Tag Archives: 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: , ,

Pryor Allied Lines in Craven County, NC: Loftin, Bryan

I’ve spotted some Pryor names in Craven County, NC who connect to each other and other families.

David Pryor married Sarah Loftin on 23 Jan 1788 in Craven County, NC with bondsman Samuel Pryor and witness William Bryan.

Below is an excerpt of Thomas Loftin‘s will (1794) that names his children: John, Longfield, Joseph, Elizabeth Lambert, Sarah Pryor, Mary West, and Frances. So, we can confirm Sarah’s father.


William Bryan is a name that appears frequently with the Craven County Pryor families. He witnessed David Pryor‘s marriage to Sarah Loftin. In 1774 he purchased items from the estate of Ephraim Lane with Thomas and Samuel Pryor. He witnessed Ephraim Pryor‘s marriage to Celia Pearson. In 1789 a deed to Samuel Pryor notes the land was located on William Bryan’s line.

Ephraim Lane was mentioned above. He died in 1774 and his wife Sarah Lane died in 1777. Samuel Pryor made purchases from both estates. Was Ephraim Pryor named for him?

Thomas Pryor of Craven County, NC

While digging around in NC records I found several Craven County records that mention a Thomas Pryor. So I thought I’d work through them to see if I could develop more about this Thomas.

Craven County was settled as early as 1705 and was formed as a county in 1739, about 35 years before the American Revolution. Wikipedia notes that the county seat, New Bern, was founded in 1710 by Swiss and Palantine immigrants. The county sits on the Neuse River which flows into the Atlantic. It’s also bordered by the Trent River. With all that water we should keep in mind that there was fishing and shipping. New Bern was the capital of the colony of NC and later it was the state capital.

The first reference to a Pryor found in Craven County records is John Pryor. The 1757 record references a council held at New Bern regarding land patents– a government record. I suspect this is the John Pryor from Orange County who served in the NC Assembly (which would have been meeting at New Bern). I’m thinking that John was just visiting Craven County and may not have been related to any of the Pryors who lived there.

Thomas Pryor and a Samuel Pryor show up in Craven County

1783 Marriage – Thomas Pryor married Cinea Chance on 15 Feb 1783, bondsman Joseph Green, witness Christian Neale.  Was Cinea the widow of John Chance? Thomas Pryor was a witness to John Chance’s will in 1782. I’ve seen online that there’s family trees who include a John Chance who married a Sinai in 1747.  I’ve wondered if perhaps the Cinea/Sinia/Sinai in the 1782 will was a younger woman, perhaps of an age that would remarry, because John left her everything and there’s no mention of any children.


State of North Carolina
and County of Craven
In the Name of God Amen. The Twentyeth Day of January in the year of our Lord God one thousand seven Hundred Eighty and Two. I John Chance of the County aforesaid Planter being sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God. Therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to dye (sic). I do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it and for my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent manner at the direction of my Executrix nothing doubting but a the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Might powers of God and as touching such worldly Estate. Wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me within this life. I give and dispose of the same in the manner and form.

Imp…? It is my will and I do order that in the first place all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and satisfied.

Item. I give and bequeat to my Beloved Wife Sinia Chance whom I constitute, make, ordain and appoint my sole executrix of this my last will and testament, all my lands having and and plantation, all my cattle, and all my hogs, one mare and colt, and one young horse, two beds and furniture together with all my household, goods and chattle any wise belonging to me I give and pepose of them all unto my beloved wife Sinia Chance and to be at her desposal and under her command forever or her —–? In Witness whereof I have herunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Signed sealed published and pronounced and Declared by the said John Chance to be his last will and Testament in Presents of us
John Chance {his mark}
Elizabeth Sevenson {her mark}
Rebecca Chance {her mark}
Thos. Pryor

Thomas Pryor was the only witness who attested to the will in court. The widow is identified when the will was filed as Sinai Chance, widow and executrix.

1795 Thomas Pryor witnessed the will of Peter Gilstrap (below). The signatures between the Chance and Gilstrap wills are a nice match. Thomas was likely a neighbor of the Gilstraps; in 1792 he registered land that bordered Richard Gilstrap.

Thomas Pryor signed Peter Gilstraps will

Orange County NC Record Mentions Luke Pryor of Williamson County TN

Looking at NC Pryors I hope to find answers for us questioning our Tennessee Pryor families. Luke Pryor is one of the folks in Williamson County, TN I looked at through probate records a while ago (see post). His wife was Nelly/Eleanor. I looked recently at the will of William Rogers, her father. It adds another piece of documentation to support she was a Rogers.


