Tag Archives: Dinwiddie County

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

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
FATHER

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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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.

Notice of the Estate Auction of Capt. Samuel Pryor

samuel-prior-auction

To be SOLD at public auction, at the Butterwood Spring, in Dinwiddie county, on the first day of January next, About FOURTEEN very likely NEGROES, Part of which for ready money, the other part one year’s credit will be allowed the purchasers, giving bond and security. Also the whole flock of horses, cattle, and hogs, with the corn and fodder, working tools, etc. The whole is the estate of Capt. Samuel Pryor, deceased.
WILLIAM PRYOR, administrator.
All those indebted to the estate are desired to make immediate payment. They will have no father notice.
[Rind’s Virginia Gazette, (Williamsburg, VA), 23 Nov. 1769 , p. 4]

Goochland County Pryors – Transcriptions of Suits

I love reading the old documents and deciphering the quirks in the fussy old handwriting, however I suspect not everyone finds it to be fun. So, I’m posting transcriptions of the key documents from my last post.

The biggest nugget in these documents is revealed by Samuel in his answer to Frances Pryor’s complaint. He reveals that Frances’ deceased husband, Capt. Samuel, was his uncle. This means that Capt. Samuel was William (married to Sarah Wood)’s brother.

WILLIAM SMITH AND WIFE
VS.
SAMUEL PRYOR, ETC.
FILED IN GOOCHLAND COUNTY, VIRGINIA
FILED 1785
ORIGINAL LOCATED AT THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINA
LINK: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=075-1798-002

Transcription Notes: The original document is damaged on each edge, so words are lost. Where words are lost I have used — to indicate what is unreadable.Humbly complaining — unto your worship your orator and oratrix William Smith and Sarah his wife. That in the month of May 1777 William Pryor father to your oratirix departed this — — first made his last will and testament (thereby among other –) devising to your oratrix the one fifth of six negros to be chosen by Sarah the relict of the said William out of his — said William’s whole estate after this and Sarah’s death. — — Sarah departed this life on or about the day of — — persons were appointed by your worshipful Court — your oratrix her proportion of the said slaves who — — said purpose but not finishing the said business on — Samuel Pryor took upon himself the power and authority of — allotment to your oratrix pretending that his own act was the act and dec’d of the said Wm(?) so appointed: That your oratrix –fiding in and depending on the said Samuel received a Negro – as her property who has since come to the possession of your orator William by his intermarriage with your oratrix the said slave being infirm your orator and oratrix think — value than their proportion of the said slaves. That said dec’d by another Clause of his said will divided — oratirx a like proportion of the res– of his — to be allotted to your oratrix immediately on the said — death by assignment in Rund?: That the said — the said Samuel, John, and William Pryor and the — ?Fleming executors of his last will and testament — -alone has taken upon himself the burthen of executor of the said will but has failed to make a division as — by his testators last will and testament. That the said testators — debts due him to considerable amount at his death — crop of grain and tobacco was made on the testors —the year of his death a proportion of — fifth of which your orator and oratrix are entitled to under the residuary clause aforesaid, the said Testator having provided another fund for the payment of his debts — orator and oratrix further show that hey have often said? to the said Samuel in a friendly way to settle adjust the aforesaid promises without a suit and received for answer that he, the said Samuel would come to any settlement til thereto by law compelled– which actings and doings are contrary to equity and — cons– and manifestly tend to injury and opnry? — orator intended consideration where of and for — your orator is without remedy in the pr– the strict rules of the common law and commonly believed in Chancery where fraud or dit–e — performances incurred and justice most amply ad– to the end therefrom that the said Samuel may — singular the promises on his corporal — — name were again to be repeated and interrogates respectfully that he may declare whether the said — did not deport their life about the time of — first made his last will and testament in — ofrm aforesaid? whether your oratrix was not entitled one fifth or to what their proportion of six slaves and claim of by Sarah as aforesaid? whether and —division and by whom her turn been in — of tha- slaves? Was then not debts to a considerable — due to the said de–nt at his death and to what any then not or crop of tobacco and grain made on — the year of the testators death or wh– made and how much? Has a division of the — made agreeable to t he last will and testament — and wherefore — — not been made? [Has]not a fund for the payment of his debt — the said defendant independent of debts du — made in the plantation the year of his — that your worship may made such further — in the promises as are agreeable to equity and god. — may it please your worship to — orator and oratrix a writ for subpoenas.

And in the same Chancery Case file.

WILLIAM SMITH AND WIFE
VS.
SAMUEL PRYOR, ETC.
FILED IN GOOCHLAND COUNTY, VIRGINIA
FILED 1785
ORIGINAL LOCATED AT THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINA
LINK: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=075-1798-002

