Tag Archives: Williamson County

Pryor Lost and Found: Franklin County Grants, Land Warrants, and Notes

I came across a notice of lost or stolen property in a 1820 newspaper. Samuel Polk was on his way between Columbia and Franklin, TN when his saddle bags went missing along with numerous documents. He recreated a list of the documents.

Good lordy, did the Pryor deeds I’ve been looking for meet a similar fate? This notice opens up new possibilities of what happened to documents in the past.

The names John Pryor and Green Pryor appear on the list. Green Pryor b. 1796, husband of Olivia M. Polk is the likely candidate to be the same man noted in these missing papers. Green had a son named John who was born in the 1820’s so it is highly unlikely to be the same man in the 1808 document.

It is more likely that the John Pryor named in the lost document was the father of Green Pryor. The missing document was cited as No. 121 which is odd because John Pryor had a land warrant of the name number in 1809 which names Robert Hay’s and Alexander Campbell’s boundaries and that warrant was withdrawn or removed.

The Notice Transcription

The original notice used dittos to fill in names and amounts through out the list of documents. I have used the name above the ditto in order to make the list more readable online.

ON the night of the 17th June last, was stolen from the subscriber between Columbia and Franklin, Tennessee, a pair of SADDLE BAGS containing the following articles, to wit; a CHANGE of CLOTHING which it is not necessary to describe and sundry NOTES of HAND on persons in Lincoln county, the amounts and description not now recollected, drawn payable, however, to William Polk; together with several GRANTS principally issued from the State of Tennessee, and various other papers that cannot be particularized, and a number of LAND WARRANTS of the following description, to wit:

No. | No. of Acres | Kind of warrant | When issued | To whom issued | To whom Transferrred

1952 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Thomas Polk | “

1953 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Samuel Polk | “

1954 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Wm Polk Jr. | “

1955 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | John Polk Jr. | “

1960 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Ezekiel Polk | “

1961 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Abner Alexander | Ezekiel Polk

1994 | 640 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | John Tate | Ezekiel Polk

1967 | 640 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Ezekiel Polk | Ezekiel Polk

1969 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Adlai Osburne | John Tate

1971 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Adlai Osburne | Ezek & Sam. Polk

1972 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Adlai Osburne | Ezek & Sam. Polk

1973 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Adlai Osburne | John Tate

1975 | 640 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | D’d Mc’Ree | J, Walker & S. Polk

1976 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | D’d Mc’Ree | Samuel Polk

1979 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | W. Barnett jr. | W. Weech & S Polk

1983 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Ezekiel Polk | Samuel Polk

1985 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Wm Polk | Samuel Polk

1990 | 640 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Ezek’l Polk | Samuel Polk

2003 | 2500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Adlai Osburne | Ezk’l & Sl Polk

2236 | 640 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Lambert Clayton | John Tate

1974 | 500 | J. A. | Nov. 30, 1784 | Adlai Osburne | Thomas Mc’Neal

121 | 249 | 1-2 CWT | Nov. 8, 1808 | John Pryor | James Walker

502 | 300 | RWT | May 1, 1813 | J Childress | S Polk M.A. Lock 73a

1937 | 823 | CWT | Sept. 4, 1816 | Rob’t W. Smith | Wm. Leetch 175

2558 | 150 | RWT | Dec. 21, 1816 | Samuel Polk | Wm. Leetch 175

2925 | 150 | RWT | May 7, 1818 | George Mitchell | Saml. Polk

2480 | 400 | RWT | Sept 4, 1816 | Thomas & Ez. Polk | Saml. Polk

2481 | 327 | RWT | Sept. 4, 1816 | Thomas & Ez. Polk | Saml. Polk

1516 | 200 | RET | Sept. 2, 1819 | John Cowan | James K Polk Jr

2458 | 650 | RWT | Aug. 28, 1816 | Robert Love | Samuel Polk

1280 | 971 | RWT | Oct. 8, 1812 | Andrew Cathy | S. Polk & J. Leetch

236 | 640| dup. m’lty | May 30 1817 | John Carter Jr. | Green Pryor

2478 | 200 | RWT | Sept. 4, 1816 | Tho. & Ezkl. Polk | Green Pryor

2482 | 140 | RWT | Sept. 4, 1816 | Tho. & Ezkl. Polk | Green Pryor

2479 | 400 | RWT | Sept. 4, 1816 | Tho. & Ezkl. Polk | Tho’s. Mc’Neal

The public are cautioned against trading for any of the above papers, particularly the notes of hand and warrants, which will be probably offered for sale by the person who has taken them. Any person recovering the above mentioned articles or the warrants alone and delivering them to the subscriber or depositing them where he can get them, shall be entitled to the above reward and questions will be asked.


