Tag Archives: Appomattox County

Pryor Clue? Taylor Land in Campbell County and Appomattox County, VA

Campbell County Pryor FamiliesI think I’ve found another clue as to where John Pryor and William Pryor (of Sumner and Overton Counties) may have lived in Campbell County, or at least where their Taylor in-laws had lived.

About a decade after the Pryors and the Taylors moved to Tennessee, the heirs to Edmund/Edward Taylors estate sold some land in Campbell County.

Horatio Goff (grantee), from (grantors) M., Hezekiah, Chesley, Spicy PRYOR, Pleasant, Elizabeth, Polly Taylor 11/1838 Book 22 Page 213

I went to the 1840 Census to get a sense of where Mr. Goff was living. He was counted in the North East District of Campbell County. His neighbors’ surnames aren’t anyone I recognize with a connection to the Taylors or the Pryors: Dobins, Thurman, Saunders, Echols, Legrand, Buckley.

I looked again at the 1850 Census. Horatio Goff 66 was counted in Appomattox County (this county was formed out of part of Campbell County in 1845). His neighbors share surnames very familiar to this line of the Pryors: Elbert Legrand 50, Wilson M Wright 46, James D Wright 51, Josiah Woodson 50, Jacob Woodson 85, and several Stratton families (the Taylors married into the Strattons).

This information helps to support that the Pryors and Taylors were from the part of Campbell County that became Appomattox County.

John Pryor in Campbell, Bedford, Appomattox, and Albemarle

ross-pryor-mapI have been revisiting my own Pryor line (John Pryor of Sumner Co., TN and William Pryor of Overton Co., TN). I can speculate on relationships all I want, but I’m still looking for the meat and potatoes, the paper proof of who is related whom.

DNA NOTE: We have one Y DNA test on this line– working on interpreting the results. If you’re a Pryor male from either of these lines. I’m interested in working with you on Y-DNA testing. Identities are kept confidential.

I found a nifty source called cLocations.com. You can look up waterways and it will pinpoint them on a map. That’s awesome! Because they didn’t have piped in city water in the 1700’s so waterways were important for people and their livestock AND without GPS, waterways were markers on deeds as to where property was located.

We have a deed for John Pryor (likely the father of John and William and the grandfather of Allen L. Pryor of Sumner County, TN, b. 1816):

On 25 November 1788, John Pryer of Campbell County purchases “from John Kitchen of Henry County . . . for 75 [pounds], one certain tract of land of 135 acres in C[ampbell] on the west branches of Stonewall Cr, 7 bounded by Stoval, Kitchen’s corner on Cattail Branch, McBride. Signed – John Kitchen. Wit – Thomas Dunn, William Page, William Bernett (B (Burnett), Henry Truman, William Chenalt (Chenault), Charles Rork. Recorded Apr 2, 1789.” (Campbell County Virginia Deeds, 1784 – 1790 published by T.L.C. Genealogy (Miami), p. 55, referencing deed book page 360)

The pink star on the above map shows where Stonewall Creek is located in what is today’s Appomattox County. While the original deed was in Campbell County, it’s consistent with the history of the Taylors (John’s sons both married Taylor women) that they lived in the part of Campbell County that was sacrificed for the formation of Appomattox County.

I know Tennessee researchers bemoan all the county divisions– Virginia is just as frustrating.  I found a sensible explanation of the county divisions in Campbell Chronicles by Ruth Hairston Early (pub. 1927).

“In 1754 the part of Albemarle lying upon the south side of the river, from the mouth of Stonewall Creek to the head of Falling river, was added to Bedford: then Albemarle was divided in 1761 to form Amherst; the portion north of the James was marked by a line up the Rockfish River to the mouth of Green creek, thence to the Blue Mountains; east of this line remained Albemarle…”,

Ms. Early also added that the James River was also known as the Fluvanna, derived from fluvius (water) and Queen Anne of England. So the Pryors in Appomattox can be in Campbell County records (we already knew that), and also in Bedford and Almemarle records.  Whew!

