Tag Archives: Buckingham County

Zachariah B Pryor of Nashville and Virginia

Nashville, TN Pryor
Zach. B. PRIOR has long been grouped by researchers with the Nashville Pryors who are thought to be children of David Pryor of Buckingham County, VA.  The earliest record of Zachariah is a 1809 VA Chancery Court Case filed in Prince Edward County by Murphy Brown — Zachariah Pryor and Banister L. Pryor of Buckingham County were summoned to appear in court. One of the last records was the 1830 Census in Davidson County, TN — he was 50-59 years old.

Zachariah died around 1838. His will names his nephews, children of Mitchie Pryor: John Jefferson son of Randolph Jefferson and Muno Johnson, son of Josiah Johnson who was Mitchie’s second husband and executor of Zachariah’s estate.

Zachariah B Prior dec’d will.
Recorded Aug’t 4th 1838

19 Sept. 1837– In the name of God Amen. I Zach B Pryor being of sound mind but weak of body, do make and establish this my last will and Testament. I desire that all my just debts be paid. I afterwards wish the whole of my present crop, all the stock of every description household, Kitchen furniture and farming utensils, my one cart and a oxen to belong to Ann Wright, except my small cart which I gave to Thornton Wright and my bay colt which I give to Ben Wright Junr. The balance of my property I will to be equally divided between my two nephews: John Jefferson and Munro Johnson. If after the payment of my debts and (etc.) my Executor should have sufficient means arising from my estate then I will that he proceed to buy for the said Ann Wright and her three children now living a good house to be held by them on common forever. All my negroes shall have the privilege to choosing their masters or mistress. I desire and request Josiah Johnson of Williamson County to act as my Executor.
Test. Ben F. Foster, John Maxey
(signed) Zach. B Pryor {seal}

The following year Zach’s brother-in-law and executor conducted a sale of two child slaves. I guess Johnson decided not to stand on Zachariah’s will that the slaves should be able to choose their masters or mistress. Not exactly freedom any way you look at it.

Signature of Judge John C Pryor from Desoto Co., MS


Thanks to one of our Pryor cousins we now have a signature of judge John C. Pryor speculated to be a son of David Pryor and Susannah Ballow of Buckingham County, VA. After searching through numerous court records, in Desoto County, MS, he thinks this is an actual specimen of Pryor’s signature.

Will of Zach B Pryor of Nashville, TN

zach pryorThank you Ancestry.com for putting up wills in Tennessee! Access these record has given me the opportunity to see if there are some Pryors I’ve missed.  I had found Zach B. Pryor of Nashville, TN on the index long ago, so it’s awesome to see his actual will Continue reading

John and David Pryor, Orphans of David Pryor – Another Look

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va-pryorsI’ve been going back and forth discussing Christopher, John and David Pryor with a couple of other Pryors. The chart in an older post (Connecting Major John Pryor of Richmond to More Pryors!) was gnawing at us. We decided to play with the the relationships to see if there is a way to make better sense out of these Pryors. Maybe it will feel less like a bowl of spaghetti?

We decided to move John Pryor of Richmond right up next to David Pryor of Buckingham County and Christopher Pryor of Gloucester — all brothers.

  • “Major” John married Anne Beverly Whiting. Christopher Pryor’s son was the administrator of Thomas Whiting’s estate, Anne’s father.
  • “Major” John housed the cousin of President Jefferson during a scandal. David’s daughter married Jefferson’s brother.

Now, you know what that would mean? John and David are the orphan sons of David Pryor who died in 1747 in Goochland County. Hmmm. That would certainly steer some Pryor research in another direction.

One of the naggy questions we mulled over was why in the senior David’s estate different guardians were bestowed on John and David: Samuel Taylor was John’s guardian and Abraham Childress was David’s grandfather and guardian. One of my Pryor cousins thinks it was to divide duties. I think it was because John and David had different mothers. David’s mother was obviously a Childress, but if we look at this John as his brother, then he may have dropped a clue while serving in the Revolutionary War — he wrote a letter indicating his mother was still alive:

October 10th, 1782, Richmond.
Capt. John Pryor to Col. Davies
Asking leave to visit his mother “in great distress with a probability of losing her husband, who is my Father in Law, by sickness, and wishes much to see me.
— Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, pub. 1883

There is also a Carrington connection that wends its way through these Pryors:

  • In May 1778 David Pryor was serving with Lt. Mayo Carrington (Mayo, son of George Carrington). see post
  • “Major” John Pryor of Richmond attended the marriage of Capt. Dandridge in 1782 with Col. Edward Carrington (Edward, son of George Carrington, brother of Mayo Carrington, and the foreman of the Aaron Burr jury). see post
  • “Major” John Pryor received land grant in 1785 in KY, near C. Carrington (Codrington, son of George Carrington) see post
  • 1747 George Carrington deeded land to John and David, their father had already paid him for the land. see post

You know I’ve got my pencil out and I’m working around the Pryor chart testing out new relationships. Autosomal testing, as annoyingly hard to decipher as it can be, showed a connection between testers in my line to the Childress family (see post).  As I said… Hmmm.