John Pryor and Mary New – This John Pryor on Beaver Creek Dam

1435495_49368213One of our Facebook friends has asked who is the John Pryor on Beaverdam Creek in Goochland County, VA. They would like to know if he’s the John Pryor who was involved in the attack on Fort Donnally. Thanks for asking! It’s time to gather up all we know about this John Pryor.

Let’s tackle the easiest answer straight away. This John Pryor was NOT at Fort Donnally. The attack on Fort Donnally occurred in 1778. This John Pryor wrote his will in 1755 and by 1756 a Chancery Case was filed disputing the estate and referring to John Pryor as deceased. The John Pryor at Fort Donnally was the brother of William and Nicholas who were born in Albemarle County, VA. [see John Pryor – Was He Really Killed by Indians? When?

I never know where these old locations are actually located, so I look at maps and Google a lot. When I looked up Beaverdam Creek I found that it’s along the James River, running through Goochland County, past Henrico County to Richmond. A fascinating little fact surfaced… the parish of St. James Northam is now Beaverdam Episcopal. What’s St. James? This is the parish where William Pryor who married Sarah Wood had his children baptized [see parish register].

I did a Google search to see who lived in the Beaverdam Creek area: John Webb, John Pryor, John Wright, James Christian, Thomas Christian, Joseph Pleasants. John Pleasants, John Woodson, John Bolling, Edward Curd, Henry Gill. These surnames were all in early deeds from 1713 to 1720’s. I believe the following records are of the John Pryor who was on Beaver Creek and also of associated families… New, Wright, Woodson, Christian.

The tough question that can’t be answered strait away is “Who is this John Pryor?” If he was living in St. James Northam Parish, then was he related to Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton or their son William Pryor and wife Sarah Wood? I think he’s related to Harris Pryor of Bedford County, VA because Harris witnessed the will of John Wright (the son in law of John Pryor of Beavercreek). Harris was born around 1740 so,  Harris could be a child of one of John Pryor’s siblings.

1722 Deed Henrico Co.- William New, February Court 1722 Henrico County Va. Page 230. John PRYER, Thomas Bailey, and Joseph Aslin prove deed of Edmund New to William New.

1722 Deed Henrico Co – February 1722 Henrico County. John PRYER, Thomas Baily and Joseph Ashlin prove deed of Edmund New to John Tuly.

1726, 4 July, Henrico County, Virginia Proved 5 September 1726. Pages 50-51. I Edmund New of Henrico County and St. James Parish. To son Edmund New all my land lying and being on lower side of upper branch Cavold? little creeks of Licking Hole. To Edmund New my son, all my nursery of apple trees. To my daughter Prissilla New all remainder part of my land lying on upper side of little creek of Licking Hole. To loving and lawful wife Mary New and son Edmund and daughter Prissilla personal effects to be equally divided between them and not to be appraised after my decrease. As also my full right to a forty pound bond of Thomas Christian’s all to them and their heirs. Wife, son Edmund, daughter Prissilla executors. I give and bequest to my grandson John New son to my son Edmund New deceased and to William New, Mary Prior, Rebecca Christian, Sarah Tuley, Eliz Patterson, Ann New and Henry New one shilling sterling money as their full due of dower.

1727 Deed Henrico Co – John PRIER 7 Thomas Christian, 400 Acres N.L. , Henrico Co. on N. side of James River; on Edmond New‘s line; 40 Shillings, October 13, 1727 Patent Book No. 13 Page 222

1730 Deed Henrico Co – Charles Chirstian of Charles City, 400 acres Goochland County adjoining Thomas Chirstian and John PRIER on Wild Boar Creek. 28 September 1730

1733 Deed Goochland Co. – John Wright 300 acres in Goochland County on branch of Beaver Dam Creek adjoining line of Thomas Christian and John PRIER. Charles Christian’s and Roger Powell’s line

1735-1737 Court Order Goochland Co.- In the action of trespass between David Walker, plaintiff, and John Woodson, defendant, the following jury is sworn; Robert Hughes, John Laine, John McBrid, Charles Lynch, Thomas Walker, John PRIOR, Peter Davis, Richard Crouch, Joseph Dabbs, Wm. Harris, Wm Arrington, John Spears, who return with their verdict. When the plantiff is called, he answers to his name, upon which the defendant moves his appearance may be recorded, on which motion the divided. John Fleming, Daniel Stoner, and Thomas Dickins are of the opinion his answering is an appearance, and William Mayo, Isham Randolph, and Thomas Turpin that it is not. The suit is continued for another Justice to give his opinion. (My Note: John Layne died May 1755 on Licking Hole Creek which places him as a neighbor of Edmund New above. Elizabeth Pryor married David Lane in 1757 at St. James Northam church)