Amendment to the original complaint?To the worshipful court of Goochland County in Chancery. Humbly complaining shew unto your worships your orator and oratrix William Smith and Sarah his wife That some time about the (blank) day of (blank) 17(blank) John Pryor brother to your Oratrix departed this life having as your orator and oratrix are informed & are assured first made his last will and Testament thereby devising and bequeathing that his whole estate real & personal be equally divided among his brothers and sisters. That the said will fell into the hands of Samuel Pryor another brother of your Oratrix as the said Samuel has been often heard to declare while he the said Samuel supposed that some younger brother or younger brother’s son was heir at Law to the said John and when the said Samuel came to learn that he himself was the legal heir & was entitled to more exclusive of then under the said will he the said Samuel began to prevaricate & say there was a Will executed by the said John but the was illegal & —cupated as being signed by only two witnesses: your orators further shew that the said John also dyed (sic) possessed of a personal estate to some amount to one fifth of which your Orator and Oratrix (they having intermarried) are entitled under the act of Distributions. That the said Samuel — kept posession of the said estate ever since the death of the said John without any legal steps taken ’til your worship’s April Court 1785 when your Orator moving that the administration should be granted in due course of law the said Samuel as a further shift to delay your orator & Oratrix of their just rights first in his claim to the administration as real of –; That the said Samuel previous to taking out letter of administration had actually sold some of the slaves and other property. All which actings and doings are contrary to Equity & good conscience & manifestly tend to injure & oppress your orator. In tender consideration whereof & for as much as your Orator is without remedy in the premises at common law & is only relievable in Equity where deeds cancelled or concealed are compelled to be given up the contents discovered & established & specifically performed & Justice most amply administered. To the end therefore that the said Samuel may answer all …
… This respondent further shews that the said John Pryor died possessed of a tract of land left him by the Will of his father William Pryor and to which…

The following is the complaint filed by Frances Pryor and answer to the complaint made by Samuel Pryor, executor of William Pryor’s estate.

FRANCES PRYOR’S COMPLAINT

FRANCES PRYOR
VS.
WILLIAM PRYOR, ETC.
FILED IN GOOCHLAND COUNTY, VIRGINIA
FILED c.1779
ORIGINAL LOCATED AT THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINA
LINK: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=075-1786-006#imgTo the Worshipful court of Goochland County in Chancery sitting humbly complaining.
Sheweth unto your worships your oratrix Frances Pryor widow and relict of Samuel Pryor dec’d that your oratrix dec’d husband being — possessed in her own right of sundry land and slaves, particularly of an hundred acres of land in the County of Goochland and four hundred and eighty four acres in the County of Dinwiddie and of the following slaves to wit. (blank) departed this life on about the (blank) day of (blank) of 176(blank) leaving his Heir at law (blank) Pryor an infant under the age of twenty one years. That William Pryor another defendant hereto took upon himself the admin. of her said husband’s estate in consequence possessed himself of the slaves aforesaid and all his personal estate that your oratrix by the death of her said Husband became entitled to her Dower in all his land and likewise in all his slaves and personal Estate after payment of his debts. That the debts of her said husband being as she is informed paid, your oratrix well hoped to have her dower in his Estate — and assigned without further trouble. But now said it is, may it please said Worships, that he said defendant confederating together to your said Oratrix refuse to assign her dower either in her deceased husband’s land or slaves. in under consideration whereof and to the end that the said defendants upon their corporal (several words missing due to hole in paper) answer make to all (several words missing due to hole in paper) in repeated and interrogated that more –ally that they may set forth of what land and slaves and of the personal Estate to what amount …
(Note: the handwriting becomes unreadable at the end of the document)

SAMUEL PRYOR’S ANSWER

FRANCES PRYOR
VS.
WILLIAM PRYOR, ETC.
FILED IN GOOCHLAND COUNTY, VIRGINIA
FILED c.1779
ORIGINAL LOCATED AT THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINA
LINK: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=075-1786-006#imgThe answer of Samuel Pryor executor of William Pryor deceased who was administrator of Samuel Pryor deceased to the bill of complaint exhibited against him by Frances Pryor, widow and relict of the said Samuel Pryor deceased complainant.This defendant saving to himself all benefit of exception to the complaints said bill answer thereto or to so much thereof as he is advised is material for him to answer unto, he answereth and saith that he believes his uncle said Samuel Pryor deceased died seized and possessed of the land in the bill mentioned and sundry slaves an inventory of which is recorded in Goochland court, and to which this defendant for greater certainty refers and prays the same may be taken as part of this his answer. He admits that the said William Pryor deceased took upon himself the administration of the said Samuel Pryor’s estate and by virtue there of possessed himself of the same. That the said William Pryor, the defendant’s father, in the month of (blank) 177(blank) departed this life having duly published his last will and testament and there of appointed this defendant his executor who took upon himself the burthen and execution of the same, and by virtue thereof possessed himself of so much of the said Samuel Pryor’s estate as he could find, consisting of (blank) slaves. That the said William Pryor in  his lifetime paid the debts of the said Samuel Pryor to a large amount, but left many of them unpaid. That this defendant since the death of the said William Pryor hath paid of the said Samuel Pryor’s debts to the amount of (blank) on account of which he is ready to exhibit when called upon, and hath now in his possession (blank) slaves belonging to the said estate to wit (blank).  This defendant is willing that proper persons may be appointed to lay off  and assign to the complainant her dower in the said land and slaves according to law. He denies all combination and hopes to be (illegible) with his costs and without what that (illegible).
Signed Samuel Pryor
Goochland.
Mr. Samuel Pryor came before me and made Oath that the above answer is true. Certified this 18th Oct. 1779
Signed Thomas T. Bates

How do I know that William Smith and wife Sally AND Frances were suing the same Samuel Pryor? One big clue is that Samuel used the same lawyer, Thomas Bates, to answer both suits.

Samuel Pryor's answer to William Smith and wife Sally (Pryor) suit. Samuel's lawyer was Thomas Bates.

Thomas Bates was the magistrate on BOTH suits.