Tag Archives: Carrington

Theory of William Pryor of Goochland, Albemarle, and Amherst Counties

Places: Amherst County, VA (A) and the fort at Point Pleasant (B). About 275 miles through the wilderness.

I’ve shared my theory of before but I’ll flesh it out in this post. I think William Pryor of Goochland, Albemarle, and Amherst Counties was the father of Captain William Pryor of Amherst County. It may get confusing, however I’ll do my best by distinguishing them as Old William and Young William.

Young William Pryor was the Capt. Pryor who swore out a statement for a Revolutionary War Pension in 1832 that told of his own military service and his brothers’ military service and the trials of settling in Kanawha. Per this statement, Young William Pryor was born about 1752 in Albemarle County.

William Pryor of Goochland County Suit

I think I can place Old William in Albemarle County at the same time. A Court Case filed in Goochland County in 1744 places Old William Pryor in Albemarle County. A William Laffoon had died without a will and his widow Grace  came to court to petition her appointment as administrator of his estate. George Carrington was surety. By 1747 the case was MOVED from Goochland County to Albemarle County, which was probably the result of the formation of Albemarle County in 1744 from a portion of Goochland County. William Pryor (the Old William) was dismissed from the case on 13 May 1748. William Pryor was named as an heir of William Laffoon.

Old William Pryor is named in additional Albemarle records during the early 1750’s. He’s the only Pryor to turn up at this time Young William was born in that county, hence there’s a strong likelihood Old William is the father of Young William Pryor and his brothers Nicholas and John.

“WILLIAM PRIOR (who was then listed as a resident of Albemarle Co., VA) sold 200 acres of land in Henrico County to WILLIAM HARDING of Henrico Co. This land was noted as “part of a greater tract of land granted to WILLIAM LAFFOON by patent”. (1751)

William Pryor of French Indian War

1758 Act of General Assembly – March 1758 awarded pay to officers and soldiers for service (French Indian Wars) to William PRYOR and Nicholas PRYOR of Albemarle Co.

William Pryor in Amherst County

Amherst County was formed out of parts of Albemarle County in 1761. Young William Pryor mentions this in his pension application. So after that year we have to look in Amherst County for the this family of Pryors. There are two deeds (deed #1 and deed #2 below) from about this time for a William Pryor in Amherst County– this William was not Young William because Young William was 10 years old in 1762 and 14 years old in 1766.

Deed #1 – William PRYOR, 350 acres on Peddlar Creek (1762)

Deed #2 – William PRYOR 395 acres on Irish Creek, Blue Ridge (1766)

A deed a decade later (1774), a deed reveals a William Pryor sold land in Amherst county, possibly the same land he acquired on Irish Creek in 1766.

Deed Book D, p. 166 3 Jan 1774 WM. PRYOR & wife MARGARET, AC, to PHILIP THURMOND, AC, for L114-11, 395 acres on the blue ridge; branch of Irish Creek. Wit: Roderick McCulloch, David Crawford, Isaac Wright, Wm. Crawford (1774)

This William Pryor sold off his land in 1774 a few months after his son, Young William, stated he had moved to Kanawha. The younger William moved to the land near the great Kanawha river in the fall of 1773, but the Indians drove him out and he returned to Amherst, venturing back to Kanawha in 1775. This back and forth between Kanawha and Amherst County went on for several years.

I like to be a bit skeptical about dates and who was who. The 1774 deed doesn’t state which William was involved, however the only known marriage for Young William Pryor was to Elizabeth Wright. So there’s the possibility this 1774 deed reveals the name of Old William’s wife… Margaret.  It also contains the names of several men who were associated with this line of Pryors over time: Isaac Wright’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Wright, married Young William Pryor during the American Revolution in 1778. David Crawford’s will was witnessed by William Pryor and John Pryor in 1801– Was this the younger or the older William? I don’t know.

The first record of Young William Pryor in Amherst County was the purchase of land on Enchanted Creek in 1780. It was during this year that he served out 3 months of duty in the Revolutionary War and claims to have returned to Amherst County where he lived ever since.

William PRYOR Jr. grantee, 247 acres on Inchanted Creek

I haven’t seen any records of William Pryor earlier than the Laffoon lawsuit, so perhaps William and Margaret were a young married couple in the late 1740’s. Their son, Young William indicates they were having children around that time and into the 1750’s.  It’s estimated that Old William was born around 1720.

