Tag Archives: Meriwether

Cleaning Up John Hughes Pryor’s Children

I was recently asked about John Hughes Pryor‘s children. I’ve written about them before but thought the question was good and worth revisiting this Pryor line. A post I wrote a couple years ago Documentation for John Hughes Pryor’s Family Tree only documented some of his children. So I’m posting a transcript of the Chancery complaint Continue reading

Identifying the NINE John Pryors Who Were Alive in 1780

I recently had to work though some questions to ID a record and determine which John Pryor it matched to. I realized there were quite a few John Pryors with possible Virginia roots who were all adults in 1780. NINE of them. So during the snowy days this winter I dug in and questioned relationships and questioned where they were and when they died. I’m now ready to share the list.

If you don’t see your John Pryor on the list — test your information to be sure he was an adult and alive in 1780. If he should be on the list let me know!

1. John Pryor of Greene And White Co., TN

Born 1771 – 1775, per 1830 Census
Married Ruth Sherrill, she’s Ruth Prior in her father’s Greene Co., TN will D 1832, estate settlement in Sangamon Co., IL
Parents unknown
Children Rachel, Ellinder, Mary, Sherrill, Sarah, William, Margaret/Peggy, Elizabeth, Jonathan
Resided: 1804/1805 in Greene Co., TN (father in law’s estate)
Resided: 1811-1812 Tax List in White Co., TN
Resided: 1830 Census Sangamon Co., IL
Connection: Linked to “Old” Joseph Pryor of Greene and White Co. through Robert Armstrong.

2. John Pryor of Sullivan Co., TN

Born 1757 in England, per 1850 Census and a son on the 1880 Census
Parents unknown
Married Mary?
Children: James, Nancy, John, Henry, Isaac, Sarah, Mary, Page, Thomas David, Andrew John
Died abt. 1851 in Sullivan Co., TN
Resided: 1787 signed petition in Sullivan Co. when TN was still NC
Connection: Owned land in Sullivan Co. next to David Ross. There’s a John Pryor on a deed with David Ross in Fluvanna Co., VA in 1813. A copy of the deed was made by John Timberlake. Is this the same John Timberlake who married Elizabeth Pryor, daughter of John Pryor and Mary Dennis of Amelia Co., VA.?

3. John Pryor, Son of David Pryor and Miss Childress / Maj John Pryor of Richmond

Born bef. 1738 in VA
Parents David Pryor d. 1747 in Goochland Co and Miss Childress
Married Anne Beverly Whiting, second wife was
Children All reports are that he left no children.
Died abt 1812. Sons John and William settled property in Campbell Co., VA
Resided: 1759 deed in Albemarle Co., VA, and bordered grandfather Abraham Childress
Connection: Inherited land from his father in Cumberland Co., VA with his brother David Pryor, later of Buckingham Co., VA. His niece, Mitchie Pryor, married Thos. Jefferson’s brother.
Heirs: Nieces Dorcas Bryan, Elizabeth Taylor, Rebecca Taylor, Charlotte Morrison, Elizabeth Hazelwood, and nephews Thomas Pryor, Archer Hankins, William Hankins, Romert Hankins, John Hankins, and Pryor Hankins.
Died 1823, Richmond Enquirer obit
Military: Revolutionary War Soldier.

4. John Pryor Possibly Son of Samuel And Prudence

Born abt 1730 in VA
Parents Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton
Married 1754 to Mary Dennis in Amelia Co., VA
Children: Richard, Luke, Elizabeth, Mary, Philip, Ann, Samuel
Died 1785, date of will in Amelia Co., VA
Resided: on Leath’s Creek in Amelia County.
Connection: John was in Botetourt Co., VA at the same time as other children and grandchildren of Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton.

5. John A. Pryor

Born abt 1750
Parents were probably Samuel and an unknown first wife.  Samuel’s second wife was Frances Morton Meriwether.
Married Martha Vaughn
Children: Samuel W, Sarah, John Alexander, Joseph Everett, Mary, Nicholas M (possibly named for his half brother Nicholas Meriwether), Prudence, Daniel Farley (read more about Daniel Farley’s namesake)
Died unknown date. Last child born 1799 in Kentucky.
Resided: 1795 deed in Harrison Co., KY with Nicholas Meriwether, his half brother.

6. John Pryor, Brother of Capt. William Pryor of Amherst Co.

Born  maybe as early as 1745
Parents possibly William Pryor of Albemarle County, formerly of Henrico County.
Married possibly married a Floyd
Children: Nathaniel, Nancy, Samuel, Robert Lewis, James, Jane, Elizabeth W.
Died abt 1780-ish, deceased per court record that states his children (the two youngest?) were orphans.
Resided: Fought at Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, 1778 served as a volunteer spy to warn Greebrier settlement of impending Indian attack, 1782 Poll in Louisville, and in 1783 signed Low Dutch Petition.
Connection: Served under George Rogers Clark. Served with Simon Kenton, Thomas Posey.

