Tag Archives: Amherst County

Thomas Pryor the Harness Maker

There’s another Thomas Pryor from VA who went to MO.  Could he be the son of Hartwell Pryor? (read post). This Thomas Pryor was on the 1870 Census in Pike County, MO, however I’m unable to find him on earlier census records. In 1870 there was a Polly Brown living in his household. I’m fairly sure this must have been his mother in law (Watson Pryor’s death record state his mother was Mary Brown– possibly a daughter of Polly Brown?).

1870 Thomas Pryor head of household. Pike County, MO.
house 494 Thomas PRYOR 41 harness maker, VA, Mary 40 VA, Pierce 14 MO, Watson 11 MO, Maggie 8 MO, Polly Brown 69 VA.

Another indicator that Polly was his mother-in-law– I found Polly on the 1850 Census in Amherst County, VA with a young Mary E. age 20 in her household.

Page 101B, house 431 Mary R Brown 48 VA, Peter 25, Mary E 20, John F 21, Wm A 19, Charles W 16, Lucy A 14, Saml 12, Elizabeth 10, Leftwich 8, Louisa Brown 6, Jane 4

Polly was the widow of Andrew Brown. Andrew died in 1850 and after 1851 Widow Brown moved to Pike Co., MO. The places are documented on his War of 1812 Pension card. She was counted on the 1860 Census in Missouri

1860 Census Pike Co., MO Calumet Twp, Page 323b, house 1321 Polly Brown 60 VA, John 30 VA, Henry S. 23 VA, Elizabeth A 18 VA.

In 1860 her neighbors were William Gatewood b. 1825 and his family– the are on the 1850 Census in Amherst County.

 

So if Polly and her daughter were from Amherst County, was Thomas Pryor also from Amherst County?

  • This Thomas’ year of birth fits better with Hartwell’s age. Thomas born 1828 fits better with Hartwell’s marriage year 1825.
  • Several unsourced family trees state Thomas was born in Big Island, Bedford County. Hartwell Pryor was in Bedford County by 1870. Had he been there earlier?
  • Hartwell was recorded as a clergyman in 1870. Thomas is recorded as Rev Thomas Pryor on the MO death index.

Can We ID the Father of Thomas Pryor of Amherst County, VA?

March 5, 1849: Amherst County, VA Legislative Petition asking for the repeal of the charter of the Lynchburg & Buffalo Springs Turnpike Company. The first Pryor signature on the petition was Hartwell T Pryor. His VA death record states he was born in 1807 in Amherst County to William Pryor and Sarah (was this Sarah Tucker?). He died 2 Aug 1881 in Bedford County, VA. His presence in Amherst county was also confirmed on the 1850 Census.

1850 Census, Amherst Co., VA
Page 78a, The Eastern Dist., house 75 H. T. PRYOR 45, Susannah 50, John W. 18, M. A. 13, Margaret 11

The second Pryor on the petition (on another page) was Thomas Pryor. It is clearly written next to the signature “son of Hartwell.” Sweet! I don’t know why it was necessary to write that. Did it prove residency to be able to sign the petition? Was clarification needed to determine WHICH Thomas Pryor had signed the petition?

Can we ID Thomas Pryor on other records?

  • There is a Thomas M. Pryor who was appointed post master of Pryors Vale, Amherst County in 1844.
  • There is a Thomas M. Pryor who was counted on the 1860 Census in Chariton County, MO. Thomas, his wife and children were all born in VA (except the youngest child).
  • Thomas M. Pryor and his family were counted in 1870 still in Mo.
  • In 1880 Thomas M. Pryor was counted in Amherst County. Living in his household was a child born in MO. This child, William, was also counted on Chariton County, MO census records.

There was no Thomas Pryor or Thomas M Pryor recorded in Amherst County in Hartwell’s household in 1850, nor in Amherst County. Perhaps he was missed from the count or he was elsewhere? However, the evidence is strong that there was a Thomas M. Pryor in the county in 1844, who went to MO, and returned to VA by 1880. I just wished he had locked down his ID by adding his middle initial to his signature on the petition..

1860 Census, Chariton Co., MO
Clark Twp., page 289, House 862 Thomas M. PRYOR 42 farmer VA, Elizabeth H. 39 VA, Mary E. 15 VA, Thomas 13 VA, Junius C. 9 VA, Samuel 6 VA, Sarah 3 VA, John H. 1/2 MO

1880 Census Amherst Co., VA
Elon Dist, Page 2 Thomas M. PRYOR 63 VA VA VA, Samuel B. son 21 VA VA VA, William S. son 17 MO VA VA.

Have we answered “Who’s your daddy?” I don’t think so. On all census records Thomas M Pryor stated an age that place his year of birth at about 1818. Hartwell’s age on census records placed his year of birth at about 1805-1808. He was 10 years old when Thomas M. Pryor was born? It’s even worse when using Susannah’s age at his birth… about age 7 or 8? If Thomas M is the same man who signed the petition, then it’s almost impossible for Hartwell and Susannah to have been his birth parents. UGH! So, did Hartwell have a son named Thomas adding ANOTHER Thomas to the Amherst County mix?

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!