Tag Archives: Dinwiddie County

1844 – Samuel Pryor of Dinwiddie County

I love real estate ads from old papers. I don’t know if the houses and land were as glorious as described, but they give a good idea of where people lived and when they lived there. This ad from 1844 was placed by Samuel Pryor. I suspect this is the Samuel who married Mary Hamlin since the ad mentions Thomas Hamlin as the person who can show the property. I’m intrigued… Any ideas about his occupation?

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Pryor Genealogy – Searching John Pryor of Orange County, NC and Daughter Dorothy

Sometimes it’s interesting to continue to dig for Pryor genealogy by following the trail of men with the first name Pryor rather than just chasing the surname. You never know if it will lead to related families of the Pryor surname.

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Samuel Pryor and Hamlin Surname

va-pryorsSamuel Pryor married Mary Ann Hamlin on 16 Oct 1821 in Amelia County, VA.

In 1841 James Boisseau Hamlin, a minor, sued his father’s estate. This case filed in the Amelia County, VA Chancery Court names James’ father William B. Hamlin, his widow Ann P Hamlin, and James’ siblings William B. Hamlin, Edward Y Hamlin, and Mary Ann Hamlin, wife of Samuel Pryor. The dispute seems to have been over advances in the estate given to James’ siblings before his father’s death. Edward was given slaves and land in Dinwiddie County. Mary Ann Pryor had received 8 slaves. The case also revealed the deceased Hamlin had 65 slaves in Virginia and 10 slaves in Tennessee.

Then in another Chancery Court Case filed in 1848 Samuel and Mary Ann Hamlin’s children are named. Samuel Pryor was the guardian of his infant children Samuel Edward, William, Anna, Virginia Frances, Lucy Osborne, and Agnes Epes Pryor. The suit also mentions a married daughter Mary Elizabeth Pryor, wife of James R. Craig. The suit was filed to gain interest in the estate of Anna Hamlin, widow of W B Hamlin.

Samuel Pryor and his children on the 1850 Census.

Samuel’s daughters were living near him in Dinwiddie County, VA: Southern Div., Page 478b, house 136 Lucy O. Field 40 VA, Susan E. J. Field 9 VA, Mary A. J. Field 7 VA, Sally J. J. Field 5 VA, Wellington E. Webb 33 Episcopal Clergyman 33 London, Eng., Sarah C. Webb 24 VA, Fanny V. PRIOR 13 VA, Lucy O. PRIOR 11 VA., Agnes E. PRIOR 8 VA.

Southern Div., Page 479a, house 142 Samuel PRIOR 50 farmer VA, Ann E. 53 VA, Anna J. 16 VA, Martha P. Broadnax 24 VA. (Samuel and wife Ann were on the 1860 Census in Campbell Co., VA. See Chancery Court case filed in Amelia County for names of other Pryor children.)

His sons were living apart from their father and sisters: William H Pryor was living in the household of a blacksmith in Hanover County and Samuel E. Pryor was a student residing in the Pike Powers Academy in Augusta County, VA.

The Hamlins were still in Amelia County in 1850 and onward. Anna P Hamblin age 55 and James B Hamblin age 24 were recorded in the same household on the 1850 Census (and together in 1860).

Now that I’ve jumped to the 1850 Census I need to look backward a quarter century and into Tennessee. On 19 April 1824 the following notice was published in the Nashville Whig (Davidson County, TN):

In Equity: Calvin Morgan, Gideon Morgan and Rufus Morgan, Com’s vs. Samuel Elam, and Elizabeth his wife, William B. Hamlin, Thomas Crutcher, and Nicholas B. Pryor, defts. William B. Hamlin not a resident of the state.

There was only one William B Hamlin on the 1820 Census and he wasn’t a resident of Tennessee… it’s the William B. Hamblin in Amelia County, Virginia who was counted with 60 slaves. This sounds like the same William B who was the father in law of Samuel Pryor. The 1820 census was recorded in alpha-order so it’s difficult to piece together who was living near who.

Richard Pryor and Virginia Boyd Pryor – Relationship to Dallas Pryors

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This the time of year when I usually take a break from the Pryors. This year I’ve had several projects that took me in another direction, so summer is here and I’m getting back to the Pryors.