7. John of Logan Co., KY

Born bef 1760
Married bef 1775, wife unknown.
Children: One known child named John Jr. b. bef. 1775
Resided: 1791 Sumner Co., TN tax list. 1794 owned land in Sumner Co. that bordered William Pryor who was from Botetourt Co., VA.
Connection: 1796 witnessed land survey for Richard Pryor in Logan Co., KY. 1794 on the Tax List for Logan Co., KY. Possibly the father of John Jr. who also witnessed same land survey in 1796. Both disappear from Logan Co. records in 1800.

8. John Pryor Jr., Associate of John Sr. in Logan

Born bef 1775
Married there are 3 John Pryor marriages in Logan County: Rebecca Baily,  Polly Heathman, Elizabeth Crawford (between 1800-1803)
Children: None known.
Resided: Logan County, KY.
Connection: 1796 witnessed land survey for Richard Pryor in Logan Co., KY. 1794 on the Tax List for Logan Co., KY. Possibly the father of John Jr. who also witnessed same land survey in 1796. Both disappear from Logan Co. records in 1800.

9. John Pryor of Edgefield, SC

1790 Census, Edgefield, SC

10. John Pryor of Warren Co., NC

1790 Census, Warren Co., NC

11. John Prior of Charleston, SC

1790 Census, Charleston, SC

Possibly related to Catherine Pryor who married Thomas Dozier possibly in Lunenburg Co., VA, parents of Prior Dozier.

… And the Northern John Pryors

1790 Census, John Pryor, Middlesex Co., CT
1790 Census, John Prior, Lincoln Co., ME
1790 Census, John Prior, Hampshire Co., MA
1790 Census, John Prior, Albany Co., NY
1790 Census, John Prior, Richmond Co., NY
1790 Census, John Prior, Washington Co., PA

I’ve racked my brain over these John Pryors. One of my questions I’ve asked…”Are any of these the same man listed twice?”

I considered that perhaps the John at Fort Donnally was the same John Pryor who was in Louisville (Nathaniel Pryor’s father). John was on the tax list in KY in 1789, so I have a hard time reconciling that this is the same person as the John who to have been killed by Indians in 1780. I don’t know. I have problems with this one.

I’ve considered the John Pryor who was in Logan County. Did he go back and forth in the wilderness? Is he a duplicate of another Pryor?

I also wonder… “Where did they go?” Especially the John Pryor who was in Logan Co., KY with Richard and Mourning Pryor. Are these the Pryors from KY who turn up in Gasconade County, MO? I’ve looked at Pleasant Pryor who was also in Gasconade County. He was from Tennessee and has often been associated with the Pryors from White Co., TN. I just can’t put them together, but they look like they are connected — marriages into the Simpson family, moves to Maries Co., MO and appearances on Bates Co., MO census records.

I hope this helps to keep the Johns separate in our research. If you see an error, please let me know.


William Harding – Key Man Among the Virginia Pryors

William Harding connected to Nicholas PryorEee gads, I know I created this chart, but really, every time I look at it I think it looks fractured and glued haphazzardly back together again. There are connections EVERYWHERE. There are lines of Pryors I don’t know if they really belong together, but they all seem to merge through William Harding.

Hello, William Harding!

I know it was a “small world” back in Colonial Virginia, but I think the number of connections between William Harding and the Pryors is astounding.

1. William Harding posted surety for the estate of Nicholas Pryor in 1746 (Goochland County, VA)

2. In 1751 William Pryor sold Albemarle County land to William Harding. This is the William Pryor who was engaged in a Henrico County suit with Grace Lafoon (Lafon). I suspect William was a son of Nicholas Pryor. He was also the father of Capt. William Pryor of Amherst Co., Nicholas, John of Fort Donnally, and Susannah.

3. When William Harding‘s daughter Sally married Thomas Pollard at St. James Northam in Goochland County, William Meriwether was surety. William Meriwether was also surety in 1760 for the marriage of Samuel Pryor (son of Samuel and Prudence) when he married Frances Morton Meriwether.

4. William Harding‘s sister Bethenia married Nicholas Perkins. Bethenia’s children married Pryors: Susannah Perkins married Green Pryor and Nicholas Perkins married Leah Pryor. Green and Leah were children of John Henry Pryor who died 1771 in Orange County, NC.

5. William Harding‘s sister Susannah married Capt. Charles Ellis. Their grand-daughter, Elizabeth Wright,  married Capt. William Pryor of Amherst County, VA.

