Henrico County Family: Exploring Pryor and Woodson Connections Through DNA

Testing 1, 2, 3I’m lukewarm over the Ancestry DNA test. At best it’s “helpful.” The test I’m moderating has returned results that include Woodson ancestors. Ancestry doesn’t pinpoint a branch to search and only identifies them as possibly 5th to 8th cousins. My experience with the Ancestry results tells me that they are likely further back than 8th cousins and their years of birth are far enough back to indicate they are more than 8th cousins.

I’m working off a fairly well researched family tree. There are no lines other than the Pryors who trace back to Goochland and Henrico Counties in Virginia. There are some “missing links” like wives surnames and families on other lines of the Tree, however the Pryor line has numerous connections with the Woodsons and it seems the most likely to match this line. Wouldn’t be nice if Ancestry’s DNA results told us exactly which generation and individual it connect’s with— Hey, I don’t  need a name just whether it’s gr-gr-gr-grandma on side of the Tree or gr-gr-gr-grandpa on the other side of the Tree.

Here’s the Pryor branch of the Tree:

10. Nicholas Pryor born abt 1665, md Susannah —–?
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9. children of Nicholas Pryor:
David Pryor born bef 1715, md Miss Childress
William Pryor born abt 1718, md Margaret —–? (possibly Lafoon)
John Pryor born abt 1689, md Mary New
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8. children of John Pryor:
Rebecca Pryor born aft 1708, md Robert Woodson
Ann Pryor born abt. 1710, md John Wright
8. children of David Pryor:
David Pryor born abt 1738, md Susannah Ballew
John Pryor born abt 1740, md —–?
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7. children of John Pryor:
William Pryor born abt. 1765, md Spicy Taylor
John Pryor born abt 1780, md Massie Taylor
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6. son of John Pryor:
Allen L Pryor b. 1816, md Elizabeth Talley
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5. grand-child of John Pryor, not married to a Woodson and spouse has no Woodson connections
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4. great grand-child of John Pryor, not married to a Woodson and spouse has no Woodson connections
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3. great-great grand-child of John Pryor, not married to a Woodson and spouse  has no Woodson connections.
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2. great-great-great grand-child of John Pryor, not married to a Woodson and spouse  has no Woodson connections.
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1. Test Subject: great-great-great-great grand-child of John Pryor

10 generations and unknown surnames in the 8th and 10th generations. Did John Pryor b. 1740 marry a Woodson? Did Nicholas Pryor at the top of the Tree marry a Woodson?

So which Woodsons are reported connections? I got 3 matches (these were all low quality without Ancestry leaf hints) to Robert Woodson born about 1630-1660 who married Rachel Watkins. I had another hit to Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Woodson. Then another match to Elizabeth Woodson b. 1703 (daughter of Benjamin Woodson). It’s hard to know if these are correct… Ancestry’s system relies on the creator of a tree to input correct information, so some research is  needed to see if these matches are for the same Elizabeth Woodson and to determine if her father was Robert or Woodson.