Tag Archives: Charles City

Samuel Pryor of Charles City

I have to refer back to Croxton Pryor who in 1776 had 4 pairs of Callimanco Shoes listed in his estate. I think I’ve found another Pryor who can top that.


Samuel Pryor of Charles City died around 1801. In his estate are a veritable treasure trove of early-American dry goods, which included 30 pairs of Callimanco Shoes.

21 3/4 yds Gingham
11 1/4 yds Tambord? Muslin
10 1/2 yds Tambord? Muslin
29 yds Dark Callico
28 yds of Purple Muslin
5 1/2 yds cotton cambrie
23 yds cark callico
10 yds gimp trimming
16 yds India cotton
25 yds red & black callico, 22 yds green ditto
40 yds checks
(see estate on Ancestry.com)

This is just a sample of what was listed. I wonder if he was a tailor or ran a store. It seems like a of fabric for personal use, at least until you account for all the slaves named in the will.

Armistead, Henry, Arney, Babary, George, Nancy, Lucy, Nancy, Moses, James, Billy, Oliver, Cate, Mourning, Ned, Will, Priscilla, Julius, Biley, Fanney, Betty Norfolk, Booker, Goliah,

I have in my notes that the Samuel who was on the 1790 Tax List for Charles City was the father of Brazure Williams Pryor, but that may not be so. There’s an account in the Charles City records that names Samuel as Brazure’s guardian. Would his father be called a “guardian”? Accounts were made in 1794 through 1799.

Another Virginia Pryor Tree Comes Together

Thank you, Roger! We now know how Brazure W. Pryor and Christopher J D Pryor  together were related.

Generation 1
Chistopher Pryor b. 1745, married to Catherine Clayton. He died 1803 in Gloucester Co.
John Clayton Pryor b. 1779
Julianna Pryor b. 1772, married William Robbins
Samuel Pryor b. 1767-1772
Elizabeth Whiting Pryor

Generation 2
— John Clayton Pryor b. 1779
married 1: Betsy Armistead Tyler (sister of President John Tyler)
children :
John A Pryor b. and d. 1800
Mary Ann Catharine Pryor b. and d. 1802
Ann Contesse Pryor b. 1803
Elizabeth Armistead Pryor b. 1808, married John Tyler Semple
Martha Christiana Pryor b. 1817, married George W Semple
William Clayton Pryor b. 1820, d. 1833
John C Pryor b. 1823, d. 1824
married 2: Maria Smith Crawford in 1827
children: Skaife Whiting Pryor b. 1830

–Samuel Pryor b. 1767-1772
married 1:  Miss Williams, daughter of Brazure Williams and Frances Hopkins
Brazure Williams Pryor b. 1778-1794, d. 1827
married 2: Mary Finch
Christopher J D Pryor b. 1800
Samuel Wyatt Pryor b.  1795

Generation 3
— Brazure W Pryor b . 1778
married: Elizabeth Antoinette DeNeuville in Williamsburg, 1807
Mary A. Pryor b. 1811, married 1 Robert Bird Boyd, 2 Walker Hawes

— Christopher J D Pryor b. 1800
married 1: Maria Armistead
Children: Harriet Ann Pryor b. 1830
married 2: America B Wilkerson in York Co., VA, 1845
Christopher J D Pryor b. 1850
Mary E. Pryor b. 1853
Sarah P Pryor b. 1855
William A Pryor b. 1857
George Pryor b. 1859
E S Pryor b. 1862

— Samuel Wyatt Pryor b.  1795
married: Sarah Dudley Graves in Charles County, VA in 1824
Samuel W. Pryor b. 1830, died early in Civil War 1861
Mary E Pryor b. 1828, living with Graves relatives in 1850 & 1860.

Yet Another Look at Brazure W Pryor of Charles City and Hampton City, VA

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Shirley Plantation - Charles City, VA
I’ve written about Brazure Williams Pryor a few times ( February 28, 2011 | March 23, 2011 | April 11, 2011 ). I keep coming back to him because I think he’s a link that can tie together lines of Virginia Pryors.  This weekend was time to look at him again.

I found that an online researcher had posted that Brazure’s  namesake was a Mary Brazure who had married Captain Thomas Cocke of Henrico County. If you’ve been reading my posts on Nicholas Pryor you probably know I (see May 3, 2012 post)– Nicholas Pryor was brought to Henrico County aboard ship by Captain Thomas Cocke in 1688! I didn’t quite spring out of my chair, because the reseacher blew the theory by basing it on bad “genealogy” by assuming there was a connection to Mary Brazure because Brazure Pryor was named “Brazure.”

There could be a connection… we just don’t know yet. For now we know that Brazure was named for his grandfather Brazure Williams and that is proven by his inclusion in his grandfather’s 1790 will.