I’ve written about Capt. Ellis in the past [see The Last of the Virginia Chancery Court Records] and his association with Peter Jefferson (father of President Thomas Jefferson) and military service in the 1750’s with a Richard, Nicholas, and William Pryor.

Is Nicholas Pryor who died in 1746 the man some researchers ID as F. Nicholas Pryor? I’ve thought he was Nicholas the headright who arrived in Henrico County in 1688.

Is the F for Frank or Francis Pryor? Could he be Francis Pryor the son of Samuel and Prudence Thornton?

I feel like I’m getting to know everyone in town.

Who was James Pryor in Cumberland County, VA Circa 1802?

james-pryor-cumberland-1It’s kind of fun with a “new” Pryor surfaces, but it also drives me absolutely C-R-A-Z-Y!

There’s a Virginia Chancery Court case “William Gay vs executors of Richard Eggleston deceased” — there actual pleadings are missing, so I can’t tell exactly what date it was filed.  I gleaned the gist of the case from two depositions which were noticed:

1st Deposition: James Pryor taken 22 Sept 1802 at the home of William Pryor in Cumberland County. He states that the case surrounds the trade of tabacco, iron, etc. for a Peacock Gelding (a horse) in 1782 or 1792. Names included are Richard Eggleston, John Eggleston, and Clough Eggleston.

2nd Deposition: In November 1804: Clough Eggleston in Amelia County, Clough was an overseer from 1780 to 1781, signed Thomas Randolph JP, James P Coke JP – noticed on 15 Oct 1804 by William Meriwether and Joseph Eggleston.


Banister L. Pryor married Rebecca Eggleston in Cumberland County in 1808 (6 years after James Pryor’s deposition in Cumberland County).  Banister was a son of David Pryor and Susannah Ballow of Buckingham Co., VA and later Nashville, TN.  Even with this information that connects the Pryors and the Egglestons I have no idea which James Pryor this may be!

I guess if James testified in a deposition in 1802 that he was 21 years old or older. So, he was born about 1781 or earlier. I have a pretty short list of possibilities…

James Pryor, brother of Nathaniel Pryor (the Lewis and Clark guy). James may have been an adult when his father died in about 1791 in KY. James ran a dry goods store with his brother in law, John B. Gilly and was likely in KY with the rest of his family in 1802.

James Paxton Pryor born around 1785 in Kanawha County was the son of Nicholas and Sally Paxton. He was named in a 1806 Chancery Court suit in Augusta County, VA, so he could have been in the area in 1802, but he would have been a young child when he witnessed the horse transaction which was the subject of the suit.

James Pryor b. 1776 – 1794  who was in Stewart County, TN with William Pryor married to Betsy Trammell. William was born in Botetourt County, VA and is first recorded in Stewart County in 1804. Cold this be the William and James in Cumberland County?

Well, I also suspect that the James in Stewart County was also the one who was in Pike County, IL: https://tennesseepryors.com/pryor-website/state-records/illinois-counties-m-s/#Pike  This James Pryor obtained land grants in Pike Co. in 1840. The oldest male in household for the 1840 Census was 50 to 59 years. A death notice from THE NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE for REBECCA PRYOR wife of James Pryor, died Pike Co., Ill., Jan. 7, 1849; states they moved from Christian Co., Ky. to Stewart Co., Tenn., to Pike Co., Illinois.

This made me laugh. The James in Pike County was counted on the 1850 Census and his occupation was recorded as POSTMASTER. Good grief, could he be related to Banister Pryor and his kin who were postmasters and other public servants? (See John C. Pryor’s Letter to President Thomas Jefferson)


Pryors and Meriwethers of Goochland County

Farm / Clouds

Meriwether vs Pryor

I’m still in the Chancery Court records. I found a case filed in 1768 that names William Pryor, executor for Samuel Pryor deceased, John Bolling and George Payne. Reuben Meriwether, George Meriwether, Nicholas Meriwether and Mary Meriwether, infants by George Meriwether. This case went on for some time because it was ammended in 1779 with defendants: William Pryor had died and now his executor was party to the case and young Mary Meriwether had married (1770) and her husband Shadrack Vaughn was now a party.

March Court 1779
Goochland County
Reuben Meriwether, Geoge Meriwether, Nicholas Meriwether and Shadrack Vaughn and Mary his wife, the said Reuben and Nicholas being infants, appear and sue by George Meriwether, their guardian, and next friend, plaintiffs.

Samuel Pryor executor of William Pryor dec’d who was administrator of Samuel Pryor dec’d, John Bolling, and George Payne, defendants.

This day came the parties by their counsels and by mutual consent agree that George Payne (the younger) and John Shelton shall be added to the other persons appointed at former court for settling the account of the parties and return the balance that shall appear to be due to the court.

Hope this helps the researchers working on this line.

Signed by Valentine Wood