Joseph Pryor – A Botetourt County Indenture


I’m still hearing the siren song of those old Virginia Chancery Court cases. I think I’m hooked. There are two cases that nicely tie together the Pryors who were in Augusta County with those in Botetourt County.

A 1797 Indenture filed in Botetourt County Joseph Pryor, his wife Mary vs. the family of Peter Seacat, deceased. Joseph Pryor bought land on the Roaoke River from James Campbell, executor of the Nathaniel Evans’ estate.

It sounds like the transaction went terribly wrong because William Norvell and George Hancock filed suit in June 1800 against Joseph Pryor, the Elder and Joseph Pryor Jr. This is a meaty suit… over 70 pages… with a large cast of characters. It looks like it wrapped up in 1804. Depositions were taken of William Skillern, John Griffith, Susannah Campbell wife of William Campbell, and John Pryor. It refers to the land bought on the Roanoke from Evans.  Some of the papers were served on parties by Samuel Pryor.

The 1800 case identifies Joseph Pryor, the Elder as the father of Joseph Pryor Jr. and Joseph Jr  as the father of John Pryor. Samuel Pryor was not ID’d.  All of these Pryors were stated to be of “lawful” age– if that’s 21 years old– making them all born before 1780.  Just a guess-ta-mate, Joseph Sr. could be 60, Joseph Jr could be 40, and John 21. Of course they could be a bit older or younger than that.

William Skillern‘s name pops out. Look back at Captain Preston’s Pryors – Payments Made During French Indian War and there he is! In 1758 (during the French Indian War) William Skillhern witnessed a payment made to Richard Pryor.