Tag Archives: Delaware

Thomas Rodney And Another Pryor in The Kentucky Wilderness

Point Pleasant Battle

This is not another Lewis and Clark story… for the most part. The Lewis-Clark.org site has an article titled “A Curious Piece of Workmanship” (see the article). It should perhaps be titled “A Curious Piece of History.” The website reports the meeting of Meriwether Lewis, as he set off on the great expedition to the Pacific, and Thomas Rodney who was on his way to Natchez, MS and his own place in history.

Ceasar Rodney Quarter

I first read about Thomas Rodney when I was looking for Abner Pryor, however I stumbled upon Abraham Pryor from Delaware who received a letter from Thomas Rodney giving the account of a vision he had before the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War (see the letter).  I can’t help thinking of “Ancient Aliens” and their recount of George Washington’s visions at Valley Forge as encounters with creatures from outer space. Yes, it’s pretty a far-fetched idea.

I like working with the research desk at my local library. They found that Rodney kept a diary were able to find a copy of the book: “A Journey through the West: Thomas Rodney’s 1803 Journal from Delaware to the Mississippi Territory.” I wanted to  read about Mr. Rodney’s curious meeting with Mr. Lewis, then I found he mentioned some meetings with a Mr. Pryor and possibly a second Mr. Pryor.

OHIO: CINCINNATI TO LOUISVILLE: … As we akord (anchored) in the evening near to a settlement I went on shore while the rest were cooking.  A Mr. Pryor and his wife from near Richmond, Virginia, and their nine children, 4 girls and five boys lived there; and there was a nephew to D. Boon and his wife there and several others who had come to see them.  Pryor told me he had lived there five years, that it is 25 miles below Kentucky river and 35 above Louisville, and that there are but few settlements till we git within ten miles of Louisville…

Falls on the Ohio from Virginiaplaces.org

There’s may be a clue to the ID of this Pryor family — it sounds like Samuel Pryor and Mary “Polly” Curd who settled in Henry County, KY.  I think another clue is in “THE OLD MEN OF CLAY COUNTY, Liberty Weekly Tribune; Date: 1870 Sep 02. We request every citizen in Clay county, over sixty years of age, to send us his name, age, place and date of birth, disfranchised or not, and any prominent circumstances connected with his life.” (https://files.usgwarchives.net/mo/clay/newspapers/theoldme55gnw.txt)

I was born in Henry county, Kentucky, on the 20th day of February, 1804. My father was a native of Goochland county, Va., and emigrated to Kentucky in 1790. My maternal uncle – John Curd, now, if living, in Logan county, KY., – was a soldier in the Continental army and was wounded. My father died when I was so young that I was unable to retain in memory any facts connected with the Revolution. I came to Clay county, Mo., in 1835, and have lived here ever since. I have always been a Democrat. I am a voter. GEORGE M. PRYOR.

It could also be John A. Pryor, Samuel’s step brother. He was in the same area of northern KY with 5 boys and 4 girls, however his children were older and were not likely “boys” or “girls” and some were married before 1803.

There’s another Pryor who shows up in Rodney’s journal in 1803. He refers to him as “A” Mr. Pryor which sounds like he was a different Pryor than the family from VA. Remember, Point Pleasant is on the Ohio side of the river.

This is a noble river in appearance. We saw the Major and Shields on shore at Point Pleasant and the Major requested me to come on shore; and I ordered Buckhanan to throw out the ankor and I went on shore on the point. The Major has several human bones in his hand. A Mr. Pryor was with him and informed us there was 40 ft. water in the Canhawah and a 70 gun ship would go 50 miles up and a boat of 5 turns about a hundred; but beyond that there was so many rocks and falls there was no navigating it.

An interesting side note is that Thomas Rodney also spent his last years in Natchez, as a judge. And how’s this for a little plot twist– in January 1807 Aaron Burr (read post) was brought before Judge Thomas Rodney before he was returned to the east for stand trial for treason (see BelcherFoundation.org).

John Pryor and Robert Armstrong in Delaware


New info on a John Pryor. Remember “Old” Joseph Pryor from White County, TN? The guy who was associated with Robert Armstrong? (see post on Robert Armstrong in IL and see post on Joseph Pryor in Delaware). Well, I stumbled upon an interesting coincidence or perhaps a piece of information that will help White County researchers with their line– it’s a Pryor and a Robert Armstrong. This is a record from the Revolutionary War:

Return of Capt. (Isaac) Alexander, A List of Men Belonging to My Company That Neglected Attending On The Three Muster Days That Commenced The First of November 1778: List includes John Pryor, Robert Armstrong (from Delaware Archives, Volume 2 By Delaware. Public Archives Commission, page 782 — go to Google Books)

Delaware Pryors


From The Pennsylvania Packet, published in Philadelphia (February 7, 1774):

Philadelphia, Feb. 7. MARRIED. VINCENT LOCKERMAN, Esq. of Dover, to Miss BETSEY PRYOR, the youngest daughter of Mr. John Pryor of the same place. Mr. BENJAMIN GIBBS, Merchant, to Miss HANNAH SHEWELL, both of this city.

