Tag Archives: Rutherford County

Cleaning Up John Hughes Pryor’s Children

I was recently asked about John Hughes Pryor‘s children. I’ve written about them before but thought the question was good and worth revisiting this Pryor line. A post I wrote a couple years ago Documentation for John Hughes Pryor’s Family Tree only documented some of his children. So I’m posting a transcript of the Chancery complaint Continue reading

John Pryor Rutherford County TN to KY Fact or Fiction?

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Since I just finished looking at the Pryor family and their neighbors who were in early Logan and Christian County, KY, I thought it would be a good idea to look at later Pryors.

Years ago I exchanged emails with a Pryor researcher who was interested in the line of John Pryor who married Rebecca Cook in 1823 in Rutherford County, TN. It was their theory that John and Rebecca were then counted on the 1830 and 1840 Census in Wilson County, TN and that John Pryor had died, Rebecca remarried and was later found in Christian County, KY.

The information on this couple is sketchy beyond their marriage date in 1823. If John on the 1830 census is the man who married in 1823, then what were the ages of the children on the census– do they match the marriage year? It’s hard to tell. There were 2 males ages 5 through 9 which fits with the marriage date. There was also a male 10 through 14. The oldest male (John?) was 20 through 29, a bit too young to be the father of a 14 year old. There were 2 adult women in the household so perhaps one was the mother of sister of this young male.

Researchers seem to be on the right track identifying a Rebecca Pryor in Christian County. She is on the 1860 Census as Rebecca Pryer age 51 in the home of Sarah Pryor Wilson. Sarah died at age 90, unfortunately her death record didn’t name her parents. It just says “D.K.”– don’t know? Sarah was recorded as Sarah Ann C. Pryor when she married, so we know she was a Pryor and Rebecca lived with her, so it’s possible they were mother and daughter.

Also in the Wilson household in 1860 was Zack A. Pryor age 13. Zack is an interesting clue because he leads back to the 1850 Census when a Rebecca age 40 and a Zack age 4 were living in the household of Ab Nixon. I haven’t found a marriage for Ab Nixon–perhaps this was another arrangement. Not only was Rebecca identified as a Pryor on the 1860 census, but also the 1870 Mortality Schedule. Zack may be the Zachariah Pryor buried in Chattanooga, killed during the Civil War.

And I now have the full name of Ab Nixon for folks interested in this line: Absolom Nixon. There’s an estate sale filed in Christian County (Book N, page 692, sale page 693).

Edward Pryor of Wilkes Co., GA – Born Before 1740

Signature Edward Pryor

Thanks again to our Georgia researcher — we have the will (dated 1796) of Edward Pryor of Wilkes and Oglethrope Counties in GA. My last post discussed his land survey. Rather than post the photo copy of his will which is a bit hard to read, I’m posting a transcript. From the will we can confirm this is the Edward Pryor who’s land was near “Tatum’s Land” on the survey– in the will Edward identifies his neighbor as Peter Tatum. Edward also states his wife was Mary and identifies his 3 sons according to age as John (the oldest), Obediah, and Allen the youngest.

Can we tell when he was born? He states he was of “an Infirm age” — how old was that in 1796? If he was born in 1746 he may have been 50. If he was born in 1726 he may have been 70.  Yep, Edward Pryor may be from waaaaaaaay back.

He refers to Allen as his youngest son. I suspect Allen Pryor is the Allen Pryor  (b. 1771-1780) who  was on the 1830 Census in Obion Co., TN.  Perhaps Henry Pryor (b. 1810 in GA) from the 1850 Census of Obion Co. , is his son. Then is Allen Pryor (b. 1775-1794) on the 1820 Census in Rutherford Co., TN the same man? Allen’s age may be a clue to Edward’s age– If Allen were born between 1775-1780, then it’s likely that Edward was was born before 1760, so how long before is the question.

When were his sons born? I think the rules of getting land in Georgia are interesting. “Beginning in 1783 a head of household living in Georgia could be granted 200 acres of land on his own head-right and fifty acres for each additional family member, including slaves, up to 1000 acres.” Edward had 300 acres on his 1789 survey and in 1796 when he gifted the land to his sons. That would be 200 acres for him, 50 acres for his wife Mary, and another 50 acres perhaps for his son Allen who if he’s the same man in the TN records, was 9 to 14 years old when Edward got his land. Edward’s oldest son, John Pryor, has been identified as a Revolutionary War vet. He would be have been born about 1763 or earlier.

