Tag Archives: Williamson County

Tabitha is Telitha C. Pryor of Wilson Co., TN and Franklin Co., IL

wilson county


This is a find that may be of interest to the Jackson County and Williamson County, Tennessee Pryors, as well as anyone looking at Pryor in Wilson Co., TN. I found the will of Telitha C. Pryor of Franklin Co., IL. I think she’s the woman who was counted with Thomas Pryor on the 1850 and 1860 census in Wilson Co., TN. I know this line is a bit tricky with twists and turns, so I thought I’d take another look.

On the 1850 Census she was recorded as Tabitha and in 1860 as Thabitha. How the heck did she get to be Telitha in Illinois records? Darned if I know! I just wanted to know if I was on the right track… is this indeed a recording error… so I started a chart just to see how the information lines up. Yes, it quickly turns to spaghetti! Not only does her name change between records, but her age jumps from census to census from 22 to 32 to 40 to 52 in 1880 to 72 in 1900. Her age seems fairly consistent except for the 1870 census when she was recorded as 40.

Thank goodness, her children has some pretty odd names which helps to match them up across records.  Her daughter born about 1850 was recorded throughout the years as Sursilda, Sarilda and Serilda. Another daughter Roxanna born 1856 shows up as Roxanna on the 1860 census, the same spelling in 1870, and as Roxanna married to Alfred Groves in 1900 — I’m certain it’s the same Roxanna because Telitha C. Pryor’s will appointed her grandson Henry Groves as her executor.

Alas, the spaghetti… those wild lines and arrows running over my chart. Alfred Prior who was living with Josephine Pryor Purcell in 1920 is recorded as her “uncle”. I think this is the Alfred Pryor who was the son of Cinderella (and Allen Pryor) of Jackson Co., TN who was on the 1870 Census in Franklin Co., IL with his mother.  When Alfred died in 1921 in Perry Co., IL the death record states his father was Allen Pryor.

click on image to enlarge

click on image to enlarge

I continue to suspect Josephine to be the daughter of Thomas and Telitha C. Pryor.  Josephine born 1861 is on the 1880 Census with Telitha and recorded as her “daughter”. I don’t find any children of Allen and Cinderella with a daughter named Josie or Josephine. While it looks like like Alfred and Josephine connect the lines of Thomas and Allen Pryor together it bugs me that Alfred was recorded as an uncle. Is that because he looked too old to be a cousin? Or their relationship was too distant to describe with just one word?

Or do these relationships eat at me because Lulu Merkel b. 1891 was living with Josie Purcell in 1910 and recorded as her “niece”? Lulu was the daughter of James Merkel and Ruthy Pryor, a daughter of Young Pryor and Betty Corneyhon. Young was counted near Cinderella Pryor in 1870— he’s believed to be another son. If Josephine were Young’s daughter then the relationships described on the census would be correct: Alfred would be her uncle and Lulu her niece.

OK, so was there ever a Josephine born 1861/1862 counted in Young’s household?  In 1870 there was a Susan born about 1858/1859 and a Melvina born about 1862 — both born in IL. The only child near that age in Young’s household in 1880 was Sindarilla born 1866 who is the same age as the child named Eliza who was on the 1870 Census.

The last wild arrow on my chart is the proximity of Alfred P Swallows and James Merkel on the 1880 Census in Perry Co., IL. James Merkel was married to Ruthy Pryor, daughter of Young Pryor (grand-daughter of Allen and Cinderella Pryor).  Alfred P Swallows was a cousin of the Ellen Swallows who was living with Logan Pryor on the 1870 Census in Perry Co., IL.  (Logan was the son of James and Nancy Pryor of Overton Co., TN). [I wrote about the Pryors and Swallows last year]

I look at this stuff over and over again each time a new piece of documentation is revealed. You’d link something would lift the fog.

Last Will and Testament of Telitha C. Pryor, deceased

Know all By These Presents: That I Telitha C. Pryor, of the City of Benton in the County of Franklin, and State of Illinois, do make, publish and declare this my Last Will And Testament:

First: It is my will that my general expenses and all of my just debts be fully paid.

Second: I direct that my Executor, hereinafter named, erect to me a monument of the cost of seventy-five dollars, said monument to be paid for our of the proceeds of the sale of my property herein after described, before any distribution of said proceeds is made among my heirs.