Old William and Margaret’s probable children were

1. Nicholas Pryor b. about 1740-1750 in probably Goochland County. Nicholas married (1) Mary and later to (2) Sally Paxton. Died about 1813 in Kanawha County, VA
2. Capt. William Pryor b. about 1752 in Albemarle. Married Elizabeth Wright. Lived out rest of his life in Amherst County, VA.
3. John Pryor b. about 1750. Fought in Lord Dunmore’s War. Killed by indians?
4. Susannah Pryor b. about 1765. Married (1) Shadrack Harriman last man to be killed by indians in Kanawha, (2) David Milburn.

John and David Pryor, Orphans of David Pryor – Another Look

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I’ve been going back and forth discussing Christopher, John and David Pryor with a couple of other Pryors. The chart in an older post (Connecting Major John Pryor of Richmond to More Pryors!) was gnawing at us. We decided to play with the the relationships to see if there is a way to make better sense out of these Pryors. Maybe it will feel less like a bowl of spaghetti?

We decided to move John Pryor of Richmond right up next to David Pryor of Buckingham County and Christopher Pryor of Gloucester — all brothers.

  • “Major” John married Anne Beverly Whiting. Christopher Pryor’s son was the administrator of Thomas Whiting’s estate, Anne’s father.
  • “Major” John housed the cousin of President Jefferson during a scandal. David’s daughter married Jefferson’s brother.

Now, you know what that would mean? John and David are the orphan sons of David Pryor who died in 1747 in Goochland County. Hmmm. That would certainly steer some Pryor research in another direction.

One of the naggy questions we mulled over was why in the senior David’s estate different guardians were bestowed on John and David: Samuel Taylor was John’s guardian and Abraham Childress was David’s grandfather and guardian. One of my Pryor cousins thinks it was to divide duties. I think it was because John and David had different mothers. David’s mother was obviously a Childress, but if we look at this John as his brother, then he may have dropped a clue while serving in the Revolutionary War — he wrote a letter indicating his mother was still alive:

October 10th, 1782, Richmond.
Capt. John Pryor to Col. Davies
Asking leave to visit his mother “in great distress with a probability of losing her husband, who is my Father in Law, by sickness, and wishes much to see me.
— Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, pub. 1883

There is also a Carrington connection that wends its way through these Pryors:

  • In May 1778 David Pryor was serving with Lt. Mayo Carrington (Mayo, son of George Carrington). see post
  • “Major” John Pryor of Richmond attended the marriage of Capt. Dandridge in 1782 with Col. Edward Carrington (Edward, son of George Carrington, brother of Mayo Carrington, and the foreman of the Aaron Burr jury). see post
  • “Major” John Pryor received land grant in 1785 in KY, near C. Carrington (Codrington, son of George Carrington) see post
  • 1747 George Carrington deeded land to John and David, their father had already paid him for the land. see post

You know I’ve got my pencil out and I’m working around the Pryor chart testing out new relationships. Autosomal testing, as annoyingly hard to decipher as it can be, showed a connection between testers in my line to the Childress family (see post).  As I said… Hmmm.

Captain Pryor Among the Wabash Indians?

In reading through the Founding Fathers’ papers on the National Archives website I found in”Minutes of a Conference with the Illinois and Wabash Indians, [1–4 February 1793]“. There are several references to a Captain Pryor.

Old crooked legs sends you this pipe (here he presented it) and he prays you to send him Capt. Pryor for his father, for he is old & you ought to do this for him.”

Now, father, I address you for our young people. but there remains not much to say; for I spoke to you through Genl Putnam, and you have what I said on paper. I have buried the hatchet for ever; so must your children. I speak the truth & you must believe me. we all pray you to send capt. Pryor to us, because he has been so very kind to us all.”

father, we gave to our friend (Pryor) who came with us, our name of Wiatonon, and he gave us his name of American. we are now Americans. give him then to us for a father. he has loved us & taken care of us. he had pity on our women & children & fed them. do not forget to grant us this request. You told us to live in quiet and to do right. we will do what you desire. then do you what we desire, & let Pryor come to us.”

