Identifying the NINE John Pryors Who Were Alive in 1780


I recently had to work though some questions to ID a record and determine which John Pryor it matched to. I realized there were quite a few John Pryors with possible Virginia roots who were all adults in 1780. NINE of them. So during the snowy days this winter I dug in and questioned relationships and questioned where they were and when they died. I’m now ready to share the list.

If you don’t see your John Pryor on the list — test your information to be sure he was an adult and alive in 1780. If he should be on the list let me know!

1. John Pryor of Greene And White Co., TN

Born 1771 – 1775, per 1830 Census
Married Ruth Sherrill, she’s Ruth Prior in her father’s Greene Co., TN will D 1832, estate settlement in Sangamon Co., IL
Parents unknown
Children Rachel, Ellinder, Mary, Sherrill, Sarah, William, Margaret/Peggy, Elizabeth, Jonathan
Resided: 1804/1805 in Greene Co., TN (father in law’s estate)
Resided: 1811-1812 Tax List in White Co., TN
Resided: 1830 Census Sangamon Co., IL
Connection: Linked to “Old” Joseph Pryor of Greene and White Co. through Robert Armstrong.


2. John Pryor of Sullivan Co., TN

Born 1757 in England, per 1850 Census and a son on the 1880 Census
Parents unknown
Married Mary?
Children: James, Nancy, John, Henry, Isaac, Sarah, Mary, Page, Thomas David, Andrew John
Died abt. 1851 in Sullivan Co., TN
Resided: 1787 signed petition in Sullivan Co. when TN was still NC
Connection: Owned land in Sullivan Co. next to David Ross. There’s a John Pryor on a deed with David Ross in Fluvanna Co., VA in 1813. A copy of the deed was made by John Timberlake. Is this the same John Timberlake who married Elizabeth Pryor, daughter of John Pryor and Mary Dennis of Amelia Co., VA.?


3. John Pryor, Son of David Pryor and Miss Childress / Maj John Pryor of Richmond

Born bef. 1738 in VA
Parents David Pryor d. 1747 in Goochland Co and Miss Childress
Married Anne Beverly Whiting, second wife was
Children All reports are that he left no children.
Died abt 1812. Sons John and William settled property in Campbell Co., VA
Resided: 1759 deed in Albemarle Co., VA, and bordered grandfather Abraham Childress
Connection: Inherited land from his father in Cumberland Co., VA with his brother David Pryor, later of Buckingham Co., VA. His niece, Mitchie Pryor, married Thos. Jefferson’s brother.
Heirs: Nieces Dorcas Bryan, Elizabeth Taylor, Rebecca Taylor, Charlotte Morrison, Elizabeth Hazelwood, and nephews Thomas Pryor, Archer Hankins, William Hankins, Romert Hankins, John Hankins, and Pryor Hankins.
Died 1823, Richmond Enquirer obit
Military: Revolutionary War Soldier.


4. John Pryor Possibly Son of Samuel And Prudence

Born abt 1730 in VA
Parents Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton
Married 1754 to Mary Dennis in Amelia Co., VA
Children: Richard, Luke, Elizabeth, Mary, Philip, Ann, Samuel
Died 1785, date of will in Amelia Co., VA
Resided: on Leath’s Creek in Amelia County.
Connection: John was in Botetourt Co., VA at the same time as other children and grandchildren of Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton.


5. John A. Pryor

Born abt 1750
Parents were probably Samuel and an unknown first wife.  Samuel’s second wife was Frances Morton Meriwether.
Married Martha Vaughn
Children: Samuel W, Sarah, John Alexander, Joseph Everett, Mary, Nicholas M (possibly named for his half brother Nicholas Meriwether), Prudence, Daniel Farley (read more about Daniel Farley’s namesake)
Died unknown date. Last child born 1799 in Kentucky.
Resided: 1795 deed in Harrison Co., KY with Nicholas Meriwether, his half brother.


6. John Pryor, Brother of Capt. William Pryor of Amherst Co.

Born  maybe as early as 1745
Parents possibly William Pryor of Albemarle County, formerly of Henrico County.
Married possibly married a Floyd
Children: Nathaniel, Nancy, Samuel, Robert Lewis, James, Jane, Elizabeth W.
Died abt 1780-ish, deceased per court record that states his children (the two youngest?) were orphans.
Resided: Fought at Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, 1778 served as a volunteer spy to warn Greebrier settlement of impending Indian attack, 1782 Poll in Louisville, and in 1783 signed Low Dutch Petition.
Connection: Served under George Rogers Clark. Served with Simon Kenton, Thomas Posey.


7. John of Logan Co., KY

Born bef 1760
Married bef 1775, wife unknown.
Children: One known child named John Jr. b. bef. 1775
Resided: 1791 Sumner Co., TN tax list. 1794 owned land in Sumner Co. that bordered William Pryor who was from Botetourt Co., VA.
Connection: 1796 witnessed land survey for Richard Pryor in Logan Co., KY. 1794 on the Tax List for Logan Co., KY. Possibly the father of John Jr. who also witnessed same land survey in 1796. Both disappear from Logan Co. records in 1800.


8. John Pryor Jr., Associate of John Sr. in Logan

Born bef 1775
Married there are 3 John Pryor marriages in Logan County: Rebecca Baily,  Polly Heathman, Elizabeth Crawford (between 1800-1803)
Children: None known.
Resided: Logan County, KY.
Connection: 1796 witnessed land survey for Richard Pryor in Logan Co., KY. 1794 on the Tax List for Logan Co., KY. Possibly the father of John Jr. who also witnessed same land survey in 1796. Both disappear from Logan Co. records in 1800.

9. John Pryor of Edgefield, SC

1790 Census, Edgefield, SC

10. John Pryor of Warren Co., NC

1790 Census, Warren Co., NC

11. John Prior of Charleston, SC

1790 Census, Charleston, SC

Possibly related to Catherine Pryor who married Thomas Dozier possibly in Lunenburg Co., VA, parents of Prior Dozier.

… And the Northern John Pryors

1790 Census, John Pryor, Middlesex Co., CT
1790 Census, John Prior, Lincoln Co., ME
1790 Census, John Prior, Hampshire Co., MA
1790 Census, John Prior, Albany Co., NY
1790 Census, John Prior, Richmond Co., NY
1790 Census, John Prior, Washington Co., PA

I’ve racked my brain over these John Pryors. One of my questions I’ve asked…”Are any of these the same man listed twice?”

I considered that perhaps the John at Fort Donnally was the same John Pryor who was in Louisville (Nathaniel Pryor’s father). John was on the tax list in KY in 1789, so I have a hard time reconciling that this is the same person as the John who to have been killed by Indians in 1780. I don’t know. I have problems with this one.

I’ve considered the John Pryor who was in Logan County. Did he go back and forth in the wilderness? Is he a duplicate of another Pryor?

I also wonder… “Where did they go?” Especially the John Pryor who was in Logan Co., KY with Richard and Mourning Pryor. Are these the Pryors from KY who turn up in Gasconade County, MO? I’ve looked at Pleasant Pryor who was also in Gasconade County. He was from Tennessee and has often been associated with the Pryors from White Co., TN. I just can’t put them together, but they look like they are connected — marriages into the Simpson family, moves to Maries Co., MO and appearances on Bates Co., MO census records.

I hope this helps to keep the Johns separate in our research. If you see an error, please let me know.