David Ross and the Pryors – Part 2 (The Ballews and Pittsylvania Co.)

va-pryorsI’ve thought that a 1785 will in Campbell County, VA was witnessed by John Pryor, brother of David Pryor who married Susannah Ballow. Now, I’m not so sure. I’ve been exploring these Pryors and now believe that Major John Pryor of Richmond is connected to John and David. We’re missing some people in the family tree so I can’t make a definite comment on the relationship. The John Pryor who was the witness could be either of these 2 men.

1785 Will: “I, James Karr of Campbell, of sound and disposing mind and memory First, all my debts and funeral expenses to be paid. To my trusty friend, Charles Rork – 55 (pounds), “which the bonds is in the hands of George Hearon, being the price of my land on Pigg River”. Also, 25 (pounds) which I obtained [in a] judgment against Charles Bellue (Ballew / Ballow / Ballou). To my wife – one half of my still, which is now at my brother, Robert Carr’s. To the said Charles Rork – the other half of the still, and half the accounts “of papers and Thomas James now in the hands of David Ross“. To my wife – the other half of said accounts, that is, the accounts in said Ross’ hands. To Charles Rork – all accounts and debts due me that were not before mentioned. Also to Charles Rork Jr, my bay horse. At Campbell Court of Dec 7, 1786, the will of James Karr dec’d was proved by the oaths of witnesses Wright and Pryor, and OR.” – John PRYOR along with Robert Wright and James Rock (or Rork) witnesses.

I’m trying to figure out if this information comes from the book Belieu, A History, however here’s what I found online

Nicholas Davies, who had land dealings with Albemarle Ballews, found iron mountain in Bedford Co., and this was purchased by Robert Harper, Thomas James, son of Wm., brother of Frances James Ballew, and Benjamin Elledge of Bedford Co. They established Oxford Bloomery which was purchased by David Ross of Pittsylvania Co., in 1776
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=kenrob39&id=I5540

Both a Ballew and Thomas James were named in the 1785 will  above and the Ballew information above.

A brief biography of Nicholas Davies (see online) drops all the landed-gentry family names that were connected with Major John Pryor: Fleming, Whiting, Beverly, Clayton. Nicholas Davies was a justice of the peace of Goochland County and later a sheriff in Cumberland County. And of course he corresponded with President Thomas Jefferson.

The same website that posted about Nicholas Davies (see above) also indicates the Ballews and David Ross were in Pittsylvania Co, VA and Ashe County, North Carolina. Interesting since David Pryor’s kin were in Rockingham County, North Carolina and Pittsylvania County, VA (see post about David Pryor’s kin)

So it could be John Pryor brother of David who witnessed the 1785 will or it could be Major John Pryor. No decision yet. The only thing I’m certain of is that I’m glad I’m searching for Pryors and not Ballews or any of the other hundred variations of that surname!