Tag Archives: stewart county

James B Pryor of Stewart Co., TN and Pike Co., IL

I recently posted all the information I have on William Pryor in order of a timeline. Since William and James are mentioned in records together I’m now posting what I have on James.

  • Born 1778 in VA (per 1850 Census in Pike Co., IL) My Notes: If he is related to William Pryor, also of Stewart Co., TN, then James too may be from Botetourt County, VA.
  • 1802 Smith County court order_ William Pryor and James Pryor ordered to lay a road from Lancaster’s Ferry on the Caney Fork River to Walton’s Road.
  • 1809 Tax List Stewart Co.
  • 1812 Guardian Bond in Stewart Co. for orphans of Samson Trammell. William Pryor and James Pryor.
  • 1815 Stewart Co: Alexander Walker made a bastardy bond, with James Pryor & Richard Blanton securities, for keeping an orphan child of Alsey King from becoming a county charge
  • 1818 Land Grant in Stewart Co. The first grant in April assigned to James Pryor 100 acres in 1st District of Stewart Co. on the North side of the Cumberland River. In the barrens of …(not legible).  The second grant in May: James Pryor assignee of Duncan Johnson, Thomas Hickman, and John C. McLemore. 96 and 1/4 acres in the First District in the Barrens of the Cumberland fallons.
  • 1820 Stewart Co., TN census: James Pryor oldest male in his household was 26-44 yrs., born 1776-1794 and a second head of household Mary Pryor.
  • 1820 Stewart Co: James Pryor & Henry Powell vs. Robert Walker, administrator: plaintiffs drop their suit. William H. Henderson & Levi Wimberly testify that the signature of Alexander Walker on a bond given by him to James Pryor & Henry Powell for the conveyance of 2 tracts of land is Walker’s, and that Walker has died
  • 1825 Stewart Co: sale of the estate of Henly Acree by Joseph B. Neville; buyers include Mary Acree, John J. Acree, William Parker, Thomas G. Downs, Josiah Outlaw, Joseph B. Neville, John Fullerton, James Pryor, Berry Hambelton, Thomas Parker, Patience Acree, Hosea Boren, Ezekiel Harrell, Stephen Mallory; rec. August term 1825
  • 1827 Stewart Co. sale of the estate of Benjamin Griffin on 20 Nov 1826; buyers included Penelope Griffin, Jesse Stalls, Caleb Ellis, John Clary, Henry King, Elijah Fletcher, Joseph Griffin, James Pryor, Etheldred Wallace, John Lee, Eaton Wallace, Nathan Stancil, Edward Whitehead, Eli Ross, John Pryor, Nimrod Fletcher
  • 1829 Stewart Co: Appointed overseer of the road beginning at the Cross Roads where John Francis new mill road intersects with the said road to the State line and the following work: Clement Aldrey’s, William Williams, Ricks Henry, Henry E. Gibson, James Pryor, Lawson Pryor, and Mr. Edwards.
  • 1830 Stewart Co., TN census: James Pryor oldest male in his household was 40-49 yrs., born 1781-1790. Other Pryors on the census were Jane, John, and William. My Notes: I suspect William Pryor is the man who was on census records in White Co., Illinois (not TN). William in White Co., IL stated on Civil War records that he was from Stewart Co., TN. Perhaps he is a son of James Pryor.
  • 1832 Stewart Co. administrator’s return of Martin Howard by administrator Alexander Howard, with commissioners William Williams, James Pryor, Henry E. Gibson
  • 1833 Stewart Co:Deed of conveyance from Charles Matheny to Edward W. Moore, 80 acres on oaths of James Pryor and Cartwright Smith.
  • 1834 Stewart Co. sale of Jeptha Morris by administrators Lamuel Morris and William Morris; buyers include Polly Morris, James Tyson, Noah Tyson, William Morris, H. Rorie, Benjamin Morris, L. Williams, James Randolph, Joseph Kenady, L. Sills Sr., Charles Bogard, William Dunbar, R. Bagwell, Willie Baker, T. B. Sills, D. Bayliss, J. Pryor, L. Morris, Charles Matheny; returned Feb. term 1834
  • 1835 Stewart Co: will of Squire Reynolds: wife Cresey Reynolds, children Young Reynolds, Ewin Reynolds, Emaline Reynolds, Lavina Reynolds, Eliza Bailey; executors are George W. Atkins and James Pryor; test: Henry H. Gorin, Nathan Parker; written 31 Jul 1834, proven Aug. term 1835
  • 1836 Stewart Co: Joseph Griffin, James Pryor, indenture bond for orphan William Jobe (age 8); 2 Feb 1836. My note: Is William Jobe related to Caleb Job and Daniel Job who were heirs of Richard (and Mourning) Pryor?
  • 1840 Pike Co., IL census – James Pryor born between 1781 to 1790 with a female slightly older, 2 younger females and a younger male. My Notes: There are other Pryors in Pike Co. who appear to be related to John Pryor b. 1757 who was in Sullivan, Knox, and Jefferson Co., TN. Pike County is on the river as are the counties in which John Pryor lived. His family were boat builders and river pilots.
  • 1849 Notice of Rebecca Pryor’s death published in the Nashville Chirstian Advocate:
    REBECCA PRYOR wife of James Pryor, died Pike Co., Ill., Jan. 7, 1849; moved from Christian Co., Ky. to Stewart Co., Tenn., to Pike Co., Illinois. My Notes: I suspect the William Pryor who appeared on records with James up until his departure from Stewart County in 1816 was a relation of James. This William purchased land in Christian County, KY. (see link to information on William at the top of this post).
  • 1850 Census Pike Co IL, James Pryor aged 72 (born 1778), occupation postmaster. Jane Pryor age 24 also in the household.