Last year I wrote about Richard Pryor and his wife Virginia Boyd Pryor of Hempstead County, AR. I was pondering the relationship of Charles R. Pryor of Dallas, the executor of Virginia’s estate in 1865. So I went back to confirm what is known of Richard Pryor. His grave marker in Hempstead County is extremely helpful.

Richard Pryor
Was born in Annsville, VA (that’s in Dinwiddie County)
on April 18, 1798
Died at Gilmer, TX (that’s in Upshur County)
Oct. 19 , 1864

Virginia’s will made provisions that the remains of her husband and daughter be brought to the family burial plot after her death. The photo of Richard’s grave on FindAGrave.com shows he is buried with Virginia and daughter Elizabeth Anne Pryor Blankhead Lytle Stockdale.

Richard is the same Richard Pryor who was one of the executors of Texan revolutionary Benjamin R Milam’s estate. Milam’s will turned up on Antiques Roadshow in 2014! (see: https://tennesseepryors.com/in-context-of-history/did-you-catch-the-pryor-name-on-antiques-roadshow-tonight/) Durrell Boyd witnessed the Milam will—online trees show him as the brother of Virginia Boyd Pryor. Milam’s mother was a Boyd. Richard likely owned land in Texas as Virginia’s will referred to land in Jackson Co., TX and Richard was the executor of his son-in-law James T. Lytle’s estate per the will signed in Calhoun, TX in 1854. Richard’s grave marker states he died in TX.

Richard Pryor is the same man who was the executor of James Durrell’s estate (see https://tennesseepryors.com/virginia-pryors/richard-pryor-executor-of-the-estate-of-james-durell/)—Durrell was the grandfather of Virginia Boyd Pryor. I also found Richard Pryor in an 1836 VA Chancery Court Case – Richard Pryor and Virginia His Wife, Durrell Boyd, Conrad S Boyd Wm H. Boyd, and Henry C Boyd vs. Patrick H Foster and Others. The case states Richard PRYOR was again noted as the executor of the estate of James Durrell. “That Virginia the wife of the said Richard Pryor, C. S. Boyd, , Wm H. Boyd, and Nancy C. Boyd, are the only remaining heirs and devises of James Durrell.”

Does this bring us closer to knowing Richard’s relationship to Charles R. Pryor?

Well, we know from the grave markers that Elizabeth Ann was Richard and Virginia’s FIRST child born in October 1822. It’s interesting that James Durrell wrote his will in the same month and year. Charles R. Pryor was born ten years later than Elizabeth, so it’s possible that he was a sibling.

However, I found perhaps an account of Charles R Pryor that is 30 year past being contemporary (Charles was active in Dallas in 1860-1865). The book titled Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas: Containing a History of this Important Section of the Great State of Texas, from the Earliest Period of Its Occupancy to the Present Time … and Biographical Mention of Many of Its Pioneers, and Also of Prominent Citizens of To-day was published in 1892 and on Google Books. It’s the only source I can find that states a relationship between Charles R Pryor and Samuel B Pryor, the first mayor of Dallas. It states that Samuel arrived in Dallas around 1846 and his brother, Charles, joined him there 4 years later. It confirms that Samuel died there (he’s buried in the Pioneer Cemetery) but offers no further information about Charles. The book also states they were both doctors and “scions of an old Virginia family.”

samuel b pryor doctor ad
Dallas Herald, 9 February 1856

Samuel B Pryor and Charles R. Pryor advertised their medical practice in the Dallas Herald (see above image), which helps to confirm that they had a relationship that went beyond being two Pryor men found in the same town on a census record.

If we believe the Hempstead County grave markers that Elizabeth Ann was born “First” in 1822 and we also believe that Samuel and Charles were brothers, then Samuel’s year of birth makes him too old to be a son of Richard and Virginia Pryor. On the 1850 and 1860 Census Samuel Pryor’s age was recorded as 30 and 40 which places his year of birth as 1820. This conflicts with the grave marker that states Elizabeth Ann was the first born in 1822. Elizabeth was counted as Elizabeth Blankhead on the 1850 census, age 27. She was living with her parents in 1860, age 36.

The Hempstead County grave markers also throw shade on another piece of Pryor history. Richard Pryor is mentioned in the extracts from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography in 1899 (see Google Books). The book says Richard “moved to Arkansas, where he died.” The markers say he died in Texas rather than Arkansas.

