Tag Archives: rockingham county

Emory Dent Pryor of Henry County, TN

Emory Dent Pryor is another Pryor who was in Guilford County, NC and made his way to TN. I haven’t yet connected him to the other Pryors in Guilford County. I worked my way backwards, starting with his will.

Johnson County, IL

In the name of God Amen. I Emory Dent Prier feeling weak in body though of sound mind and disposing memory for which I thank God and feeling to according to the stern desire of heaven that all men must Return to their mother — and that my time is near at hand and wishing to dispose of all such worldly goods as God has been pleased to bless me with I therefore give and bequeath the same in manner as follows to wit—
1st it is my will and desire and I hereby give and bequeath to my beloved wife Sarah S. Prier all my property to wit Land and Tennents, money, cash notes, stock of every kind to have and to hold and to enjoy and dispose of the same without any restraint whatever first paying all my just debts. In testimony where of I have her unto and seal this 6th day of September.
A. D. 1857
E. D. Prier {seal}
Gabriel Utley
John Jones
State of Illinois, Johnson County
I certify that on the 18th day of September A. D. 1854 —-ally appeared Gabriel Utly and John Jones the subscribing witnesses to therefore giving Last will and testament and being first duly sworn according to law depose and says that they attested at the request of said E. D. Prier that the said E. D. Prier acknowledged the same in these presents to be his Last will and testament and that they believe that the said E. D. Prier was of sound mind and memory at the time of signing and acknowledging the same in testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of Johnson County County Court as officer in Vienna this 18th day of September 1854
J N Pearce clerk

1850 Census Henry Co., TN – Dist. 15, page 384, house 117 Emory D. Pryor 51 teacher NC, Sarah 21 TN. Emory had married Sarah Burton in 1848. Sarah who was three decades younger than Emory is most likely Sarah Burton since the 1854 will clearly mentions Sarah his wife.

1830 and 1820 – Emory D. Pryor was on the US Census in Rockingham County, NC, a neighbor of Guilford County. In 1820 he was living near a Thomas Pryor and Elizabeth Pryor Archer. Elizabeth’s grandson recorded she was a Pryor, daughter of David Pryor and Mary Cunningham. This is cause to reassess Thomas and Elizabeth and which David was their father.

1820 Marriage in Guilford County.  Emory married Jane Knight.

1804 Will, explains Emory’s other kin. His mother was Eleanor who died around 1804. If Emory was born about 1799 (see 1850 Census). he was only about 5 years old when his mother Eleanor Pryor wrote her will. The will also named another son, Paschal Benjamin? Pryor. I haven’t found a trace of Paschal, yet there are other men in Guilford County who carried the first name and surname Paschal.


Pryor and Lansford Family Connections Through VA, NC, and Into IL


I think I can explain more about some of the VA Pryors using the Lansfords.  These are some of the same people mentioned in a post back in March (Connecting Major John Pryor of Richmond to More Pryors!). I spent part of Labor Day looking at Thomas Washington Pryor who was in Rockingham County, NC and later lived in Fayette County, IL.

There’s a Find A Grave memorial for Prudence Rivers Pryor, a daughter of Thomas Washington Pryor (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=31125815). Her husband is reported to be Isham Lansford. As I trudged my way through online records and some family trees that quoted original sources, I was able to chart out Isham’s line back to his great-grandma, Catherine Pryor  of Pittsylvania County, VA.

Well, well, well. Looks like Isham’s great aunt and uncle were Susanna Lansford and George Reynolds, the parents of the traveling Pryor Reynolds of Rockingham County, NC (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=26184214).

The marriage of Isham Lansford and Prudence Rivers Pryor seems to be where the lines from Pittsylvania County, VA/Rockingham County, NC circle around. Were Isham and Prudence cousins?

It seems appropriate that the last couple posts were on Edward Pryor of Wilkes Co., GA because there looks to be a connection between his line and the Lansfords. I’m betting that Edward is the same man who was on the tax lists in Pittsylvania County, VA  in the early 1780’s and also that it’s Edward’s son John Pryor who witnessed a deed for Henry Lansford — a brother of Susannah Lansford and and the older Isham Lansford.

Looking for the Rest of The Pryors of Buckingham County, VA


In my last post I brought up David Pryor and his wife a Miss Cunningham. That relationship was news to me so I’m detouring to Buckingham County in this post.

I thought a letter to President Thomas Jefferson opened up a question in the family tree of the Buckingham County Pryors [see Thomas Jefferson Letter Leads to Questions in the Pryor Family Tree], but really there seems to be people missing from the Buckingham County Pryor tree.

Susannah Ballow Pryor (wife of David) died in Nashville in 1832. An obit from the National Banner and Nashville Daily Advertiser said she was 89 years old [see thenashvillecitycemetery.org (Wayback Machine link)]. That means she was born about 1743. But in that darned The Pryor Family article published in 1899 in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 7, the author states Susannah died in 1831 at age 94 (that’s a birth year of 1737). The wide-spread differences in her reported age could simply mean she was an old woman and no one knew exactly when she was born. If she was really 94 she would have been 52 when Nicholas B. Pryor, her youngest son, was born. It’s possible, but it doesn’t seem likely.

