I have been out of Puryear genealogy for a few years. But what I remember is that there is a large number of African-American Puryears living in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. The caucasian Puryears included slaveholders in Alabama and this may have been the origin of your family's surname. The research I did on my branch of the Puryear family in the Campbellsville, KY area in the early and mid 1800's suggest there may have been mixed-race descendants of our branch of the family.
Perhaps you (we?)are related to Tony Puryear, the screenwriter for one of Arnold Schwartzenegger's films.
Good luck in your search.
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