Tag Archives: Austin Colony

Explaining Botetourt County, VA Pryors

Chart - Botetourt

Here goes… Botetourt County.

It’s another of my charts that attempt to make sense out of what we’ve found this year. I’ve used numbers in identifying the Pryors who link to the line of Samuel and Prudence Thornton. I’ve used letters for the Pryors who I can’t yet identify a line. Even then I think there are a few questionable matches… they just may not be from the lines they appear to be from!

  • I’m pretty sure that Joseph, Luke, and John were brothers. They are named as brothers in Luke’s (#2) will. Joseph owned land on Looney’s Creek.
  • I’m certain that Samuel Pryor (#8) was NOT the brother of Joseph, Luke, and John because their brother Samuel died in 1766 (see Chancery Court suits in prior posts). Samuel seems likely to be the Samuel Thornton Pryor who was the executor of his father William Pryor and his mother Sarah (Wood) estates. I’ve gone through the other grandchildren of Samuel and Prudence who were named Samuel and they were either dead or living in other counties, or too not yet adults in 1800 to be called as a witness on the suit involving Norvell. There’s always the possibility that he’s not that Samuel, but the Samuel who eventually married Fannie Ferguson and died in 1815 in Anderson County, TN.
  • John Pryor (#9) who sold land on Looney’s Creek is possibly, though not probable yet, Luke and Joseph’s brother. John was married to Mary Dennis. He died in 1785, so perhaps he was cleaning up his estate when he sold the land.  He may also be the John Pryor who was in Albemarle and Campbell County, however not enough information is available and we don’t have the name of his wife.
  • I’m not convinced that John (#9) who was married to Mary on Looney’s Creek is the same man who fought in Captain Preston’s Rangers. I think the one who fought with the Rangers is more likely to be an older John Pryor.
  • The Mitchell Bible said Samuel and Prudence had a son Frank Pryor. So where is Frank or Francis in records????

This was a good exercise to see who was in Botetourt and when. All ideas welcomed.

William Pryor of VA, TN, AL, and Texas – Kin to Richard Pryor

wm-pryor-botetourt-austin

So many common names. Have you had your share of William, John, James, and Joseph Pryors? I know I have! I think we can now tease out enough information to ID a William Pryor and I’m now ready to believe he is related in some manner to Richard Pryor who was married to Mourning Thompson. I’ve listed what we know of his life and I hope it helps others sift through all the data. Maybe we can even figure out HOW everyone is related.

  • William Pryor stated in his will that he was from Botetourt County, VA although in the 30 years preceding his death he had lived in TN and AL (MS Territory).  Did it hold some clout to be from Botetourt County? The earliest known record of William Pryor was 1789, making his year of birth about 1769 or earlier (presuming he was age 21 or older in 1789)/
  • 1789 Greene Co., TN William Pryor and Joseph Pryor signed the Petition of Sundry Inhabitants South of French Broad.
  • 1791 Sumner Co., TN – William Pryor was surety for marriage of Mary Pryor to John Hannah. The Hannah’s were also from Botetourt County and were early settlers along the Nolachucky River in Greene County, TN. In 1790 John Hannah had sold a slave in Sumner County to Isaac Bledsoe and it was witnessed by Peter Looney who was also from Botetourt County.
  • William Pryor obtained land in Sumner County, TN.  This transaction has been fleshed out by researcher Bill Lindsey– On 4 Oct 1791 William Pryor of Greene County, TN received 640 acres in Sumner County, TN from Martha Fletcher the mother of Jesse Goldsmith a Revolutionary War soldier. On 6 Feb 1792 Robert Ewing filed the survey. Mark Armstrong was surveyor, with John Young and Benjamin Smith as chain carriers. The plat states that the land came to Jesse Goldsmith by virtue of military warrant #3724, and states that the land was on middle fork of Drake’s Creek.
  • 1793 Tax List in Sumner Co., TN – William Pryor with Philip Trammel, Elijah Ewing and John Pryor.
  • Philip Trammel connection: William Pryor was married to Betsy Trammel. I found Philip Trammel who was in Logan Co. at the time of Richard and Mourning Pryor and Elijah Ewing.

Philip Trammell was a resident of Logan Co, Ky, 17 Jan 1797 when his deposition was to be taken to prove an agreement between Wm Stair & Jethro Sumner. (Robertson Co, Tn, Co. court min. 18 Jan 1797). Said Trammel being blind, his handwriting was proved.

