Tag Archives: Wilson County

John Pryor Rutherford County TN to KY Fact or Fiction?

Pryor TN KY Map 1820'sSince 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).

Two Nice Tie Togethers from Williamson Co., TN Probate Records

photo (14)I was in the Williamson County, TN probate records again, looking for another family I’m researching and I found a couple records on the Pryors.

I was reading through the accounts filed by Henly/Hendley Stone in Williamson County for the care of Green and Peter Pryor, orphans of John Pryor. The 1812 settlement is a list of expenses that make the Pryor boys sound like a couple of dandies.
linen for pantaloons
Latin book, Cicero
2 striped waistcoats
Cash for a 4th of July frolick (yes, it really said frolick!)
Money to go to Nashville
a payment to a singing master… Mr. or Ms. Brown
wool socks and corderoy
3 hanks silk
tuition paid to Blackbourn
Maj. Maury for Peter and Green’s board
Payment of taxes on their land in Wilson County and taxes on land in VA
The expenses were offset by a credit for the rent of slaves: Sukey and her 4 children, Chloe, Hannah and her 4 children, Jude and 3 children, Joe, Sam and George. Rent of land in VA.
Signed April 1813 by N. Perkins Senr. Dan’l. Perkins, Robert McLemore, and Edward Warren.
Williamson County, TN. Inventories. Inventories, Wills, 1811-1818, Vol. B, page 17


The account of 1815 expenses and income is also interesting:

5 pairs of shoes or half boots
Tax on Wilson County land
Expenses for Green to travel to VA and back
Expenses for Green to attend a ball with Agness in Franklin.
Cash to Green to go to Brother Bartons on July 11th
A hat, a ham
Feed for Green’s horse
Cash “when Green started to the Army”
Cash paid to Thos. Reynolds for Green’s gun
Tuition paid to Mr. Blackburn
Peter Pryor to hire of Sam

Any idea what this expense was? Who was William?  I think a half eagle is a gold coin “Nov. To half eagle sent to Green & William to the Army by Maj’r Reed.”

This record answers one of the Pryor riddles and whittles down the number of John Pryors we’re researching. There’s Pryor land on the 1804, 1805, and 1806 Tax Lists for Wilson County, TN. It’s recorded as owned by the heirs of John Prior/Pryor. Hurray, from these records it appears the heirs are Peter and Green Pryor. One less John and now a bushel of new questions for researchers of this line — How did these boys get land in Wilson Co.? Did John receive the land before his death? Was it a military land grant? Did he buy the land?


I like this next record because it nicely connects Peter and Green Pryor to their siblings, the children of Hendley Stone. Hendley Stone’s 1829 will names his children, but not the Pryor boys, so it’s nice to have this record to support the probability that Hendley Stone married Peter and Green’s mother.

HENDLEY STONE Receipt July Session 1817 March 17th 1817. We have received of Hendley Stone our Guardian all the Negroes belonging to us in his posession agreeable to a division made the 15th of Jan. 17999 between us and our mother and on the 11th day of June 1817 we received our part of negroes in full which is our third part, that is three Negreoes namely Stepney, Mar., and Jacob and $75 in cash in full of all demands against H’dly Stone our Guradian, the balance of our mother’s part of Negroes, namely Pat, Jane, Henry, Fanny, Easter, S’l., Simeon, and Sally and their increase is to be equally divided between our 2 sisters Agnes P. Jenkins, Mary M. Stone, and our 2 brothers Alfra Stone and N’s P. Stone, our sister Agnes Jenkins is to leave Easter and Simeon for her part valued to $625 1/6 part of the above named Negroes as witnesses we have hereto set our hands this 11th day of June 1817. Signed Peter Pryor, Green Pryor. Which rcp’t as above recited was produced in C’t. July Session 1817 and ordered to be rec’d.
Williamson County, TN. Inventories, Wills, 1811-1818, Vol. B, page 359


I’m looking at the chart at the top of the page and how George Reynolds is in the middle… does he connect up the Reynolds with the Pryors on the left side of the chart?

George Reynolds, Jr. Dec’d. Account of Sales October Session 1815–
An Invt’y of the sales of the Estate of George Reynolds, Dec’d, made Aug 5 1815.
Pryor Reynolds bought 30 barrels corn $21.25, 1 whip saw $10,d Thos. Reynolds bought 3 books .50, 1 horse whip 2.25, 1 birdle 5.50, 1 feather bed and furniture 35.50, 1 colt 2.31 1/4, Henry Cook 1 cow and calf $12, 1 steer 5.87 1/2, James Tomlin 1 steer 4.50, one ditto 5., Jas. Waddle bay horse 27.75, 1 cow and calf 12.37 1/2, Am’t for’d $145.81 1/4. James Hughes bought 1 ax .43 3/4. S’l. Core bt. 1 apron .25, Peter Pryor bought 1 heifer 4.6 1/4, Joel Hobbs bt. 1 set plain irons 3., 1 cow $8., total 161.56 1/4.
Pryor Reynolds Admr. Which acc’t of sales was produced in Court October Session 1815 and ordered Red’d
N. P. Hardeman
Williamson County, TN. Inventories, Wills, 1811-1818, Vol. B, page 173

Updates and Corrections on the Tree of Thomas Pryor and Telitha C.

At last an answer to some of the questions in a recent post (Tabitha is Telitha C. Pryor of Wilson Co., TN and Franklin Co., IL). The answer is a good one because it really helps to straighten out this line.

Josie Pryor Franklin Co. IL

I asked who were the parents of Josephine/Josie Pryor (or Prior) who married James Purcell. Was she the daughter of Thomas and Telitha Pryor born about 1861? — the Josephine born about 1861 who appears on the 1870 with her mother in 1870. Or is she the daughter of Young Pryor (son of Allen and Cinderella Pryor of Jackson Co., TN)?– there’s no Josephine in his household in 1870, she stated her age and therefore her year of birth on the 1920 census as 1868, and relations of Young Pryor were recorded in her household through various census records.

Well, thanks to the researcher who has provided her death record! It states her father was Young Pryor/Prior. So beware, there is no evidence to connect Allen and Cinderella to Thomas and Telitha. It may look like Josie/Josephine on the 1870 Census in Telitha’s household could be Young’s daughter (because she’s not in Young’s household), but go to the 1880 Census where she is still in Telitha’s household and is recorded as her daughter.

What happened to the Josephine Pryor, daughter of Thomas and Telitha C.? It’s possible that she’s the Josephine Pryor who married F. T. McNail on 7 Dec. 1874 in Franklin Co., IL. They are on the 1900 and 1910 Census in Hamilton Co., IL. In 1910 and 1920 (Logan Co., IL) her parents were recorded as born in TN and IL which match to the 1850 and 1860 Census records in Wilson Co., TN for the births of Thomas and Telitha.  The index to her death record states her mother’s surname as Durham and father “Pryor….”  and there are some family trees on Ancestry that include Telitha C. Durham and a 1849 marriage date to Thomas Pryor — just be aware that their sources are on the skimpy side and source documents or links are not attached.

Time to do some corrections on the TN Pryor website.

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

wilson county

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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.