All Roads Lead to Roane: Meet The Virginia People in Roane County and Anderson County, TN

pryor-east-tennesseeIn the very early 1800’s Virginia Pryor families and their neighbors headed to an area between Roane County and Anderson County, TN.  A Google book titled “The Land and Laws of Tennessee: Being A Compilation of The Various Statutes of… (It’s a very long title, but you can view the book online) discusses the division of Anderson and Roane counties near the farms of D. L. Bradley, John R. Galbreath, Samuel Tunnell, William Rite, W. C. Griffith, and J. C. Roberts.

These names may ring a bell from my last posts. The slave Sy Prior was living with Drury L. Bradley in 1850 and Samuel Tunnel was a witness to his 1860 will.  William C. Griffith witnessed Frances Prior‘s will (Harris’ mother) and he witnessed the will of Benjamin Lockett (Frances Prior’s son in law) with William Right/Rite.

I have several connected people who traveled from the Bedford County, VA area that became Campbell County to this area where some records are in Roane County while others are in Anderson County.

Jesse Pryor

Jesse Pryor is on the 1805 Tax list in Anderson Co., TN. He’s named on a 1811 deed with Reuben Williams and John Rector. My theory is that this is the Jesse Pryor born to Harris Pryor and Mary Kinnerson who was in Knox County and then later showed up on Census records in Overton County, TN. Harris, was on Bedford County, VA records.

William Pryor

My working theory is that William Pryor is another child of Harris and Mary. He may have been going back and forth between TN and VA — I may have to write a post about the clues that these Pryors were going back and forth. Like Jesse he was in Bedford County, Knox County, and Roane County. He is on an 1811 deed with Reuben Williams and John Rector that points to him being in the same part of the county at the same time as Jesse Pryor.

Samuel Pryor

Married to Frances Ferguson, Samuel died around 1815. Record of his estate was filed in Anderson County. Frances’ ID was in a VA Chancery Court case for her brother Robert Ferguson filed in Cumberland County, VA, naming Frances and her children. Frances and her son Harris lived in Roane County. John Rector was counted on census records living near Frances and Harris.

Benjamin Lockett

Married to Ailsy Pryor, daughter of Samuel and Frances. His will was filed in Anderson County in 1834, included a note from Richard Oliver and witnessed by Reuben Williams (see Jesse and William above) and William C. Griffith.

Joseph Grammer

Joseph Grammer was a French national who fought in the American Revolution. In 1787 he was brought up on charges of living with a woman without marriage in Charlotte County. Her name? Elizabeth Pryor or Mary Pryor or Mary Elizabeth Pryor. His Revolutionary War pension application states they were in Bedford County, VA by 1799. They were in Roane County by 1830. Joseph was about 100 years old when counted on the 1850 Census, still living with his wife. Could this Elizabeth Pryor be the grand-daughter of William Boteler/Butler? (see post) Nope. Her age would make her of about the same generation as Butler.

William Boteler Jr. & Sr.

The younger William Boteler married Sarah Cunningham in Campbell Co., VA, possibly a daughter of Murell Cunningham. Murrell Cunningham was surety for the marriage. John Pryor, Charles Rork, Martin Rector on March 15, 1790 Bill of Sale for Murrell Cunningham of Campbell County. Murrell Cunningham also went to TN– he was in Sumner Co., TN from 1800 to at least 1820. William Boteler Sr. mentioned grand-daughter Elizabeth Pryor in his will.

John Kitchen

John Kitchen sold land in Campbell Co., VA to John Pryor in 1788.  He was on the 1830 Census in Anderson County. He applied for a Revolutionary War Pension. The application states he was born in Bedford County, VA and his wife was Mary Whitten.

One last Pryor to mention because he was in Roane, but doesn’t seem to fit with the others.

Matthew Pryor Sr.

Matthew Pryor filed for a Revolutionary War Pension which documents where he was at the time of the war and thereafter: Born in Granville County, NC in 1759 > Caswell County, NC >Richmond County, GA > back to Granville County, NC > Washington County, VA > Roane County, TN > Marion County, TN. He was in Roane County in about 1808 when his son Matthew Pryor Jr. married Henrietta Williams. There’s no indication that he was in Campbell or Bedford Counties not have I found anything to show these other folks were in North Carolina.