Frances was likely a daughter of Bryan, or Bryant, McClendon, who in Lawrence Co TN in 1820.
In order to determine the most likely candidates for her parents, it was necessary to see who was in North Carolina ca 1790 and then in Tennessee by 1803.
Using Genforum and Ancestry.com, it was easy to discover that there were several individuals named McClendon or McLendon in North Carolina, that the name Dennis occurs frequently with both spellings, and that several families throughout the 18th century had sons or daughters named Frances.
Three early McClendons in Tennessee were Simon who was in Davidson Co by 1799, Jesse who performed a marriage in Sumner Co in 1805, and Bryant who was in Lawrence Co by 1820.
Jesse is easily eliminated, since a list of his children exists from the time of his will, thanks to Mary Becker at Genforum.
Simon was the earliest man I looked at. He had a first wife, — Samville in NC, married a second wife, Ann Snell, by whom he had no children, then moved with at least two children to Davidson Co TN before 1799. His son Dennis left a numerous descendancy in the area, and daughter Mary had six children with her husband John Keetley Sluder. Simon died in Apr 1809 in Davidson Co TN.
Material from the Lawrence Co TN Genweb site indicates there were two men named McClendon among the early, say 1815, settlers of the county, Bryan and Nathan. Bryan was possibly the father of Nathan and Frances. The two men were on the 1818 voters list in Lawrence Co and Bryan was on the 1820 census, as Bryant McClendon, but with a younger man who might be Nathan. Their 1850 censuses indicate Bryan was born ca 1775, and Nathan about 1798.
Bryant McClendon was a neighbor, about half a dozen residences away from John A Hail in 1820 Lawrence Co TN. Bryant’s census entry reads: 320101/10100. The census here looks like a young man, with a wife with six children under 16, and an older man who may be Nathan McClendon. Bryan McClendon was in Crawford Co MO in 1830, page 175 (00111001/0002), as were Leatha and James Alvis, page 180.
In 1840 Bryan McClendon was in Nodaway Twp, Buchanan Co MO, p 14: 000000001/00100001, next door to Jesse McClendon: 10001/0001. I have looked for many years for the 1840 census in Missouri of James Woodford Alvis, whose wife was Leatha (Pulliam) Alvis, a daughter of Frances (McClendon) Pulliam. The family should be easy to find, one son 5-10, one daughter 0-5, one 5-10, one 10-15, and parents 30-40. By hunting through Buchanan County 1840 images, I found “James W Wood” with exactly this family, a page away from the man I am more and more considering likely to be Leatha’s father. Bryan was living in 1850 in Nodaway Townshipp, Andrew Co MO, 75 NC, with Elizabeth, 65.
Frances’s husband, Alsey Pulliam, was last seen in any document in 1840 in Platte County. Her presumed father, Bryan McClendon, was last seen, probably died, and was buried in this same area north of present Kansas City. If we only knew, possibly James W Alvis is buried around there somewhere too.
© Kathy Alvis Patterson 2008
 1850 census, Collin Co TX, p 7b, alternately numbered as 14.
 Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas, 1889: “Marshall S. Pulliam is a native of Tennessee, but is now a substantial farmer in Collins [sic] County, Texas He was born August the 9th, A.D. 1818, was reared a farmer, and in 1845 came to Texas, which State has since been his home. His father was a native of North Carolina, who moved to Tennessee where Marshall S was born; from thence he moved to Missouri in 1829, where he died. His wife was Frances McClendon, who was also a native of North Carolina, and the mother of eight children, Marshall S being next to the youngest child. At the time Mr. M S Pulliam came to Texas the country was new and land cheap. He acquired a good home and, by industry and economy has secured for himself and family a nice competency for his old age, Mr. Pulliam volunteered in 1846 in the Mexican War, and served eighteen months, and is now drawing a pension for said service…”
 The persons named are son Henry H. (Harold) McClendon, son Robert W. McClendon, son George McClendon, daughter Rachael W. McClendon, daughter Jane (McClendon) Martin, son-in-law Thomas Martin, daughter Mariah C. (McClendon) Gailbreath, son-in-law R. J. C. ( Robert James Campbell ) Gailbreath, daughter Mary (McClendon) Wade, son-in-law Charles D. Wade, daughter Elizabeth (McClendon) Rogers, son-in-law John Rogers, and daughter “Nutty” (Netty?) McClendon. The transcription also contains the Last Will and Testament of Jesse McClendon, and a deed by Susanah (White) McClendon to her daughter, Mariah.
 Davidson Co TN Marriage Records, with Ancestry.com for children of both Dennis and Mary.
 Uncle of Leatha (Pulliam) Alvis’s husband James W.
 Was there a reason for Leatha/Luvina Pulliam to be in Lawrence Co TN in 1827 to meet and marry James W Alvis? She could have been left to care for a widowed grandfather when Alsey and Frances Pulliam moved from TN to Illinois. By 1830 Bryan, like Frances and her husband had moved to Crawford Co MO; his census indicates four children under twenty and no wife,
 Ancestry.com shows a marriage 23 Dec 1832 in Crawford Co MO between Bryan McClendon and Elizabeth Howard.