Columbia, Tenn. July 18, 1820

(published in the Knoxville Register, July 25, 1820)

The Notice

Follow Up To Identifying L M Pryor from Tennessee

I heard from Pryor researcher Nova Lemmons, sharing that there’s a grave site for the Dr. Daniel McPhail mentioned in a 2014 post (read post).  It’s kind of reassuring that well over a hundred and fifty years ago Dr. McPhail’s remains made it back from Mexico for burial in Tennessee. The tombstone states he was born in Scotland.

Nova asked if I had found out anything new about the L M Pryor who’s  name was on Dr. McPhail’s box. When I wrote the post in 2014 I suggested that perhaps Dr. McPhail was friend or family of the Pryors and McPhails in Williamson County, TN. I’m thinking that’s the case. An even earlier post from 2009 also connects Dr. Daniel McPhail to the Pryors in Williamson County, TN through the marriages of Sarah Pryor.(read post). Like Dr. McPhail, Sarah’s husband Angus McPhail was from Scotland.

The Find A Grave memorials are linked incorrectly.

  • The grave for Dr Daniel McPhail is correct, however he’s connected to the wrong mother.  Mary A Carter can not be his mother because she was born over 30 years after Dr. McPhail was born. Nova pointed out that there’s large probate file for Dr Daniel McPhail from 1846 in Williamson County, TN. His widow is recorded as Sarah C McPhail, so Mary A. isn’t the doctor’s mother nor is she his widow.
  • Dr. Daniel McPhail died in 1846 (The inventory of his estate is dated November 1846). The notice in the newspaper (above) states he died in Mexico. The Mexican War began in April 1846, so if his grave marker is correct he died within the first couple months of the war. Nova did some digging and found that McPhail was a surgeon for 1st TN Infantry in Cos. F and S.  He died at Matamoros on 13 Jul 1846 (one says 10 Jul 1846). The Nashville Tennesseean reported on 8 Jun 1846 that Dr. McPhail of Franklin had been appointed as surgeon in Colonel Campbell’s company.


Mary A Carter was married to a younger Daniel McPhail, rather than Dr. Daniel McPhail.

  • In 1860 Angus McPhail (widow of Sarah Pryor) was counted on the the US Census in Washington County, TX. Daniel McPhail born 1824-1825 was the head of household.
  • On the 1860 Census Daniel’s probably wife was recorded as Mary.
  • This younger Daniel McPhail returned to Williamson County, TN and was counted in that county in 1870 and 1880. His father’s place of birth was stated as “Scotland” on the 1880 Census, so either Angus or Dr. Daniel could have been his father.
  • Although Daniel born 1824-1825 is on the 1870 census in Williamson County, he wife wasn’t counted in the household. The grave marker for Mary McPhail in Franklin City Cemetery states she died in 1869 which certainly would explain her absence from the census. Her marker states she was the wife of Daniel McPhail – I think her Find A Grave memorial is linked to the wrong Daniel McPhail.


So who is the L M Pryor who appeared on Dr. McPhail’s box? I think he may be one of the Williamson County Pryors – Sarah Pryor married a Carter as did the younger Daniel McPhail, Sarah married Angus McPhail, and Angus was living with the younger Daniel. Luke Pryor of Williamson County is probably Sarah Pryor McPhail’s brother. His probate file is dated 1848, so perhaps he became ill or died or both before he could arrange return of Dr. McPhail to Tennessee. Other than Luke, I don’t have any other suggestions.

Is There A Relationship Between the Rogers and Pryor Families?

pryor cards 2Isn’t it like a long-played game of Concentration?– turning over all the clues looking for a Pryor match? When a name continues to pop up in Pryor research it’s probably worth sharing. I have the feeling that John Rogers is about as popular a name as John Pryor.  After seeing John Rogers on so many Pryor documents I began to wonder if there was a connection between the Rogers and the Pryor families.

1740 Indenture Goochland County, NC – On 17 Sep 1740, the purchase of a tract of land by William New from Thomas Thornell. The land was on the North Side of the James River, 150 acres that had belonged to Edmund New, deceased, bordered by Thomas Bailey, Ebenezer Adams, Robert Rogers, David Patterson, Major Lewis. Signed by William and Pricsilla New. Witnessed by James Christian, Robert Christian, and John Prior.


