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We’ll be heading to England this summer (2010), so I decided it might be fun to trace an ancestor back to the town where he or she originated and pay the town a visit. I broke out the genealogical charts my mother made and began the search. The Pryor line currently peters out in 1818, still in America, so I turned to other family charts. I noticed the Rathbone chart (on my mother’s side) was one of the most complete. One of the family lines ran all the way to the edge of the chart and in the final entry I saw the words I was looking for “John Wightman, .b 1598 Burton-On-Trent, England”. But this particular family line didn’t end at the edge of the chart and there was one additional generation written into the margin. The name was Edward Wightman 1566-1612 and beside his name were the words “Burned at the stake”. I smiled. This was my kind of ancestor. Here’s what I found out about him:

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If you trace back the “Knight” line of the Pryor family, starting with my great grandmother, Alice Austin Knight, you will eventually reach William Alfred Knight 1320-1350 my 19th great grandfather. On the genealogy web site Ancestry.com there are an astonishing 72,103 descendents of William Knight who have listed him in their family tree. Interestingly, almost all of them firmly believe that William was the illegitimate love child of Roger De Mortimer (The Earl of March) and Queen Isabella (The Queen of England). This fact may or may not be true, the history is inconclusive, but the story is well worth telling, and it all begins with the somewhat incompetent, not very kingly, Edward II…
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Drugstore Cowboy

We had some unusual police action here in sleepy little Redmond the other day. A man actually robbed a local drug store at gun point. (We’re talking 8 blocks from my house). We normally have a crime rate equivalent to Mayberry USA, so this was somewhat surprising and disconcerting to local residents. There were two notable facts related to this crime worth passing along: 1) The guy with the gun was famed criminal James Fogle. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, they made a movie about him back in 1989 called “Drugstore Cowboy” starring Matt Dillon. 2) Believe it or not, the Redmond police caught the guy. I don’t mean to reflect negatively on the Redmond police, but I can’t help imagining the reaction of this hardened, life-long criminal when a bug-eyed Barney P. Fife, gun drawn, knees shaking, burst into the drugstore.

Some additional Redmond crime trivia: What other infamous criminal (who also had a movie made about him) once lived in our beloved town? Henry Hill, the gangster turned snitch who took down the Gambino crime family. The Martin Scorsese film GoodFellas was made about him, starring Ray Liota as Henry. The FBI relocated him here while in the witness protection program. He later became the first person kicked out of the witness protection program for numerous crimes throughout the greater Seattle area.

A few days ago, I decided it might be fun to start a blog. I researched various blogging options and ended up selecting WordPress. One of the first steps in creating a WordPress blog is to select an easy to remember URL . Since my last name is Pryor, it seemed fitting to use Pryor.Wordpress.com. Unfortunately, WordPress informed me the name was already taken. Out of curiosity, I took a peek at this other Pryor’s blog, thinking the author may be a relative. Well, I kinda missed the mark on that one. Pryor.wordpress.com was written entirely in Arabic.  Intrigued, I went to Google’s translation app and translated the blog to English.

The blog contains an odd tome that I can’t seem to get my head around. This is partly due to the poor quality of the translation and partly because of my unfamiliarity with the culture. To my western sensibilities, the story is a mixture of poetry, a possible cry for peace, quite a bit of violent imagery and, quite possibly, some jihadist propaganda. Go ahead and judge it for yourself. Here’s a link to the google translation:

World Day of Peace> But . لماذا كانت تصرخ !! Why she was crying!!

I’m still not sure how the name Pryor fits in to this strange blog, but I’ve gone with Pryors.Wordpress.com.

After much debate, the Pryor Clan has opted for an on-line presence. I doubt we’ll post topics worthy of national debate, but hey, why not try.

In reality, the intension of this blog is to keep track of the various goings-on of family, friends and ourselves so when we’re old and have lost significant cognitive function, we’ll have these blog posts to remind us we were once middle aged, slightly overweight and really boring.