  • Elijah Ewing connection: Elijah married Elizabeth Trammel, a daughter of Philip Trammel. Elijah got a land grant in Logan County in 23 Sept 1796. In 1801 he signed a petition against using Smith County land to make Wilson County with signers:  John Pryor, William Pryor, Elijah Ewing, Caleb Job, Joseph Pryor. In 1802 he was on a Jackson Co. Tax List in Capt. Fitzgerald’s Company with Daniel Job, William Pryor, Ezekial Rhea, Elijah Ewing, James Taylor. In 1808 he was granted land on Roaring River in Jackson County, TN. He was on the 1812 Tax List Jackson County, TN.
  • 1794 Tax List in Sumner Co., TN – William Pryor on the list with Elijah Ewing and Benjamin Downs who is also on records with William Pryor in Stewart Co., TN. 1805 Benjamin Downs witnessed deed to William Pryor in Stewart Co., 1805 William Pryor deeded land to John Churchill witnessed by Benjamin Downs.
  • 1794 Land Grant in Sumner Co. – William Pryor bought land from Howell Tatum land borders John Pryor and Philip Trammel. I suspect this is the John Pryor who in Jan. 1791 was bonded in a Sumner Co. court case involving John Cotton and Howell Tatum.
  • 1795 Tax List in Sumner Co., TN. William Pryor is listed near John Hannah.
  • 1796 in Sumner Co., TN William Pryor signed bond to Richard Pryor for land on Caney Fork out of tract purchased from Howell Tatum.
  • 1798 William’s daughter Stacey was born in SC per the 1850 Census. I think that perhaps the year and/or place are incorrect as her name seems to have taken on many variations. In his will she is named as Stacey. Perhaps she was born slightly earlier in TN when it was still NC. On the 1850 Census she is Susan. In 1830’s court documents she is Fannie. Richard Pryor’s heir Jonathan Pryor of Graves Co. named his first daughter Eustacia “Stacy”, so perhaps that’s a family name.
  • 1802 List Tax List Jackson Co., TN. William Pryor recorded in Capt Fitzgerald’s Co. with Daniel Job, Ezekial Rhea, Elijah Ewing— Job and Rhea were heirs of Richard Pryor. Jackson County was formed out of land that was part of Sumner County.
  • 1802 Smith County William Pryor and James Pryor were ordered to lay a road from Lancaster’s Ferry on the Caney Fork River to Walton’s Road. William Pryor left Jackson Co. in about 1804 for Stewart County (that is when he starts appearing on Stewart County records). Both William Pryor and James Pryor were in Stewart County Records. James may be the James B. Pryor b. 1778 in VA later shows up in Pike Co., IL and obit for his wife Rebecca stated they had lived in Stewart Co. and Christian Co., KY before moving to Pike Co.
  • 1802 Smith County deed for the land on Caney Fork that William bonded to Richard. 400 acres to Wm and 400 to James. I suspect these are William and James who went to Stewart Co.
  • 1803 Jackson Co.Deed to William McNabb… 100 acres… West fork of Russell’s Mill Creek on which fork William PRYOR lives.
  • 1804 William Pryor deeded land in Christian Co., KY (this is important because James Pryor was also in Christian Co.)
  • 1805 Deed in Stewart Co., TN – William deeded land to William Haynes. Benjamin Downs witnessed. (see #5 above, Benjamin Downs was in Sumner Co. with William Pryor)
  • 1805 in Stewart Co. ordered to build a road with Robert Lancaster. Is this one of the Lancasters who was in Smith Co., TN with the Pryors?
  • 1811 Settlement of Richard Pryor’s estate filed in Logan County, KY
  • Both William and James Pryor named on 1812 Guardian Bond in Stewart Co. for orphans of Samson Trammell (son of Philip Trammel?)
  • 1816 William Pryor was in Clarke Co., MS Territory (no Alabama)
  • 1824 William Pryor was in Waller Co., TX with Austin 300. A Spanish deed dated 9 May 1828 (see his signature above) confirms he was from the United States and a resident of Stephen Austin’s Colony.
  • 1825 his daughter Harriet Pryor married Noel Roberts in Austin, TX.
  • William died 9 Sept 1833 in San Felipe, TX. it was recorded in Gov. Travis’ diary.

Who was James Pryor in Cumberland County, VA Circa 1802?

james-pryor-cumberland-1It’s kind of fun with a “new” Pryor surfaces, but it also drives me absolutely C-R-A-Z-Y!

There’s a Virginia Chancery Court case “William Gay vs executors of Richard Eggleston deceased” — there actual pleadings are missing, so I can’t tell exactly what date it was filed.  I gleaned the gist of the case from two depositions which were noticed:

1st Deposition: James Pryor taken 22 Sept 1802 at the home of William Pryor in Cumberland County. He states that the case surrounds the trade of tabacco, iron, etc. for a Peacock Gelding (a horse) in 1782 or 1792. Names included are Richard Eggleston, John Eggleston, and Clough Eggleston.

2nd Deposition: In November 1804: Clough Eggleston in Amelia County, Clough was an overseer from 1780 to 1781, signed Thomas Randolph JP, James P Coke JP – noticed on 15 Oct 1804 by William Meriwether and Joseph Eggleston.

james-pryor-cumberland-2

Banister L. Pryor married Rebecca Eggleston in Cumberland County in 1808 (6 years after James Pryor’s deposition in Cumberland County).  Banister was a son of David Pryor and Susannah Ballow of Buckingham Co., VA and later Nashville, TN.  Even with this information that connects the Pryors and the Egglestons I have no idea which James Pryor this may be!

I guess if James testified in a deposition in 1802 that he was 21 years old or older. So, he was born about 1781 or earlier. I have a pretty short list of possibilities…

James Pryor, brother of Nathaniel Pryor (the Lewis and Clark guy). James may have been an adult when his father died in about 1791 in KY. James ran a dry goods store with his brother in law, John B. Gilly and was likely in KY with the rest of his family in 1802.