Brazure Williams’ will is an intriguing thing. I haven’t seen the will or even a transcript. Researchers have posted online that it mentions his son in law Samuel Pryor. Is this the father of Brazure? I found the will indexed in Genealogical Abstracts from 18th-Century Virginia Newspapers, by Robert Kirk Headley:

WILLIAMS — Brazure Williams’ will; names grandson Brazure Williams Pryor , son -in-law Samuel Pryor, granddau. Elizabeth Smallwood, wife Frances Williams. Dated July 20, 1790; proved October 17, 1793.  (view source)

Who was the Samuel Pryor who was connected to Brazure Williams? Brazure died around 1790 or so.  I haven’t found a Samuel Pryor on the 1790 Census in Virginia. That would be too easy! I found a Samuel Pryor and John Williams had witnessed the will of Henry Duke in Charles City in 1795.  Was this this the right Samuel — I’m optomistic because of the Williams connection. Also wondering, was this Samuel Thornton Pryor whose sister Judith Neville Pryor married Fontaine Duke? I’m stuck on that questions because in all the family trees and records Samuel Thornton appears to be of the same generation as Brazure W. Pryor (born in the mid 1770’s), and Samuel Thornton Pryor is not known to have a brother named Brazure.

It looks like there’s were two Samuel Pryors in Charles City.

  • Samuel W Pryor who was perhaps the father of Brazure W Pryor and definitely the son in law of Brazure Williams. He was probably born about 1775 to 1795. He is possibly the Samuel Pryor on the 1830 Census in Charles City, the man who ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1821, but was rejected because he didn’t have enough land,  and last seen in the records in 1835 when he was elected barkeeper by the court. I think he may be the same Samuel Pryor who married Sarah Dudley Graves on 12 Feb 1824 in Charles City.
  • Samuel W. Pryor born 1830 is probably the son of Samuel and Sarah. He was living with George Marabel on the 1860 Census (the older Samuel had witnessed a will for Elizabeth Gill in 1828 where one of the heris was a Judith P. Marable.

I located a marriage for  Brazure W Pryor to Elizabeth Antoinette DeNeuville (William and Mary Quarterly). Yes, her family was French and it may explain why Brazure was part of the delegation that hosted General Lafayette upon his visit to Virginia. Christopher J. D. Pryor of Hampton City sued the estate of Brazure W Pryor in 1827 after his death. The suit claims that Brazure had been Christopher’s guardian and that the estate’s administrator John A. DeNeuville had withheld Christopher’s property and slaves that Brazure had in his posession. (summary on the Digital Library of American Slavery). It also looks like Elizabeth DeNeuville Pryor was alive as late as 1851 when ex-president John Tyler wrote a letter asking that she be given a land grant for her husband’s service in the War of 1812. I haven’t found her on the 1850 Census.

I don’t know the parents of either Brazure or Christopher J D Pryor, but it gives some hope in solving this mystery of a couple of Pryor lines.  I found a reminicence online in 2011 (A New Look at Old Virginia Pryors) that stated Skaife Whiting Pryor was a son of Christopher J D Pryor. This is incorrect because a 1846 lawsuit identified Skaife as the son of John Clayton Pryor and a grandson of Christopher Pryor of Gloucester County, VA.  But isn’t it interesting that a first hand recollection places Skaife in Christopher J D Pryor’s family line? Does this mean that Brazure and his ward Christopher J D are related to John Clayton Pryor and Christopher Pryor of Gloucester? I think we’re on the right track!

Does anyone know where Elizabeth DeNeuville (or DeNeufville) Pryor was in 1850? Can you connect the line of Christopher Pryor with Brazure Williams Pryor? Who are the Samuel Pryors in Charles City and how are they related to Brazure?

Christopher J D Pryor of Hampton’s Syms-Eaton Academy

It’s always funny how little parts of the Pryor mysteries get solved. A while ago I was researching Christopher J D Pryor born 1800 in Charles City, VA. He was an educator– a graduate of William and Mary College, he enjoyed a long teaching career, even serving as the president of Greensboro Female Academy after migrating to Alabama. In my research I found he was appointed the guardian of an orphan named Thomas Allen in 1839 and later was made the guardian of Mary Eliza Allen in 1842. Who were these Allen children and what was their relationshipt to the Pryors?

I found an article1 posted online that explained C J D Pryor was a teacher at the distinguished Syms-Eaton Acadamy in Hampton, VA. This school was established in 1634 and is noted as the first free public school in America. The article describes how in the mid 1800’s the school was embroiled in a controvery:

… And by 1830, residents of the county were complaining that their children living too far outside Hampton to attend the Academy. This was a complete turn-about from the sentiments expressed in 1803 and petitions were again presented asking that “two or more schools be established in the county.

The article goes on to explain C J D Pryor, while a school master, became involved in the controversy, resulting in the murder of one of his supporters, a Thomas Allen:

Hampton Academy, however, enjoyed full use of the Syms and Eaton funds and the Academy trustees were reluctant to endorse new schools which might demand a share of the money. Many meeetings were called and feelings ran high for several years. Indeed, tempers were so frayed that Christopher Pryor, the Academy schoolmaaster, attacked a supporter of the county schools, Dr. Richard Banks “with horse whip and pistol”. Pryor was dismissed from his post but ill-feeling lingered over his dismissal and on July 4, 1837 the expected explosion occured with Major Cooper, who had replaced Pryor, shot and killed one Thomas Allen, a supporter of the ousted schoolmaster.

Another facinating Pryor story!
1 Article published by Syms – Eaton Museum, 416 W Mercury Blvd, Hampton VA 23669