Samuel Pryor of Charles City

I have to refer back to Croxton Pryor who in 1776 had 4 pairs of Callimanco Shoes listed in his estate. I think I’ve found another Pryor who can top that.

Croxton Pryor of Williamsburg and His Fascinating Shoes

Samuel Pryor of Charles City died around 1801. In his estate are a veritable treasure trove of early-American dry goods, which included 30 pairs of Callimanco Shoes.

21 3/4 yds Gingham
11 1/4 yds Tambord? Muslin
10 1/2 yds Tambord? Muslin
29 yds Dark Callico
28 yds of Purple Muslin
5 1/2 yds cotton cambrie
23 yds cark callico
10 yds gimp trimming
16 yds India cotton
25 yds red & black callico, 22 yds green ditto
40 yds checks
(see estate on

This is just a sample of what was listed. I wonder if he was a tailor or ran a store. It seems like a of fabric for personal use, at least until you account for all the slaves named in the will.

Armistead, Henry, Arney, Babary, George, Nancy, Lucy, Nancy, Moses, James, Billy, Oliver, Cate, Mourning, Ned, Will, Priscilla, Julius, Biley, Fanney, Betty Norfolk, Booker, Goliah,

I have in my notes that the Samuel who was on the 1790 Tax List for Charles City was the father of Brazure Williams Pryor, but that may not be so. There’s an account in the Charles City records that names Samuel as Brazure’s guardian. Would his father be called a “guardian”? Accounts were made in 1794 through 1799.

1792 Will: John Pryor of Norfolk

In the name of God, Amen. I John Pryor of the County and borough of Norfolk being sick and weak, but Perfect mind and understanding do make and ordain this writing to be my last will and testament in manner and form following.

Imprimis, I give and bequeath to my brother Christopher Pryor, fifty pounds current money to him the said Christopher Pryor and his heirs forever.

Item, I give and bequeath to my sister Elizabeth Pass? fifty pounds current money to her the said Elizabeth Pass and her heirs forever.

Item, I give and bequeath to the orphans of my Brother William Pryor decased twenty five pounds each current money to be paid them by my executor hereinafter mentioned when they arrive to the age of twenty one years, or married.

Item, I give and bequeath to my niece Kitty Vaughan Twenty five pounds current money to be paid her by my executor here in after mentioned, when she arrives to the age of twenty one years or married.

Item, I give to Walter Price all my wearing apparel.

Item, I give and bequeath to my brother Samuel Pryor my house and lot whereon I now live, also all my negroes and their future increase and all my personal estate to him the said Samuel Pryor and his heirs for ever he paying all my just debts and the above mentioned legacies.

And lastly I nominate and appoint my brother Samuel Pryor executor to this my last will and testament in (illegible) whereof. I have hereunto set my hand and subscribed my name this eighteenth day of January, one thousand seven hundred and ninety two.
Signed, sealed, published and declared in presence of Manor Dison and Richard Lewelling
Signed John Pryor.

Norfolk Burough
At a Hustings court continued and held the 24th day of April 1792 the last will and testament of John Pryor deceased was proved by the oath of Manor Dison and Richard Lewelling witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded–and on the motion of Samuel Pryor, executor therein named who made oath thereto and together with Frederick Williams and Idm Smallwood his sear– entered into and acknowledged this bond on the penalty of two thousand pounds as the law directs. Certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate in due form.

(see the will on

C J D Pryor: Semple’s Seminary in James City VA

“I have established on my Farm, in the County of James City, about 12 miles from Williamsburg, and about one mile to the est of the main stage road, a Male and Female Seminary, to which I beg leave to invite the attention of the public.”

“The Institution will be entirely under the direction of Mr. C.J. D. Pryor and such other teachers as he may associate with him.”

Richmond Enquirer, December 31, 1839

Pryor had taught at Hampton Academy before teaching at Semple’s Seminary.

Posted by John T. Semple, who was C.J.D. Pryor’s cousin in law. Semple was married to Elizabeth Armistead Pryor (C.J.D. and Elizabeth were both grandchildren of Christopher Pryor.

Category: Tennessee Pryors

The Generation Gap in Autosomal DNA Testing

I’ve been asked again, “How far back will DNA testing take me?” That’s a great question with kind of a complicated answer.

Autosomal testing is the kind of DNA test that both women and men can take. It’s offered as AncestryDNA and Family Finder on FTDNA is pretty clear about the possibilities (or the glass is half empty side) of testing.  FTNDA says it will match up within 5 generations (see their site).

