SUMNER COUNTY PRYOR LAWSUITS
William Chilton vs. Pryor and Taylor Families
JANE TAYLOR ESTATE, Sumner Co., TN
John M. Wilson, administrator of Jane Taylor, deceased against Pleasant Taylor et al, filed August 20, 1858, Sumner County, TN; Lawsuit 673 on microfilm at Sumner County, TN Archives. To Hon B. T. Ridley, Chancellor at Gallatin. The Bill of John M. Wilson, administrator of Jane Taylor, deceased against Pleasant Taylor, David Taylor, citizens of Sumner County. Spicy Pryor, Jonathan Pryor & wife Massy, Hezekiah Taylor, Chesley Taylor's heirs whose names are unknown, whose residence is unknown, and John Fukeway * and wife Mary, and Elizabeth Taylor, these three last live in Robertson County.
Your Orator would represent and show unto your Honor that Jane Taylor died, intestate leaving the parties mentioned in the caption as her only heirs and distributees, in Sumner County sometime in 1857, that he has been appointed and qualified as her administrator, he would show that the whole estate of said Jane Taylor consists in one Negro woman name Sylvia and that there is not other property belonging to said estate except one note on Mrs. Patterson for $18.00 and the hire of said Sylvia for this year about ________. Your orator would show that there are debts existing against said Jane Taylor which are unpaid, viz.; Account of Dr. T. D. Haggard for $57.00, H. B Malone $16.00, Meador $65.00, B. F. Moore, for coffin $25.00. Making in all about _____ _____ $163.00
And there may be other debts of which your orator is not now informed. Your orator would show that said Sylvia is getting old being now upwards of fifty years old and that she does not hire for much. Your orator charges that it is necessary to sell said Negro Sylvia in order to pay the debts of the said Jane Taylor there being nothing lese out of which to pay the same.
Your orator charges that the heirs and relatives of said Jane Taylor are illiterate persons and have been unable to give him the names of the heirs of Chesley Taylor a deceased brother of Jane Taylor or their places of residence and they are unable to give the places of residence of the following brothers and sisters of Jane Taylor, viz.; Spicy Pryor; Massy Pryor and husband Jonathan and Hezekiah Taylor. The heirs here have not seen or heard from these parties for a number of years and are unable to give your orator any satisfactory information as their whereabouts and as far as your orator knows they may be non residents.
These premises considered your orator
prays (?) for a sale of the Negro woman Sylvia. Let all of the above named
parties be made defendants. Let publication be made as to Spicy Pryor,
Johnathan Pryor, Massy Pryor, and Hezekiah Taylor, and the heirs of Chesley
Taylor. Let process issue to the Sheriffs of Robertson & Sumner Counties and
give to your orator such other and further relief as may be right and proper,
and as in duty bound he will ever pray (?) _____.
B. F. Allen, Solicitor
State of Tennessee, Sumner County, Personally appeared all those aforesaid. Mr. Wilson the compl't and makes oath that these matters & things stated in the foregoing bill as of his knowledge are true and ______ as stated as of information he believes to be true. Sworn to & Subscribed before me August 20th 1858 J. M. Wilson, W. H. Blackmore, Clerk
I acknowledge myself complt's security for costs. Aug 20 1858
Ben F. Allen
Transcription provided by Shirley Anderson
John FUQUA married Mary "Polly" Taylor on 14 Jan. 1841 in Sumner Co., TN. They were the parents of Sarah Elizabeth, William L., James B., Mary J., John Lewis, and Thomas M. In 1831 "John Faqua" listed as member of Dry Fork Church of Cumberland Presbyterians in Sumner Co., TN. There is record of the Fuqua children being baptized on 24-Nov-1850 at the Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Sumner Co. The Fuquas were living in the 12th Dist. Of Sumner Co. at the time of the 1850 Census and living in the Western Div. of Robertson Co. when counted on the 1860 Census.
CHILTON, WILLIAM vs. TAYLOR, DAVID et al
1831 Sumner County, TN Lawsuit #9309, Loose Records--
This lawsuit involves William Chilton, citizen of Overton County, TN, who
bought a slave named Eliza from the heirs at law of Edward Taylor, late of
Virginia, and Elizabeth Taylor, the older, widow and relect of said Edward
Taylor (having a life estate in his property).
