Tag Archives: Prior

Leroy B. Pryor: Part I – What We Know

Leroy B. Pryor who was living in Jackson County, Tennessee at the time of the 1850 Census was married, age 23 and had at least 2 children living in his household. The number of children is actually uncertain because of a pencil mark made by the census taker. Either Leroy had a son David age 4 or an older relative David Pryor aged 24 was living in the household.

Assuming that Leroy’s parents were about 20 years old when he was born in 1827, they would have been born in about 1798-1807. The 1880 Census in Phelps Co., MO recorded Leroy’s parents as both born in North Carolina. In 1830 there were no Pryors counted in Jackson County. In 1840 there was a “Cinda” Pryor whose household included two males of age 15 and less than 20; one female of age 10 and less than 15; one female of age 20 and less than 30; and one female of age 30 and less than age 40. Leroy’s year of birth makes him a likely fit in this household.

A possible sibling is Jane Pryor b. 1827, married to Robert N. Allen, is also a likely fit in Cinda’s household. Both Leroy and Jane Pryor Allen were living in District 9 at the time of the 1850 Census, near families of the same surnames that were counted near Cinda Pryor in 1840. Jane’s death record names her mother as “Linda Pryer.”

Naming traditions may also be a clue to Leroy’s kinship. Leroy’s first daughter was named Melinda Jane. Perhaps after his mother? The box below shows the names of Leroy’s children and next to it the traditional naming practice.

Leroy & Elizabeth’s children:

1st son = John (father’s father)
2nd son = William S. (mother’s father)
3rd son = Leroy (father)
4th son = George W.(father’s oldest brother)
5th son = James or Joseph (father’s 2nd oldest brother or mother’s oldest brother)Daughters
1stDau = Melinda Jane (mother’s mother)
2ndDau = Rebecca (father’s mother )
3rdDau = Sarah Ann (mother)
4thDau = Parisetta (mother’s oldest sister)

Melody Pryor who has been researching her ancestor Leroy B. is confident, although searching for proof, that Elizabeth Mayberry Pryor’s parents are Seth and Rebecca. “I don’t know what the middle initial “S.” stands for in “William S.” but I am assuming it may stand for “Seth”. I am also assuming that Leroy & Elizabeth reversed the mother’s names, that is, the 1st daughter was named after Leroy’s mother and the 2nd daughter was named after Elizabeth’s mother. Using this logic, then Leroy’s parents would be John Pryor and Melinda (or Jane).”

So the question is whether Linda and Cinda Pryor are the same person.

Leroy’s vitals statistics changed between records: In 1850 he was born in 1827 and on his Missouri death certificate he was 62 when he died in 1885 making him born in 1823. Melody obtained Leroy’s Civil War records. He’s described as six foot with brown hair and blue eyes. He served in the 63rd Reg’t E. M. M. and 70th Reg’t E. M. M.

Melody’s research paints a larger picture of Leroy Pryor as a pioneer farmer. In November 1870 he completed the requirements of the Homestead Act. He had been on his land in Phelps County since October 1865. He had made improvements: built two houses that were 16′ x 16′ (that’s 256 sq. feet each!); ploughed, fenced and cultivated about 30 acres; and he had built a stable and a corn crib. The Homestead paperwork and the 1870 Non Populated Census for the Production of Agriculture indicate Leroy had a peach and apple orchard, and was also growing winter wheat, Indian corn, Irish potatoes, and oats. He also had a small number of livestock consisting of cattle, milking cows, horses, sheep and pigs.

What can we learn about Leroy from the Tennessee Census records? Connecting Cousins… More in Part II