31st August 1819, Estate divided among heirs by commissioners in Orange Co., NC. William and John Rogers signed the estate sale as administrators.
Wife, Elinor Rogers
William Rogers
John Rogers
Heirs of James Rogers
John Sharp and Luke Prior
—? Holmes, husband of Janet Rogers
John Sharp, husband of Polly Rogers
Luke Pryor, husband of Nelly Rogers
Robert Hunter, husband of Peggy Rogers

Luke Pryor was named on 1805 and 1810 Tax lists in Williamson County, TN. It looks like he may have been living outside of NC at the time of the settlement of his father-in-law’s estate.

My last post may be of significance for anyone searching this line.  The Pryors in Guilford County, NC were connected to the Waggamon/Waggoner family.  When Luke Pryor married Nelly Rogers in Orange County, Peter Waggoner was bondsman (see post).

Pryors from Guilford County, NC – Connections to IN and TN and MO

I heard from a researcher who is descended from some of the Pryors from Guilford County, NC who made their way to Dickson County, TN. They have a family story penned by a relative long ago.  It’s a lovely, romantic tale of siblings Tommy Pryor (or Thomas) and his sister Elizabeth who traveled to see another sister named Sinnie who was married and living in Guilford County.  The tale is unclear where the Pryors were traveling from. Elizabeth met and married George Waynick (there are multiple variations of the spelling)– and settled in Guilford County. We know George and Elizabeth “Betsy” married around 1814 (around the time their first child was born) which helps to date the story.

But I take these stories with a hefty dose of skepticism. Do any of the facts match the records? Do any of the facts help to explain the paper records? Well, in this case there’s a little of both.

Part of the story is that on this same trip, brother Tommy Pryor met a beautiful farmer’s daughter and married her shortly thereafter. This is probably an embellishment because there is a marriage record for Thomas Pryor who married Elizabeth Gerringer on December 8, 1820 in Guilford County.

The researcher suspects that these Pryor siblings were related to Denard Pryor (grandfather of famed trombonist Arthur Pryor) and Alson Pryor who were orphans and apprenticed to Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner in Guilford County in 1820. It’s not just a hunch based on the surnames showing up in the same locale — Betsy Pryor Waynick named a son Denard.

Thomas and Denard have a connection. There is a Thomas Pryor and Denard Pryor on the 1840 Census in Clay County, MO. Thomas had died before the 1850 Census and Thomas’ widow was Elizabeth later recorded in Lawrence County, MO.

I decided to play a hunch. What if apprentice-master Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner was not just a master, but a relative? I found an Andrew Waggonman/Waggoner b. 1780 who is ID’d in several family trees as from Guilford County, NC. On the 1850 Census his wife was ID’d as Sinni b. 1789 in NC:

1850 Census – Michigan Twp., Clinton County, Indiana
House 15/15 Samuel Waggoner 27 NC, Malinda 22 IA, David J 5 IA, Andrew V 2 IA, Mary A 4/12 IA.
House 17/17 Andrew Waggoner 70 farmer NC, Sinni 61 NC, Samuel 3 IA, John Burket 11 IA

andrew-waggoner-denard-pryorSinnie in these Family Trees is recorded as Cynthiann Thomas. Does that crush the idea that she may be Sinnie Pryor? Not yet because the family trees are unsourced.  Looks like more homework is needed to figure out if she’s a Pryor or a Thomas, or if she was a Pryor who had married a Thomas. Any Waggonmans out there who want to offer a source for Sinnie’s surname?

Find A Grave has memorials for both Andrew and Sinnie. Sinnie’s doesn’t contain a photo and the birth year is 10 years earlier than the age reported on the 1850 Census, so approach with caution:

S. Waggonman:


The story of the Pryor siblings gave an account that George Waynick and family had stayed in Indiana to grow one crop before moving into TN, so perhaps the Waynicks and Waggonmans both went to IN from NC.

If indeed Sinnie, Tommy, and Betsy are related to Denard and Alson, then we may also know the identity of Tommy.  Denard only shows up on one census records and it’s on the same page in Clay County, MO with Thomas Pryor b. 1791-1800. Thomas’ wife was recorded as Elizabeth and their first known child was David Josiah b. 1825 in NC –  could Thomas be the same man who married Betsy Geringer on 8 Dec 1820 in Guilford County with bondsman Samuel Pryor?

There’s a Guilford County marriage on https://ncgenweb.us :
Andrew Gerinor [Gerringer] + Elisabeth Wyrick ~ 16 Feb 1803 bond ~ Andrew Waggonman [Waggoner]

This marriage brings together the Gerringer, Wyrick, and Waggonman surnames. That certainly helps to tie together the story, the surnames and the Pryors.