Tag Archives: Virginia

Peter Nance and Mary Pryor Query from 1906

It’s interesting to look at the old genealogy columns published in newspapers at the turn of the century. I thought this one was a great example of lots of names but not documentation. It was published on July 15, 1906 in The Times Dispatch, Richmond, VA.

I’m curious. What records were available to researchers 110 years ago? I suspect all research was done in the county record office or a researcher was hired to do it for you. In this newspaper column the reference to Edward and Nicholas Pryor in Henrico county sites the years and not the reference material. From what we know today, it’s likely they were citing the dates of Vestry Records.

And of course Roger A Pryor was still alive in 1906 and his involvement in US and Virginia politics, service as a Confederate General during the Civil War and appointments as a New York Judge were all well known and documented in newspapers.

I think there’s an interesting aspect to the query. In 1906 the writer was aware of who their ancestors were. Peter Nance was recorded with his wife Mary Pryor on the 1850 Census in Knox County. By 1860, when he was 86 years old, Peter Nance was living in Blount County, TN. So somewhere in the 40 or less years since his death, where in VA they originated from and who were their parents has disappeared from the family story.

This news clipping should be a reminder of why research continues and supporting documentation is needed for our findings. The writer never made a connection between the Pryors mentioned– they simply were dishing out names.

1807 William Pryor and William Pryor Jr Signatures

William Pryor and Wm Pryor Jr appear as signers on an 1807 Petition filed in Amherst County. These men may the William Pryor Sr. and William Pryor Jr. who appear on the 1810 Census in this county. The senior Pryor is likely the William Pryor who filed for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832.

1805: Pryor Signatures from Amherst County

More signatures from Amherst County.

Wm Pryor (William Pryor) is below Jeremiah Shoemaker and above Francis Taylor. There’s a Jeremiah Shoemaker on an 1806 petition filed by the citizens of Sullivan County, TN with a John Pryor. That may not be helpful because in 1810 and later census records there was a Jeremiah Shoemaker still counted in Amherst County.

Jesse Pryor.

Edward Taylor, above Peter Rucker whose daughters Edith and Mary both married Pryor men.

1803: Pryor Signature From Amherst County, VA

Yup, I’m still still piecing together Pryor signatures.  These are from a 1803 Amherst County, VA Legislative Petition asking for a flour inspector.

At the top of the left column: Isaac Wright, probably father of Elizabeth Wright who married Revolutionary War pensioner, William Pryor.  Also on the left is Edward Taylor or Edmund Taylor with possible “Jr” designation. It’s not yet confirmed if this was the same Edward/Edmund who was in Campbell County, VA.

Middle Column: I’ve seen this signature transcribed as “John Prior”. I think it reads “Jesse Pryor”— it’s that funny old-fashioned double “s” that looks like a “p”.

Right Column: Moses Taylor who in 1804 married Mary Polly Pryor, possibly a daughter of Nicholas Pryor.

Thomas Pryor the Harness Maker

There’s another Thomas Pryor from VA who went to MO.  Could he be the son of Hartwell Pryor? (read post). This Thomas Pryor was on the 1870 Census in Pike County, MO, however I’m unable to find him on earlier census records. In 1870 there was a Polly Brown living in his household. I’m fairly sure this must have been his mother in law (Watson Pryor’s death record state his mother was Mary Brown– possibly a daughter of Polly Brown?).

1870 Thomas Pryor head of household. Pike County, MO.
house 494 Thomas PRYOR 41 harness maker, VA, Mary 40 VA, Pierce 14 MO, Watson 11 MO, Maggie 8 MO, Polly Brown 69 VA.

Another indicator that Polly was his mother-in-law– I found Polly on the 1850 Census in Amherst County, VA with a young Mary E. age 20 in her household.

Page 101B, house 431 Mary R Brown 48 VA, Peter 25, Mary E 20, John F 21, Wm A 19, Charles W 16, Lucy A 14, Saml 12, Elizabeth 10, Leftwich 8, Louisa Brown 6, Jane 4

Polly was the widow of Andrew Brown. Andrew died in 1850 and after 1851 Widow Brown moved to Pike Co., MO. The places are documented on his War of 1812 Pension card. She was counted on the 1860 Census in Missouri

1860 Census Pike Co., MO Calumet Twp, Page 323b, house 1321 Polly Brown 60 VA, John 30 VA, Henry S. 23 VA, Elizabeth A 18 VA.

In 1860 her neighbors were William Gatewood b. 1825 and his family– the are on the 1850 Census in Amherst County.

 

So if Polly and her daughter were from Amherst County, was Thomas Pryor also from Amherst County?

  • This Thomas’ year of birth fits better with Hartwell’s age. Thomas born 1828 fits better with Hartwell’s marriage year 1825.
  • Several unsourced family trees state Thomas was born in Big Island, Bedford County. Hartwell Pryor was in Bedford County by 1870. Had he been there earlier?
  • Hartwell was recorded as a clergyman in 1870. Thomas is recorded as Rev Thomas Pryor on the MO death index.