Possible Children of James Pryor and wife Rebecca – There were 11 children in his household in 1820 AND in 1830 – 6 males, 5 females.

  • Nancy Pryor who married Alfred Blake (b. 1817) in Pike Co., IL in 1841. Nancy deceased by 1850.
  • Sarah Pryor b. 1823 and is on the 1850 Census in Pike Co., IL (married to Moses Conner)
  • Jane Pryor b. 1826 and is on the 1850 Census in James’ household in Pike Co.
  • William Pryor b. 1802 in Sumner Co., son James b. 1825 in Stewart Co. Both lived in White Co., IL.
  • Lawson Pryor b. bef. 1809 – he was ordered to maintain road in Stewart Co. with James Pryor in 1829.
  • Possibly some of the Pryors in Trigg Co., KY, they were born in Stewart Co., TN

William Pryor of VA, TN, AL, and Texas – Kin to Richard Pryor


So many common names. Have you had your share of William, John, James, and Joseph Pryors? I know I have! I think we can now tease out enough information to ID a William Pryor and I’m now ready to believe he is related in some manner to Richard Pryor who was married to Mourning Thompson. I’ve listed what we know of his life and I hope it helps others sift through all the data. Maybe we can even figure out HOW everyone is related.

  • William Pryor stated in his will that he was from Botetourt County, VA although in the 30 years preceding his death he had lived in TN and AL (MS Territory).  Did it hold some clout to be from Botetourt County? The earliest known record of William Pryor was 1789, making his year of birth about 1769 or earlier (presuming he was age 21 or older in 1789)/
  • 1789 Greene Co., TN William Pryor and Joseph Pryor signed the Petition of Sundry Inhabitants South of French Broad.
  • 1791 Sumner Co., TN – William Pryor was surety for marriage of Mary Pryor to John Hannah. The Hannah’s were also from Botetourt County and were early settlers along the Nolachucky River in Greene County, TN. In 1790 John Hannah had sold a slave in Sumner County to Isaac Bledsoe and it was witnessed by Peter Looney who was also from Botetourt County.
  • William Pryor obtained land in Sumner County, TN.  This transaction has been fleshed out by researcher Bill Lindsey– On 4 Oct 1791 William Pryor of Greene County, TN received 640 acres in Sumner County, TN from Martha Fletcher the mother of Jesse Goldsmith a Revolutionary War soldier. On 6 Feb 1792 Robert Ewing filed the survey. Mark Armstrong was surveyor, with John Young and Benjamin Smith as chain carriers. The plat states that the land came to Jesse Goldsmith by virtue of military warrant #3724, and states that the land was on middle fork of Drake’s Creek.
  • 1793 Tax List in Sumner Co., TN – William Pryor with Philip Trammel, Elijah Ewing and John Pryor.
  • Philip Trammel connection: William Pryor was married to Betsy Trammel. I found Philip Trammel who was in Logan Co. at the time of Richard and Mourning Pryor and Elijah Ewing.