I’ve been pretty lucky I guess because on Ancestry I’ve had some pretty good matches at 6th generation.

How does it get complicated? Well this weekend I searched an unusual surname in the Ancestry results and came up with someone by that name. The were a wishy-washy “GOOD” ranking in the results. That didn’t seem very promising, but I reached out to them anyhow. Sure enough, we pieced together we were related.

If we are related why did we have only a “GOOD” result? Genetic distance plays a role. Our shared ancestor is 3 generations from me and 7 generations from my match!

The size of the Generation Gap also plays a role. My branch of the family tree has children every 40 years (not the accepted norm of about 20 years per generation. My match’s branch has children within the 20 year generations. I drew out a chart to show how far we’re separated because of the length of our generations. My great grandfather is this person’s great-great-great-great grandfather. That’s right the “Shared” ancestor in each line of the chart is the same person.

As a child I’d spend sick days home from school with my grandpa and hear stories of the old days and he was able to tell me who was whom in family photos. I’m a link to the past for my match that they never expected when testing. It’s a match I wasn’t expecting

It helps to reach out to results to see how you may be connected.

If had known that autosomal testing was limited to perhaps 5 generations, I would have asked all of my oldest relatives to test!

Category: DNA | Tags:

Pryor and Taylor Names in Overton County Records

William B. Churning dec’d, Rachel Chourning adm. Money due to the following:
Roland Flowers due 1 Jan 1837
Overton PRYOR due 26 Apr. 1837
Hezekiah Taylor Jan 1832 (Brother of Spicy and Massie Taylor Pryor)
J.H. Storie, Overton PRYOR and Elijah Garrett $9.45 (William & Spicy Pryor>Overton Pryor)

13 Nov 1846 Estate Sale of Enid Huddleston, Levi and Roland Flowers buyers. (Edward Pryor, probable son of Wm and Spicy Pryor was living near a Roland Flowers in Clinton Co., KY in 1850)

27 Jul 1849 Joseph Bates estate, Hezekiah Taylor purchased 2 lots of shoemaker tools, 1 lot barrels, 1 large kettle, William Richardson also made a purchase (Hezekiah Taylor, brother to Spicy and Massa Taylor Pryor. William Richardson may be kin of Hezekiah’s wife Margaret Richardson?)

1850 Estate of William Harp, dec’d. (The top part of this document is now obscured, but there are groups of debtors and creditors listed by the county they lived in). Persons in Overton Co..Jno. R. Buck, S. Tipton, Joseph Duncan. Persons in Fentress County: John Rogers, Jas. K. Brown, William Poor, Hiram Hills, Michael H. Frogg, William R. Cambell, William Travis?, James Finley?, Jacob Rich. Persons in Fentress County: Joshua Owens, David Smith, John Albertson, George W. Ashburn, Evan? D. Frogg, PLEASANT TAYLOR (note due June 1841), William M. Simpson, William Wright, –? Wood.

15 Aug 1850 Andrew Boswell dec’d, note due to Pleasant Taylor, Isaac Stockton and Eddy Paul: $100.91 (Pleasant Taylor, brother of Spicy and Massa Taylor Pryor)

30 Jul 1852 William H. Harrison, 1 Dec. 1852… 19 head of geese for Mary, James, Wesley and Jeremiah Taylor.

Benjamin McDonald – supplemental. Joseph Garrett, David Garrett’s son a note dated 1852, Samuel Taylor (residence unknown) 1852, Robert B. Garrett (residence unknown) 1852 and 1853.

3 Jun 1853 Thomas Cope dec’d, J. M. Garrett, B. Flowers, Nancy Garrett, Louisa Garrett, Ki Taylor, J. Taylor, T. A. Garrett, John Taylor, Kiah Taylor (Kiah Taylor is probably Hezekiah Taylor, brother to Spicy and Massa Taylor Pryor. )

30 Jul 1862, James Fancher dec’d, money due to William Parrott, Simeon Taylor and Samuel Taylor

7 May 1879 M. I. Taylor, M. V. Taylor , administrator

13 Aug. 1895 A. J. Taylor filed a claim of $25 against the estate of T. B. Lee, dec’d

20 Nov 1912 J. K. Taylor, J. S. Hargrove, administrator

20 Feb 1913
Mrs. M. C. Taylor

4 Jun 1913 J. W. Burnes filed claim against the estate of T. S. Taylor.