Tag Archives: Samuel Pryor

Frances Hooe wife of Samuel Pryor of Clarksville, TN

The answer to the identity of Frances Ann the wife of Samuel Pryor of Clarksville is in the obit for their son Bernard H. Pryor.

Bernard H Pryor obituary

I’ve seen countless family trees that speculate on a mother’s maiden name by picking out a child’s middle name and concluding that it’s the name of a near relative or the mother’s maiden name. I think I have evidence that Hooe is Frances’ maiden name.

A suit was filed by Samuel Pryor and wife, etc against the guardians of Eliza Hooe. An Interlocutory Degree was recorded in May 1816 distributing slaves named Lewis, Janetty, Helen, Phillie, and Anthony to Samuel and his wife.

To the worshipful the justices of King George County and sitting in Chancery
Humbly complaining shewith unto your worships your orators and oratrixes Fany Hooe who intermarried with Samuel Pryor, Harriet Hooe who intermarried with Gwyn Page, Ann Hooe, and Thomas B Hooe that your orators and oratrixes are heirs and distributees of Wm Hooe lately of King George county deceased and as such are entitled together to — their mother Susan the widow and relict of said William Hooe decd to their full and equal shall share and alike to about —- nine negroes males and females old and young lately belonging to then said William Hooe decd and for their natural benefit and advantage are — that the aforesaid negroes should be equally divided …

There’s a Gwynn Page on the 1810 Census in Prince William County, VA. Perhaps this was Samuel’s brother in law mentioned in the suit.

Samuel Pryor and Hamlin Surname

va-pryorsSamuel Pryor married Mary Ann Hamlin on 16 Oct 1821 in Amelia County, VA.

In 1841 James Boisseau Hamlin, a minor, sued his father’s estate. This case filed in the Amelia County, VA Chancery Court names James’ father William B. Hamlin, his widow Ann P Hamlin, and James’ siblings William B. Hamlin, Edward Y Hamlin, and Mary Ann Hamlin, wife of Samuel Pryor. The dispute seems to have been over advances in the estate given to James’ siblings before his father’s death. Edward was given slaves and land in Dinwiddie County. Mary Ann Pryor had received 8 slaves. The case also revealed the deceased Hamlin had 65 slaves in Virginia and 10 slaves in Tennessee.

Then in another Chancery Court Case filed in 1848 Samuel and Mary Ann Hamlin’s children are named. Samuel Pryor was the guardian of his infant children Samuel Edward, William, Anna, Virginia Frances, Lucy Osborne, and Agnes Epes Pryor. The suit also mentions a married daughter Mary Elizabeth Pryor, wife of James R. Craig. The suit was filed to gain interest in the estate of Anna Hamlin, widow of W B Hamlin.

Samuel Pryor and his children on the 1850 Census.

Samuel’s daughters were living near him in Dinwiddie County, VA: Southern Div., Page 478b, house 136 Lucy O. Field 40 VA, Susan E. J. Field 9 VA, Mary A. J. Field 7 VA, Sally J. J. Field 5 VA, Wellington E. Webb 33 Episcopal Clergyman 33 London, Eng., Sarah C. Webb 24 VA, Fanny V. PRIOR 13 VA, Lucy O. PRIOR 11 VA., Agnes E. PRIOR 8 VA.

Southern Div., Page 479a, house 142 Samuel PRIOR 50 farmer VA, Ann E. 53 VA, Anna J. 16 VA, Martha P. Broadnax 24 VA. (Samuel and wife Ann were on the 1860 Census in Campbell Co., VA. See Chancery Court case filed in Amelia County for names of other Pryor children.)

His sons were living apart from their father and sisters: William H Pryor was living in the household of a blacksmith in Hanover County and Samuel E. Pryor was a student residing in the Pike Powers Academy in Augusta County, VA.

The Hamlins were still in Amelia County in 1850 and onward. Anna P Hamblin age 55 and James B Hamblin age 24 were recorded in the same household on the 1850 Census (and together in 1860).

Now that I’ve jumped to the 1850 Census I need to look backward a quarter century and into Tennessee. On 19 April 1824 the following notice was published in the Nashville Whig (Davidson County, TN):

In Equity: Calvin Morgan, Gideon Morgan and Rufus Morgan, Com’s vs. Samuel Elam, and Elizabeth his wife, William B. Hamlin, Thomas Crutcher, and Nicholas B. Pryor, defts. William B. Hamlin not a resident of the state.

There was only one William B Hamlin on the 1820 Census and he wasn’t a resident of Tennessee… it’s the William B. Hamblin in Amelia County, Virginia who was counted with 60 slaves. This sounds like the same William B who was the father in law of Samuel Pryor. The 1820 census was recorded in alpha-order so it’s difficult to piece together who was living near who.

Solving a Samuel Pryor

Charlotte County Court Grounds
Charlotte County Court Grounds

I think we may be able to figure out a stray Samuel Pryor that was floating around Virginia in the early years after the American Revolution.

There’s a Pryor will in Charlotte County, VA.

Will of Robert PRYOR written in Dec 1779, proved Apr 1780. Names wife Mildred Pryor, son Samuel PRYOR (a minor), Martha PRYOR, Prudent PRYOR, Mary PRYOR, and Elizabeth PRYOR daughters of Samuel PRYOR deceased.

Robert Pryor has been referred to as a son of Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton by other researchers and I seem to remember J. Gatewood Pryor in his book also states Robert was Samuel’s son.  While I can’t find any documents that name Robert as a son I may be willing to take that leap. Samuel Pryor is supposed to be the son of Robert Pryor and Virginia Betty Green, so it’s not unlikely that he would name a son after his father.

Robert Pryor in his will left his estate to his minor son named Samuel (again, this possibly follows the tradition of naming a child after one’s father).

Robert also included four Pryor women who were the daughters of another Samuel. Could this “other” Samuel in Robert’s will be his brother and the son of Samuel and Prudence? I’ve seen family trees that indicate that Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton had a son named Samuel, although I’ve found nothing about him. And again in the book by J. Gatewood Pryor he stated Samuel and Prudence had a son also named Samuel, although he mistakenly stated that it was the Samuel who married Frances Morton.  If this “other” Samuel only had female heirs (Martha, Prudent [sic], Mary, and Elizabeth) and was deceased by 1779, it’s not out of the question that researchers have not focused on his line, nor found out more about him.

And it is intriguing that this “other” Samuel named a daughter Prudent (or Prudence?), possibly after his mother Prudence Thornton Pryor.

I guess as we move forward to solve the Pryor lines in Virginia, we have to ask if other Samuel Pryors in the records are “this” Samuel Pryor.