Pryor Genealogy – Searching John Pryor of Orange County, NC and Daughter Dorothy

Sometimes it’s interesting to continue to dig for Pryor genealogy by following the trail of men with the first name Pryor rather than just chasing the surname. You never know if it will lead to related families of the Pryor surname.

Perhaps this announcement in an 1838 newspaper will assist you in your family tree search.

We are authorized to announce Gen. Pryor M Grant of Columbus, a Candidate for the office of Major General of the Fourth Division of the Mississippi Militia, composed of the counties of Lowndes, Noxubee, Kemper, Oaktibbeha, Winston, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott, Smith, Atalla, Choctaw, Carrol, Yalabusha, and Tallahatchie.
Published in Southern Argus, 2 January 1838

Who was General Pryor M Grant? Online family trees show him as the son of Henrietta McNeill and Joshua Grant of Person County, NC. Boddie and Allied Families, by John Thomas Boddie (pub 1918) states “(Henry McNeil) married at Petersburg, Va. Dororthy Pryor, born in Virginia, 23 March 1755, died in Christian County, Ky., 17 March 1824, daughter of John Pryor, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.” They lived in Person County, NC before moving to KY. They were the parents of Henrietta McNeill who married Joshua Grant, and thus Dorothy Pryor Grant was the grandmother of Pryor M Grant.

There is a Dorothy Pryor named as a daughter of John Pryor in his will dated 1771 in Orange Co., NC

“…to my daughter Dorothy Pryor my negro girl named Cloe and one feather bed and furniture, two cows and calves one horse or mare and saddle when she arrives to lawful age or married to her and her heirs forever…”

If this is the same Dorothy Pryor who married Henry McNeill, she was underage when her father died in NC and perhaps of age when she married in Petersburg, VA. Petersburg is interesting. Why Petersburg and not in NC? I checked Google maps and it’s about 120 miles between the two areas. The Boddie book also states she was a  “daughter of John Pryor, of Dinwiddie County, Virginia.”

I wonder where this Pryor and McNeil genealogy information came from. The editor of the book writes of having letters from the 1700’s when McNeil had to prove his relationships in order to claim an inheritance. It would have been nice if he had printed transcripts and sited complete source information in his book.

If you like a genealogy swashbuckler ending: The Madison Whig (MS) on 16 March 1839 reported Pryor W (sic?) Grant and Maj S F Butterwoth “both of Columbus in this State” had fought with “four pistols each, at thirty paces.” The duel ended without death or injury. It sounds like Roger A Pryor of Dinwiddie County who got into scraps when he disagreed.