Tag Archives: Rector

Elizabeth Pryor, Grand-Daughter of William Butler Sr.

tn-pryorsI heard from Pryor researcher Nova Lemmons in response to the Boteler/Butler post. She identified Elizabeth Pryor as probably the daughter of Lewis Rector and as the wife of Philip Pryor of McNairy County, TN.  I was reminded of a post from 2011 about the Pryor and Rector connections (see post Pryor And Rector Family Virginia Connections).

Flowers Family with the Pryors and Campbell County Families in Roane County

5982837164_aa57b8bd61_bThis is a short post of the Flowers family connections between the Pryors and associated lines. The names are all woven together in Campbell Co., VA: Butler, Cunningham, Rector, Pryor, Taylor, Oglesby and Rev. William Flowers. If you look at Overton County records there are Flowers marriages into the Pryor line as well as the Taylor and Garrett families.

  • 1790 Murrell Cunningham on Bill of Sale to John Pryor in 1790
  • 1791 Martin Rector and John Pryor signed Petition in Campbell County.
  • 1792 marriage of John Kington/Kingston to Eleanor Caffrey, witnessed by her cousin Sarah Martin Rector, wife of Martin Rector, by Rev Flowers a Baptist Minister. Per Kington’s Revolutionary War pension. Also states Kington was acquainted with Thomas Butler, another pensioner.
  • 1796 marriage of Henry Boteler to Kesiah Oglesby, by William Flowers
  • 1799 marriage of Sarah Cunningham to William Boteler Jr. Surety William Boteler, Murrell Cunningham. By William Flowers
  • 1800 marriage of Elizabeth Pryor to John Harris, by William Flowers
  • 1802 marriage of Samuel Davidson to Frances Oglesby, by William Flowers (Likely Rev. Samuel Davidson who married William Pryor and Spicy Taylor in 1809. Frances Oglesby was Mary Oglesby’s sister).
  • 1807 marriage of Hezekiah Taylor to Mary Oglesby, by William Flowers
  • abt. 1825 Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of Thomas Taylor of Sumner County, TN married James Flowers.
  • abt. 1836 Overton Pryor married Patsy Flowers in Overton County, TN

A Pryor Slave Story in Roane County and Anderson County TN

slave-houseSy Prior was a free African American living in Anderson County, TN. It’s an interesting slave story because he died 5 years before the end of slavery and he left a will. The will is like Hansel and Gretel dropping a cookie trail in the forest — he not only names his 4 children, but also who held his children in slavery.

Last Will and Testatment of Sy Prior. In the name of God Amen. Owing to the uncertainty of Life and the certainty of death and being —- to dispose of such worldly goods as it has pleased God to help me with and being of sound mind and disposing memory do make and publish this my last will and testament. 1st I give and bequeath to my daughter PELESA ANN the servant of RHODA WILSON out of my estate one hundered and forty dollars and her child PATSY SHIRLEY the sum of ten dollars. I give and bequeath to my son CHARLES the servant of RICHARD OLIVER one hundred and forty dollars. I give and bequeath to BETTY also a servant of RHODA WILSON the sum of five dollars for her attention to me in my sickness. I give and bequeat to REV JAMES BLAIR the sum of five dollars to preach my funeral sermon. I give and bequeath to my daughter MARGARET servant girl of RICHARD OLIVER my feather bed and furniture. She paying to her sister PELESA ANN six dollars I wish and desire that my watch and saddle be sold and equally divided amongst my four children Pelesa Ann, Isaac, Margaret and Charles. I wish and direct that all my just debts be paid as soon after my death as possible as well as my funeral expenses. I wish and request that my remains be directly buried. All the balance of my estate of what kind — I give and bequeath to my son ISAAC dn my daughter MARGARET servants of RICHARD OLIVER to be equally divided between them. I hereby appoint my friend SAMUEL TUNNELL executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former will by me made this 25th day of January 1860.
Sy PRIOR (his Mark) (or Sig)
Signed in presence of

Sy Prior was on the 1850 Census:

1850 Census Anderson Co., TN. Subdivision 16, page 19b, house 274
Drury L. Bradley 39 farmer VA, Nancy 39 TN, William 16 TN, John T. 13 TN, Margaret E. 9 TN, Samuel 7 TN, Andrew 6 TN, Drury 3 TN, Timothy R. 4/12 TN, Martha Thompson 74 VA, Sir PRIOR 42 mu farmer male TN. (Sir is probably Sy Prior. House 273 is Samuel Tunnell who witnessed Sy’s will. House 269 is Kesiah Oglesby Butler b. 1780 from Campbell Co., VA. House 275 is Caleb Butler.)