Where was Edward before coming to GA? I suspect he was the Edward Pryor recorded on the 1784 Tax List in Pittsylvania County, VA. Oh no, back to Pittsylvania County? Yup! There’s more about this connection in my next post.

When did Edward die? He appears to have still been living in 1798 when he was on the Oglethorpe Co., GA tax list.

While exploring the names in this document,  Jeremiah Lindsey is mentioned in an application for a Revolutionary War Pension. Henry Talley of Newton Co., GA had served through Virginia as a substitute for his uncle Jeremiah Lindsey. https://revwarapps.org/w4350.pdf. A researcher has posted information on Lindsey’s will online archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/LINDSAY/2006-07/1152631375

Transcript of Edward’s Indenture


This certifies to all whom it may concern that I Edward Pryor being of an Infirm age do Give & bequeath all my Real Estate on the following Terms. First of all I give to my oldest son John Pryor one hundred acres of Land being more or less according to the Description herein mentioned. The said land being Bounded on the South side by the Augusta Road & by a branch on the West side and by Peter Brook’s land on the East Side.

Next I give to my son Obediah Pryor one hundred Acres of Land being a part of the Said Tract more or less according to the boundaries herein mentioned the said Land being Bounded on the North side by the Augusta Road & on the East side by a branch & on the West Side by Jeremiah Linsey’s* land & by William Elay’s land on the North side & lastly. I give to my  youngest Son Allen Pryor One Hundred Acres  o f Land the same where I now live being a part of the same Tract & lying on the South side of the Augusta Road joining of Lands belonging to the heirs of Peter Tatum Dec’d which said Lands I give to the said John, Obediah, & Allen to them & their heirs forever. But still it is to be for the use & behoofs of the above mentioned Edward Pryor & Mary his wife During their natural lives to possess and enjoy the said three hundred acres of Land without Interruption or Constrains and should the said Edward Pryor Die before his wife then shall his wife (next page)

Then shall his wife Enjoy the said land and premises In like manner as tho the said Edward Pryor was still living and should Edward Pryor shall enjoy the said in like manner but after the Decease of Both the said Edward & Mary his wife then the said three hundred acres of Land shall be to the ___? Use & behoof of the said John, Obediah & Allen as above mentioned to them & their heirs for Ever and for myself I do hereby utterly revoke all other Gift or Gifts, will or wills whatsoever & this only to be taken & allowed as my last & only Gift of the said Lands to the said John Obediah, & Allen  and in Testimony hereof I have set my hand and seal this 20th day of January in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven Hundred & ninety six. Signed  sealed and Delivered in the presence of
T. Shropshire
Bazel Swan
and Jno. Fluker
Edward Pryor (his mark X)

Documentation for John Hughes Pryor’s Family Tree

The case filed in the Goochland County Chancery Court after the death of William Pryor, brother of John Hughes Pryor, may help researchers confirm parts of their family tree.

Samuel T Pryor  vs.
Administrator of William Pryor, etc.
Filed in Goochland County, VA

This listing of siblings is gleaned from the case:

1. Samuel T. Pryor, the plaintiff in this case.
2. William Pryor, deceased and died intestate in the summer of 1856.
3. Martha A. Meriwether
4. Judith N. Duke
5. Mary W. Turner
5. John H. Pryor  “who died many years ago in the state of _____ leaving eight children whose names are unknown to your orator that some  of the said eight children died some years since leaving two children as your orator has been informed whose names he does not know, that the said descendants of the said Jno. Pryor dec’d are now scattered in Western and South Western states of the Union.”
7. Nancy Woodson dec’d, mother of Eliza Woodson – now Eliza Haden
8. Sally Payne dec’d, mother of George A Payne

I wrote about John Hughes Pryor and his daughters a couple years ago (read post). It’s nice to have some documentation to help confirm relationships– An 1857 receipt included with the case papers indicates that by that time the heirs of John H. Pryor had been found:John Hughes Pryor - his children

