Your Rare Pryor DNA May Be A Miracle


As the admin of the Pryor project I’ve been asked, “Should I do the Pryor Y-DNA test?”

That’s a good question. My overwhelming answer for almost every instance is “YES”. The reason for such a big-fat yes goes back to a post I wrote in May 2014 about the Pryor Y-DNA testing.

The fact that you are a male Pryor and here today means you beat the odds of the dwindling number of male descendants in your family. You may be a miracle.

I know miracle sounds like a pretty strong word so I’d like to share where some of the male lines ended.

  • David Pryor and wife Susanna Ballow from Buckingham County, VA. 10 children are attributed to this marriage, 8 of these children were boys. There appears only to be male descendants from one of their sons.  The male line evaporated with railroad deaths, untimely illnesses, and quite a few of the men marrying and having only female offspring or not marrying at all.
  • Christopher Pryor who owned the Ware-House in Gloucester County, VA had two sons. His son John married twice and had 9 children: all of the male heirs from the first union died in childhood and his only known son Skaife Whiting Pryor from the second marriage lived to adulthood, may have went to Texas or somewhere else not to be heard of after 1857. Christopher’s heirs from his other son evaporated just as fast, one great grandson having the dubious distinction of being an early casualty of the Civil War in the spring of 1861 (he was in the Confederate army about a month!).
  • James and Nancy Pryor are one of the “mystery” lines in TN. There are lots of women seeking answers to the question of which Pryor line this family is from, however there are few Pryor males from this line to do the Y-DNA testing.

We have several new Pryor men who are testing for the project on These are Y-DNA tests, not the autosomal tests offered by Ancestry or the FTDNA Family Finder Test. These tests trace the Pryor line through the males and are the most accurate for determining the Pryor male lineages.

Who should test? It’s likely that YOU should test. Testing is painless, anonymous, and can take a while for the results to complete.  The testing has progressed to the point where we have about 50 Pryor Y-DNA results in the group. That means that it’s likely that you’ll find not only a match to a Pryor line, but to other Pryors who know their ancestry and can help you with yours.

Not interested in your family tree? That’s OK because you can still help people who are. You may not have the urge to delve into your family’s past, but you may have the DNA to prove a historical Pryor line.

The simplest Y-DNA test is a 12 marker kit that can help you figure out your kin, however later you may want upgrade to a kit that tests more markers as it can help narrow down your relationships with others who’ve tested. They are $59. Follow the link to and purchase all available tests.

We hope you’ll test. It will make the project more rewarding for all of us!

If you know a Pryor, please share this post

Vanessa Wood © 2005 - 2014
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Aaron Burr and A Branch of the Pryor Family

aaron-burrCan you believe the “Got Milk” ad that featured the peanut-butter-mumbler who flubbed “Aaron Burr” is now more than 20 years old? You may think of milk when someone says Aaron Burr, but maybe you’ll start thinking “Mr. Pryor.” Continue reading

Vanessa Wood © 2005 - 2014
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Free Blacks Before the Civil War in Halifax County, NC

virginia and north carolina mapThere’s an interesting group of African-American Pryors in North Carolina. They were free-blacks 50 years before the Civil War. Joseph Pryor and Peter Pryor (also spelled Prior) Continue reading

Vanessa Wood © 2005 - 2014
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