Category Archives: Georgia Pryors

In Georgia: Changing Robert Prior to Pior

Out of the the review of Revolutionary War Pryors I’m making a change to a Prior to a Pior. Why? Because that’s what the documents say.

In 1769 a Robert Pior petitioned for 200 acres for farming. He stated he had lived in the colony of Georgia for about a year. He had a wife and one child. So he had arrived in Georgia about 1768, was married, and his child was born in 1769 or earlier. This reference to Robert is in a Google Books: The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Volume 10, pub. 1907.

Robert Pior names his children in his will (still spelling his name Pior not Prior): Edmond, John, Sally Livingston, Elizabeth More (or Moore? and a possible first husband named Travis with daughters Rhody Travis and Rachel Travis). His wife was Nancy and his minor children were Arreny, Wilanthy, Hezekiah, and Narcisas.

Robert’s wife Nancy/Ann filed for a guardian bond (again using the surname spelling “Pior). It names the minor children Arrency, Wilanthy, Hezekiah, and Narcissa.

Robert Pior also named in his will Benjamin, Joel, and Willis Dausey, their two sisters: Betsy McDaniel and Catey Dausey. Who were the Dauseys? A guardian bond filed in Laurens county, GA explains the relationships. When Phereby Darcy, the relict of William Darcy deceased, became “non compes mentis”, a guardian bond was filed for Caty Darcy, William Darcy, Joel Darcy, and Willis Darcy, minors. Benjamin Darcy Junr. was appointed guardian of the sons and property. He was also responsible for providing for Phereby Darcy. The bond was signed by Benjamin Darcy Junr., Benjamin Darcy Senr., David McDaniel, and Andrew Hampton on November 8, 1811.

So. Was Phereby Dausey/Darcy a daughter of Robert Pior?

William Darcy is probably the Revolutionary War soldier buried at Buckhorn Church. There’s a William, Benjamin, and Joel Darcy listed in Col. Asa Emmanuel from 15th August 1781 to 1st February 1782 from Burke County, GA. The pension application of Joel Darcy states “the son of Joseph Darcy. I was born in North Carolina 1764 or 5.” He also identified his siblings: “my brothers that lived to be men were James, Joseph, Benjamin, William & Joel Darcy were all Soldiers in the revolutionary war.” Joel states his brother Joseph stayed in NC and his brother William settled in “Lawrence” county (Laurens county).

An interesting point in Robert’s estate was that he left land in Burke County to his son John. Ay carumba! Is this the John Prior who filed for a Revolutionary War pension in Burke County in 1820? John Prior was born about 1757 so he could be the child Robert claimed when applying for land. I went to Fold3.com for the original pension application and can see that John Prior is written consistently through out the documents and that Jacob Prior and Prier are used on the military rosters, so we are left without Jacob/John ever using Pior in these records.

I think there were two separate Johns: Jacob/John Prior b. about 1757 who was a Revolutionary War pensioner and died in 1823. Then there was John Pior who was born between 1771-1780 and appeared as a head of household on the 1830 Census in Jefferson County, GA (on the same page with Needham Lee). Because of the proximity to Needham Lee who was mentioned in Robert’s estate I’d have to side with this John being Robert’s possible son.

I’ve gone through the tennesseepryors.com site and have updated surnames to Pior where documents use that spelling. There are generally few Pior surnames that show up in records. It would be helpful to figure out if Pior was a surname or another surname written down phonetically–I’m thinking a French pronunciation or a Southern drawl. I asked one French speaker and they though Pior could be Pierre.

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Revolutionary War Patriot “John Prior”… Who Went By Another Name

I go back through and check Pryors in different ways. This week it was looking at some of the Revolutionary War pensioners. The first I’m posting about is John Prior of Burke county, GA.

John Prior applied for a Revolutionary War pension on September 30, 1820. He was a resident of Burke county. Unlike many of the volunteer troops during the war, Prior served A LONG TIME. He stated he volunteered in 1775 in the 12th Virginia (this was a regiment that formed in Williamsburg). And didn’t leave service until after he was captured by the British and then released in 1781. That’s about six years of service.

He stated he served in the 12th Regiment that was later merged into the 8th Regiment from Virginia under Colonel Wood and Captain Swearingen. He stated he was captured by the British and released in Charleston, SC in 1781– Wikipedia article states most of the 8th Regiment was captured in Charleston in April 1780.

The FindAGrave.com memorial for Capt. Joseph Van Swearingen is interesting because it corroborates Prior’s statement. Apparently Swearingen was also captured at Charleston.

On ancestry.com I was able to locate the regimental records for the 8th Virginia under the command of Swearingen. There was only one Prior serving… JACOB Prior, beginning to appear in records in 1775 through 1779. On every single record he was recorded as Jacob, although the spelling of the surname changes from various spellings such as Prier, Prior, and Pryor.

There was a Jacob Prior from Prior Mills, NJ. He died between 1824-1826 in probably NJ. He was described as an “old” resident. His will was made after 1823 when the John Prior died in GA.

The use of two names raises all kinds of questions. Did Jacob use the name John before his service in the Revolution?