Listed above are:
1. Judith N Duke (sister of John Hughes Pryor, living in McNairy County, TN in 1850 and 1860)
2. A. C. Sublett and wife (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Louisa Ann married A C Sublett, living 1850 – 1880 in Rutherford County, TN)
3. Isaac H Rainey and wife (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Elizabeth married Isaac Rainey, living in Henry County, TN)
4. A W Batt (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Amanda, married William P. Batte, living 1850 – 1870 in Sumner County, TN)
5. E A Sangredge
6. William Hargove (John Hughes Pryor’s daughter Mary Janett, married William Hargrove, living in McNairy County, TN in 1850)

I don’t recognize #5. Do you?

John Hughes Pryor of Goochland Co., VA and Rutherford Co., TN

Summer Article Series

I’m taking time off from the website and blogging in July and August. I work as a web designer and internet consultant and will be enjoying some vacation time and time to write my stash of blog articles for months to come. However there will be plenty to read here on the Tennessee Pryors blog! I’m running a series of blog posts of Internet Genealogy tips, the same tips I use to find all those lost Pryors! So encourage your research friends and family to subscribe to the blog RSS feed or get email updates through Feedburner.

John Hughes Pryor of Goochland Co., VA and Rutherford Co., TN

John Hughes Pryor is one of the sketchier Pryors. I assume he was a fine human being, but the information about him is sparse… and sketchy.

It’s believed that he was the son of William Pryor born about 1785 and Elizabeth Hughes.  John married Sallie Smith in 1802 in Goochland County and was on the Goochland County Census in 1820. John was the grandson of Col. William Pryor and the great-grandson of Col. Samuel Pryor who were the patriarchs of large Pryor families and a long lineage of Virginia Pryors.

On the 1830 Census he was recorded as Jno.  H. Pryor in Rutherford County, TN. He moved his family to Williamson County some time before 1840. The Minute Book Genealogy of Williamson County , Tennessee 1799-1865 by Albert L. Lawson contains a reference to John Pyor: “1834 (13/381) In the case of Clouston vs Healy & Pigot there is mention of lands on the waters of West Harpeth bounded on the north by the heirs of Pryor and in the waters of Liepers Fork of West Harpeth adjoining the lands of John Pryor on the east.” So if John Pryor was in Williamson County in 1834, and most researchers date his death as 1841, who were the “heirs of Pryor”? Were they the heirs of another Pryor who was deceased? Who was this other Pryor?


John Hughes Pryor had 5 known siblings. His sister Judith Neville Pryor b. 1786 married Fonatine Duke in 1808 in VA. She was on the 1850 and 1860 Census in McNairy Co., TN. Another sister,  Martha “Patsy”, married Robert Meriweather and was still in Goochland County in 1850. Robert Meriweather may have been a distant cousin, in that John Hughes Pryor’s aunt Frances Morton Pryor had also married a Meriweather.  A mental note should be made that Meriweather Lewis, half of Lewis and Clark was from the Meriweather family, was from the same area of Virginia as these Pryors and chose a Pryor as part of his expedition (Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor). While I can’t prove a connection between John Huges Pryor and the explorer, these facts may indicate that these families traveled in similar social circles

Looking at the children of John Hughes Pryor I came across family trees on Ancestry.com with conflicting information.


Allen Pryor born 1802.  I suspect the family trees that include Allen as a son of John Pryor have drawn their information from the census records that show an Allen Pryor in Rutherford County on the 1820 Census. The Allen on the 1820 Census was born between 1775 and 1794. He appears to be a contemporary of John Hughes Pryor, not a son. If John Hughes Pryor is the same John on the 1810 and 1820 Census in Goochland County, he had no sons recorded on either census.


John Pryor of Goochland County has six younger females living in his household in 1820. Six daughters? Holy cow!

1. Louisa A. Pryor born 1800 in Virginia. She married Abner C. Sublett in about 1829, so Louisa would have been one of the daughters in the Pryor household on the 1820 Census.  They are on the 1850 though 1880 in Rutherford County, TN. Louisa’s children were named Susan Amanda, Valentine A., John C., Sarah J., and Horace A.

