Tag Archives: North Carolina

Autosomal DNA: Separating Two Pryor Lines

The kids are back in school and it’s time to get back to Pryor research.

Sometimes mixed up family lines help to solve each other. I recently was looking at the Ancestry DNA (autosomal) results for a test kit that matches one of my own. This tester is descended from the line of Allen L Pryor of Sumner County, TN through his son William. The interesting thing about William is that he married a woman who was the grand-daughter of a Pryor: Absolem Bostic Pryor born about 1797 in NC. 

My tester matches to my kit as approximately a 5th cousin which works out correctly on paper if Allen L Pryor is our common relative.  If we were related also through the line of Absolem Bostic Pryor, then this cousin who tested would have more Pryor DNA than expected.  

Surnames and geography don’t prove out a family tree. I’ve seen some sloppy Ancestry trees where people see a surname in a geographic area and wrongly assume that everyone using the name in their family tree must be related.  Or even when someone finds their ancestor in one state and wrongly assumes that someone living in another state can’t be related.

So, if the DNA doesn’t point to a connection between these two Pryor families and Absolem has been placed in family trees that stem from “North Carolina” Pryors that haven’t converged with the line that includes Allen L Pryor, then I’d have to suggest that unless there’s a story of an adoption or other story that can explain the DNA — these two lines aren’t related.

Not a Pryor Signature

william-tryon-signature

Beware of the signature that’s not a Pryor. I’ve stumbled upon NC governor William Tryon’s signature several times and misread it as Pryor. An important signature to check against other signatures on documents.

Signatures: John Henry Pryor and Haden Pryor

John H. Pryor signed estate of Peter Rogers as a “garnishee”. 1787 Estate in Caswell County, NC states that Peter Rogers was from Halifax County, VA.  John Pryor who sold a tract of land to Roger Atkinson in 1770– Peter Rogers was a witness on that sale (Rogers relationship?).  Roger Atkinson, namesake of General Roger Atkinson Pryor of Nottaway County, VA. I suspect John H. Pryor who was a garnishee in 1787 isn’t the same man on the 1770 deed. Continue reading

All Roads Lead to Roane: Meet The Virginia People in Roane County and Anderson County, TN

pryor-east-tennesseeIn the very early 1800’s Virginia Pryor families and their neighbors headed to an area between Roane County and Anderson County, TN.  A Google book titled “The Land and Laws of Tennessee: Being A Compilation of The Various Statutes of… (It’s a very long title, but you can view the book online) discusses the division of Anderson and Roane counties near the farms of D. L. Bradley, John R. Galbreath, Samuel Tunnell, William Rite, W. C. Griffith, and J. C. Roberts.

These names may ring a bell from my last posts. The slave Sy Prior was living with Drury L. Bradley in 1850 and Samuel Tunnel was a witness to his 1860 will.  William C. Griffith witnessed Frances Prior‘s will (Harris’ mother) and he witnessed the will of Benjamin Lockett (Frances Prior’s son in law) with William Right/Rite.

I have several connected people who traveled from the Bedford County, VA area that became Campbell County to this area where some records are in Roane County while others are in Anderson County.

Jesse Pryor

Jesse Pryor is on the 1805 Tax list in Anderson Co., TN. He’s named on a 1811 deed with Reuben Williams and John Rector. My theory is that this is the Jesse Pryor born to Harris Pryor and Mary Kinnerson who was in Knox County and then later showed up on Census records in Overton County, TN. Harris, was on Bedford County, VA records.

William Pryor

My working theory is that William Pryor is another child of Harris and Mary. He may have been going back and forth between TN and VA — I may have to write a post about the clues that these Pryors were going back and forth. Like Jesse he was in Bedford County, Knox County, and Roane County. He is on an 1811 deed with Reuben Williams and John Rector that points to him being in the same part of the county at the same time as Jesse Pryor.

Samuel Pryor

Married to Frances Ferguson, Samuel died around 1815. Record of his estate was filed in Anderson County. Frances’ ID was in a VA Chancery Court case for her brother Robert Ferguson filed in Cumberland County, VA, naming Frances and her children. Frances and her son Harris lived in Roane County. John Rector was counted on census records living near Frances and Harris.

Benjamin Lockett

Married to Ailsy Pryor, daughter of Samuel and Frances. His will was filed in Anderson County in 1834, included a note from Richard Oliver and witnessed by Reuben Williams (see Jesse and William above) and William C. Griffith.

Joseph Grammer

Joseph Grammer was a French national who fought in the American Revolution. In 1787 he was brought up on charges of living with a woman without marriage in Charlotte County. Her name? Elizabeth Pryor or Mary Pryor or Mary Elizabeth Pryor. His Revolutionary War pension application states they were in Bedford County, VA by 1799. They were in Roane County by 1830. Joseph was about 100 years old when counted on the 1850 Census, still living with his wife. Could this Elizabeth Pryor be the grand-daughter of William Boteler/Butler? (see post) Nope. Her age would make her of about the same generation as Butler.

William Boteler Jr. & Sr.

The younger William Boteler married Sarah Cunningham in Campbell Co., VA, possibly a daughter of Murell Cunningham. Murrell Cunningham was surety for the marriage. John Pryor, Charles Rork, Martin Rector on March 15, 1790 Bill of Sale for Murrell Cunningham of Campbell County. Murrell Cunningham also went to TN– he was in Sumner Co., TN from 1800 to at least 1820. William Boteler Sr. mentioned grand-daughter Elizabeth Pryor in his will.

John Kitchen

John Kitchen sold land in Campbell Co., VA to John Pryor in 1788.  He was on the 1830 Census in Anderson County. He applied for a Revolutionary War Pension. The application states he was born in Bedford County, VA and his wife was Mary Whitten.

One last Pryor to mention because he was in Roane, but doesn’t seem to fit with the others.

Matthew Pryor Sr.

Matthew Pryor filed for a Revolutionary War Pension which documents where he was at the time of the war and thereafter: Born in Granville County, NC in 1759 > Caswell County, NC >Richmond County, GA > back to Granville County, NC > Washington County, VA > Roane County, TN > Marion County, TN. He was in Roane County in about 1808 when his son Matthew Pryor Jr. married Henrietta Williams. There’s no indication that he was in Campbell or Bedford Counties not have I found anything to show these other folks were in North Carolina.

Another Prior from Cornwall, England

Falmouth Cornwall I stumbled upon another Prior (or Pryor) from Cornwall. William Prior’s reads that he in North Carolina and his children Ann and Christiana were in the UK.  He named his brother Simon their guardian, yet I haven’t been able to confirm the existence of these Priors in UK records. Hope this helps someone ID the whereabouts of their missing kin.

1829 Will – Mecklenberg Co., NC
The last will and testament of William Prior of the county Cornwall G. Britain witnesseth–
I appoint Capt J P Fell and J L —- at present residents in Mecklenburg Co. No Car’a my true and lawful executors.
I request them to — from — Griffiths A— Co my mark of — appoint and to sell the same to the but advantage.

I give and bequest to my two daughters Ann and Christiana Prior in equal portions all my property.

I appoint my brother Simon Prior now and recently of Parish Waldron County Cornwall G. Britain the guardian of my two daughters.

Witness my hand this fourth day of May in the year of our Lord 1829

Signed by William Prior

Category: England | Tags: , ,