Philip Trammell was a resident of Logan Co, Ky, 17 Jan 1797 when his deposition was to be taken to prove an agreement between Wm Stair & Jethro Sumner. (Robertson Co, Tn, Co. court min. 18 Jan 1797). Said Trammel being blind, his handwriting was proved.

  • Elijah Ewing connection: Elijah married Elizabeth Trammel, a daughter of Philip Trammel. Elijah got a land grant in Logan County in 23 Sept 1796. In 1801 he signed a petition against using Smith County land to make Wilson County with signers:  John Pryor, William Pryor, Elijah Ewing, Caleb Job, Joseph Pryor. In 1802 he was on a Jackson Co. Tax List in Capt. Fitzgerald’s Company with Daniel Job, William Pryor, Ezekial Rhea, Elijah Ewing, James Taylor. In 1808 he was granted land on Roaring River in Jackson County, TN. He was on the 1812 Tax List Jackson County, TN.
  • 1794 Tax List in Sumner Co., TN – William Pryor on the list with Elijah Ewing and Benjamin Downs who is also on records with William Pryor in Stewart Co., TN. 1805 Benjamin Downs witnessed deed to William Pryor in Stewart Co., 1805 William Pryor deeded land to John Churchill witnessed by Benjamin Downs.
  • 1794 Land Grant in Sumner Co. – William Pryor bought land from Howell Tatum land borders John Pryor and Philip Trammel. I suspect this is the John Pryor who in Jan. 1791 was bonded in a Sumner Co. court case involving John Cotton and Howell Tatum.
  • 1795 Tax List in Sumner Co., TN. William Pryor is listed near John Hannah.
  • 1796 in Sumner Co., TN William Pryor signed bond to Richard Pryor for land on Caney Fork out of tract purchased from Howell Tatum.
  • 1798 William’s daughter Stacey was born in SC per the 1850 Census. I think that perhaps the year and/or place are incorrect as her name seems to have taken on many variations. In his will she is named as Stacey. Perhaps she was born slightly earlier in TN when it was still NC. On the 1850 Census she is Susan. In 1830’s court documents she is Fannie. Richard Pryor’s heir Jonathan Pryor of Graves Co. named his first daughter Eustacia “Stacy”, so perhaps that’s a family name.
  • 1802 List Tax List Jackson Co., TN. William Pryor recorded in Capt Fitzgerald’s Co. with Daniel Job, Ezekial Rhea, Elijah Ewing— Job and Rhea were heirs of Richard Pryor. Jackson County was formed out of land that was part of Sumner County.
  • 1802 Smith County William Pryor and James Pryor were ordered to lay a road from Lancaster’s Ferry on the Caney Fork River to Walton’s Road. William Pryor left Jackson Co. in about 1804 for Stewart County (that is when he starts appearing on Stewart County records). Both William Pryor and James Pryor were in Stewart County Records. James may be the James B. Pryor b. 1778 in VA later shows up in Pike Co., IL and obit for his wife Rebecca stated they had lived in Stewart Co. and Christian Co., KY before moving to Pike Co.
  • 1802 Smith County deed for the land on Caney Fork that William bonded to Richard. 400 acres to Wm and 400 to James. I suspect these are William and James who went to Stewart Co.
  • 1803 Jackson Co.Deed to William McNabb… 100 acres… West fork of Russell’s Mill Creek on which fork William PRYOR lives.
  • 1804 William Pryor deeded land in Christian Co., KY (this is important because James Pryor was also in Christian Co.)
  • 1805 Deed in Stewart Co., TN – William deeded land to William Haynes. Benjamin Downs witnessed. (see #5 above, Benjamin Downs was in Sumner Co. with William Pryor)
  • 1805 in Stewart Co. ordered to build a road with Robert Lancaster. Is this one of the Lancasters who was in Smith Co., TN with the Pryors?
  • 1811 Settlement of Richard Pryor’s estate filed in Logan County, KY
  • Both William and James Pryor named on 1812 Guardian Bond in Stewart Co. for orphans of Samson Trammell (son of Philip Trammel?)
  • 1816 William Pryor was in Clarke Co., MS Territory (no Alabama)
  • 1824 William Pryor was in Waller Co., TX with Austin 300. A Spanish deed dated 9 May 1828 (see his signature above) confirms he was from the United States and a resident of Stephen Austin’s Colony.
  • 1825 his daughter Harriet Pryor married Noel Roberts in Austin, TX.
  • William died 9 Sept 1833 in San Felipe, TX. it was recorded in Gov. Travis’ diary.

