Tag Archives: christopher pryor

1792 Will: John Pryor of Norfolk

In the name of God, Amen. I John Pryor of the County and borough of Norfolk being sick and weak, but Perfect mind and understanding do make and ordain this writing to be my last will and testament in manner and form following.

Imprimis, I give and bequeath to my brother Christopher Pryor, fifty pounds current money to him the said Christopher Pryor and his heirs forever.

Item, I give and bequeath to my sister Elizabeth Pass? fifty pounds current money to her the said Elizabeth Pass and her heirs forever.

Item, I give and bequeath to the orphans of my Brother William Pryor decased twenty five pounds each current money to be paid them by my executor hereinafter mentioned when they arrive to the age of twenty one years, or married.

Item, I give and bequeath to my niece Kitty Vaughan Twenty five pounds current money to be paid her by my executor here in after mentioned, when she arrives to the age of twenty one years or married.

Item, I give to Walter Price all my wearing apparel.

Item, I give and bequeath to my brother Samuel Pryor my house and lot whereon I now live, also all my negroes and their future increase and all my personal estate to him the said Samuel Pryor and his heirs for ever he paying all my just debts and the above mentioned legacies.

And lastly I nominate and appoint my brother Samuel Pryor executor to this my last will and testament in (illegible) whereof. I have hereunto set my hand and subscribed my name this eighteenth day of January, one thousand seven hundred and ninety two.
Signed, sealed, published and declared in presence of Manor Dison and Richard Lewelling
Signed John Pryor.

Norfolk Burough
At a Hustings court continued and held the 24th day of April 1792 the last will and testament of John Pryor deceased was proved by the oath of Manor Dison and Richard Lewelling witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded–and on the motion of Samuel Pryor, executor therein named who made oath thereto and together with Frederick Williams and Idm Smallwood his sear– entered into and acknowledged this bond on the penalty of two thousand pounds as the law directs. Certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate in due form.

(see the will on Ancestry.com)

Christopher Pryor of Gloucester County: 1787 Signature

We now have a signature of Christopher Pryor of Gloucester County, VA. He signed a 1787 legislative petition concerning the taxation of slaves.

And an earlier signature from 1786. I noticed that he signed near John Whiting on both petitions. (see post that explores Whiting connection)

And yet another signature from 1785 and again near John Whiting. Under Whiting is James Baytop– Col Thomas Baytop was master of Botetourt Masonic Lodge and the executor of Christopher Pryor’s estate.

Two Gamblin’ Alabama Pryors in Trouble in the Old Virginia (1835)

Lucky DiceA report of sex, guns, knives, vandalism… and the Pryors. It comes from the Richmond Whig re-published on 11 Sept 1835 in the The People’s Press and Wilmington Advertiser (NC).  This story was also published in the Maryland Gazette and the North Carolina Star. I guess a salacious story made it’s way through all the media outlets even in the 1830’s!

“Superior Court of Law for Henrico County was applied to for a bench warrant for the arrest of two men of the name of Pryor, father and son from Alabama, alleged to be gamblers by profession, (of great wealth) who on a visit to relations in Henrico county had been guilty, as alleged of an enormous offence.”

OK, they’ve got my attention. This is like a little mystery of who is who, so I’ve interjected my thoughts in brackets.

The complaint was brought by a man named Brown who said the older of the Pryor men had married his aunt (Was his aunt a Brown?). This older Pryor had made “overtures” (sexual advances?) toward a Mrs. Anderson, a niece of Pryor’s wife (So, Mrs. Anderson could be the complainant Brown’s sister or his cousin). The woman delayed the advances and when Pryor returned her husband was waiting with a gun. The husband fired, “lodging may shot in his arm.” Sounds like Mr. Pryor got an arm full of buck shot! They complained that both of the Pryors then rushed into the house and stabbed one of their Brown cousins, causing damage to the house by “spitting the furniture from cellar to garret.”

It doesn’t say how much time it took, but there was a warrant issued and a posse sent out to grab the Pryors. They were stopped on their way to “the city” (Richmond?) and they were “in a carriage and four, with a a traveling carriage and a tender.”  I wish I knew what that was… it sounds like they had a carriage pulled by 4 horses and an entourage. It goes on to say that the judge set bail at $5000 and would even consider $10,000 because these guys weren’t going to escape the law because they had a lot of money.

When they were questioned they were represented by attorneys Conway Robinson and Shirley Carter. Now this is really starting to sound like Law and Order!