I pray you all who are present to say, as one man, that our peace is firm, & to let it be firm. listen to us if you love us. We live on the river; on one side, & shall be happy to see capt. Pryor on the other, and to have a lasting peace.”

I found further documents on the War Department website. Check out this document: wardepartmentpapers.org/scripto/?documentId=7564&pageId=21180 It’s a 1792 letter from General Knox, the Secretary of War. It mentions the Indians in the Wabash. It mentions Brigadier General Putnam and also mentions Lieutenant Pryor.

A letter written 26 December 1794 by Edward Carrington to Alexander Hamilton (see the National Archives Founding Fathers site http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-17-02-0464. Yes, the same Hamilton who’s on the $10 bill– he was the Secretary of the Treasury in 1794. The subject was paying troops for putting down an Indian rebellion and it references an October 12th letter Carrington had sent to Major Pryor. It’s like the old card game “Concentration”– we’ve met Edward Carrington and Major Pryor before! https://tennesseepryors.com/virginia-pryors/the-last-of-the-virginia-chancery-court-records/ This Major Pryor was a Capt. Lt. in the American Revolution and is the Major John Pryor of Richmond.

I suspect that Major John Pryor is the Captain Pryor who became involved with the Wabash Indians. This is a much more interesting picture of him and his involvement in history than the over-weight, gout ridden, ex army officer who serially married much younger women who was jilted by Anne Beverly Whiting.

Have I Solved My Pryor Genealogy Brick Wall?

Albemarle County Courthouse IMG_2603

I’m pretty excited this morning because through all the Virginia records research I have finally discovered the opening in my Pryor “brick wall.”

A Recap. I’m descended through Allen L. Pryor of Sumner County, TN. Through his Goodspeed biography I know his parents were Massa Taylor and John Pryor. I found their marriage record in Campbell County, VA and have traced them on census records in Sumner County. The Goodspeed biography says that Allen was born in White Co., TN although I’ve never found a record of his family in that county. I know too from an 1830’s lawsuit that mentions both families, that my Pryors are connected to William Pryor of Overton Co., TN who was married to Massa Taylor’s sister, Spicy Taylor.

The Starting Point. The first and most obvious link that ties John Pryor to William Pryor are their wives who were sisters. The couples were both married in Campbell Co, VA: John and Massa in 1812, and William and Spicy in 1809. Both men and their respective wives were mentioned in the 1824 will of Edmund Taylor which was also filed in Campbell County.

Ty, a distant Pryor cousin, long ago found a deed in Campbell County that mentions both John and William Pryor as the sons of a deceased John Pryor. So, as of yesterday I was certain that John and William were brothers and that one of the many John Pryors from Virginia was their father, but which one?

The Missing Link. As I went through the records I’ve added to the TNPRYORS.com website, I saw numerous connections to Abraham Childers/Childres/Childress.

• 1747 – In the inventory of David Pryor filed in Goochland Co. Court, guardianship of his son also a David Pryor, given to Abraham Childres. Samuel Taylor was the security (an April 1759 deed to from Samuel Taylor to Jame Gillam states Samuel was the son of Richard Taylor)
• 1747 – Deed dated 15 Sep 1747, George Carrington deeds for 17.10 to John & David Pryor, sons of David Pryor deceased, 250 acres, land falling in Goochland and Albemarle. bounded by Phineas Glover, Isaac Bates, Abraham Childres & Richard Taylor
• 1759 – A deed in Albemarle County states that land owned by John Cannon was bounded by property owned by Abraham Childers and John Pryor.
• 1759 – Deed dated 22 Jan 1759 From Samuel Taylor of the county of Cumberland to John Meadors of the same county for 50 lbs., about 305 A. on the branches of Mill Branch in the county aforesaid, and part of a tract of land granted to Richard Taylor by patent dated August 20, 1745 containing 1200 A., and the said 305 A. of land is bounded southerly by the said Samuel Taylor, westerly by James GILLIAM, northerly by James Daniel and easterly by land belonging to the estate of James Nevel, deceased, and Philip Mayo.
• 1763/64 – Also in Albemarle County, Abraham Childers named his grandson David Pryor in his will. The will was probated in 1764.
• 1782 Will in Cumberland Co., VA for George Carrington Jr. mentions land he purchased from John Pryor and Samuel Taylor (Samuel was married to Sophia Childers, Abraham’s daughter)

The links from Abraham Childers to John and David Pryor, sons of David Pryor are pretty clear, and even their connection to Samuel Taylor, son of a Richard Taylor but what connects them to the John Pryor and Edmund Taylor who appear later in Campbell County records?

