Category Archives: Virginia Pryors

Cincinnatus Pryor of Elizabeth City, VA

88Cincinnatus Pryor signature
It looks like there’s a new Pryor or Prior (it’s spelled both ways on documents) for the family tree. Ancestry.com has added records of applications to the Military Academy at West Point, NY. They include an 1825 application for a cadet named Cincinnatus Prior who is described as the son of General Prior of “the late war”. I think that would make him a son of Brazure Williams Pryor who fought in the War of 1812.

One glowing letter of recommendation in the file states Cincinnatus was a scholar at the Hampton Academy and was accomplished in English, Latin, Mathematics, Geometry (including Euclid’s Elements), trigonometry, and his courses included elementary chemistry and geography.

A letter of application signed by Cincinnatus Pryor states his age and place of birth which fits with Brazure’s marriage to Elizabeth Antoinette DeNeuville in 1807.

January 12, 1827. Addressed to the Secretary of War…  was born in the State of Virginia and now reside in the Borough of Norfolk and State of virginia. My age is Eighteen and my character and qualifications will appear from the recommendations of Wm Thos. Newton, Capt. E. P. Kenedy, Mr. John Tyler, Genl John Floyd, and certificates of my teacher Mr. Wm Ewing which were enclosed to you last year.
{signed}

Cincinnatus Pryor

Brazure Williams Pryor died in April 1827, so it’s possible that Cincinnatus didn’t make it to West Point. However if you do a search of Google books there’s a government publication that states he was dismissed from the Navy in about 1832. Wait a minute… Navy? I though he was applying to West Point!

C J D Pryor of James City, VA

Christopher J D Pryor signature (signed C J D Pryor) on an 1825 Legislative Protest against the memorial of the Staunton Convention and ask that no law be passed for taking the sense of the people on the propriety of calling a Convention to amend the State Constitution. Hmmm what was meant by “sense”? Was it a way of saying census? Is that another Pryor signature below?

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A Samuel Pryor Signature from Goochland County

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Samuel Pryor Signature

Samuel Pryor Legislative Petition 1780, Goochland county — near several Payne signers: John Payne Jr., George Payne, Archibald Payne. Also near Tucker Woodson, John Sutton, Turner Clarke, Mr.? Layne.

Is it Samuel Pryor who died in about 1763-1767? Nope. (Possibly married to Prudence).

Is it Samuel Pryor who married Francis Morton Meriwether? Nope. He died in about 1766 when his estate was inventoried.

Was it Samuel, son of Francis Morton Meriwether Pryor? Maybe. He was born in about 1762; he would have been 18 in 1780, which seems a bit young since 21 was the age of majority.

Was it the Samuel who married Mary Wimbush? Maybe, but again he seems a bit too young.

My bet is on it being the signature of Samuel Thornton Pryor, son of Col. William Pryor. His sister Sally had married Matthew Payne in 1773. This Samuel was likely born in the 1750’s so he would have been of age in 1780.

Anyone have a Samuel Pryor signature for comparison?

Peter Nance and Mary Pryor Query from 1906

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It’s interesting to look at the old genealogy columns published in newspapers at the turn of the century. I thought this one was a great example of lots of names but not documentation. It was published on July 15, 1906 in The Times Dispatch, Richmond, VA.

I’m curious. What records were available to researchers 110 years ago? I suspect all research was done in the county record office or a researcher was hired to do it for you. In this newspaper column the reference to Edward and Nicholas Pryor in Henrico county sites the years and not the reference material. From what we know today, it’s likely they were citing the dates of Vestry Records.

And of course Roger A Pryor was still alive in 1906 and his involvement in US and Virginia politics, service as a Confederate General during the Civil War and appointments as a New York Judge were all well known and documented in newspapers.

I think there’s an interesting aspect to the query. In 1906 the writer was aware of who their ancestors were. Peter Nance was recorded with his wife Mary Pryor on the 1850 Census in Knox County. By 1860, when he was 86 years old, Peter Nance was living in Blount County, TN. So somewhere in the 40 or less years since his death, where in VA they originated from and who were their parents has disappeared from the family story.

This news clipping should be a reminder of why research continues and supporting documentation is needed for our findings. The writer never made a connection between the Pryors mentioned– they simply were dishing out names.