We’ve probably got John Pryor in a Bedford record

John Pryer with Gideon Martin, Jane Preston, Thomas Stovall witnessed the will of Jacob Rector in Bedford County VA on 26 Oct. 1779. John Pryer along with Gideon Martin proved the will by oaths on 22 Nov. 1779. John Pryer along with David Martin and Thomas Stovall inventoried the estate of Jacob Rector on 3 Dec. 1779, returned 22 January 1781. “Prier” also used at one place in the record. (Abstracts of Bedford County Virginia Wills, Inventories and Accounts by Joida Whitten, Taylor Publishing Company (Dallas), pp. 101 and 113, referencing will book pp. 359-60 and 387.)

I suspect that the Pryor on Stonewall Creek and the Pryor who witnessed Jacob Rector’s will and inventoried the estate is the same John Pryor who was in Campbell County (late area in Appomattox County). Pryor’s 1788 deed states his land was near Stovall’s and 1779 a Thomas Stovall witnessed the will with Pryor.  There’s a remnant of the Pryors in Appomattox County on the 1850 census– Pryor Wright and Pryor D. Martin. I suspect Pryor D. Martin is related to the David Martin who inventoried Rector’s estate with John Pryor.

Now, there’s another line of Pryors we have to consider connecting with the John Pryor in Albemarle. Yes, it’s likely he’s the brother of David Pryor in Buckingham County since there was a David and John mentioned in the Henrico County courts and Cumberland County deeds as heirs of a deceased David Pryor. I suspect they are also kin to Harris Pryor of Bedford County. When Harris’ family left VA for TN they lived near Rectors in Anderson County and Roane County.

So, we have John Pryor pinned down from 1779 when he witnessed a will to 1788 when he bought property in Campbell County (now Appomattox). County divisions tell us to look for earlier records of John Pryor in Bedford and Albemarle Counties. Yes, there is a John Pryor who in 1759 was on the south side of the Fluvanna (remember that’s the James River!) in Albemarle County near Abraham Childers/Childress. John Pryor’s property in 1788 is also on the south side of the river.

That leaves us with a pretty big gap in the time on the paper records for John Pryor — 1759-1788. Where was he and what was he doing?

Is there a David Ross connection? I was thinking of the old John Pryor b. 1757 who was in Sullivan Co., TN next to the entrepreneur David Ross (read part 4 of Ross Posts). I know that my John Pryor was probably deceased by 1812 and the one in Sullivan County lived past the 1850 Census, so they are not the same man. However there’s an interesting little fact to share: Oxford Iron Works, the foundry Ross ran during the Revolutionary War; it was located on Beaver Creek in Campbell County, VA. The red “pin” on the above map shows that it was just 12 miles from where John Pryor lived on Stonewall Creek.

Foreigners in the House- Pryors and Taylors in Campbell Co., VA

I promised readers some new information on the Taylor line of Spicy and Massie who married William Pryor and John Pryor in Campbell Co. VA.

When I was piecing together the Pryors in Campbell Co., VA and in Cumberland Co., VA I kept stumbling upon Taylors. The Taylors grabbed my interest because my ancestors John and William Pryor married sisters (daughters of Edmund/Edward Taylor) Massie and Spicy Taylor in Campbell Co. I knew I’d eventually come back and explore the Taylor connections and got a chance to do just that after hearing from Cousin Ty who has turned over some new VERY interesting research.

Ty found a book titled “Biographical memoirs of Greene County, Indiana: With Reminiscences of Pioneer Days”, Volume 3, by B F Bowen & Co., published 1908 (Google Books http://bit.ly/N2Q6K6).

“Mr. Taylor was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, February 21, 1838, the son of Richard Oglesby Taylor. Grandfather Taylor came to America from England and settled in Virginia, where he farmed until the War of 1812, when he enlisted and was killed in battle. He was of a family of four boys and three girls, one brother having come to America. Richard Taylor, father of the subject, was born in Appomattox county, Virginia.”

The quote above is from the biography of John Stafford Taylor, a grandson of Hezekiah Taylor of Campbell Co., VA. For those of us who are familiar with the Pryors and Taylors, it’s important to note this is not the Hezekiah who was a brother to Massie and Spicy Taylor, but the Hezekiah Taylor who married Polly Oglesby and died in The War of 1812. Polly Oglesby Taylor remarried in 1815 to Isaac Crews.