Not only is an African-American will recorded before the Civil War remarkable, but there’s also a will that explains how Sy became a free man. Harris Pryor of Roane County died in 1846. Harris’ will states:

Item 2nd. It is my will that my negro man Sy shall be emancipated and set at liberty as a free man at my death and I also direct that my executor shall give him to with Sye of my property one horse worth forty dollars and one plough (sic) and gear.

Sy was born about 1808 and was a contemporary of Harris Pryor who was born 1801-1810. It may not sound like much, but Sy took a 40 horse and turned it into an estate of $300 cash and property that consisted of a watch, horse, saddle and furniture. I think that’s pretty amazing.

I also took a look at Richard Oliver on the 1850 Census in Anderson County (#3 on the image below). Not only does Sy Prior connect him with Harris Pryor, Richard Oliver was living near Rector households (1 & 2 below) and a Butler family (4).


Boetler and Butler: More Clues to Campbell County VA Pryors

campbell-county-vaThe Boetler family who adopted the name Butler are an interesting line in Campbell County, VA. I started poking around and found some share-worthy connections.

Second, I have to apologize because I’m still slowly publishing a backlog of posts. I try to recheck and reassess evolving research, so it takes time. So, it’s time to post this one and my next post that expands on the Butler connection. Bear with me.

In 1799 Sarah Cunningham married William Boteler Jr. in Campbell County, VA. William Boteler and Murrell Cunningham were surety. The marriage was performed by William Flowers. Whoa!

William Flowers performed the marriage of Hezekiah Taylor to Mary Oglesby. Hezekiah is believed to be related to Edmund Taylor, father of Massey and Spicy Taylor (wifes of John Pryor and William Pryor). Murrell Cunningham is on a 1790 Bill of Sale in Campbell County with a John Pryor. Whew!

William Boetler Sr and his son William Boetler Jr (who married Sarah Cunningham) packed up and left VA for TN. He settled in an area that overlaps Anderson County and Roane County records. The Sr. Butler filed for a Revolutionary War pension in 1833 [see application]. He stated that he lived in the part of Bedford County, VA that became Campbell County. A guy named Richard Oliver was a testor on the application– Richard Oliver later witnessed the will of Benjamin Lockett (son in law of Samuel and Frances Pryor see Harris Pryor and Roane County, TN Pryors).

When William Boetler Sr. died in 1836 he left a will.  He also left a mystery because he willed a slave named Jude and her daughter to his grand-daughter Elizabeth Pryor. Who’s daughter is Elizabeth? What happened to Elizabeth? Was she married to a Pryor?

pryor-anderson-countyBoetler’s will names his Rector relatives. I’ve mentioned the Rectors before: Pryor And Rector Family Virginia Connections. The Boetler/Butler family and the the Rectors are named on a 1800 deed (see below). William Boetler/Butler Sr. served in the American Revolution [see his pension application]. He volunteered from Bedford County, VA — the area that had been part of Campbell County. His application was witnessed by Richard Oliver. 

Charles McClung conveyed to Thomas Butler one thousand acres of land on Poplar Creek in Anderson Co., TN located on both sides of the present Oliver Springs – Oak Ridge highway. Deed recorded in Knox Co. Deed Book F, Vol, 2, page 8, dated 13 Feb 1800. Shortly after 1800, Thomas Butler sold a part of this original tract to his father, WILLIAM BUTLER, SR., a RWS, and parts to his brothers, WILLIAM BUTLER, JR. and HENRY BUTLER, and parts to his sisters, ELIZABETH MANLEY and MARY RECTOR.

The Revolutionary War pension application for John Kingston (Kington) of Morgan County, TN also helps to tie together the Butlers, the Rectors and the Pryors. The Sally Rector named in the application is the widow of Martin Rector–  Yes, the same guy who was on a 1790 Bill of Sale  in Campbell County: March 15, 1790 Bill of Sale: John PRYOR, Charles Rork, Martin Rector, for Murrell Cunningham of Campbell County. This application also helps to ID Rev Flowers as a Baptist minister.

