Tag Archives: Trigg County

Frances Hooe wife of Samuel Pryor of Clarksville, TN

The answer to the identity of Frances Ann the wife of Samuel Pryor of Clarksville is in the obit for their son Bernard H. Pryor.

Bernard H Pryor obituary

I’ve seen countless family trees that speculate on a mother’s maiden name by picking out a child’s middle name and concluding that it’s the name of a near relative or the mother’s maiden name. I think I have evidence that Hooe is Frances’ maiden name.

A suit was filed by Samuel Pryor and wife, etc against the guardians of Eliza Hooe. An Interlocutory Degree was recorded in May 1816 distributing slaves named Lewis, Janetty, Helen, Phillie, and Anthony to Samuel and his wife.

To the worshipful the justices of King George County and sitting in Chancery
Humbly complaining shewith unto your worships your orators and oratrixes Fany Hooe who intermarried with Samuel Pryor, Harriet Hooe who intermarried with Gwyn Page, Ann Hooe, and Thomas B Hooe that your orators and oratrixes are heirs and distributees of Wm Hooe lately of King George county deceased and as such are entitled together to — their mother Susan the widow and relict of said William Hooe decd to their full and equal shall share and alike to about —- nine negroes males and females old and young lately belonging to then said William Hooe decd and for their natural benefit and advantage are — that the aforesaid negroes should be equally divided …

There’s a Gwynn Page on the 1810 Census in Prince William County, VA. Perhaps this was Samuel’s brother in law mentioned in the suit.

Edward L Pryor of Hempstead County AR and TN

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Tennessee Pryors

All roads lead to Tennessee, right? Looking at the relationship of Charles R Pryor to the Hempstead County Pryors, I ended up looking at Edward L. Pryor again. Why? Because Edward L. Pryor of Hempstead County signed the Executor’s Bond when Charles handled Virginia Pryor‘s estate in 1865. Did he sign as a relative or because he was a neighbor?

Edward L. Pryor b. 1805. Ryburn vs. Pryor filed in Arkansas confirms his father was Samuel Pryor of Montgomery Co., TN. Samuel had 2 other known children (see Samuel B Pryor and Bernard H. Pryor of McCracken County, KY). These other children were born in 1825 and 1835, perhaps they were children from a second marriage.

Samuel was born between 1771 and 1780 when counted on the 1830 Census (Montgomery County, TN)– I told you Tennessee would come into play again! That means he was possibly in his 60’s when he died and a guardian bond was filed for the two young Pryors in 1837.

Edward L. Pryor was on the 1836 Tax List in Hardeman Co., TN. In the same year his father, Samuel’s estate was being handled through the Hardeman County Probate court. Samuel must have died without a will because E. L. Pryor (Edward L?) was appointed the administrator.

Samuel Pryor and Edward Pryor

The probate file also names other Pryors who were heirs: Ann F. Pryor, widow, Richard H. Pryor, Miss Frances A. Pryor, Bernard H Pryor, Miss Attaway E Pryor.

Legatees: Ann F Pryor, Richard H Pryor, Frances A Pryor, Bernard H. Pryor, Miss Attaway Pryor

If Samuel was on the 1830 Census then surely he was on the 1820 Census. I’m thinking he may be the Samuel Pryor who was in Christian County, KY in 1820. The number of whites and slaves counted were very similar with both entries — 8 whites and 13 slaves in 1820, 11 whites and 12 slaves in 1830. Clarksville in Montgomery County is a bit over 30 miles from Hopkinsville, Christian County.

Bernard H Pryor was in Trigg county and counted on the 1850 Census. Samuel’s 1836 probate probably also explains the Bernard’s relationship to the Frances A Pryor age 23 who was living in his household on the 1850 Census — his sister. I’ve wondered if Ann F. Pryor, Samuel’s widow, is the woman who’s buried in Trigg County, KY under the name Frances Ann Pryor d. 1847 (see FindAGrave.com).

Entomb’d beneath this
sacred urn
She lies whom many
children mourn.
Not for her lone but there’s
she gone
To praise er Saviour
at His throne
Where songs of joy
and peace and love
Ever delight the blest above.
— inscription on Frances Ann Pryor’s grave marker

Samuel B Pryor and Bernard H. Pryor of McCracken County, KY

It’s time to consider some stray Pryors and see if we can match them up.

In 1884 Samuel B Pryor’s will was filed in Vandenburgh County, IN. He left a house in Evansville, IN and a city lot in Cadiz, Trigg County, KY to his brother Bernard H. Pryor. The will states Samuel B Pryor was from McCracken County, KY.

Samuel B. (b. 1835) was on the 1880 Census in Vandenburgh County and Bernard (b. 1825) in McCracken County. Gotta love the census records: Samuel B.’s father was recorded as born in MS and Bernard’s father was recorded as born in VA.  At least Samuel B. and Bernard both agree they were born in KY (between 1825 – 1835?).

