Tag Archives: Amherst County

1777 Map of Albemarle County, VA with Augusta, Amherst, Orange and Louisa Borders

I love old maps! They are so useful for figuring out old deeds. This is a great old map that was attached to a 1777 Legislative Petition filed by Albemarle County “inhabitants and freeholders” in favor of a division of the county from western-most point on Louisa line to the lower edge of Scott’s Ferry (the markings on the left end of the Fluvanna River). It may be hand-drawn without any new-fangled GPS, however it’s a good resource for boundaries and locations that were landmarks. Noted on the map is the Fluvanna River and it’s proximity to the James River, county lines, St. Anne’s Parish, Fredricksville Parish, and Charlottesville represented by a star just over the South-West Mountains. I can make out some of the smaller creek names: Cunningham, Green, Carry, Rockfish (which was just over the Amherst County boarder).

John Pryor, Trustee, on Rockcastle Circuit Court KY Chancery Case

Two notices were published in The Olive Branch and Danville Advertiser on June 6, 1829. This paper was published in Danville, KY which is now part of Boyle County — Boyle was formed from Mercer County in 1842. The one on the right names a John Pryor, a trustee.. Perhaps the same John Pryor/Prior who appeared on Mercer County marriage records…(see post)

STATE OF KENTUCKY
Rockcastle Circuit, Sct
March Term 1829
JOHN PRYOR Trustee for the benefit of Elisba Rucker, William Haynes and Elizabeth Fulcher, Admr. or the estate of John J Fulcher dec’d– Complainant,
Against
William J Thurman— defendant
IN CHANCERY.
THIS day came the complainant by his counsel, and was made appear to the satisfaction of the court, that the defendant Wm J Thurman is not an inhabitant of this commonwealth, and have failed to enter his appearance and answer the complainant’s bill agreeable to the law. Therefore it is ordered that unless the said defendants appear here on or before the first day of the next term of this court, and answer the complainant’s bill that the same will be taken as confessed against him; further ordered that a copy of this order be published in some authorized newspaper printed in this commonwealth for two months successively, as the law directs.
A Copy Test,
JAMES TERRILL, CLK.
APRIL 25 1829

These surnames look familiar so I’m taking a guess… I think these folks are from Amherst County, VA. Mary Rucker married John Pryor in Amherst County in 1844 — long after this notice. He was born about 1818 (calculated from the 1850 Census), so he’s likely to be too young to be John Pryor the Trustee in KY. His father was also a John Pryor and was also alive in 1850, so there’s a possibility that he was the Trustee. These Johns were the son and grandson of Capt. William Pryor, the Revolutionary War pensioner.

The Haynes name also points to Amherst County. Thomas M Pryor married Elizabeth Haynes in Campbell County, VA in 1843 and after living awhile in MO, they were living in Amherst County at the time of the 1880 Census. Mary Rucker (the one named above) is reported by researchers to be the daughter of Peter Rucker and Jane Haynes. Other researchers have reported that William Haynes on the 1850 Census in Audrain County, MO was married to Mary “Polly” Pryor (she was born 1781 in VA per the census entry).

The name William Haynes appears with Pryors also in Tennessee. I don’t know if it’s the same William Haynes

1805 Deed in Stewart County, TN – William PRYOR deeded land to William Haynes, witnessed by Benjamin Downs and W.M. Hicks.

Interesting, but I think the Pryor-Haynes connection to Amherst County is more likely. Remember the will of David Crawford that was filed in Jefferson County, KY, but witnessed by a John and William Pryor in Amherst County, VA? (see post). David Crawford willed “to my wife part of land where “I now live,” bought of Robert Johnston and William Haynes.” Isn’t it interesting there were two Pryor and Crawford marriages in Mercer County in 1795?

And Thurman or Thurmond… there were neighbors of this name near the Pryors in Amherst County.

Deed Book D, p. 166 3 Jan 1774 WM. PRYOR & wife MARGARET, AC, to PHILIP THURMOND, AC, for L114-11, 395 acres on the blue ridge; branch of Irish Creek. Wit: Roderick McCulloch, David Crawford, Isaac Wright, Wm. Crawford (1774)

These surnames are on the 1783 State Enumeration of Amherst County: Haynes, Pryor, Rucker and Thurmond… and a John Fulcher. There’s an Elizabeth Fulcher who was head of household in Amherst County in 1810.  Elizabeth could be John’s widow and admin of his estate as a John Fulcher married Elizabeth Huckstep in Amherst County on January 4, 1788.

I’ve written in the past about the Amherst County names who show up in Wilkes County, GA:

Benjamin Catching : A Man Amongst the Pryors

The notice on the left newspaper notice also caught my eye because it’s another suit against William J. Thurman (aka Thurmond?). It names Frederick Hawk, plaintiff vs. William J. Thurman, Philip Thurman, Hardin Perkins and other defendants (Who were they?). The name Philip Thurman jumped out to me because there was a man by that name in Amherst County.  When I looked for these men on census records I found there was a Hardin Perkins in Buckingham County, VA. There were a few Philip Thurman/Thurmond names, however in 1810 there was both a William Thurman and Philip Thurman (and several more men of this name) counted in Lincoln County which boarders Rockcastle where the the complaint was filed. I also looked on this census for names that begin with “P” and there are a couple where the handwriting is so bad they could be Prior. Ancestry has the last one on the “P” page indexed as “John Pavi”.

