Category Archives: North Carolina Pryors

John Pryor of Orange County, NC and Daughter Dorothy

Sometimes it’s interesting to continue to dig for Pryors by following the trail of men with the first name Pryor. You never know if it will lead to related families of the Pryor surname. I saw this announcement in an 1838 newspaper

We are authorized to announce Gen. Pryor M Grant of Columbus, a Candidate for the office of Major General of the Fourth Division of the Mississippi Militia, composed of the counties of Lowndes, Noxubee, Kemper, Oaktibbeha, Winston, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott, Smith, Atalla, Choctaw, Carrol, Yalabusha, and Tallahatchie.
Published in Southern Argus, 2 January 1838

Who was General Pryor M Grant? Online family trees show him as the son of Henrietta McNeill and Joshua Grant of Person County, NC. Boddie and Allied Families, by John Thomas Boddie (pub 1918) states “(Henry McNeil) married at Petersburg, Va. Dororthy Pryor, born in Virginia, 23 March 1755, died in Christian County, Ky., 17 March 1824, daughter of John Pryor, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.” They lived in Person County, NC before moving to KY. They were the parents of Henrietta McNeill who married Joshua Grant, and thus Dorothy Pryor Grant was the grandmother of Pryor M Grant.

There is a Dorothy Pryor named as a daughter of John Pryor in his will dated 1771 in Orange Co., NC

“…to my daughter Dorothy Pryor my negro girl named Cloe and one feather bed and furniture, two cows and calves one horse or mare and saddle when she arrives to lawful age or married to her and her heirs forever…”

If this is the same Dorothy Pryor who married Henry McNeill, she was underage when her father died in NC and perhaps of age when she married in Petersburg, VA. Petersburg is interesting. Why Petersburg and not in NC? I checked Google maps and it’s about 120 miles between the two areas. The Boddie book also states she was a  “daughter of John Pryor, of Dinwiddie County, Virginia.”

I wonder where this Pryor and McNeil information came from. The editor of the book writes of having letters from the 1700’s when McNeil had to prove his relationships in order to claim an inheritance. It would have been nice if he had printed transcripts and sited complete source information in his book.

If you like a swashbuckler ending: The Madison Whig (MS) on 16 March 1839 reported Pryor W (sic?) Grant and Maj S F Butterwoth “both of Columbus in this State” had fought with “four pistols each, at thirty paces.” The duel ended without death or injury. It sounds like Roger A Pryor of Dinwiddie County who got into scraps when he disagreed.

Not a Pryor Signature


Beware of the signature that’s not a Pryor. I’ve stumbled upon NC governor William Tryon’s signature several times and misread it as Pryor. An important signature to check against other signatures on documents.

Sarah Pryor Parker of Person County and Orange County, NC

The estate of Jonathan Parker of Person County, NC is a wealth of information to tie together the relationships of the the Pryors. He died in 1777, but his estate settlement went on and on and on. In 1803 depositions were noticed for Susannah Pryor, wife of Continue reading

Philip Pryor and Robert Pryor, Caswell County NC

In 1768 Philip Pryor died intestate in Granville County, NC. Haden Pryor was appointed administrator of his estate. Below is Haden’s signature on the Administration Bond. Sherwood Harris and James Langston were surety. Continue reading

Signatures: John Henry Pryor and Haden Pryor

John H. Pryor signed estate of Peter Rogers as a “garnishee”. 1787 Estate in Caswell County, NC states that Peter Rogers was from Halifax County, VA.  John Pryor who sold a tract of land to Roger Atkinson in 1770– Peter Rogers was a witness on that sale (Rogers relationship?).  Roger Atkinson, namesake of General Roger Atkinson Pryor of Nottaway County, VA. I suspect John H. Pryor who was a garnishee in 1787 isn’t the same man on the 1770 deed. Continue reading