Who was James Pryor in Cumberland County, VA Circa 1802?

james-pryor-cumberland-1It’s kind of fun with a “new” Pryor surfaces, but it also drives me absolutely C-R-A-Z-Y!

There’s a Virginia Chancery Court case “William Gay vs executors of Richard Eggleston deceased” — there actual pleadings are missing, so I can’t tell exactly what date it was filed.  I gleaned the gist of the case from two depositions which were noticed:

1st Deposition: James Pryor taken 22 Sept 1802 at the home of William Pryor in Cumberland County. He states that the case surrounds the trade of tabacco, iron, etc. for a Peacock Gelding (a horse) in 1782 or 1792. Names included are Richard Eggleston, John Eggleston, and Clough Eggleston.

2nd Deposition: In November 1804: Clough Eggleston in Amelia County, Clough was an overseer from 1780 to 1781, signed Thomas Randolph JP, James P Coke JP – noticed on 15 Oct 1804 by William Meriwether and Joseph Eggleston.


Banister L. Pryor married Rebecca Eggleston in Cumberland County in 1808 (6 years after James Pryor’s deposition in Cumberland County).  Banister was a son of David Pryor and Susannah Ballow of Buckingham Co., VA and later Nashville, TN.  Even with this information that connects the Pryors and the Egglestons I have no idea which James Pryor this may be!

I guess if James testified in a deposition in 1802 that he was 21 years old or older. So, he was born about 1781 or earlier. I have a pretty short list of possibilities…

James Pryor, brother of Nathaniel Pryor (the Lewis and Clark guy). James may have been an adult when his father died in about 1791 in KY. James ran a dry goods store with his brother in law, John B. Gilly and was likely in KY with the rest of his family in 1802.

James Paxton Pryor born around 1785 in Kanawha County was the son of Nicholas and Sally Paxton. He was named in a 1806 Chancery Court suit in Augusta County, VA, so he could have been in the area in 1802, but he would have been a young child when he witnessed the horse transaction which was the subject of the suit.

James Pryor b. 1776 – 1794  who was in Stewart County, TN with William Pryor married to Betsy Trammell. William was born in Botetourt County, VA and is first recorded in Stewart County in 1804. Cold this be the William and James in Cumberland County?

Well, I also suspect that the James in Stewart County was also the one who was in Pike County, IL: https://tennesseepryors.com/pryor-website/state-records/illinois-counties-m-s/#Pike  This James Pryor obtained land grants in Pike Co. in 1840. The oldest male in household for the 1840 Census was 50 to 59 years. A death notice from THE NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE for REBECCA PRYOR wife of James Pryor, died Pike Co., Ill., Jan. 7, 1849; states they moved from Christian Co., Ky. to Stewart Co., Tenn., to Pike Co., Illinois.

This made me laugh. The James in Pike County was counted on the 1850 Census and his occupation was recorded as POSTMASTER. Good grief, could he be related to Banister Pryor and his kin who were postmasters and other public servants? (See John C. Pryor’s Letter to President Thomas Jefferson)


Pryors on the Tennessee Tax Lists

TaxesApril 15th has passed and now we can look at taxes for fun (hopefully). The Tennessee Tax Lists are up on Ancestry.com and I’ve had some fun going through them. There are a couple of connections that I’d like to share – just in case they will help out another Pryor researcher.

First I found on the 1794 Sumner County Tax List William Pryor. I’ve had several researchers tell me that this William was a son of Richard Pryor and Mourning Thompson. I looked at his neighbors on the list and found Elijah Ewing and Benjamin Downs are close by. In the early 1800’s Benjamin Downs is on several records in Stewart County with the William Pryor who later migrated to Austin’s Colony in Texas. So is William in Sumner County the same man?