Third: I direct that as soon as convenient and practiable after my death, my Executor, hereinafter named, dispose of all my property of which I many die seized, that he is empowered to sell at private sale all my personal property, and that he sell to the highest bidder at public sale, my homestead described as follows: Lot No Forty-six (46) in the south west Quarter of Section No. Eighteen (18) in Township No. Six (6), South Range Three (3), East of the Third P. M. in Franklin County, Illinois, after giving notice for three successive weeks of said sale of said homestead. Said notice to be published in some weekly newspaper published at Benton, Illinois. My said Executor is empowered to execute deed to highest bidder, said permises to be sold on such terms as Executor may think best.

Fourth: I direct that out of the proceeds of the sale of my said property all my debts, expenses of administration and cost of monument be first paid, and that the residue thereof then he distributed among my legal heirs according to the Statues of Descent of the State of Illinois.

Lastly: I hereby appoint my grandson, Henry Groves, to be the Executor of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made, and I direct that my said Executor be appointed without bond. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the Twenty third day of April in the year of our Lord One Thoursand Nine Hundred and Eight.

Telitha C. Pryor (her mark X) [seal]

The above instrument sonsisting of one sheet, was now here subscribed by Telitha Pryor, the Testator, in the presence of each of us, and was at the same time declared by her to be her last Will and Testament and we at her request sign our name hereto in her presence as attesting witnesses.
Thomas J. Layman of Benton, ILL
Lulu Layman of Benton, ILLProof of will filed 28 Dec 1908

Source: Illinois Probate Records, 1819-1970; pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-15881-13510-17

*** See edits in subsequent post Updates and Corrections on the Tree of Thomas Pryor and Telitha C.

Pryor Connections to Williamson County, TN and Caswell County NC

Where were the Pryors and their allied familes before Williamson Co., TN? Well I’ve found some information from the time of the Revolutionary War.

There’s a deed in Caswell County, NC that seems to not only connect everyone but also it makes sense in the Pryor story.

1777 Deed – Math’w. Flourney and Elizabeth (PRYOR), William Stone and Rhoda (PRYOR), David Womack and Mildred (PRYOR), John Womack and Lucy (PRYOR), Nicholas Perkins and Lea (PRYOR), Joel Pope and Rachel, Henry McNeill and Dolly (PRYOR), Henrietta Pryor, John H. Pryor, all of Caswell, to John Baird of same county, for 267 lbs., 955 acres on Mayo and Donaldson’s Creeks adj. Robert McFarland, now Josiah Allday’s line, and Robert Donaldson’s, entered by Lord Granville on 26 Dec 1762. 17 Oct 1777. Wts: Archd. Murphey, Lawrence Vanhook, George Moore.

John Henry Pryor’s will was signed in 1771 in Orange County, NC. That’s the will that names his children and most of their spouses. His children Rhoda, Lucy, Leah, Elizabeth, Dorothy/Dolly and John Henry.

What were the Perkins, Pryors and these other families doing during the Revolutionary War? The pension application for a Richard Lovern states he was wounded in a battle in 1781 and taken to a hospital at Constant Perkins on the Dan River. The pension application for William Dixon talks about heading to Troublesome Iron Works (this was run by Nicholas and Constantine Perkins) in Guilford (now Rockingham Co.). If you go to http://revwarapps.org and search troublesome iron you’ll find numerous accounts of men who were part of the march to the Battle of Guildford Court House who recall stopping at the iron works. I suspect they were protecting the iron works or restocking.

The Perkins family of Rockingham and Caswell Counties had a plantation in Pittsylvania County, VA. There are several Revolutionary War pension applications that refer to a Col. Peter Perkins of Berry Hill who marched with his troops from Pittsylvania County, VA. The pension application for James Braden states that Berry Hill was used as a hospital for the wounded. There’s a photo of Berry Hill online (view photo)

The Perkins, Pryor, and Stone families started to show up in Tennessee after the Revolutionary War. A NC land grant to Constant Perkins in Hawkins County, TN shows Nicholas Perkins and Leah Pryor’s son John Pryor Perkins was one of the chain carriers.

constant-pryor-hawkinsThe earliest grant was to Constantine Perkins in Greene County, TN in 1788. In the 1790’s Nicholas Perkins received numerous land warrants in Hawkins County, TN. Remember David Ross who supplied the army through the Oxford Iron Works and all the land he received? Perhaps Nicholas was given land for supplying the military through Troublesome Iron Works. More research is needed on that.