The Lockermans are mentioned again in John Pryor’s will

1782 Will – Kent County – Will of John PRYOR. Heirs are wife Elizabeth, son John, son Abraham, daughter Hannah Barns (William Barns dec’d), Elizabeth Lockerman (Vincent Lockerman), grand-daughter Elizabeth Lockerman, grandson John Pryor Barns. Probate in 1785.

Why the interest in Delaware? I think part of this line or other Pryors from DE made their way to TN (read post Old Joseph of White Co., TN – Here’s the Monkey Wrench). The Barns or Barnes surname should be of interest because John Pryor and Ruth Sherrill’s son William married Rachel Barnes (probably after 1820 in White Co., TN.

Hope this helps the folks researching this line or lines.

Revised Chart for Old Joseph Pryor… One More Link

Revised Old Joseph Pryor Chart

One little refinement of the my doodles to keep up with Joseph Pryor of White Co. and Greene Co., TN (see last post). I added a link to the right of the chart (see yellow arrow in image). It’s meant to show the connection between Robert Armstrong and John Pryor. These folks look like they’re linked up through both people and places

Old Joseph of White Co., TN – Here’s the Monkey Wrench

I’ve hesitated to put out this new information because it certainly throws a big, fat, antique monkey wrench into the Pryors. But I’m hoping if we put our minds together and perhaps a Pryor or two submits to DNA testing we can figure out this mystery.

First I found a will extract– In 1791 Joseph Pryor, witness to the will of John Shavin on 9 June 1791 in Sumner County, TN.
Source: Fulcher, Richard Carlton. 1770–1790 Census of the Cumberland Settlements. Davidson, Sumner and Tennessee Counties (In What is Now Tennessee). Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1987. http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3006

I did several searches and din’t find a Shavin in Sumner County, however there is a Shaver family. Funny thing I noticed–in the Shaver Bible record on Ancestry John Shaver Jr named a son Joseph P Shaver. Could that P be for Pryor?

Then, I went back in time to the 1789 Petition of Sundry Inhabitants South of French Broad, Greene Co., TN
Some familiar names among the signers are William Pryor, Caleb Odel, Joseph Pryor, Isaac Odle, John Shaver. William may be the William Pryor b. 1760-1771 who was in White Co., TN or William of Botetourt County who was in Sumner Co. and later Austin’s Colony. The Odles were also connected with the Pryors and White Co.– Enoch Odle married Catherine Pryor and Joseph Pryor was surety.

Here comes the monkey wrench…

When I Googled Joseph Pryor and John Shaver. I found two men by these names in Delaware records.


The extracted record in this link is a Revolutionary War document from 1786, so it could be before Joseph Pryor and John Shaver show up in Greene County, TN. The front page of the document cited in this link names a John Dill. The Dills are connected to the Pryors in Jackson Co., TN and I’m finding in family trees that they were from Delaware. The Dills are on the same page with Joseph Pryor on the 1803 Tax List. Surena Dill was married to Alfred Pryor b. 1808 on the 1850 Census in Jackson Co. The Dills were Nancy Pryor’s neighbors on the 1840 Census in Jackson Co.

I looked back further in Delaware records and found the will of Hannah Pryor dated 1740, filed in Kent County. It names her sons John Pryor and Joseph Pryor. If Joseph was born in 1740 or earlier he would have been in his 70’s or 80’s in 1813 and could easily be the OLD Joseph mentioned in White County records.

So many questions…

Was Old Joseph from Delaware?

Is Old Joseph not connected to William, Richard, and the others from Botetourt Co., VA who migrated to Greene County and then to Middle TN. Is that why Robert Armstrong took care of him in his old age? [read more about Robert Armstrong connection]

So, is Old Joseph connected to John Pryor and Ruth Sherrill and Robert Armstrong, but not to William Pryor of White County?

Are there other Pryors in Middle TN who were from DE and not VA? Or did the DE Pryors pass through VA or the Carolinas on their way to Greene County?

Has anyone from the John Pryor and Ruth Sherrill line done a DNA test? Did they match up to Pryors from OH, PA, or DE?

chart - old joseph