The original indenture dated 5 February 1827 is entered into the records of
this lawsuit. This indenture is also recorded in the deed book of Overton
The indenture of 5 February 1827 states that Negro woman named Eliza, about
the age of sixteen, a slave for life, is being sold to William Chilton, for
$500 ( or a piece of land or maybe the land was valued at $500 - this part
is confusing). The indenture lists the heirs at law of Edward Taylor as:
A. Chesley Taylor
B. Spicy Pryor, formerly Spicy Taylor and her husband William Pryor
C. Massy Pryor, formerly Massy Taylor and her husband John
D. Jane Taylor
E. Hezekiah Taylor
F. David Taylor
G. Pleasant Taylor
H. Polly Taylor
I. Elizabeth Taylor, infant, by her guardian Hezekiah Taylor
The lawsuit occurs in 1831 - 1833. The condition of her health at the time
she was sold is the question. Depositions are given by many people,
including relatives of Elizabeth "Betsy" Taylor, the widow of Edward Taylor
(Aunt Betsy, "the old lady") who state their names, ages, and some of them
their relationship to Betsy Taylor. There are other depositions are given by
doctors and people who hired Eliza. There are about 103
pages in the lawsuit, which I printed off from microfilm. Some is very hard
to read. The depositions were taken at different times by different people.
A. Benjamin J. Bledsoe, age 29, a physician, deposition dated 5 March 1833
B. Joanna Robertson, age 33, deposition dated 5 March 1833
C. Lilly Clark, aged about 33
D. Landon Armstrong, age 40, deposition dated 10 February 1832, who had hired Eliza
E. Ann Armstrong, age 40, wife of Landon
F. John Coffee, age 64, depostion of 20 February 1832
G. William Wray, age 48, a witness to the contract for sale
A long, thorough reading is needed to glean everything possible from the
lawsuit. I have tried to extract the genealogical information which is part
of the depositions regarding the Taylors and the Garretts.
Witnesses for the defendants (Taylors ) include:
A. Elijah Garrett, Jr., age 24 , deposition 20 February 1832
B. David Garrett, age 34, deposition 22 February 1832
C. Elijah Garrett, Sr., age 55, deposition 2 March 1832
D. Mary Garrett, age 64, deposition 2 March 1832
E. Joshua Garrett, Sr., age 68, deposition 2 March 1832
The witnesses are asked a number of questions by both attorneys, with the
Elijah Garrett, Jr., states that Elija Garrett, Sr., is his father. (page 6).
David Garrett is asked, in his question number 9 on page 10, "What kin are
you to the defendants?" He answers (C below), "We are cousins and the (B
below) old lady is my aunt." The old lady to whom he refers is Elizabeth
"Betsy" Taylor. In question number 13 he is asked, "Are not the Garretts
and the Taylors all related and are they not a very rational (?) kind of
people, as the term is understood, that is are they not very friendly and
will they not go great lengths for on another?" Apparently, the attorney was
implying that theGarretts and Taylors are so close that they would perjure
themselves for one another.
David Garrett states on page 8 "I understand that she (meaning the slave
Eliza) was not raised in this country but that the Taylors swapped for her
on the road as they moved to this country from Virginia."
David Garrett states on page 8 that "The plaintiff Chilton came to my house
and he and my self went to (A below) my fathers Joshua Garrett, Sr. My
brother Joshua Garrett, Jr., then went to Aunt Betsey Taylor's who I
understood had a life estate in the girl and brought her to my fathers and
she and the plaintiff Chilton made an agreement about the girl and they did
not at that time complete the contract by reducing to writing. She told
Chilton that she had not had the girl in her possession more than three or
four weeks, that the girl was sound and healthy as far as she had seen (?)
and that she would give the girl for a certain track of land claimed by
Chilton to which Chilton agreed and professed to be willing give the land
for the girl."
Joshua Garrett, Sr., on page 21,question number 2, states that " Joshua
Garrett, Jr., went for his (B below) Aunt Betsey Taylor"
These statements tell us that :
A. Joshua Garrett, Sr., has two sons, David Garrett and Joshua Garrett, Jr.
B. Elizabeth "Betsey" Taylor is the aunt of Joshua Garrett, Jr., and David Garrett.
C. The Taylors, listed as heirs of Edward Taylor, deceased, and his
widow, Elizabeth Taylor, are cousins to David Garrett.
Therefore, Elizabeth "Betsey" Taylor is the sister of either Joshua Garrett,
Sr., or sister to his wife since she is the Aunt to their children.
Also, based on the statement that the Taylors traded for the slave Eliza on
their move from Virginia to Overton County, TN, and the statement that
Elizabeth Taylor said she had only had possession of the girl for more than
three or four weeks, the Taylors moved from Virginia to Overton County, TN,
about the middle of January, 1827.
Summary of suit provided by Shirley Anderson
Notes: Vanessa Wood added: "Mrs.
Elizabeth Taylor could be a sister of Joshua Garrett and therefore a
daughter of Stephen Garrett and his wife Magdalene Bernard. Allen L. Pryor
in his Goodspeed bio states that his family was from VA and had French
roots. Recently I saw Magdalene Bernard descibed of Hugeonot ancestry and that her full name was Louisa D'Aubigine Magdalene Bernard. Sounds French to me! I'm inclined to side with this explanation of the relationship."