His family is also a bit of a riddle. He states he had a family of a boy of about 14 years old and two girls. He doesn’t state if they were his children, grandchildren or some other relationship. There’s no mention of a living wife.

Was he born about 1760 or earlier?

Where was he between 1781 when he was released by the British and his 1820 application? There are so many possibilities of who this John Prior may have been– from Virginia, from another colony, a recent immigrant who wanted anglicized his name Jacob to John.

If John/Jacob Prior was in Burke County up to his death in 1823 then surely he must be on the 1820 Census. I’m not really sure how much of the census is accurately indexed when so much of it is unreadable black blobs (see above example). Go to FamilySearch.og because the census is easier to read. Sorry, no John Prior found.

There’s another document for this John Prior on Fold3.com. It’s in the Georgia Final Payment Vouchers.

State of Georgia, Chatham County
…The said John Prior being by me duly sworn, saith, soldier in the Army of the Revolution in Captain Sweringham’s Company of Infantry of Colonel Wood’s regiment; that he now resides in the County of Burke and has resided there for twentyfive years past; previously to which he resided in Charleston in the sate South Carolina.
John [his mark] Prior

The Fold3 file is also worth a read because it contains a follow up letter dated 12 August 1822 in which Prior asked for a speedy decision. He mentions that his application was mailed with the application of Jesse Farrow. There’s another document dated 25 April 1822 stating John Prior appeared in front of Judge Jno. H. Montgomery to swear to the statements in his application. At the bottom of this document it states that Jesse Farrow swore in open court that he knew John Prior during the war and was at the Battle of Brandywine.

I took the trip down the rabbit hole… when was the Battle of Brandywine? September 11, 1777. So was Farrow in Prior’s regiment during that month? Prior was on the roster for August and September, but no Farrow. Farrow’s application states he served through South Carolina and there’s no mention of the Battle of Brandywine. Was Farrow’s statement just doing a friend a “solid” or did these men actually know each other during the war? Like Prior, Farrow stated he was taken prisoner by the British at the fall of Charleston, so perhaps the men met in captivity.

Wow. He made his application in Burke county, had some kind of tie to Chatham county (or traveled the 100 miles to this other county!) and lived in Charleston, SC perhaps between 1781 and about 1798 when he arrived in Georgia. That means he could be one of the two John Priors in Charleston on the 1790 Census. I haven’t found any other record of this John Prior in Chatham county.

This doesn’t get any easier to figure out. There was a John Pryor who died intestate in Chatham county in 1790 (before this John arrived and before this John died in 1823). So not the same man, but yet another John Pryor.

I’m wondering. I checked the list of patriots on the DAR website and this John Prior is indexed. I’m wondering why he’s listed as John Prior and not Jacob Prior or under both names.

I love this kind of stuff! I hate this kind of stuff! It’s what makes sorting out the John Pryors so darned difficult!

John Pryor and Liddy Dossey -1800 Halifax County, VA

Transcription of complaint in Chancery court case filed in 1800 This is possibly the same John and Lydia Pryor who migrated to GA.

To the Worshipful Court of Halifax County Sitting in Chancery
Humbly Complaining shewith to your worships your Orators & Oratrixes William Dossey, Guy Wallace & Charity his wife, Ben Riden & Clarissa his wife, George Wren and Alathea his wife, John Pryor & Liddy his wife, Jarred Dossey, Thomas B. Dossey and Wiley Dossey which said William, Charity, Clarissa, Alathea, Liddy, Jarred, Thomas and Wiley are all the children of a certain Nancy Dossey who will be hereafter mentioned. Also your orators William Brown, John Matthews, and Nancy his wife, James Brown, Lucy Brown, Becky Brown, Lydia Brown, Milly Brown, Elizabeth Brown, Jamima Brown, Russell Brown, Thomas Brown, & Mary Brown, which said last mentioned William, Nancy, James, Lucy, Becky, Lidia, Milly, Elizabeth, Jamina, Russell, Thomas, and Mary are all the children of a certain Lydia Brown hereafter mentioned. That on the 20th day of July 1799 a certain Thomas Beech late of this county made his will and then devised the whole of his estate except the negroes that are freed by his will to be equally divided among the children of his sisters Nancy Dossey and Lydia Brown. That the children of the said Nancy and Lydia sisters of the testator your orators & oratrixes as above described. That the said children are all of age except Lydia, Milly, Elizabeth, Jamima, Russell, Thomas, and Mary Brown that they being under age sue by their next friend Harvey Cook
and the complaint further shew that the estate of the said Thomas Beech so as aforesaid devised has been committed to the hands of a certain Beverly Barksdale of this county who is made defendant to this bill. That the said Beverly is administrator with the will annexed and has taken into his possession the slaves and personal property of the Testator, and has sold the perishable estate more than sufficient to pay the debts of the said estate. The complainant further shew that they have apprized the said administrator for a division and possession of the slaves and the residue of the personal estate after the payment of debts which the admin. has refused giving up, alledging that he will not be safe in so doing without the decree of this court for that purpose and for a division of said estate by commissioner. The complainant therefore pray that commissioners may be appointed to divide and deliver up to the complainants the slaves conveyed to them by the will of the said Thomas Beech together with the lands and residue of his personal estate after the payment of the debts of the said Thomas decd or that your worships would make such further or other decree in the promises as may be agreeable to equity may it please.

