Tag Archives: Halifax County

John Pryors in Georgia: Sifting Through The Men Who were in GA Before 1800


While going through Revolutionary War Pryor men I dug into looking at the John Pryors in Georgia. How many were there? Were any of them the same man? What I ended up with were 4 John Pryor (or John Priors) who were in Georgia before 1800. I’ve created timelines for each man and some long-winded answers to how we know it’s the same man. I’m using their death dates to ID each Pryor. Let’s go…

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John Pryor and Liddy Dossey -1800 Halifax County, VA

Transcription of complaint in Chancery court case filed in 1800 This is possibly the same John and Lydia Pryor who migrated to GA.

To the Worshipful Court of Halifax County Sitting in Chancery
Humbly Complaining shewith to your worships your Orators & Oratrixes William Dossey, Guy Wallace & Charity his wife, Ben Riden & Clarissa his wife, George Wren and Alathea his wife, John Pryor & Liddy his wife, Jarred Dossey, Thomas B. Dossey and Wiley Dossey which said William, Charity, Clarissa, Alathea, Liddy, Jarred, Thomas and Wiley are all the children of a certain Nancy Dossey who will be hereafter mentioned. Also your orators William Brown, John Matthews, and Nancy his wife, James Brown, Lucy Brown, Becky Brown, Lydia Brown, Milly Brown, Elizabeth Brown, Jamima Brown, Russell Brown, Thomas Brown, & Mary Brown, which said last mentioned William, Nancy, James, Lucy, Becky, Lidia, Milly, Elizabeth, Jamina, Russell, Thomas, and Mary are all the children of a certain Lydia Brown hereafter mentioned. That on the 20th day of July 1799 a certain Thomas Beech late of this county made his will and then devised the whole of his estate except the negroes that are freed by his will to be equally divided among the children of his sisters Nancy Dossey and Lydia Brown. That the children of the said Nancy and Lydia sisters of the testator your orators & oratrixes as above described. That the said children are all of age except Lydia, Milly, Elizabeth, Jamima, Russell, Thomas, and Mary Brown that they being under age sue by their next friend Harvey Cook
and the complaint further shew that the estate of the said Thomas Beech so as aforesaid devised has been committed to the hands of a certain Beverly Barksdale of this county who is made defendant to this bill. That the said Beverly is administrator with the will annexed and has taken into his possession the slaves and personal property of the Testator, and has sold the perishable estate more than sufficient to pay the debts of the said estate. The complainant further shew that they have apprized the said administrator for a division and possession of the slaves and the residue of the personal estate after the payment of debts which the admin. has refused giving up, alledging that he will not be safe in so doing without the decree of this court for that purpose and for a division of said estate by commissioner. The complainant therefore pray that commissioners may be appointed to divide and deliver up to the complainants the slaves conveyed to them by the will of the said Thomas Beech together with the lands and residue of his personal estate after the payment of the debts of the said Thomas decd or that your worships would make such further or other decree in the promises as may be agreeable to equity may it please.

Jarred ad Thomas B Dossey are later mentioned in Wilkes Co GA. In “Early Records of Georgia Wilkes County” on Page 218

Jarrett Dossey decd est. Nancy and Thomas B Dossey exers. Returns for 1821 paid for land grant for wid and orphs. Returns for 1823, Nancy Lawson, exec formerly Nancy Dossey.

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.

Free Black Pryor Families Before the Civil War in Halifax County, NC

Pryor Families - virginia and north carolina mapThere’s an interesting group of African-American Pryors in North Carolina. They were free-blacks 50 years before the Civil War. Joseph Pryor and Peter Pryor (also spelled Prior) Continue reading

Pryor Wills – Ezra, Mildred, and William of Halifax County, NC

virginia and north carolina map

Click on map to view larger (Map courtesy Ancestry.com)

Maps really help in figuring out the Pryors.  I like this map of North Carolina because it shows neighboring counties in Virginia and South Carolina. I added my own Photoshop flair to 2 areas of the map that intrigue me when it comes migrations of Pryor families.

The map shows the proximity of Pittsylvania County, VA and Rockingham County, VA. (read more about Rockingham/Pittsylvania Pryor connections). Brunswick County, VA is also in close proximity to Halifax County, NC — the surnames Pryor, Lane, and Mabry can be found in both counties.