Samuel B. Pryor’s obit was published in the Dallas Herald on October 20, 1866. It reported he was born in Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, VA on August 19, 1820. That certainly coincides with his ages on the TX census. Since Charles worked for the Dallas Herald — did he provide details or write the actual obituary? I’ve suspected that Samuel and Charles were sons of Philip Pryor in Brunswick County. Could be. If Samuel and Charles were Philip’s sons they would be Richard’s second cousins.

Is There A Relationship Between the Rogers and Pryor Families?

pryor cards 2Isn’t it like a long-played game of Concentration?– turning over all the clues looking for a Pryor match? When a name continues to pop up in Pryor research it’s probably worth sharing. I have the feeling that John Rogers is about as popular a name as John Pryor.  After seeing John Rogers on so many Pryor documents I began to wonder if there was a connection between the Rogers and the Pryor families.

1740 Indenture Goochland County, NC – On 17 Sep 1740, the purchase of a tract of land by William New from Thomas Thornell. The land was on the North Side of the James River, 150 acres that had belonged to Edmund New, deceased, bordered by Thomas Bailey, Ebenezer Adams, Robert Rogers, David Patterson, Major Lewis. Signed by William and Pricsilla New. Witnessed by James Christian, Robert Christian, and John Prior.


1755 Land Sale, Almance Co., NC – William Cox, planter, bought of William Peggott, saddler, in September, 1755, in consideration of 28 (pounds) Virginia money one hundred acres of land on the south side of Haw river and on Cane creek. This being a tract of land granted to Wm. Peggott by Granville’s agents in February, 1755. In that year John Rogers bought of George Yates, Governor of Virginia, for 15 (pounds) Virginia money, a tract of land lying on the north side of Haw creek in Orange in the presence of John Pryor, trustee, and others.


1770 Land Deed Caswell Co., NC – 4 Dec 1780 – Roger Atkinson of Dinwiddie County VA to Armistead Rogers of Halifax County VA [son of Peter Rogers of Halifax County [VA], deceased] for 500 Pounds, 596 acres on Deep Creek, a tract Atkinson bought of John Pryor. Witnessed by Peter Rogers. Caswell County Deeds 1777-1814. (It’s generally accepted that Roger Atkinson was the grandfather of Roger Atkinson Pryor and that John Pryor may have been the great-grandfather of Roger Atkinson Pryor. Armistead Rogers b. 1750-1760 living in Montgomery Co., TN in 1830)


1785 Land Deed, Halifax Co., NC – 26 Aug 1785 – John Rogers, Sr. of Halifax County VA to Roger Atkinson of Dinwiddie County VA, for 15 Pounds, 100 acres on north side of Hico Creek adjoining John PRYOR, County Line Creek. Halifax County Deed Book E., page 14.



1801 Chancery Court Case Charlotte Co., VA- Samuel Pryor vs. John Harvey, mentions a parcel of land that Pryor purchased in Campbell Co., VA in Aug 1799. Purchased from John Rogers.


1810 Deed Barren Co., KY – Jonathan Davis and wife Margaret to William Shirley. Land on Fallen Timber Creek. Names included Edmund Rogers, John Pryor, Jobe Glover. Wits: Nathaniel Carr, James McLain. Barren Co., KY Deed Book B, p. 339


1811 Tax List for Davidson County, TN – Capt. James Bennings Co. – Richard Pryor (living near him are John Rogers, Burwell Sneed, David Krantz.  (Burwell Sneed is on the 1810 Census in Williamson Co., TN)


1818 Estate Jackson Co., GA – Estate of John Thornton (born about 1775), Penelope Thornton, Prior Thornton, John Rogers, James H. Perdue, George Haney, William Sailors, William Grimes, Sarah Thornton, Polly Thornton, Jackson County Inventories, Appraisals, and Returns 1800-1839.


1819 Estate Settlement, Orange Co., NC – William Rogers, deceased. 31st August 1819, Estate divided among heirs by commissioners in Orange Co., NC. William and John Rogers signed the estate sale as administrators. Other heirs, Luke Pryor, husband of Nelly Rogers (Luke Pryor settled in Williamson Co., TN)


Sept 1831 Notice Crawford Co., AR – Territory of Arkansas, Court Appointed John Rogers the administrator of the estate of Nathaniel Pryor, deceased, Fort Smith, 10th Sept. 1831. The administrator asked all who held debts against Pryor to put in notice for payment from the estate.