I love these kind of questions because it’s like a domino effect… ask one question and how we look at other data comes into question.  Was he the same William who was surety for the Sumner Co. marriages of Mary Pryor to John Hannah, and Jenny Pryor to George Fairly (or Farely). Was he the William Pryor who in 1796 signed a bond for Richard Pryor for 200 pounds VA money for a tract of 2565 acres on the Cainey Fork of the Cumberland? Wouldn’t it make more sense in that kind of transaction that William might be Richard’s brother and not his son?

I mentioned Elijah Ewing. He is on the 1805 Tax List for Blount County—on the same page as a Thomas Pryor.  Let’s throw another name into the mix for Blount County — There’s a Joseph Pryor in that county on the 1805 Census.  I suspect that he was the same Joseph Pryor who was on the 1803 Tax List for Jackson County because both men were recorded near John Whitson.  The Whitsons were connected to the Pryors of White County. Researchers report Jeremiah Whitson married Susannah Pryor in about 1804, and Elizabeth Pryor married James Whitson.

It’s been speculated that Thomas is Thompson Pryor, who was a son of Richard and Mourning Pryor, and that Joseph, Susannah, and Elizabeth are additional children of Richard and Mourning Pryor.

Puzzle solvers welcome!

Pryor Names from the Tennessee Death and Burial Records

John Pryor, born Oct 4 1831 in Jackson Co., TN
Died Jan 7, 1920 in the same county.
Lists his mother as Jane Pryor and her birthplace as the same county. Was his mother Nancy Pryor, if so, was her full name Nancy Jane?

Joseph P Pryor, born 2 Mar 1833 in KY (probably Trigg Co.)
Died Mar 15 1917 in Stewart Co., TN
Lists his parents as William Pryor and Olive Elliot.
Joseph was a retired postmaster.

William A Pryor, born 16 Sept 1837 in TN
Died Apr 7 1914 in Hamilton Co., TN.  He was buried in Jasper, TN (Marion Co.)
Lists his parents as John Pryor and Harriet Williams.

Monroe Pryor (black), born 1842 in Marion Co., TN
Died Oct 11 1923 in Jasper, Marion Co., TN.
Lists his parents as Jim Pryor and Sylvia Townsel
Possible that Monroe was born into slavery, occupation retired rail roader.

James Madison Pryor, born Sep 23 1846 in  Sumner Co., TN
Died May 11 1931 in Sumner Co., TN
Lists his mother as Margaret Curry (former wife of William Pryor)

Fanny Pryor Smith, born Aug 4 1844 in Stewart Co., TN
Died Jun 22 1915 in Stewart Co., TN
Lists her parents as Wesley Pryor and Miss Elliot (census records list mother as Fannie).
Both parents born in Trigg Co., KY.

We can add another Pryor to our list of TN Pryors!
Susannah Pryor Fox born 1818 in TN
Her daughter Margaret Fox Bowington, born Jan 15 1847 in Jackson Co., TN
Died Aug 25 1931 in Jackson Co.
Lists her parents as Richard O Fox and Susie Pryor, both born in Jackson County.
I suspect this new Pryor will send researchers scurrying to their databases. I know I did! There’s only a short list of Pryors who were in Jackson County in 1820.

Another Pryor descendant who fills in some added details…
John McDonad Hummel born abt 1840 in Livingston, TN
Died Aug 13 1915 in Clay Co., TN.
Lists his parents as William Huston Hummel and Julie Pryor (census records show her as Juda). His father was born in VA and his mother in East TN. On census records she states her place of birth as VA,  however I found with another ancestor there was a lot of travel between eastern TN and western VA and the place of birth can become confused.

And what would new Pryor information be without a new Pryor mystery?
Death record of John Marsh born Apr 1848 in TN, died Sept 1918 in Lincoln Co., TN.
Lists his parents as Goodman Davis and a Miss Pryor both born in TN.  Was he the son of Goodman Davis and Harriet Lee Smith Pryor and if so, why was his surname Marsh? Who was John? He’s not recorded on the census.