Tag Archives: washington dc

African American Pryor Family – VA and Washington DC

While researching another Pryor line I went down the proverbial rabbit hole. While this may not benefit my Pryor line, it may be of interest to other Pryors. It was interesting to me – which explains why I went astray.

I came across Dr Ellsworth Pryor III, an infectious disease doctor who was featured in 1980 in an article from a California Newspaper. I wondered who Ellsworth the 2nd and Ellsworth the 1st could be.

An obituary for Ellsworth Pryor from the Los Angeles Times on October 23, 1982 is for the father of Dr. Pryor and it also mentions that his father, the doctor’s grandfather, was living at the time. Because it states their ages we know Ellsworth Pryor II was born in about 1922 and Ellsworth Pryor I was born in about 1892. Ellsworth Pryor II worked for Pete Wilson who later became governor of California.

Ellsworth Pryor Obituary

Published in the Los Angeles Times on October 23, 1982.

 

Ellsworth Paxton Pryor (Ellsworth Pryor I) born 1892 in Nebraska died in 1991 in San Diego. That means that all three generations of Ellsworth Pryors lived in California. The CA death record states his mother’s surname was Braxton. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Omaha, NE where I see an older Ellsworth Pryor is buried. So this totally shifted the numbering of the Ellsworth Pryors. The Doctor was actually the FOURTH.

The first Ellsworth Pryor was born 1864 in Virginia. I found him and Ellsworth P Pryor in the same household in 1920, living in Omaha, NE. Ellsworth born in 1864 was recorded as black and the younger Ellsoworth, born in 1892, was recorded as mulatto. They were recorded as father and son.

In 1920 the Ellsworths born in 1864 and 1892 were recorded on the census working as a steward and shipping clerk respectively. When I took a hop backward to the 1880 Census, Ellsworth IV was recorded in his father’s household in Washington DC. His father was Charles R Pryor born 1825 in VA. Ancestry.com transcribed Ellsworth’s occupation as a student at Harvard University. A close look at the handwriting reveals he was a student at Howard University, a traditionally African-American university in Washington, DC. He graduated from Howard per a notice in the National Republican on 28 May 1881.

A small blurb in the Washington Bee announced that Ellsworth Pryor (probably b. 1862) and his wife were going to be making Omaha, NE their home. This helps to ties the Ellsworth Pryors in Omaha to the family on the census in Washington, DC.

Ellsworth Pryor b. 1862 would have been the CA doctor’s great-grandfather and Charles R Prior of Washington DC was the doctors’ great-great-grandfather. I’ve run into Charles R Prior on records before. His daughter (Ellsworth’s sister) married William H. Grimshaw the author of “Freemasonry Among the Colored People in North America“.

Charles R Prior, when counted on the 1870 Census in Washington DC, was working as a carpenter. His race was recorded as mulatto. There’s an Ely Pryor age 8 in his household that I suspect was Ellsworth, although the census recorder marked him down as “female”.

Charles R Prior was an interesting man of color because he and his wife, Angeline, were on the 1860 Census, BEFORE the Civil War. He was a free mulatto living in King George County, VA working as a carpenter. It’s likely that he’s the same Charles Prior who was recorded in the household of Henry Stephens on the 1850 Census in King George county. There’s a long history of free African Americans named Prior in King George county. (see King George County census)

Free African American Pryors in King George County, VA

The following information on the free African American Pryors in King George County, VA was previously published as a web page.

100 years before the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery, there was a free black community in King George County, Virginia.

The earliest known free African American of the Pryor name was Alice. She was born about 1750 or earlier and was the mother of Leviny Prior whose birth was recorded in 1764. Leviny was the mother of Milly Prior born in about 1783 and whose birth was registered in King George County in September 1820. Andrew Pryor is described a s a black man of about twenty two years old and the son of a free black woman. His birth was recorded in January 1775. Winny Pryor was free born in about 1792 to Syllah Pryor, a “bright mulatto woman.” Her birth was also recorded in King George County in August 1820.

Several of the names recorded as free blacks in the birth records also appear as heads of household at the time of the 1820 Census.

