Goochland Pryors: The Children of Samuel and Prudence Pryor

After the research that went into my last post I have new confidence in The Pryor Family (pub. 1900). I hate to rely on old books and second-hand information (memories and anecdotes) without any first-hand data (wills, deeds, court records) available. Show me a document that says Thornton Pryor was a son of Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton?! Well, that’s just rhetoric because there actually is a document that names Thornton as a son of Prudence and there are wills that help to identify sons of Samuel and Prudence.

1763 Deed Amelia Co., VA – Deed, March 16, 1763, from Thornton PRYOR, of Halifax County, NC to Samuel PRYOR of Goochland County, VA, conveying that portion of the estate of their father, Samuel PRYOR, deceased, which he bequeathed to the said Thornton PRYOR, and which at the time of making the deed, was in possession of their mother, Prudence PRYOR [Vol. 7, No. 1, July 1899, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, pages 75 through 79]

So we have the Bible record that appears to hold up in my last post AND we have a 1763 deed that mentions Samuel and Prudence. OK, I had my doubts, but they exist.

I went back to the Mitchell Family Bible that names the children of Samuel and Prudence: William, Samuel, John, Thornton, Robert, Luke, Frank and Joseph, Nancy and Molly. I wondered if I could confirm these children with other available records.

So here goes… the children of Samuel and Prudence.

William Pryor

  • Married Sarah, probably Sarah Wood
  • Children: William, Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Sarah/Sally, Martha/Patty, Mary/Molly, Ann, Valentine, and Luke.
  • 1753 he was a Captain in the VA militia.
  • 1753, William and Henry Wood witnessed the marriage of Alexander Trent to Elizabeth Woodson, consent from Charles Bates, Stephen Woodson, deceased. Security: John Woodson.
  • 1768 William was sued by Reuben Meriwether (over the administration of his brother Samuel Pryor’s estate).
  • 1777 – William died around 1777 and his will was filed in Goochland Co. In 1779 the 1768 suit was amended to show William Pryor was deceased. His son Samuel was appointed the executor of his estate.

Samuel Pryor

  • First marriage to unknown. Children: Martha, Prudent (Prudence?), Mary, and Elizabeth (See Robert PRYOR’s will below)
  • Married 1760 at St. James Northam to the widow Frances Morton Meriwether.
  • His son Samuel baptized 1762 at St. James Northam.
  • 1763 Deed Amelia Co., VA – Deed, March 16, 1763, from Thornton PRYOR, of Halifax County, NC to Samuel PRYOR of Goochland County, VA, conveying that portion of the estate of their father, Samuel PRYOR, deceased, which he bequeathed to the said Thornton PRYOR, and which at the time of making the deed, was in possession of their mother, Prudence PRYOR [Vol. 7, No. 1, July 1899, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, pages 75 through 79]
  • Died between 1763 and 1779.  He’s probably the Samuel Pryor who died intestate in 1766 when a settlement of his estate was filed in Goochland County.
  • 1768 his widow, Frances, sued his brother William in Chancery Court over the handling of the estate. Her suit states Samuel had land in Dinwiddie and Goochland Counties. (see transcript of suit)
  • 1779 – Mentioned as “deceased” in brother Robert Pryor’s will.
  • 1783 – Mentioned as “deceased” in brother Luke Pryor’s will.

John Pryor

  • Mentioned in Halifax Co., NC records. Amelia Co., VA tax list.
  • Married: Mary Dennis (see post on Mary Dennis Pryor)
  • Will filed in Amelia County in 1785.
  • Children named in his will: Richard, Luke, Elizabeth, Mary, Philip, Ann, Samuel
  • 1785 John Pryor mentioned in a Halifax Co., NC (see above deed that mentions his brothers in Halifax Co.) John Rogers, Sr. to Roger Atkinson of Dinwiddie County VA, for 15 Pounds, 100 acres on north side of Hico Creek adjoining John PRYOR, Country Line Creek. Halifax County Deed Book E., page 14. (Note: Roger Atkinson was the father of Lucy who married Theodorick Bland Pryor.)

Thornton Pryor

  • Named in Amelia Co., VA and Halifax Co., NC records
  • 1763 – Mentioned on deed with Samuel Pryor in 1763 (see above)
  • 1772 deed in Amelia Co. – Thornton PRYOR of the province of North Carolina, conveys to John Thweat, of Prince George County.
  • Deceased by 1783. Not mentioned in Luke’s 1783 will (see below)

Robert Pryor

  • Named in Charlotte Co., VA records.
  • Married: Mildred
  • Children: Samuel Pryor
  • Died 1779 Will Charlotte Co., VA – Will of Robert PRYOR written in Dec 1779, proved Apr 1780. Names wife Mildred Pryor, son Samuel PRYOR (a minor), Martha PRYOR, Prudent PRYOR, Mary PRYOR, and Elizabeth PRYOR daughters of Samuel PRYOR, deceased. (These are Robert’s nieces, children of his brother Samuel Pryor’s first marriage (Samuel’s second marriage was to Frances Morton Meriwether).

Luke Pryor

  • Botetourt Co., VA
  • Married: Susannah Poythress (see post that ID’s Susannah Poythress)
  • Children: Possibly at least one child, as his wife was pregnant at the time he wrote his will.
  • 1783 – Will of Luke PRYOR proved Oct 1783 in Botetourt County, VA. Names wife, Susan and an unborn child. Brothers, John, Joseph and Luke and heirs of deceased brother, Samuel.

Joseph Pryor

  • Named in Botetourt Co., VA records and later in Bourbon Co., KY
  • Married Mary Fleming
  • 1774 and afterwards – Resided Botetourt Co.., VA
  • Capt in Rev War out of Botetourt.
  • 1783 – Will of Luke PRYOR proved Oct 1783 in Botetourt County, VA. Names wife, Susan and an unborn child. Brothers, John, Joseph and Luke and heirs of deceased brother, Samuel.
  • 1787 Joseph and his cousin Samuel Mitchell posted security for John Kennedy in Botetourt County. (Samuel was the son of his aunt Molly Pryor Mitchell)
  • Settled in Woodford Co.., KY (1800 Tax List).
  • Named Son Thornton Pryor, Samuel Pryor…. after his parents?
  • Died: 1813 in Bourbon Co., KY (Will)

Molly “Mary” Pryor

  • Married: First, William Berry. Second, James Mitchell.
  • Children: Her daughter Prudence Berry married George Blackburn and settled in Woodford Co.., KY (1800 Tax List) near her uncle Joseph Pryor.
  • Resided Botetourt Co., VA 1783.  Her sons Edward and Samuel Mitchell state in their applications for Revolutionary War pensions that their father moved the family to Botetourt County in the 1780’s.
  • 1787 Joseph Pryor and Samuel Mitchell posted security for John Kennedy in Botetourt County. (Samuel was Molly’s son.)

Who was in the Berry Bible that isn’t on the list?

  1. Francis Pryor
  2. Nancy Pryor – married Samuel Wells?

I wish I had all the answers. Like… Are there ANY records that confirm these 2 were children of Samuel and Prudence? Well, are there? Let us know!