Well, I’m not going keep us all in the dark for another post. At least these Thurmonds were from Amherst County. William J Thurmond and Philip Thurmond noticed the deposition of William Thurmond in AMHERST COUNTY VIRGINIA in the same court and in the newspaper The Olive Branch and Danville Advertiser on November 17, 1825.

Looks like we have some more researching to do!

Theory of William Pryor of Goochland, Albemarle, and Amherst Counties

map-amherst-pt-pleasant

Places: Amherst County, VA (A) and the fort at Point Pleasant (B). About 275 miles through the wilderness.

I’ve shared my theory of before but I’ll flesh it out in this post. I think William Pryor of Goochland, Albemarle, and Amherst Counties was the father of Captain William Pryor of Amherst County. It may get confusing, however I’ll do my best by distinguishing them as Old William and Young William.

Young William Pryor was the Capt. Pryor who swore out a statement for a Revolutionary War Pension in 1832 that told of his own military service and his brothers’ military service and the trials of settling in Kanawha. Per this statement, Young William Pryor was born about 1752 in Albemarle County.

William Pryor of Goochland County Suit

I think I can place Old William in Albemarle County at the same time. A Court Case filed in Goochland County in 1744 places Old William Pryor in Albemarle County. A William Laffoon had died without a will and his widow Grace  came to court to petition her appointment as administrator of his estate. George Carrington was surety. By 1747 the case was MOVED from Goochland County to Albemarle County, which was probably the result of the formation of Albemarle County in 1744 from a portion of Goochland County. William Pryor (the Old William) was dismissed from the case on 13 May 1748. William Pryor was named as an heir of William Laffoon.

Old William Pryor is named in additional Albemarle records during the early 1750’s. He’s the only Pryor to turn up at this time Young William was born in that county, hence there’s a strong likelihood Old William is the father of Young William Pryor and his brothers Nicholas and John.

“WILLIAM PRIOR (who was then listed as a resident of Albemarle Co., VA) sold 200 acres of land in Henrico County to WILLIAM HARDING of Henrico Co. This land was noted as “part of a greater tract of land granted to WILLIAM LAFFOON by patent”. (1751)

William Pryor of French Indian War

1758 Act of General Assembly – March 1758 awarded pay to officers and soldiers for service (French Indian Wars) to William PRYOR and Nicholas PRYOR of Albemarle Co.

William Pryor in Amherst County

Amherst County was formed out of parts of Albemarle County in 1761. Young William Pryor mentions this in his pension application. So after that year we have to look in Amherst County for the this family of Pryors. There are two deeds (deed #1 and deed #2 below) from about this time for a William Pryor in Amherst County– this William was not Young William because Young William was 10 years old in 1762 and 14 years old in 1766.

Deed #1 – William PRYOR, 350 acres on Peddlar Creek (1762)

Deed #2 – William PRYOR 395 acres on Irish Creek, Blue Ridge (1766)

A deed a decade later (1774), a deed reveals a William Pryor sold land in Amherst county, possibly the same land he acquired on Irish Creek in 1766.

Deed Book D, p. 166 3 Jan 1774 WM. PRYOR & wife MARGARET, AC, to PHILIP THURMOND, AC, for L114-11, 395 acres on the blue ridge; branch of Irish Creek. Wit: Roderick McCulloch, David Crawford, Isaac Wright, Wm. Crawford (1774)

This William Pryor sold off his land in 1774 a few months after his son, Young William, stated he had moved to Kanawha. The younger William moved to the land near the great Kanawha river in the fall of 1773, but the Indians drove him out and he returned to Amherst, venturing back to Kanawha in 1775. This back and forth between Kanawha and Amherst County went on for several years.
http://revwarapps.org/s8979.pdf

I like to be a bit skeptical about dates and who was who. The 1774 deed doesn’t state which William was involved, however the only known marriage for Young William Pryor was to Elizabeth Wright. So there’s the possibility this 1774 deed reveals the name of Old William’s wife… Margaret.  It also contains the names of several men who were associated with this line of Pryors over time: Isaac Wright’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Wright, married Young William Pryor during the American Revolution in 1778. David Crawford’s will was witnessed by William Pryor and John Pryor in 1801– Was this the younger or the older William? I don’t know.

The first record of Young William Pryor in Amherst County was the purchase of land on Enchanted Creek in 1780. It was during this year that he served out 3 months of duty in the Revolutionary War and claims to have returned to Amherst County where he lived ever since.

William PRYOR Jr. grantee, 247 acres on Inchanted Creek

I haven’t seen any records of William Pryor earlier than the Laffoon lawsuit, so perhaps William and Margaret were a young married couple in the late 1740’s. Their son, Young William indicates they were having children around that time and into the 1750’s.  It’s estimated that Old William was born around 1720.

Old William and Margaret’s probable children were

1. Nicholas Pryor b. about 1740-1750 in probably Goochland County. Nicholas married (1) Mary and later to (2) Sally Paxton. Died about 1813 in Kanawha County, VA
2. Capt. William Pryor b. about 1752 in Albemarle. Married Elizabeth Wright. Lived out rest of his life in Amherst County, VA.
3. John Pryor b. about 1750. Fought in Lord Dunmore’s War. Killed by indians?
4. Susannah Pryor b. about 1765. Married (1) Shadrack Harriman last man to be killed by indians in Kanawha, (2) David Milburn.

Mrs. Rhoda Pryor of Lynchburg, VA

virginia house lynchburgRhoda Pryor, a widow, shows up on the 1910 Census in Lynchburg, VA in 1910. I looked around online to see if I could find a marriage for her to a Pryor. I now think I know who she married. Continue reading