Looking at Louisville Pryors

Ohio River near Louisville

Ohio River near Louisville, KY

Over the weekend I was searching out some new links to the Pryors in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky. I’m still looking for solid connections to the correct John Pryor who was the father of explorer Nathaniel Pryor. I thought I’d share some of my finds in case they help to spur your insights into the family line.

19th Century Louisville Silversmiths

I’ve been intrigued with the story of Nathaniel “Miguel” Pryor, the Kentuckian who settled in California. His trade was recorded as “platero” or silversmith. That’s something that was usually learned by an apprenticeship back in those days. I had never heard of Louisville as a place reknowned for silverwork– I guess Paul Revere and Boston take the forefront in American silversmithing. Apparently there were a few smiths in Louisville. I found the names and working dates for silversmiths in Louisville: Richard E Smith (1827), Smith & Grant (until 1831), William Kendrick (1840), and John Kitts (1838).  A mint julep silver cup made by Kendrick even made it’s way on to the Antiques Road Show.  Pryor could have even learned the trade when he moved west as there were numerous fine silversmiths in St. Louis. (See Missouri’s Silver Age: Silversmiths Of The 1800s By Norman Mack)

Amherst County and Louisville Connection

I still keep coming back to David Crawford’s 1801 Will (See transcript of the will). It was filed in Louisville, mentions land owned Amherst County, VA, and it was witnessed by John and William Pryor. Nelson Crawford who was mentioned in the will witnessed a deed in Amherst County with Jonathan Pryor in 1817, as well as Charles Taliaferro who was also on the will. If you go back a few decades to 1774 when William Pryor and wife Margaret of Amherst County deeded land to Philip Thurmond, David Crawford was a witness.

So the Crawfords lived near William and Margaret Pryor. We know for sure that William and Margaret had sons Nicholas, William and John — William filed for a pension in 1832 and John saved Fort Donnally with Philip Hammon. Was it this William and John Pryor who were witnesses to David Crawford’s will in Louisville?

Pryor Land In Kentucky

In a recent post (Identity of John Pryor – Revolutionary War Bounty Land in Kentucky) I dug in to Revolutionary War land warrants to ID which John Pryor received land in KY.  Wait! There are more KY land grants to solve. Elizabeth Pryor Harper in her book Twenty-One Southern Families: Notes and Genealogies mentions 3 military land grants in 1791. These are a bit of a mystery to me because I didn’t find them on the State of Kentucky website with the other grants.  These grants on Beaver Creek and Skaggs Creek, these locations are in Pulaksi County and Rockcastle County respectively (see State of KY Gazetteer). The grants may have been filed in Jefferson County, but the land wasn’t in that county!

Musing over where these grants were recorded and where the land was at and which John Pryor was the recipient may all be for nothing because Ms. Harper noted next to each grant that they were “withdrawn”. There are no known Pryors in the records near the time in Pulaski or Rockcastle County. Does withdrawn mean that a claim was made without follow through?