
James Officer
Abraham Messer
George Clapper
W. Joseph
Jeffrey Pine or Price
Jacob Crooks
J—-? Forsyth
Johnson Brewster
James Freeman
Jeremiah Joseph
John PRIOR
Jesse PRIOR
Win. Akins
James McClan
Jos. Bowers
Geo. Messor
Thomas Williams
Dan’l Bayor
Samuel Feyton
Robert Officer
Matthew Head or Read
George W Gibbons
Horm? McIntire
Joseph Pierce
Jacob Adams
Johnson Brewster
James Finley
Nathan Frazer
Robert Crane
Zachariah Chandler
David Bingham
Geo. Richay?
Archibald Allison
William A Smith
David Beckwith
Stephen Price?
Isaac Wartinle
—-? Wartinle
Phillip Clapper
John Chandler
Robert Lynn
Samuel Cram—?
Peter Landers
Peter Sarchel
John Murray
Robert Fritton
Samuel McCune
John Finney
George Lutro Jr
Felton Clapper
Lt John Ross
Brock Baker
George Watson
William Elliot
David Bingham
Samuel Joseph
William Frazier
F. Betz
P. Moose
Robert Armstrong
Moses Ayers
James Donald
Daniel Frazier
James McCord
George Branch
M. Hyland
—-? Howell

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