I’m not sure why the names of the victims and the defendants weren’t published. Maybe because no one was convicted yet. Was it the practice of the time? I consulted the 1830 Census and found in Henrico County there was a William A. Anderson counted on the line above a John D. Browne. On another page there’s a William Browne recorded on the line above Rachel Anderson.

Luke Pryor of Limestone County, AL was the father of John B Pryor, a racehorse trainer. Lots of gambling around the ponies?  Samuel B Pryor, the first mayor of Dallas, plead guilty to gaming in TX, but that was in 1851 and he would have been 15 years old in 1835 and there’s no information to tie his family to AL. I thought of Joseph Pryor in Tuscaloosa, but he was about 68 years old in 1835.

I think we have an Alabama Pryor that we didn’t know connected to these families! I’d like to present an argument that whoever this Pryor is — he’s probably connect to Christopher Pryor of Gloucester.

1. I believe Christopher Pryor was wealthy and probably came from a well-heeled family. It’s recorded that he supplied the Continental Army with 800lbs of beef during the Revolutionary War– that implies that he  had means beyond a subsistence farmer. He had married well into the Clayton family and a daughter named after the Whiting family may indicate ties to that prominent family. His son John C. Pryor was the administrator of the estate of Henry Whiting, the brother of Ann Whiting who married Major John Pryor.

2. I found another document that mentions all 3 names: Pryor, Brown and Anderson. It’s much earlier than the incident but may point to family connections. A notice published in Rind’s Virginia Gazette on 4 November 1774,

The death of Mr. Hugh McMekin, late of Norfolk, renders it absolutely necessary that the bushels carried on by him there, by Mr. Matthew Anderson in King and Queen, end by Mr. Christopher Pryor at Gloucester Courthouse, be discontinued…
(posted by) BENNETT BROWNE, attorney in fact for Mr. John McDowell and Company.

3. Christopher’s grandson: Christopher J D Pryor is a possible candidate. This younger Christopher was born in 1800 so he would have been 35 in 1835. I can’t place a son with him to fit this story in 1835. However, Christopher was a teacher at Hampton Academy in 1833 (read my post on this Pryor), however he assaulted a Dr. Richard Banks. I haven’t found this Pryor on the 1840 Census and by 1850 he’s was on the census in ALABAMA.

Can anyone figure out the relationships? Who are these Pryors? Open to suggestions!

It’s A New Pryor to Add to The List– Arthur Pryor (d. abt. 1752)

lunenburg1It has driven me absolutely NUTS. Catherine Pryor who married Henry Lansford and they are connected to Pittsylvania County, VA and Williamson County, TN– who were her parents? Several researchers have posted online that she was from Lunenburg County, VA. But, there aren’t any Pryors in Lunenburg! At last I think I have a clue.

There’s an ad placed in The Virginia Gazette of Williamsburg, VA on 10 April 1752.

King and Queen, March 20, 1752
To Be Sold
One thousand and Eighty Acres of good Land, lying in the County of Lunenburg, on Toxekiah Creek, joining Lines of Baker, and Stunks, purchased of Mr. Charles Stunks, purchased of Mr. Charles Irby, by Arthur Pryor, deceas’d, the Pattent to be taken out in the Purchaser’s Name, or good lawful Deeds to be made by the said Irby, before the 10th day of June next, or after, when required, one Half the Money to be paid down, the other Half twelve Months after. Any Gentleman inclinable to purchase may know the Price, and by Direction may be met with at any convenient Place, to be treated with at any Time by
John Waller
Christopher Pryor,

ARTHUR PRYOR. Who the heck is Arthur Pryor?????

I suspect the Christopher Pryor is NOT the Christopher born about 1745 who was married to Catharine Clayton and living in Gloucester County. This is an older Christopher Pryor. I don’t completely trust Gatewood Pryor’s book, but here’s an interesting post that ID’s a Christopher Pryor in 1704 (archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/PRYOR/1998-06/0898146722). If this older Christopher and the Arthur in Lunenburg are connected then it suggests a kinship between that line and the Pryors who migrated through Pittsylvania County and Williamson County.

I can find only one other reference to Pryors in Lunenburg County: Thomas Dozer (or Dozier) married Caty Pryor on 17 June 1775. John Barry (or Berry?) was surety. This is about 30 years after Catharine and Henry Lansford married, and about 3 years before his death, so for now I have to believe this is a different Catherine or Caty Pryor.

Off to explore!

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.