Tag Archives: petersburg

John Pryor of Orange County, NC and Daughter Dorothy

Sometimes it’s interesting to continue to dig for Pryors by following the trail of men with the first name Pryor. You never know if it will lead to related families of the Pryor surname. I saw this announcement in an 1838 newspaper

We are authorized to announce Gen. Pryor M Grant of Columbus, a Candidate for the office of Major General of the Fourth Division of the Mississippi Militia, composed of the counties of Lowndes, Noxubee, Kemper, Oaktibbeha, Winston, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott, Smith, Atalla, Choctaw, Carrol, Yalabusha, and Tallahatchie.
Published in Southern Argus, 2 January 1838

Who was General Pryor M Grant? Online family trees show him as the son of Henrietta McNeill and Joshua Grant of Person County, NC. Boddie and Allied Families, by John Thomas Boddie (pub 1918) states “(Henry McNeil) married at Petersburg, Va. Dororthy Pryor, born in Virginia, 23 March 1755, died in Christian County, Ky., 17 March 1824, daughter of John Pryor, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.” They lived in Person County, NC before moving to KY. They were the parents of Henrietta McNeill who married Joshua Grant, and thus Dorothy Pryor Grant was the grandmother of Pryor M Grant.

There is a Dorothy Pryor named as a daughter of John Pryor in his will dated 1771 in Orange Co., NC

“…to my daughter Dorothy Pryor my negro girl named Cloe and one feather bed and furniture, two cows and calves one horse or mare and saddle when she arrives to lawful age or married to her and her heirs forever…”

If this is the same Dorothy Pryor who married Henry McNeill, she was underage when her father died in NC and perhaps of age when she married in Petersburg, VA. Petersburg is interesting. Why Petersburg and not in NC? I checked Google maps and it’s about 120 miles between the two areas. The Boddie book also states she was a  “daughter of John Pryor, of Dinwiddie County, Virginia.”

I wonder where this Pryor and McNeil information came from. The editor of the book writes of having letters from the 1700’s when McNeil had to prove his relationships in order to claim an inheritance. It would have been nice if he had printed transcripts and sited complete source information in his book.

If you like a swashbuckler ending: The Madison Whig (MS) on 16 March 1839 reported Pryor W (sic?) Grant and Maj S F Butterwoth “both of Columbus in this State” had fought with “four pistols each, at thirty paces.” The duel ended without death or injury. It sounds like Roger A Pryor of Dinwiddie County who got into scraps when he disagreed.

Jackson Co., TX Estate for Virginia Pryor of Hempstead Co., AR

My last post mentioned Richard Pryor and wife Virginia Pryor (nee Boyd) in Petersburg, VA records (see post). The June 1869 Petition filed in Jackson Co., TX includes a transcript of Virginia Pryor‘s will signed about 8 Nov 1865, she was deceased by the 21st when the will was filed with the court in Hempstead County, AR.  The petition states Charles R. Pryor “of Dallas” was her executor. He filed the petition because Virginia owned property in TX and he was seeking permission to sell the land.

I bequeath to Dr. Chas. R. Pryor my —- and dividend interest in Texas. And I make the said Chas R. Pryor my Executor. I bequeath to Virginia Finley all my silver ware marked “E. P.” and to Chas R. Pryor all my Silver marked R. P. and V. P. I bequeath to my servant Marion all my own wearing apparel. One bed and clothing. Five Hundred dollars in money and one hundred acres in land and to Thomas Boyd my own homestead. A codicil instructed that any other money be applied to bringing her husband and daughters remains to the family graveyard for burial and a marble monument erected.

Unfortunately neither the will, the probate, nor the petition reveals the relationship between Virginia Pryor and Charles R. Pryor. Virginia was married to Richard Pryor, the postmaster in Hempstead Co., AR. Charles R. was born 1832 and is reported to be a brother of Samuel B. Pryor (b. 1820) who was mayor of Dallas. I tried to tie up Charles’ loose ends last month, but they just unravel. [https://tennesseepryors.com/texas-pryors/charles-r-pryor-b-1832-in-brunswick-county-va/].

I’ve used the TSHA article on Charles R. Pryor [https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpr16] to connect him as the brother of Samuel B. Pryor. But what is their source? They may be right because Samuel’s first born son was also named Charles R. (b. 1854).

Even taking the leap to say that Samuel and Charles were brothers, what’s their relationship to Richard Pryor in Hempstead County? Edward L. Pryor in Hempstead County was also a postmaster, born in VA, and definitely the son Samuel Pryor who lived in Montgomery County, TN (there’s a lawsuit that proves this). Are Richard and Edward L. brothers? After seeing the Jackson County petition, I now think that Edward and Richard don’t share a close relationship and that researchers should look for a closer relationship between Richard, Samuel B. of Dallas, and Dr. Charles R.