December 14, 1860 the Clarksville, TN newspaper “Weekly Tobacco Leaf” reported that a Bernard Pryor once a resident of Clarksville and by then living in Paducah (that’s in McCracken County) had gone on a drunken spree and killed a man named Pigg.

There’s a Probate record dated 7 Aug 1837 from Clarksville, Montgomery County, TN.  It names Burnard, Allaway and Bolen Pryor as infant heirs of Saml. PRYOR. Ann F. PRYOR was appointed their guardian. Its signed by Felix H. Badger and his attorney Chas. Bailey. Harriet Patteson (or Pallson) and her attorney G A Henry. I betting that Burnard is Bernard H. Pryor and Bolen Pryor is Samuel B. Pryor. Their ages on the 1880 census certainly fit with their births before 1837 and being minor children in 1837.

William Pryor of Stewart County, TN – Identified As One of “Austin’s Old 300”

Good news for Pryor  researchers.  Another TN Pryor line has been identified!

William Pryor who married Betsy Trammell has been long acknowledged as one of Austin’s Old 300, one of the group of settlers who migrated to Texas at the end of the 1820’s and two decades before the Mexican War.  Information from researcher Betty Vaughn now connects the dots with documents to confirm that William is the same man who settled in Stewart County, TN in 1805.

While William has been identified there’s still the need to complete the family connections.  William and his family left Tennessee for the Mississippi Territory (Clarke Co., AL) and then moved on to Texas. A James Pryor (probably William’s brother) and his wife Mary stayed in Stewart County. They and their kin were counted in subsequent years in both Stewart County and in Trigg Co., KY.

Read more… (Wayback Machine link)

Newsletter #8

Is there Native American ancestry in the TN Pryor lines? In the early days of tracing my family tree, I relied heavily on family lore. My grandfather was raised in the household of his grandfather Allen L. Pryor in Sumner County, Tennessee. Several times he showed me arrowheads and told me “We have Indian blood.” I have not yet found any family member of his branch of the family tree who appears in Native American records or was identified as such on the census records. The cynical researcher in me asks “Where’s the proof?” Over the years I’ve heard from several Pryor researchers from the Pryor lines of Overton and Sumner County, TN. They tell facinating stories of family lore that includes Native American connections. I would like to add our stories to the TN Pryor website. Is there a common threat that will help to solve this mystery? Email me your Pryor Native American story and I’ll put it on the website. Please add to your email permission to use your name or initials, and if your would like your email address displayed. I think we’ll all enjoy these stories next month.

Thanks to the dilligence of Barbara VanHout, we’ve added numerous Pryor records from Virginia this month. These early Pryors are of interest to folks tracing their Pryor roots for families that migrated in to Tennessee and Kentucky. Be sure to visit the Virginia pages in Southern Roots.


Where were the Pryors in Virginia? Added to Southern Roots a map of Virginia with counties marked in red to indicate Pryor(s) appeared in its records. The map covers the records from 1770-1850. It’s an interesting graphic that reveals a pattern of residency in central Virginia. It should be noted that West Virginia was part of Virginia until 1870 and is not included on the map. Pryors of Berkeley, Kanawah, and Greenbrier counties can trace their kinship to the Pryors in Virginia. The Pryors of Berkeley County appear to be Irish immigrants, those in Kanawah were from Amherst County, VA and the Pryors in Greenbrier County have ties to Goochland County.

Identified another Pryor from the line of William Pryor and Spicy Taylor… Martha (Mary?) Pryor born March 1898 was counted in the household of John M. Pryor in 1900. She is on the 1910 Census as the servant of Jess C. Winningham. Martha’s father was John McHenry Pryor, probably the son of Parker Young Pryor. Martha married Joe C. Jackson in about 1919 and she and many Pryor kin were counted on the 1930 Census in McCreary Co., KY. I was contacted by Martha’s granddaughter Jean.  Martha’s father was known in the family as “Mack” Pryor. The family tradition is that Mack’s wife was a full-blooded Cherokee, perhaps named Leanne Conaster. Jean has kindly contributed a photo of Martha Pryor Jackson b. 1898 and one of Martha’s son Joe Copeland Jackson.


Good news from Ancestry.com. The 1920 Census which has been previously only searchable by the names of heads of households. In the near future Ancestry promises that the searchable census will more than triple with the addition of all family members.

Added a new Pryor to the list of ALL TN PRYORS. Bernard Pryor is named the December 14, 1860 edition of the Weekly Tobacco Leaf from Clarksville, TN as a suspect in murder that had occured in Paducah, KY. Bernard is probably Bernard H. Pryor who appeared on census records in McCracken County, KY from 1860 through 1900. He was recorded in 1850 in Trigg Co., KY. There’s a strong possiblity that he is kin to the Pryors of Stewart Co., TN who migrated to Trigg Co.  Stewart County borders Montgomery County (where Clarksville is located), the matriarchs of the Stewart/Trigg Pryors were from Virginia and Bernard reported on the 1880 and 1900 census that his parents were form VA. Thanks to Melody Pryor who found this news article at