The Bow Who Ties Them All Together. My conclusion is that the John Pryor in Cumberland and Albemarle counties is the same John Pryor who was in Campbell County in the 1780’s. I think Sarah Woodson is the person who ties these families together. Sarah was married to Judge Creed Taylor, a son of Samuel Taylor of Albemarle County. Sarah was the niece of John Woodson and the cousin of Anderson Woodson. Samuel Taylor left a paper trail—Edmund Taylor didn’t leave a lot of records, but my “ah-ha” moment was when I realized that Anderson Woodson Jr. was the executor of Edmund Taylor’s estate in Campbell County.

Estimating Ages and Births. I played the age game from records trying to figure out relationships.

John Pryor and David Pryor. The wills and land records indicate that John and David Pryor were the sons of a David Pryor who married one of Abraham Childres’ daughters (her name is lost to history so far). The younger David Pryor must have still been in his minority in 1747 when Abraham Childers was appointed his guardian, making David born somewhere around 1740, plus or minus a few years. I think it’s safe to assume that John was the oldest of the sons and that he was born around 1725 as he was probably an adult in 1747. That would mean David Pryor Sr. was born about 1700 or at the end of the 1600’s. Wow! I don’t have a David Pryor in my database that originates that far back!

Samuel Taylor and Edmund Taylor. I don’t believe they were brothers. Samuel married Sofia Childers in 1744. If Samuel was 20 when he married he may have been born around 1725. Edmund Taylor was on the 1820 Census in Campbell County. The census reflects that he born before 1775, yet from subsequent census and other records we know his first child, Hezekiah, was born about 1793, so it’s likely that Edmund wasn’t born too long before 1775. If Edmund was born about 1770, it’s likely that Samuel who was about 40 to 45 years old was his father or perhaps an uncle.

Associated Lines? I don’t believe our ancestors dropped out of the sky. I know that skillful sleuthing and measured calculations can help to link people to the correct branches of a family line. My gut tells me that Nicholas Pryor of Amherst County is closely connected to David Pryor and his sons David and John.

Nicholas Pryor served in the militia and his brother William stated on his Revolutionary War affidavit that he was born in Albemarle County. Nicholas received payment for time served in the Militia in Abemarle County in 1756 while John Pryor (son of David Pryor) was recorded on a deed in the same county in 1759.
Nicholas Pryor was counted in Amherst County in 1784. John Pryor and David Pryor were also in Amherst County in 1784.
• The Granite Monthly, Vol 42 stated that Capt. Daniel Pryor built a palatial residence in Amherst Co. in 1798 yet I can find no other records of a Daniel Pryor in that county. Yet, there is a David Pryor on the 1800 Tax list for Amherst County. Was ancient handwriting misread, substituting Daniel for David?

Did John Pryor Move On? I’m intrigued by the will filed by George Carrington in Fayette County , KY in 1782 mentioning land he purchased from John Pryor and Samuel Taylor in Cumberland County, VA. In 1783 there was a John Pryor in Fayette Co. who owned 6000 acres. Was this the same man who was Amherst County, Cumberland County, and was in Campbell Co., VA from 1785 to at least 1790?

Where did David Sr. and Nicholas Pryor Come From? I’ve seen many unsourced Ancestry.com trees that state Nicholas Pryor immigrated from Scotland or was the son of a Scottish immigrant. I’m not ready to commit to that yet. The guardianship papers for David Pryor Jr. were filed in Goochland County, which makes me lean to Goochland County as a place that David Sr. lived and perhaps David Jr and his brother John were born. I haven’t been able to find any stray David Pryors in Goochland records, however there is a Daniel Pryor born 1703 (son of Robert Pryor and Betty Virginia Green). Again I’m wondering if there’s a transcription issue with the names David and Daniel.

While this may feel like a beautiful ending, I sense this is the beginning of a lot more research!