Richard Pryor Executor of the Estate of James Durell

handwritingI’ve looked at several Virginia Chancery Court cases that mention Richard Pryor and his wife Virginia Boyd. They are quite lengthy and seem to center around his position as the executor of the estate of James Durell. Among all the documents I found the will of James Durell. Richard Pryor is named the executor. It names relationships and even has a codicil that freed a slave. So passing along the transcript for anyone interested in this line…

EXR OF JAMES DURELL, ETC
RICHARD PRYOR EXR ETC
vs
UPPER APPOMATTOX COMPANY, ETC

The last will and testament of James Durell of the Town of Petersburg and State of Virginia: Being confined to a bed of disease and pain and being unable to foresee the issued of such confinement and disease, I have concluded to provide against contingencies and to make the following last will and testament.

1st I direct my Executor hereinafter named to sell my land in the state of Alabama for cash or on such terms as he shall think proper, and to divide the proceeds in equal shares among my daughter and her children now living.

2nd I devise and bequeath the Durell tract of land owned by me in the county of Mecklinburg to be equally divided among my Grand children who own land adjoining the shares of each to be allotted adjoining the land now owed by them respectively.

3rd I devise and bequeath to Geo. Ruffin a lot of land owned by me situated on Plumb Street adjoining the land belonging to the Estate of the late Dr. J S Gilliam, and the land lately bough by Peter Saunders.

4th I bequeath to each of my Grandchildren a share of the stock of the Upper Appomattox Canal Company now owned by me.

5th I direct my executor hereinafter named to keep together and manage as prudently as in his power, the whole of my estate both real and personal not otherwise disposed of in this will, till the death of my daughter E O Boyd and I then devise and bequeath the same to be equally divided among my Grand children to them and their heirs forever. — in case either of my Grand children shall depart this life, previous to the death of my said daughter, then I give and bequeath to the child or children of such decreased Grand child if any the proportion to which and Grand child would be entitled if alive.

6th I give and bequeath to my daughter E O Boyd yearly during her life out of the profits of my estate, not specially devised, the sum of one thousand dollars if the profits shall amount to so much, which sum my executor is directed to pay to her yearly unless there shall be a deficiency of the profits as aforesaid.

7th I direct my Executor to pay to each of my slaves Andrew and Cuffy the sum of thirty dollars to purchase their clothes and —-.

8th I direct my Executor to have removed and decently interred Blandford Church yard the bones of those interred in the grave yard belonging to me in the rear of the land on Market street owned by E. Pescud and Dr. J. B. Scott and after such removal, I authorize and direct him to sell the land enclosed for said yard in fee simple.

9th I hereby authorize my executor not withstanding anything in this will contained as to the final division of my estate at the death of my daughter to let out my part of my real estate on building leases for a term not exceeding ten years.

10th I hereby appoint Richard PRYOR who married my grand daughter Virginia the sole executor of this my last will and testament.

Given under my hand and seal this 16th of October 1822.
Teste: Patrick Durkin (or Dunkin?) and AB Spooner

A codicil to the will of Jas. Durrell notwithstanding anything in my will continued I do hereby emancipate and forever set free my slave Nancy — and I do this in consequence of her acts of extraordinary merit done towards and for me in saving as I believe my life in an attach on me of a most dangerous disease and being fully persuaded and I always have been since that time, that her extraordinary exertions and almost on stand watchfulness on that occasion particularly throughout the most tedious nights was the main cause in saving my live– I emancipate her also in consequences of exertions of the same kind and nature towards and for me in this my present most distressing illness. Believing the acts of extraordinary merit o-the- part of said slave to be strictly within the meaning of the act of assemby to authorize emancipated slaves to remain in this commonweath and I do trust and expect the Hasting Court to permit her to remain in this Commonwealth. If it should so happen that a decree should hereafter be rendered against my estate in consequence of my being one of the securities of Jno. McRae Jr. and Excr. of Jno. McRae Sr. I direct a sufficiency of my land to be sold to pay the amount of my responsibility instead of a sale of my slave Nancy. Given under my hand and seal this 17th day of February 1827
{seal} James Durrell
Witness
J. R. Daniel

Further dodicil to the will of Jas. Durrell. Notwithstanding anything contained in my will, I hereby direct my executor to pay as soon as he conveniently can after his qualification in the first place all debts due by me on my own account and not as security out of such part of my estate as he shall think best for all the parties interested. Given under my hand and seal this 20th April 1827.
{seal} James Durell
Acknowledged after hearing the same read to be his hand and seal and act and deed before us
J. Robertson Jr
Joel Hammon
A. B. Spooner