She states she has no doubt but she can prove by some of her acquaintances in Morgan and Anderson Counties in Tennessee to wit the Rectors and Butlers things so much connected with the facts of her said husband’s service, that it will tend to the proof of the same very strongly, she further declares that she was married to the said John Kington on the 15th day of February 1792 in Campbell County Virginia by a Baptist minister named Flowes [sic Flowers?] who solemnized the marriage she understood the license to be signed by Esquire Paser and she understood the same to have been in some way under the superintendents of the Clerk of the court; she not having knowledge of to what extent, she has no record of her said marriage nor Documentary evidence but she can prove her said marriage by Sally Rector whose maiden name was Sally Masten [Sally Martin?] who was at the same marriage.  http://revwarapps.org/w1513.pdf

We’ve got a nest of Campbell County people in Tennessee.

Knox County TN Pryors: The Bastard Child of Harris Pryor

I contacted the Knox County Archives and requested a copy of the bastardy case filed in 1805 against Harris Pryor. I’ve seen these cases in other counties and they can be chuck-full of great information like the child’s name, the witness names. Unfortunately this was a one page record. Perhaps it was a short-lived case because Harris not only agreed to support the child, but married the mother, Keziah Maxey in 1807.

First, the most disappointing thing: it doesn’t say who the the child was. The child was neither named in the case nor does the case hint at the child’s sex through references to “he” or “she”. Drats! However, there is information on the date the child was born– Keziah swore out her statement naming Harris on 17 September 1805 and at the time stated her child was born about 3 months prior to that date.

I think Harris may have made some moves between TN, KY and VA. In 1801 Harris (Jr.) was on the delinquent tax list in Knox County and we know he was in Knox County at the time the suit was filed in 1805 and he was in Knox County in 1807 when he married Keziah. By 1819 he was in Louisville, as he had been sued by William Dickinson in a Chancery Suit filed in Bedford Co., VA. He reported he was living in Louisville in 1820 (his sister Juggy Pryor Mays was in Breckinridge County, KY).  Keziah Maxey’s family was from the same area of VA as the Pryors: Harris Pryor (Sr) was in Prince Edward County, VA in 1784 as was Keziah’s father Shadrack Maxey.

The mother-lode of information may be in the names of the two men who stood as security for Harris Pryor: William Anderson and Benjamin Burnett. Again, these names hint that I’m on the right track when I connect Harris Pryor to the Pryors in Sumner County and Overton County, TN.

Allen L. Pryor of Sumner County, TN married Elizabeth Talley, the daughter of William Anderson Talley who was born in Cumberland County, VA and named for his maternal grandfather William Anderson.  Hmmm… I wonder if the Anderson on the suit and the Andersons in the Sumner County Pryor line are connected?

And the Anderson surname crops up over and over again in the Sumner County Pryors and their relations– Lucy H. Talley, another daughter of William Anderson Talley, married Robert Anderson Wright in Sumner County. When Allen L. Pryor’s wife died  he remarried to Margaret McWhirter, the spinster daughter of Isaac McWhirter and Emaline Anderson Tyree (daughter of Samuel C. Tyree and Elizabeth Anderson).  Anderson Woodson witnessed the will of Edmund Taylor (grandfather of Allen L. Pryor). Edward Pryor, son of William and Spicy Pryor of Overton County, TN, had a son named William Anderson Pryor.

Lots of Anderson connections.  So my next question was about the Burnetts. Are there Burnett connections to the Pryors?

John Pryor, who is our best suspect to be the father of William (married Spicy Taylor) and John (married Massie Taylor — they are the parents of Allen L Pryor), purchased land in 1788 in Campbell County, VA– the deed was witnessed by William Burnett. Later John Pryor witnessed a 1790 deed in Campbell County, VA with Martin Rector. Martin was married to Betsy Burnett.

There’s a marriage between a William Pryor and Sallie Burnett in 1826 in Roane County. I wonder if William was Harris’ son who was born in 1805.

Online I found a brief bio of Benjamin Burnett http://genforum.genealogy.com/burnett/messages/4347.html. This seems to be the man who was security for Harris Pryor (Jr) in 1805. There are several VA Chancery cases involving Burnetts in Bedford County (the same county that Harris Pryor hailed from), however the Buckingham County cases are not in the database.

So stay tuned. We’ve got more digging to do.