1755 Land Sale, Almance Co., NC – William Cox, planter, bought of William Peggott, saddler, in September, 1755, in consideration of 28 (pounds) Virginia money one hundred acres of land on the south side of Haw river and on Cane creek. This being a tract of land granted to Wm. Peggott by Granville’s agents in February, 1755. In that year John Rogers bought of George Yates, Governor of Virginia, for 15 (pounds) Virginia money, a tract of land lying on the north side of Haw creek in Orange in the presence of John Pryor, trustee, and others.


1770 Land Deed Caswell Co., NC – 4 Dec 1780 – Roger Atkinson of Dinwiddie County VA to Armistead Rogers of Halifax County VA [son of Peter Rogers of Halifax County [VA], deceased] for 500 Pounds, 596 acres on Deep Creek, a tract Atkinson bought of John Pryor. Witnessed by Peter Rogers. Caswell County Deeds 1777-1814. (It’s generally accepted that Roger Atkinson was the grandfather of Roger Atkinson Pryor and that John Pryor may have been the great-grandfather of Roger Atkinson Pryor. Armistead Rogers b. 1750-1760 living in Montgomery Co., TN in 1830)


1785 Land Deed, Halifax Co., NC – 26 Aug 1785 – John Rogers, Sr. of Halifax County VA to Roger Atkinson of Dinwiddie County VA, for 15 Pounds, 100 acres on north side of Hico Creek adjoining John PRYOR, County Line Creek. Halifax County Deed Book E., page 14.



1801 Chancery Court Case Charlotte Co., VA- Samuel Pryor vs. John Harvey, mentions a parcel of land that Pryor purchased in Campbell Co., VA in Aug 1799. Purchased from John Rogers.


1810 Deed Barren Co., KY – Jonathan Davis and wife Margaret to William Shirley. Land on Fallen Timber Creek. Names included Edmund Rogers, John Pryor, Jobe Glover. Wits: Nathaniel Carr, James McLain. Barren Co., KY Deed Book B, p. 339


1811 Tax List for Davidson County, TN – Capt. James Bennings Co. – Richard Pryor (living near him are John Rogers, Burwell Sneed, David Krantz.  (Burwell Sneed is on the 1810 Census in Williamson Co., TN)


1818 Estate Jackson Co., GA – Estate of John Thornton (born about 1775), Penelope Thornton, Prior Thornton, John Rogers, James H. Perdue, George Haney, William Sailors, William Grimes, Sarah Thornton, Polly Thornton, Jackson County Inventories, Appraisals, and Returns 1800-1839.


1819 Estate Settlement, Orange Co., NC – William Rogers, deceased. 31st August 1819, Estate divided among heirs by commissioners in Orange Co., NC. William and John Rogers signed the estate sale as administrators. Other heirs, Luke Pryor, husband of Nelly Rogers (Luke Pryor settled in Williamson Co., TN)


Sept 1831 Notice Crawford Co., AR – Territory of Arkansas, Court Appointed John Rogers the administrator of the estate of Nathaniel Pryor, deceased, Fort Smith, 10th Sept. 1831. The administrator asked all who held debts against Pryor to put in notice for payment from the estate.

Orange County NC Record Mentions Luke Pryor of Williamson County TN

Looking at NC Pryors I hope to find answers for us questioning our Tennessee Pryor families. Luke Pryor is one of the folks in Williamson County, TN I looked at through probate records a while ago (see post). His wife was Nelly/Eleanor. I looked recently at the will of William Rogers, her father. It adds another piece of documentation to support she was a Rogers.


31st August 1819, Estate divided among heirs by commissioners in Orange Co., NC. William and John Rogers signed the estate sale as administrators.
Wife, Elinor Rogers
William Rogers
John Rogers
Heirs of James Rogers
John Sharp and Luke Prior
—? Holmes, husband of Janet Rogers
John Sharp, husband of Polly Rogers
Luke Pryor, husband of Nelly Rogers
Robert Hunter, husband of Peggy Rogers

Luke Pryor was named on 1805 and 1810 Tax lists in Williamson County, TN. It looks like he may have been living outside of NC at the time of the settlement of his father-in-law’s estate.

My last post may be of significance for anyone searching this line.  The Pryors in Guilford County, NC were connected to the Waggamon/Waggoner family.  When Luke Pryor married Nelly Rogers in Orange County, Peter Waggoner was bondsman (see post).

Will of Zach B Pryor of Nashville, TN

Thank you Ancestry.com for putting up wills in Tennessee! Access these record has given me the opportunity to see if there are some Pryors I’ve missed.  I had found Zach B. Pryor of Nashville, TN on the index long ago, so it’s awesome to see his actual will. 

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