Tag Archives: Gilbert

Signature William Pryor and Joseph Pryor on French Broad Petition

I’ve got another old petition in my hands. Petition Sundry Inhabitants South of French Broad, filed in 1789 by men living on the NC frontier (the French Broad River area would become Greene County, TN).

I recently mentioned this petition again in a post: Connecting Pryor from 1789 TN Frontier to 1840 MO Census

And like the petition filed by the Inhabitants of the west country, we now have 2 more Pryor signatures: William Pryor and Joseph Pryor. Joseph’s signature is very unique, using an old-fashioned “s” that looks like an “f”.

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Discover Kingsport (an online history outline of Kingsport, Sullivan Co., TN), states mentions Gilbert Christian several times as well as John Pryor. Christian was from Virginia and first explored the area in 1769.  Moses Looney was there by 1774 and John Pryor was living in the area by December 1787 (date the petition was submitted to the NC State Senate.

I think this is the John Pryor who stated his place of birth as England and year of birth as 1757 on the 1850 Census in Sullivan County.

Signature of John Pryor on The Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western County

5982837164_aa57b8bd61_bI’m holding another example of why researchers need to get their hands on original documents or good photocopies of them. It’s the Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country, a petition filed by men living on the NC frontier (later Tennessee) to the General Assembly of North Carolina.

There’s a good transcription available online (see Google book), “The State Records of North Carolina, Volume 22” (pub. 1907), however the original is so much better. The reason it’s better is that it shows the signatures. We can get a sense of who signed it with whom because the pen (or was it a quill?) changes with groups of signatures.

The other fascinating thing is that the signatures are in a different order than how they are displayed on the online transcription.  For instance, Moses Looney appears in the left column online and John Pryor is right (there’s a middle column in-between). On the original, Looney’s signature is directly under John Pryor’s.  Gilbert Christian signed above John Pryor.

There’s yet another point that stands out. John Pryor didn’t sign his name using a “y”. It’s signed John PRIOR! Am I being too pedantic? Probably not.

John Pryor signature Sullivan County, TN

 

Discover Kingsport (an online history outline of Kingsport, Sullivan Co., TN), states mentions Gilbert Christian several times as well as John Pryor. Christian was from Virginia and first explored the area in 1769.  Moses Looney was there by 1774 and John Pryor was living in the area by December 1787 (date the petition was submitted to the NC State Senate.

I think this is the John Pryor who stated his place of birth as England and year of birth as 1757 on the 1850 Census in Sullivan County.

Felix Gilbert vs Richard Pryor and Friend to Haden Pryor?

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felix 2Sometimes a name pops up and it seems to connect a family. This time the name is Felix Gilbert. I think he was part of the same group of aligned families who settled the most rural parts of colonial Virginia.

Gentry And Common Folk: Political Culture on a Virginia Frontier, 1740-1789, by Albert H. Tillson (pub. 1991) describes Felix Gilbert as “an Augusta merchant and justice of the peace.” With an association to William Preston.  There’s a nifty map online that shows the proximity of Gilbert and Preston’s property in Albemarle Co., VA  (view map)

I first spotted Felix Gilbert mentioned with a Pryor on an 1757 record for military pay in connection to the French-Indian War – AUG. 12 1757  John Pryor. Receipt to William Preston for 3 11s. being in full of his pay. Witnessed by Felix Gilbert.  Howdy, neighbor! There’s William Preston again.

About a decade later Gilbert is paired with another Pryor: Felix Gilbert vs. Richard Pryor. Elizabeth Pryor Harper in Twenty-One Sourthern Families found this suit in Chalkley’s Chronicles with an abstract reference to this case in Augusta County Court judgments for Aug. 1765, Bk. B, noting that Richard Pryor had not been found, and lived on the Roanoke (Chalkley, vol. 1, p. 333). This says writ was issued 28 March 1765.

He moved from VA to NC. In 1785 Felix Gilbert was named on the estate of Stephen Shifflett in Orange Co.  Matthew J Pryor married in Orange Co. and it should be noted that his brother Haden Pryor (of Granville Co., NC) and Elizabeth Wade – named a son Felix G Pryor in the 1770’s. Was he Fexlix Gilbert Pryor?

And then Felix Gilbert pops up again. He signed a petition in 1799 in Knox County (see signers). Another signer was William Pryor who I believe is from Bedford County, VA.

I don’t like to throw around loose theories… so I’m going to keep Felix on the back burner. I have a feeling he’ll be a clue later on.