Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Mary Bray Pryor

British Pryor LineI became curious about Mary Bray Pryor who I’d seen mentioned in a book published in 1888. She was a British Quaker who traveled to America shortly after the Revolutionary War. I thought it was interesting that a woman traveled to America on her own in those times, perhaps because it showed that people were traveling for reasons beyond immigration. I’m posting the bits I gathered about her life in case someone is interested in this line of Pryors.

1760 Quaker Marriage – Recorded in London Middlesex. John PRIOR of Hertford, son of William PRIOR, married Mary Bray. The record is signed by witnesses including Andrew Bray, William Pryor, Sarah Pryor, Sarah Bray, Nathaniel Bray, Mary Prior.

25 Jan 1799, Philadelphia, PA, USA Quaker Record. A certificate for our endeared friend Mary PRYOR directed to the board by meeting of Hertford and the Quarterly meeting of Hertfordshire in Great Britain produced from the Mins meeting was read and signed by this being expression of our near sympathy and unity with her and setting for her diligent circumspection in visiting the several meetings in this City the families of diverse friends– her religious labours under the uniting in -ence of diverse love having been truly acceptable and edifying and we hope may prove as bread cast on the waters to be found often (after?) mo- days.

1815 Death Notice in The Times, London. Mary PRYOR aged 77, wife John Pryor of Hertford, “an eminent preacher in the Society of Friends.” Published 18 Feb 1815.

This is likely Mary Bray Pryor the subject of “Mary Pryor; A life story of a hundred years ago“, published in 1888. The short story recounts that Mary Bray married John Pryor of Hertfordshire and became a Quaker evangelist in later life, traveling to America and back.

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James Pryor of Harpers Ferry, VA

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I’ve wondered if the Ross Co., OH Pryors were related to established Pryor families in Virginia.  James Pryor was on the census in Ross Co. in 1830 and 1840. His children: Hiram, Wesley, Silas, and Bennett were all born in VA; his son Silas was born near Harpers Ferry, VA (now WV).

The US government purchased 125 acres at Harpers Ferry, building the Armory and Arsenal in 1796. The town became an industrial center after 1800, producing small guns for the US Army up to the time of the Civil War in 1861. And yes, it’s the same arsenal raided by abolitionist John Brown.

James Pryor was on the 1810 and 1820 Census in Jefferson Co., VA. The census record for 1820 is unique in that actually states the town: Harpers Ferry. It’s even more unique in that an extra column has been added with the occupation of the head of household. James was recorded as a “musket stocker.”

Unfortunately James died before the 1850 Census when birth places were recorded. Only his son Bennett B. Pryor lived long enough to state his father’s birthplace on the 1900 census and 1910 census: Virginia.

Researchers state that James was the son of Silas Pryor who also was recorded in Ross Co., OH. Like his son, Silas died before the 1850 Census. A research has posted in their Ancestry Family Tree that Silas is the same person named as an heir, and probably a son, of James Pryor in a 1761 Chester, PA.

So it’s likely that these Pryors immigrated in through Boston or Philadelphia and are not related to Pryors who were early immigrants to the tidewater counties of Virginia.

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.

Newsletter #20

Do you WIKI? Have you visited WIKIPEDIA the online encyclopedia? In December I submitted an article on John Benjamin Pryor, son of Luke Pryor and Ann Batte Lane. I recently updated the Wikipedia article on his brother Senator Luke Pryor of Limestone Co., AL. If you are interested in what Luke looked like, his portrait is on the website of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/bibdisplay.pl?index=P000557

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More information on NORTON PRYOR – Norton owned land in Middle TN in the early 1800’s. The Internet sleuthing of researcher Barbara VanHout has uncovered information that confirms Norton Pryor was a Philadelphia land speculator. Although he held large amounts of land in Tennessee, he probably never even visited Tennessee.
http://lonestar.texas.net/~mdmclean/rc_papers_vol_1/490.htm

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Added another Pryor to the TN Pryor list. SARAH PRYOR born about 1810 in Tennessee, married Stephen Paxson. They lived in Scott Co., IL, Pike Co., IL (houses away from Isaac Pryor on the 1850 Census), and in St. Louis, MO.
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Found Ann E. Pryor Simmons (daughter of Allen L. Pryor of Sumner Co.) on the 1900 Census in Collin Co., TX. Apparently she and her family accompanied her brother Lycurgus Pryor to Texas and lived near their other brother, William Thomas Pryor.
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New PHOTO added to the TN PRYOR GALLERY! Family Portrait of Allen L. Pryor of Sumner County with daughter Bettie Pryor Gregory’s family (about 1895).