And it gets messier. The first child attributed to Susannah is Mitchie Pryor who married President Jefferson’s brother John Randolph Jefferson. Mitchie was born about 1759. I don’t know who calculated her year of birth because it would have made Mitchie 56 when her son John Randolph Jefferson was born in 1816 and about 60 when she gave birth to another son, James Monroe Johnson, born to her second marriage to Josiah Johnson. IF Susannah was Mitchie’s mother she was about 16 years at old at that time which really isn’t that unusual. However, all the other children attributed to David and Susannah were born at least 14 years after Mitchie… beginning with Langston Pryor in 1774. That’s a heck of a gap.  I don’t feel everyone’s ages and dates of birth are sitting on solid ground. There were 8 known sons attributed to David and Susannah… possibly a 9th hinted at in the letter to Thomas Jefferson. Were there daughters who were born in the 14 years before Langston? Women seem to get lost to genealogy through marriages and name changes. Was Mitchie Pryor younger than the reported 1759 year of birth. I suspect so.

The questions keep coming after Nicholas moved his family to Nashville:

  • Is Benjamin W. Pryor b. 1788 in VA and counted in Nashville in 1830 related?
  • Who is Lain B. Pryor who witnessed the will of Alexander Donelson while Nicholas Pryor was appointed the executor of Donelson’s estate.
  • Who is Charles B. Pryor buried in Nashville City Cemetery?

Do we  have missing Pryors in this line? Looks like we might… An online post speaks of Elizabeth Pryor, wife of Charles Archer of Rockingham County, NC and Pittsylvania Co., VA was a daughter of David Pryor — but her mother was a Mary Cunningham. The marriage source is reported as History of St. Charles, Montgomery and Warren Counties, Missouri, reprinted 1969 by Paul V. Cochran, St. Louis, MO) pp. 1084-1085 — the biography of Judge Creed T. Archer states his mother was Elizabeth Pryor, a daughter of David Pryor of Buckingham County.

OK, I think I’m convinced that Elizabeth Pryor Archer is related to the Buckingham County Pryors. Alas, accepting Elizabeth Pryor Archer into the family tree opens up a ONLY MORE QUESTIONS!

Who is Mary Cunningham her mother? Squeezing in another wife for David Pryor doesn’t work well with Susannah’s age and the children’s ages.

Could there have been ANOTHER David Pryor in Buckingham County?

Cunningham is interesting because David’s brother, John Pryor, witnesses a deed for Murrell Cunningham in Campbell Co., VA in 1790. There’s a Revolutionary War pension application for Murrell that states he was born in Cumberland County, VA, served in the Revolution out of Buckingham County, and in 1800 moved to Sumner County, TN (same place that John Pryor’s suspected son moved to).

Elizabeth Pryor Archer was already a widow when she was counted as a head of household on the 1820 Census. The stunner is that she was recorded one line from Thomas Pryor on the Rockingham County, NC census. Yes, the same Thomas Pryor who looks to be a nephew of Major John Pryor of Richmond [see And There’s More on the Kin of Major John Pryor of Richmond]. Thomas was born in 1792 in NC, so I don’t believe he’s a son of David Pryor and Susannah Ballow (Susannah was over 50 and maybe nearing 60 in 1792).  So we’re still missing the brother of Major Pryor.

Lots of questions and some nifty Jefferson connections — David’s daughter married Thomas Jefferson’s brother, David’s sons corresponded with the President, and Major John Pryor had the President’s “cousin” living in his Richmond, VA household [see post]. Thomas seems to carry on the Jefferson connection by naming his son “John Randolph”.

Connecting Major John Pryor of Richmond to More Pryors!

I’m not sure what to call this chart… David Pryor? Major John Pryor of Richmond? Christopher Pryor? Not sure because it has all of these men in it. I’ve found that keeping this chart has been quite helpful because sometimes keeping track of everyone feels like a dancing in a bowl of Pryor spaghetti– a tangled, mushy mess!

chart - david pryor

I don’t yet know the father the David and I don’t yet know his brother. I suspect Nicholas Pryor of Henrico County is David’s father. David died 1747 in Henrico County and Nicholas died in 1746. I have a suspicion but not enough proof to speculate that Edward Pryor may be David’s missing brother. Edward was in Henrico County on land described at a similar location as land owned by Nicholas and Edward was in Pittsylvania County.

To tame the “spaghetti”– I’ve drawn in arrows and bubbles where people seem to intersect.

  • Major John Pryor married Ann Beverly Whiting. When Anne’s brother Henry Whiting died his estate was handled by John C. Pryor, who I believe to be the Major’s nephew. We know for sure that the “paperwork” says John C. Pryor was Christopher Pryor‘s son.
  • While Major Pryor lived in Richmond, many of his heirs and their aligned families lived in James City, Gloucester, Elizabeth City, and in Williamsburg. These locations are also true for Christopher Pryor and his descendants.
  • Major Pryor died childless but among  his heirs were Archer Hankins and Thomas Pryor. I believe he is the Thomas Pryor counted next to Elizabeth Pryor Archer on  the Rockingham Co., NC census. Elizabeth’s son, Creed Taylor Archer, state she was a daughter of David Pryor and Mary Cunningham of Buckingham County, VA (the David Pryor marriage to Miss Cunningham is new to me and will be explored in another post).
  • Thomas in Rockingham County named his son John Randolph Pryor— was he named for the President’s brother John Randolph Jefferson who married Mitchie Pryor?

I’m working on another chart of all the Pryors that lived in or passed through Pittsylvania County. Looks like that may answer some of our questions!