James Paxton Pryor born around 1785 in Kanawha County was the son of Nicholas and Sally Paxton. He was named in a 1806 Chancery Court suit in Augusta County, VA, so he could have been in the area in 1802, but he would have been a young child when he witnessed the horse transaction which was the subject of the suit.

James Pryor b. 1776 – 1794  who was in Stewart County, TN with William Pryor married to Betsy Trammell. William was born in Botetourt County, VA and is first recorded in Stewart County in 1804. Cold this be the William and James in Cumberland County?

Well, I also suspect that the James in Stewart County was also the one who was in Pike County, IL: http://www.tnpryors.com/states_census/il_m-s.htm#Pike  This James Pryor obtained land grants in Pike Co. in 1840. The oldest male in household for the 1840 Census was 50 to 59 years. A death notice from THE NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE for REBECCA PRYOR wife of James Pryor, died Pike Co., Ill., Jan. 7, 1849; states they moved from Christian Co., Ky. to Stewart Co., Tenn., to Pike Co., Illinois.

This made me laugh. The James in Pike County was counted on the 1850 Census and his occupation was recorded as POSTMASTER. Good grief, could he be related to Banister Pryor and his kin who were postmasters and other public servants? (See John C. Pryor’s Letter to President Thomas Jefferson)

 

Pryors on the Tennessee Tax Lists

TaxesApril 15th has passed and now we can look at taxes for fun (hopefully). The Tennessee Tax Lists are up on Ancestry.com and I’ve had some fun going through them. There are a couple of connections that I’d like to share – just in case they will help out another Pryor researcher.

First I found on the 1794 Sumner County Tax List William Pryor. I’ve had several researchers tell me that this William was a son of Richard Pryor and Mourning Thompson. I looked at his neighbors on the list and found Elijah Ewing and Benjamin Downs are close by. In the early 1800’s Benjamin Downs is on several records in Stewart County with the William Pryor who later migrated to Austin’s Colony in Texas. So is William in Sumner County the same man?

I love these kind of questions because it’s like a domino effect… ask one question and how we look at other data comes into question.  Was he the same William who was surety for the Sumner Co. marriages of Mary Pryor to John Hannah, and Jenny Pryor to George Fairly (or Farely). Was he the William Pryor who in 1796 signed a bond for Richard Pryor for 200 pounds VA money for a tract of 2565 acres on the Cainey Fork of the Cumberland? Wouldn’t it make more sense in that kind of transaction that William might be Richard’s brother and not his son?

I mentioned Elijah Ewing. He is on the 1805 Tax List for Blount County—on the same page as a Thomas Pryor.  Let’s throw another name into the mix for Blount County — There’s a Joseph Pryor in that county on the 1805 Census.  I suspect that he was the same Joseph Pryor who was on the 1803 Tax List for Jackson County because both men were recorded near John Whitson.  The Whitsons were connected to the Pryors of White County. Researchers report Jeremiah Whitson married Susannah Pryor in about 1804, and Elizabeth Pryor married James Whitson.

It’s been speculated that Thomas is Thompson Pryor, who was a son of Richard and Mourning Pryor, and that Joseph, Susannah, and Elizabeth are additional children of Richard and Mourning Pryor.

Puzzle solvers welcome!

Forget About the Stereotype: Early Pryors were Educated Pioneers

I think many of us are familiar with the stereotype of the early pioneers– illiterate backwoodsmen. I’m finding that early Pryors were educated pioneers.

When I looked again at the Pryors in the War of 1812. I was trying to figure out if the Nathan Pryor who served in the Missouri Militia under Col. McNair was Nathaniel Pryor of the Louis and Clark Expedition. Col. Alexander McNair was also the first governor of Missouri. Stephen F. Austin of the Austin Colony in Texas was in McNair’s regiment in the War of 1812. McNair ran against explorer William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) and defeated him in 1820. Oh yes, lest we forget—Austin was connected to another Pryor: William Pryor of Stewart County, TN was among the pioneers in Austin’s Colony. The connections are so numerous; it’s like a big bowl of spaghetti!

Reading about Lewis and Clark, Nathaniel Pryor, Austin, and others… I’m beginning to realize that the view of the pioneers we’re taught in school is really wrong. These men who were leaders were educated pioneers and extremely connected in society and by marriage. They weren’t the ‘coon skin cap wearin’ hicks that the movies and some teachers portrayed. It was true then and still true— gotta have an education to get ahead.

If the 1812 record for Nathan Pryor is the same as Nathaniel, he was an adjutant, an assistant to high ranking officers. This position probably entailed reading and writing messages. When I’ve looked at St. Louis court documents that name Nathaniel Pryor, he signed his own name to these documents.

Betty (TXOld300) who has been researching William Pryor reports that he signed his will in Texas indicating that he too was literate.

Recognizing an ancestor’s level of education helps to understand who they were and how they interacted in their world. Education also is a clue to where to look for further documentation to flesh-out the story of our family tree.