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List of Killed and Wounded in the action of morning of January 27, 1814. Captain Owen’s Company: Allen Pryor, wounded slightly. — Memoir of Gen. David Blackshear. (During War of 1812?)

May 29th, 1794?
Allen Pryor to James Wood, Lieutenant-Governor– Enclosed I submit to the Board the contract entered into by me with  Mr. Cavendish, to supply the Troops raised for the defence of Kanawha with provisions.

— Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Manuscripts

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New on Ancestry.com…PHOTOS!
http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1093
Search by name and keywords (like county or town name). I saw photos of Pleasant Pryor of Johnson County, TX (born Overton County TN!) and Nannie B. Pryor Lorance of Cannon County. Not just photos… there are copies of death records, wills, marriages and more.

Tennessee Pryor Newsletter 1

ALL TN PRYORS UPDATE: The total number of Pryors has gone up and down. The “All TN Pryor” project now contains 479 Pryors who were either born in or resided in Tennessee in 1850 or earlier.

Pryor or Brien?

I recently removed a family who turned out not to be Pryors. John and Lydia of Benton Co. are indexed on Ancestry as “Brien”. I looked at the writing and saw that the B is reasonably clear. I then did some searching of TN Census records of 1850 and found John, Lyddia (sic) and family recorded as Brine.

Thomas M. Pryor of Augusta County, VA

A new Pryor has been added to the list. THOMAS M. Pryor married Patsy E. Hartigan on Aug. 16, 1832 in Augusta Co., VA. I found Martha E. Pryor b. 1820 (age 30) living with the Hartigans in Dickson Co., TN in 1850. Her age varies between census years… 1860 she was recorded as 60 years old. Thomas may have died in VA or migrated with Martha to TN. Since Martha made it TN and is recorded as a Pryor I’ve included Thomas M. Pryor on the list with an note (maybe only his wife lived in TN).

Pryors in Christian County, KY

Another new Pryor was added to the list. William Barnes married MARY JANE Pryor 14 Mar. 1850 in Christian Co., KY. Mary Jane, born about 1832, was counted on the 1850-1870 Census as born in TN. In 1880 and 1900 her place of birth changed to KY. I suspect that the three earlier census entries are correct and that Mary Jane Pryor was born in TN. There are no other known Pryors in Caldwell Co. and only the family of John Pryor and wife Rebecca Cook (from Rutherford Co. and possibly Wilson Co., TN) living in Christian Co., KY. An internet search revealed that Pryor researchers place Mary Jane as a daughter of John and Rebecca. I did not find any source information that confirmed this lineage.

Henry County, TN Pryor

MARTHA A. Pryor b. 1823 NC, married John J. Hurt on 3 Feb. 1845 in Henry Co., TN. Martha was counted on the 1880 Census in Henry Co., stating both parents were born in North Carolina.

What About Pryor Surname in Dallas Co., AR?

SARAH A. Pryor b. 1824 and married Samuel W. Looney on Aug. 22, 1844 in Knox Co., TN is on the 1850 Census in Dallas Co., AR. Upon looking at the AR census there appears to be two groups of Pryors in Dallas Co.: kin to John Pryor and Ann Trigg who are related to the Pryors of Marion Co., TN*, and James Pryor and wife Unith and their children. James Pryor was from NC as was Matthew Pryor, the patriarch of the Marion Co. Pryors. While I have no proof of kinship between these lines, it shouldn’t be ruled out.
* As of 2015 there is no evidence that the Pryors in Marion County, TN are connected to the Pryors in Dallas County, AR.

The Tennessee Pryor Went to Pennsylvania

Another clarification… JAMES R. Pryor, the lone Tennessee Pryor on the census records of Blair Co., PA has been identified by his descendant. I recently received an email from a Pryor researcher who has offered terrific information that connects him to the Pryors of McNairy County, TN. James R. is not 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. If you have any information to help this researcher confirm their McNairy County ancestors you can contact him by email DLee166@aol.com

VIRGINIA. Several months ago there the website crashed and the extractions of Virginia census records were lost. This webpage is now being recreated.

MATCHING MARRIAGES TO THE CENSUS. Many thanks to researcher Melody Pryor for creating a spreadsheet of Pryor marriages in the South and Midwest. Marriage information is being added as a notation to the census extractions on the website. My focus has been to first find the Pryor women and their husbands and then adding them to the census extractions. Adding the Pryor women under their married names has helped to add clarity to the census extractions, showing connections been families in each county. While this project is far from completion, you will find numerous marriage notes and families that have been added to the census extractions.