Prior R Hughes

Prior R Hughes in Williamson Co. A great grandson of Catherine Pryor and Henry Lansford of Pittsylvania County, VA. There are other Pryors and Hughes connections; is Prior R. Hughes connected to any of them?

I believe we have John Hughes Pryor born 1785 on the 1840 Census in Williamson County, TN. John married Sallie Smith in 1802 in Goochland County. John was the son of William Pryor and Elizabeth Hughes and the brother of Judith Neville Pryor who married Fountaine Duke and settled in McNairy County, TN.

I found an affidavit in the loose court documents from Williamson County.

State of Tennessee
Williamson County
Personally appeared before me Lemuel? B McConners? clerk said James Hughes and made oath that Pryor Hughes as the guardian for Polly Hughes, Barrett Hughes, and Sally Hughes had never received anything– that he was appointed for the purpose of petitioning the court for an order of sale of land belonging to said minors and others, but abstaining would be attended with much cost it was never deal.
signed Jas. Hughes

There’s a Williamson County will for Polly Hughes proved 15 November 1825 by James Hughes and Nancy Hughes, his wife. It names her brother James Hughes, Benjamin Hughes, 5 sisters (unnamed), and her brother-in-law John Lane.

I don’t want to go on a wild goose chase, but there is also a Lane connection to the Pryors in Goochland County. David Lane married Elizabeth Pryor there in 1757. Are they related to John Lane in Williamson County?

Does anyone have information that connects Prior Hughes with John Hughes Pryor?

Pryor and Lansford Family Connections Through VA, NC, and Into IL


I think I can explain more about some of the VA Pryors using the Lansfords.  These are some of the same people mentioned in a post back in March (Connecting Major John Pryor of Richmond to More Pryors!). I spent part of Labor Day looking at Thomas Washington Pryor who was in Rockingham County, NC and later lived in Fayette County, IL.

There’s a Find A Grave memorial for Prudence Rivers Pryor, a daughter of Thomas Washington Pryor (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=31125815). Her husband is reported to be Isham Lansford. As I trudged my way through online records and some family trees that quoted original sources, I was able to chart out Isham’s line back to his great-grandma, Catherine Pryor  of Pittsylvania County, VA.

Well, well, well. Looks like Isham’s great aunt and uncle were Susanna Lansford and George Reynolds, the parents of the traveling Pryor Reynolds of Rockingham County, NC (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=26184214).

The marriage of Isham Lansford and Prudence Rivers Pryor seems to be where the lines from Pittsylvania County, VA/Rockingham County, NC circle around. Were Isham and Prudence cousins?

It seems appropriate that the last couple posts were on Edward Pryor of Wilkes Co., GA because there looks to be a connection between his line and the Lansfords. I’m betting that Edward is the same man who was on the tax lists in Pittsylvania County, VA  in the early 1780’s and also that it’s Edward’s son John Pryor who witnessed a deed for Henry Lansford — a brother of Susannah Lansford and and the older Isham Lansford.

VA & NC Pryors: Making Connections on Beaver Dam Creek in Goochland County


I know Beaver Dam Creek does sound as posh as maybe- let’s say Polo Pony Drive– but this may have been the place to be in Henrico County, later Goochland County.  The above list of deeds is from http://www.directlinesoftware.com/Pool/goochlan.txt. Remember the Perkins who shadowed the Pryors from Pittsylvania County, VA into Rockingham and other Counties in NC, and then into Hawkins/Greene County, TN and finally into Williamson County?  It looks like they may have been  neighbors (and probably kin) back into the 1720’s, long before the Revolutionary War. There was John Pryor on Beaver Dam Creek (see my post) and it looks like Constantine Perkins was right there too.

Another neighbor to look at is John Pleasant. Do you see him above? Isn’t it interesting that when the Pryors moved into NC there’s a John Pleasant Pryor among them? He also ended up in Tennessee with the migration to middle TN in the 1790’s.