2. Mary Jane Pryor. Born 1808 in Virginia. She married William James Hargrove in 1826 in McNairy Co., TN.  Their children were Benjamin Franklin, Sarah Frances, John Hugh, James Monroe, Amanda, Mary L., Thomas Caldwell, and Robert Ezrell.  Mary and her family were on the 1850 Census in McNairy County, not too far from her aunt Judith Pryor Duke, a sister of John Hughes Pryor.  The Hargroves and the Dukes appear to be educated, town-dwellers as William Hargrove was a grocer and a physician was living in the Duke household. William Hargrove was recorded on the same page as John Hughes Pryor on the 1840 Census in Williamson Co., TN.

Mary was recorded on the 1860 Census in Hardin County, TN as “Mary Hargroves”, living with children Mary L, Thomas C., and Robert L.  Living near her are also her children Amanda Hargrove Cowan, and John H. Hargrove. Despite one Ancestry Tree that states Mary died 1866 in Norwoodville, Sevier Co., AR—Mary and her children were still in Hardin Co., TN on the 1870 Census.  By 1880 Mary’s children and their families were in Sevier County, AR.

My conclusion is that Mary Jane is of the right social status and lived in the right geography to be a daughter of John Hughes Pryor.

3. Amanda F. Pryor born 1809 in Virginia. Married William P. Batte in 1827 in Rutherford County. They are on the 1850 through 1870 Census in Sumner Co., TN.  There is a William D. Batey born between 1800 – 1810 on the 1840 Census in Rutherford County. The 1850 Census reveals their children were named Augustus Washington, William B., Elizabeth P., and James H (James Hughes?).  Amanda’s age, place of birth, and where she lived strongly suggests she may be one of John Hughes Pryor’s daughters.

4. Henrietta Lee Smith Pryor born 1815 in Virginia. Henrietta married Goodwin Davis. I haven’t found them on the 1850 Census, however they were on the 1860 Census in Bedford County, TN. Their known children are Able, Archibald, William, John Louis, Alabama, Robert Young, Sarah Louisiana, Mary Margaret, Valentine Sublett, Martha Tennessee, Jane Washington.  Mrs. H. Davis is recorded directly under John Hughes Pryor on the 1840 Census in Williamson Co., TN. I believe the names of her children connects her to Louisa Pryor Sublett and her position on the census near John Hughes Pryor is further evidence of the relationship.

5. Sophia Weston Pryor born 1818 in Virginia. Sophia married Ezra Keyser born in PA. They married in 1838 in Rutherford Co., TN. Their children were Sally and Mary R. They are on the 1850 Census in Fulton Co., KY and in 1870 through 1880 they are in Gonzales Co., TX.  Not conclusive, the daughter named Sally, could have been named for her mother Sallie Smith.  I’ve wondered if Ezra Keyser was related to Joseph Kizer who filed an assault charge against Thornton Pryor in Robertson County in 1814. There’s also a Keyser connection to the Phereba Pryor who was living with Spicy Taylor Pryor in Overton County, TN in 1850– when she was recorded on the 1860 Census in Sumner County she was living with a John Keyser and a Silas Ryan born in PA. Could there be a connection between the Pryors in Sumner County and Overton County Pryors with Sophia and perhaps John Hughes Pryor?

6. Elizabeth Smith Pryor born 1808 in Virginia. Married to Isaac Rainey.

7. Martha Pryor born 1812 in Virginia. Martha married Benjamin Potter.  They are on the 1850 Census in Rutherford County, TN. Their children were named John and Amanda, names that could follow names in her own family: father named John Pryor and a sister named Amanda.

8. Virginia W. Pryor born 1823 in Tennessee. Virginia married Thomas W. Hill in Williamson Co., TN in 1842. They are on the 1860 through 1870 Census in Wayne Co., IL. They are on the 1880 Census in Philips Co., KS. Their children were named Adelia, Sarah C., John G., Mary J., Basil, Oscar James, and Laura M.

Since all of these women who researchers suggest as daughters appear to have married after 1820, there are more suggested daughters than female children in the Pryor household on the 1820 Census.  Unfortunately we don’t have enough information to draw conclusions: either two of the women are not his daughters, they may have been living with relatives in 1820, or attending a private school, or other scenario.