1735 Vestry Record – page 286: [I find date between p. 284 and this p. 286. Therefore, I assume a date of 11 Feb 1735/6.] Orderd into one precinct for processioning, the Lands of Christopher Cawthon, George Alves, John Spradling, Nicho Gentry (Nicholas Gentry), Samuel PRYOR, Wm Cawthon, Jas. Philips (James Philips) & Wm HARRIS, and that Samuel PRYOR & Christopher Cawthon, See the said processioning performed &c Who made the following return, The Within Order Complyed with in the presence of David Alves Lawrence Forjuson (Lawrence Ferguson?), John Rofs (Ross?), John PRYOR, & James McLoughland by us Samuel PRYOR, Chris’r Cawthon

15 June 1736 William Mills of St. James Parish, Goochland, sold James Walker 300 acres on branches of Licking Hole Creek for L15.5 part of a greater tract Mills took up by patent 11 April 1732 bounded by Samuel Coleman, Chiles corner, Scott’s line, Kerby’s line & Henry Chiles. Mary released dower. Wit: John Pryor, Henry Chiles, Peter Patrick, Goochland Deeds & Wills Book 2 page 231 (Possibly John Pryor who married Mary New. John Pryor was the grandfather of Samuel Coleman’s wife Anne Wright Coleman)

1736 Court Order – June 1736, Action of Debt between Richard Dean Plaintiff and Jonas Lawson Defendant the following Jury are Sworn, Henry Chiles, Thomas Christian, David Walker, John PRIOR, James Robinson, Charles Lynch, Thomas Bailey, John Laine, John Cox, Stephen Cox, John Biby and John Twitty who after sometime bringing their verdict which on the Plaintiff motion is admitted to Record and is as followeth. We find for the Plaintiff nine pounds, twelve shilling and six pence current money, Thomas Christian foreman (Goochland County, Virginia Order Book 4, Page 71, September Court 1736.)

1737 Complaint filed in Goochland Chancery Court
Edmund New, an infant, prosecutes John Lane. Plaintiff summoned Thomas Christian and William Christian. Signed by Henry Wood, Clerk of the Court. 30 Sept. 1737. | William Christian for full satisfaction for the bond that was give by Thomas Christian Sr. to Edmund New Sr., both defendants of witness my hand. Edward New (his Mark). Wits Jacob Oglesby, John Wright (his mark).

and a second case…

1739 Complaint filed in Goochland Chancery Court
Hugh Morris and Mary his wife, executrix of Edmund New, deceased. Major Lewis and Priscilla his wife. Signed H. Wood Clerk of the court. Sent to Arthur Hopkins sheriff for service.

1740 Indenture – On 17 Sep 1740, the purchase of a tract of land by William New from Thomas Thornell. The land was on the North Side of the James River, 150 acres that had belonged to Edmund New, deceased, bordered by Thomas Bailey, Ebenezer Adams, Robert Rogers, David Patterson, Major Lewis. Signed by William and Pricsilla New. Witnessed by James Christian, Robert Christian, and John PRIOR.

1747 – Will of John Woodall. Proved 19 Mar 1750. Heirs: sons John and William Woodall, daughter Sarah PRYOR

1748 – Will of a Samuel Coleman was witnessed by John PRYOR, John Right (Wright?), and Robert L. Woodson.

1750 Will – Proved 19 Sept 1750, Robert Woodson died, husband of Rebecca PRYOR. Names children John, James, Benjamin, Robert, Eliza, Mary, and Sarah.

1753 Marriage – Alexander Trent to Elizabeth Woodson, consent from Charles Bates, Stephen Woodson, deceased. Security: John Woodson. Witness: Will PRYOR, H. Wood, Matthew Woodson, Samuel Branch. 1 Jan 1753.

1755 Will – Proved 19 Aug 1755, will of John PRYOR, daughters Ann Wright, Rebecca Woodson, grandson John Woodson, witnesses Thomas Bailey and Ann Bailey
WILL OF JOHN PRYOR OF GOOCHLAND CO. VA
Daughter: Ann Wright 50a. with plantation whereon she now dwells beginning at the low line so running as the rode goes till the 50a. is included; daughter REBECCA WOODSON 5 shillings curr.; grandson JOHN WOODSON two Negroes Will & Ick and all my estate real & personal excepting what has been given as above mentioned; grandson John Woodson executor. Witnesses, JACOB OGLESBY, ANN BAILEY, THOMAS BAILEY. Dated July 24, 1755. Proved Aug. 19,1755, and further proved Mar. 16, 1756. Albemarle Co., VA, Vol. 7, p. 77.

1756 Chancery Court Case – Filed June 1756. John Wright and wife Anne, daughter of John PRYOR deceased.vs. John Woodson, son of Rebecca Woodson, daughter of John Pryor. Suit states John Pryor came into 200 acres of land in about 1727 in Henrico County, which is now part of Goochland county, and the land is where the Wrights were living in 1756. The Wrights alledge that John Pryor gave them land only to have the Woodsons convince him in his last sickness during 1755 to deprive them of the land in his will. The case was dismissed in 1758 by agreement. Signed by Valentine Wood, clerk of the court