Transcription of the Will of Ezra Pryor, 1830 Halifax County, NC

In the name of God Amen. I Ezra Pryor being infirm in body, but possessing sound mind have concluded to make this my last will and testament. I wish my body decently interred at the discretion of my friends, my soul I recommend to God. I will and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mildred Pryor, the following property viz all my Negroes, all my stock of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs, likewise all my carriages, and all my plantation utensils of every kind. Household and kitchen furniture and one thousand dollars, I also loan to my beloved wife during her natural life or widowhood the following tract of land commencing a the run of Bear Swamp where Harts Meadow Branch empties into said Swamp thence running west until it intersects a small Branch thence up the said Branch until it forks, thence up the left prong of said Branch to the head thence a west course (so as to miss the plantation) until it intersects the main run of Butterwood Creek. Thence down the meanders of said Creek to Bear Swamp thence up Bear Swamp to the Bridge across said Swamp. Thence on East course along William Harvey‘s line to the mouth of the long ditch at the Gate thence up said ditch until it intersects Hart’s Meadow Branch, thence down said Branch to the first station. I loan to my father William Pryor and his wife Nancy Pryor and Mrs. Susan Elmore all the tract of land that I own on Rocky Swamp, during their natural lives. I loan to Negroes George and Grace the tract of Land on which they now live adjoining the Lands of Charles Isles and others during their natural lives then to be equally divided between my three children Martha R. Pryor, Mary G. Pryor, and Eliza A. Pryor but in the event of either of my children’s dying before they arrive to the lawful age or marry it is my will that the two surviving ones inherit the property of the deceased and likewise if a second should died it is my will that the surviving one shall inherit the property. I constitute and appoint my Father William Pryor and my wife Mildred Pryor my Executors and Executrix. September 6th A. D. 1830
W W Thorne
Wm Price
John Knight

Signed Ezra Pryor [seal}
State of North Carolina, Halifax County
Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 3rd Monday of November 1830
Then this last will and Testament of Ezra Pryor was exhibited in open Court and duly proved by the oaths of Wm Price and William W. Thorne two subscribing witnesses thereto and on motion it was ordered to be recorded. Whereupon, Mildred Pryor, the Executrix therein named came forward to qualified thereto
M. H. Pettaway, Clerk

Halifax County, NC Wills, 1825-1854, Vol. 04 [FamilySearch.org image 81]

Transcription of the Will of Mildred E. Pryor, 1834 Halifax County, NC

In the name of God amen:
I Mildred E. Pryor of the County of Halifax State of No. Carolina being of sound and disposing mind, but feeble in body, make and ordain this as my last will and Testament. Item-1st. I leave all my Household and kitchen furniture to be equally divided between my two daughters Mary R. Powell and Martha R. Brinkley. Item–2nd. I leave all the balance of my Estate consisting principally of money and slaves to John Powell in trust for the benefit of the children of his present wife my daughter Mary G. Powell. Item 3rd. I nominate and appoint John Powell executor to this my Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 13th day of August 1834.
Mildred E. Pryor {seal}
S. Clanton
Kinchin Deckin?
State of North Carolina
Halifax County
Court of pleas and Quarter sessions
November term 1834
Then the foregoing paper —–? was offered for Probate in open court and duly proved by the Oath of Kinchin Decken a subscribing witness thereto and on motion ordered to be recorded whereupon John Powell the Executor therein named came into Court and was duly qualified as such.
Witness M. H. Pettway clk

Halifax County, NC Wills, 1825-1854, Vol. 04 [FamilySearch.org image 127]

Transcription of the Will of William Pryor, 1836 Halifax County, NC

In the name of god Amen, I William Pryor of the county of Halifax and State of North Carolina being weak in body but of sound but of sound (sic) and perfect mind and memory do this the 19th day of August 1833 make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner following that is to say I leave to my wife and ample (?) support as long as she lives, with same Susan to wait on her she may have bee choice who it may be and at her death I wish the whole of my estate of whatsoever it may be to go to John Powell his heirs and assigns forever and I hereby make and ordain John Powell Executor of this my last will and Testament witness whereof I the said William Pryor have to this my last will and Testament set my hand and seal the day and year above written
Bejamin Crawley
H. D. Crawley
William Pryor
State of No Ca
Halifax County
August 6(?) 1836 then the foregoing two wills was exhibited in open court and the will of Harriet D. Eppes proved by F. L. Marshall an subscribing witness thereto and the will of William Pryor proved by the oath of H. D. Crawley and was ordered to be Recorded.
W H Pettway, Clk.

Halifax County, NC Wills, 1825-1854, Vol. 04 [FamilySearch.org image 154]