Jarred ad Thomas B Dossey are later mentioned in Wilkes Co GA. In “Early Records of Georgia Wilkes County” on Page 218

Jarrett Dossey decd est. Nancy and Thomas B Dossey exers. Returns for 1821 paid for land grant for wid and orphs. Returns for 1823, Nancy Lawson, exec formerly Nancy Dossey.

Pryors in Wilkes County, GA and Catahoula County, LA

diggingforroots

It looks like there may be able to put together some descendants of Edward Pryor who was an early settler of Wilkes county. His son John, a Revolutionary War patriot was in Pike and Jasper Counties in GA. Get ready for some heavy digging!

There are several names who appear the same District where Edward Pryor and his sons John Pryor and Obadiah Pryor lived who show up again later near other Pryors.

1791 Census, Clay Dist. Wilkes Co., GA

Henry Haynes
Parmenas Haynes
Thomas Haynes
Edward Prier
John Prier
Obadiah Prier
Howell Tatum
Peter Tatum
Archibald Whatley
Lucy Whatley
Wharten Whatley
Jeremiah Wooten

Richard and Mourning Pryor: A Georgia Connection, a Tatum, and Edward Pryor

Bio of Peter Tatum (not a secure link files.usgwarchives.net/al/autauga/bios/ptatum.txt

Several of the surnames from Wilkes County, GA are grouped near each other in LA almost half a century later

1850 Census, Catahoula Co., LA

Page 52b, house 61 John Wooton 35 planter KY and family
Page 52b, house 62 Agrippe Hanes 35 planter MS and family
Page 52b, house 63 Richard G. Wooten 50 planter GA
Page 52b, house 64 John P. Hanes 74 planter VA and wife Martha Hanes 64 FL
Page 52b, house 67 Peter Hanes 29 planter LA and family
Page 53a house 74 Morgan Coats 48 planter SC and family
Page 53B, house 79/79 William PRYOR 39 planter $2500 GA, Margaret (Coats) 28 SC, William Jr. 14 MS, Marion 11 MS, Susan 8 LA, Rebecca 4 LA, Martha 6 LA.
Page 59b, house 171 Archibald Whatley 49 planter GA, Julia Ann 46 GA, Wooten W 24 LA, Nancy J 18 LA, Mary 16 LA, Jesse 14 LA, John 11 LA, Adaline 9 LA, Archibald Jr. 5 LA, Josephine 2 LA, William Simmons 28 no occupation LA (This Archibald is younger than the Archibald Whatley in Wilkes Co.)

Another Pryor Y-DNA Match: News for GA, TN, and VA Pryors

Working GA MapSome big news for some of the Pryors — there is a new Y-DNA test result. This is a tester who can trace their lineage to Edward Pryor of Wilkes Co., GA.  I hope that piques your attention because Edward Pryor is quite a nice find. His son, John, is Patriot ancestor used by researchers for admission to the DAR. If John was an adult at the time of the Revolution how far back does Edward go?–Maybe pretty far back because he signed his will in 1796 (see will).

Thank goodness for an Edward Pryor because it’s refreshing not have to search for another John, William or Samuel!  I’m very interested in the Edward Pryor recorded in Henrico County, VA. Could he be the Edward Pryor in GA?

1. A Nicholas Pryor processioned the land of a Abraham Childress in Henrico County per a 1736 vestry entry.

2. In 1746 David Pryor, deceased, was recorded in Goochland County Records as having sons John and David. Abraham Childress was appointed guardian of the young David.

3. An Edward Pryor was named on a 1757 Vestry record with Lemmy Childers (another spelling for Childress), also in Henrico County.

I’m open to the possibility that this Edward Pryor is connected to Nicholas Pryor (a Nicholas Pryor was deceased by 1746 when a Susannah Pryor was appointed administratrix of his estate in Henrico County). In 1741 John Shoemaker’s deed stated his land in Henrico County was adjacent to “Nikolas Pryor” on Deep Run. In 1754 Edward Pryor was recorded on a deed between Richard East and William Buxton, stating Edward’s land was on Deep Run.  And Edward was still there in 1760 when he was recorded as the owner of land adjoining land William Price.

Time to get down to the results of the Y-DNA test.  The tester for Edward Pryor’s line connects with the tester from William Pryor of Campbell County, VA and Overton Co., TN on 12, 25, 37, 67, and 111 markers. They are a 105 out 111 marker match which according to FTDNA’s infomation, they are related within 7 to 12 generations. (see FTDNA chart)

The tester for Edward can trace their family tree 8 generations to Edward. The tester for William can trace their family tree 6 generations to William and with speculation, two more generations to John who may be the orphan of David Pryor who died in about 1746. Please note these are not family trees carved out of solid stone, but are meant to be guidelines for further research.