Ty and I have had similar results in researching Taylors in Campbell Co. and Cumberland Co.—we just can’t match out direct ancestor Edmund/Edward Taylor to any of the known Taylor lines. We’ve also tried to match up Hezekiah Taylor who died in The War of 1812, but he too seems like a “stray” Taylor.  So, the biography of Hezekiah’s grandson opens a new possibility—Were Edmund and Hezekiah brothers? Did Edmund and Hezekiah immigrate to Virginia from England in perhaps the 1780’s?

Appomattox County helps tie the Taylors and Pryors to a specific area of Campbell County, VA—the area of Campbell County that was sectioned off to become part of Appomattox County in 1845! Ty also found a reference to Richard Oglesby Taylor in the book “The Bound Boy” (1994) by Harold D. Cromwell, stating again that Richard’s origins were in Appomattox County. When I looked at the 1850 Census in Appomattox County I found some familiar names: House 214 Mary Crews 39, House 218 Pryor Martin, House 226 Joseph Crews, House 228 Howlett Martin, House 234 Edward Taylor (son of Hezekiah Taylor & Polly Oglesby)

The Name Game

There is a lot to be said for naming traditions in early American families. The years of birth for Edmund and Hezekiah children are somewhat cloudy, so we aren’t really sure of their birth order or year of birth.  Below is our best estimate from available records.  What stands out is that Edmund/Edward named a son Hezekiah and Hezekiah named a son Edward.

Edmund/Edward Taylor and   wife Elizabeth
Chesley 1785
Hezekiah 1793
Spicy 1790
John 1790
David 1795
Massie 1800
Jane 1802
Pleasant 1798
Elizabeth 1807
Mary “Polly” 1810
Hezekiah Taylor and   wife Polly
Edward 1807
Richard Oglesby 1811
Stafford 1808
Sarah 1807

The Grandfather’s Marriage

State of VA, County of Campbell: I George Wm. Dabney, Clerk of the County Court of Campbell, State of VA, do hereby certify that from the register of Marriages, kept and __?__in the office of the Court aforesaid, it appears that the Rites of Holy Matrimony were solemnized between Hezekiah Taylor and Polly Oglesby on the 20th day of May 1807 by the Rev. William Flowers, a legally authorized Minister of the Gospel. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at office this 19th day of April 1853 George Mc Dabney, Clk (or it might be George Wm. Dabney (NOTE: William Flowers also performed the marriage of Elizabeth Pryor and John Harris on 16 Dec 1800)

War of 1812 Records

HEZ TAYLOR, Campbell Co, Private, 5th Regiment Infantry, $48.00 Annual Allowance. $240 Amount Received , Died Nov 30, 1812, Pension started April 15, 1819 , HEIRS: Stafford Taylor , Edward Taylor, Sarah Taylor, Richard Taylor

NOTE: The widow, Polly Oglesby Taylor, remarried on 12 Nov 1815 to Isaac Crews.

War of 1812 Pension document on Ancestry.com. It says that in 1854 Polly Crews pension for Hez Taylor was increased to $3.50 on 19 Sept 1854 and that the last payment was made in 1859. So was Polly still alive in 1850? If so, I haven’t been able to find her on the 1850 Census.

1820 Census – The Foreigners in the House

Recorded on same page in Campbell Co., VA: Isaac Crews, Edward Taylor, Hezekiah Taylor. NOTE: 2 non US citizens were recorded in Edward (Edmund) Taylor’s household – perhaps one of these people was Edmund himself. The actual census column is labeled “Foreigners not naturalized.” Please don’t message me that you don’t see this on Ancestry.com. Ancestry’s census is so enhanced you can see the writing on the other side of the page. I had to look at the 1820 Census on HeritageQuest (a service through my local library) and Ty used CensusRecords.com.—both were clearer than what was seen on Ancestry.  The question of nationality was not asked in 1810 and I haven’t found any Taylor nor Pryor households in 1830 showing any “aliens” in the household.

1880 Census
I found only 3 children born to Edmund/Edward Taylor and Hezekiah Taylor who lived to the 1880 Census, the first census where each subject had to state their parents’ place of birth.

Richard O Taylor, son of Hezekiah (d. War of 1812) living in Greene Co., IN. Father’s place of birth blank.
Edward Taylor, son of Hezekiah (d. War of 1812) living in Appomattox Co., VA. Father’s place of birth VA
Hezekiah Taylor, son of Edmund/Edward Taylor, living in Overton Co., TN. Father’s place of birth VA.

If you have any further information on these Taylor or Pryors, please share!