In Georgia: Changing Robert Prior to Pior

Out of the the review of Revolutionary War Pryors I’m making a change to a Prior to a Pior. Why? Because that’s what the documents say.

In 1769 a Robert Pior petitioned for 200 acres for farming. He stated he had lived in the colony of Georgia for about a year. He had a wife and one child. So he had arrived in Georgia about 1768, was married, and his child was born in 1769 or earlier. This reference to Robert is on Google Books: The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Volume 10, pub. 1907.

Robert Pior named his children in his will (still spelling his name Pior not Prior): Edmond, John, Sally Livingston, Elizabeth More (or Moore? and a possible first husband named Travis with daughters Rhody Travis and Rachel Travis). His wife was Nancy and his minor children were Arreny, Wilanthy, Hezekiah, and Narcisas.

Robert’s wife Nancy/Ann filed for a guardian bond (again using the surname spelling “Pior). It names the minor children Arrency, Wilanthy, Hezekiah, and Narcissa.

Robert Pior also named in his will Benjamin, Joel, and Willis Dausey, their two sisters: Betsy McDaniel and Catey Dausey. Who were the Dauseys? A guardian bond filed in Laurens county, GA explains the relationships. When Phereby Darcy, the relict of William Darcy deceased, became “non compes mentis”, a guardian bond was filed for Caty Darcy, William Darcy, Joel Darcy, and Willis Darcy, minors. Benjamin Darcy Junr. was appointed guardian of the sons and property. He was also responsible for providing for Phereby Darcy. The bond was signed by Benjamin Darcy Junr., Benjamin Darcy Senr., David McDaniel, and Andrew Hampton on November 8, 1811.

So. Was Phereby Dausey/Darcy a daughter of Robert Pior?

William Darcy is probably the Revolutionary War soldier buried at Buckhorn Church. There’s a William, Benjamin, and Joel Darcy listed in Col. Asa Emmanuel from 15th August 1781 to 1st February 1782 from Burke County, GA. The pension application of Joel Darcy states “the son of Joseph Darcy. I was born in North Carolina 1764 or 5.” He also identified his siblings: “my brothers that lived to be men were James, Joseph, Benjamin, William & Joel Darcy were all Soldiers in the revolutionary war.” Joel states his brother Joseph stayed in NC and his brother William settled in “Lawrence” county (Laurens county).

An interesting point in Robert’s estate was that he left land in Burke County to his son John. Ay carumba! Is this the John Prior who filed for a Revolutionary War pension in Burke County in 1820? John Prior was born about 1757 so he could be the child Robert claimed when applying for land. I went to for the original pension application and can see that John Prior is written consistently through out the documents and that Jacob Prior and Prier are used on the military rosters, so we are left without Jacob/John ever using Pior in these records.

I think there were two separate Johns: Jacob/John Prior b. about 1757 who was a Revolutionary War pensioner and died in 1823. Then there was John Pior who was born between 1771-1780 and appeared as a head of household on the 1830 Census in Jefferson County, GA (on the same page with Needham Lee). Because of the proximity to Needham Lee who was mentioned in Robert’s estate I’d have to side with this John being Robert’s possible son.

I’ve gone through the site and have updated surnames to Pior where documents use that spelling. There are generally few Pior surnames that show up in records. It would be helpful to figure out if Pior was a surname or another surname written down phonetically–I’m thinking a French pronunciation or a Southern drawl. I asked one French speaker and they though Pior could be Pierre.

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