1810 Census – All Free African Americans in King George County
(Head of Household Only)

Henry Bransican
William Bernard
Richard Brunbury
Daniel Wilson
John Taylor
Lucetta Smith
William Prestrage
Helen? Prestrage
Sarah Prestrage
James Punch
James Moore
Marry matthews
Tazey Kendall
Philip Lucas
David Lucas
George Ware
William Jett
William Ford
Caty Frazier
Clay Ford
August Dunlop
Lidia Dunlop
Townsend Dade
Thornton Dean
James Cunningham
Peggy Carroll
Philip Cunningham
Benjamin Cunningham
Mary McGee
Jenny Pryor
Lawrence Paney
Sally Ware
1820 Census – All Free African Americans in St. Paul’s Parish

Richard Bunbury
Lucinda Bunbury
John Evans
Lawrence Gordon
(born 1787, Gordon was living in Washington, DC in 1850)
Milly Grayson
Frances Hoose
David Lucas
George Lucas
Thomas Lucas
Anna Lucas
Jenny Lucas
Simon Mountjoy
Bernard Moore
William Payne
Fanny Phillips
Verlinda Pryor
(no males – 1001)
Winny Pryor
(1000 – 3010)
Milly Pryor
(2000 – 2300)
Nelly Pryor
(2000 – 0100)
George Rothrock
Robert Tibbo
Mingo Walker

1820 Census – All Free African Americans in Hanover Parish

Mingo Walker
Polly Astin
Grace Branham
Daniel Carmichael
James Cunningham
Benjamin Cunningham
Lucy Cunningham
John Dean
John Dunlop
Jenny Pryor
(01000 – 10000)
Dicy Dunlap
(born 1757, Dunlap was recorded as a midwife on the 1850 and 1860 Census in King George Co.)
Charity Evans
William Greenlaw
Spence Johnson
Ellzay Kendall
William Lawrence
Mancy Lawrence

1840 Census – African American Pryor Families in King George County
Nelly Prior (120000 – 1100)
James Prior (100100 – 201)
Milly Prior (no males – 00001)
Jane Prior (010000 – 02011)
Charles Prior (101000 – 11100)
Winny Prior (300100 – 1111)

1850 Census – African American Pryor Families in King George County
Page 227a, #336 Nelly PRIOR 48 black, VA, Catharine 18 black VA, William 27 black VA.
Page 227a, #367 James PRIOR 19 black, VA, Frances 25 black Washington
Page 201a, 856 Walker Hawes 43… living in household Elizabeth A. PRYOR 58 white VA.
Page 229a, #405 Caroline PRYOR 30 mu VA, John 8 mu VA
Page 222b, #297 James PRIOR 50 black, Peggy 24 black, Mary Frasier 4 black.
Page 223a, #302 Elizabeth PRIOR 22 black, Mildred 4 black, Thomas 1 black (Mildred and Thomas were living with Charles Prior in 1860).
Page 223a, #304 Mary PRIOR 29 mu “spinster”, Louisa 17 mu, Mary 12 mu, Nancy 10 mu, Sarah 8 mu, Mary 7 mu, Clay 5 mu, George 3 mu, Jane 14 black.
Page 210b, #84 Benjamin Redman 30 white merchant… living in household William PRIOR 36 black.
Page 235a, #514 Charles Evans 60 black, Susan 45 black, Ann 13 black, Charles 7 black, Peggy 5 black, Betsy PRIOR 21 black, Willie Ann 3 black, William 1 black.

1860 Census – African American Pryor Families in King George County
Page 371 Nelly PRIOR 51 mu, Catharine 32 mu, William Dunlop 32 mu
Page 371 Louisa Bunbery white… living in household Clay PRIOR 16 mu.
Page 421, #571 Sally PRIOR 45 mu, Robert 22 mu
Page 383, # 243 William Worrell… living in household William PRIOR 43 mu
Page 404, #427 James PRIOR 74 mu, Peggy 40 mu, Matthew Hamilton 25
Page ? Charles PRIOR 40 mu, Angeline 40 mu, Sarah 9 (married Madison Brooks), Martha 4, Caroline 3/12, Thomas 10, Mildred 13 (Thomas and Mildred are children of Elizabeth Prior – see 1850 Census), John 14

King George County Pryors on later Census Records

The only one of these Prior families I’ve been able to locate on later census records is Charles Prior and wife Angeline.

1870 Census 6th Ward Washington, DC

Page 256a, #1671 Chas. PRYOR 45 mu carpenter VA, Angeline 46 mu, Martha 14 mu, Caroline 10 mu, Eliz. 8 mu, Madison Brooks 27 mu coachman VA, Sarah 20 mu VA, ? PRYOR 28 male mu laborer.

1880 Census 7th St., Washington, DC

#27 Madison Brooks 36 mu coachman VA VA VA, Sarah A. (PRIOR) 29 dressmaker VA VA VA, Stevie 7 son DC VA VA, Mary J. 5 dau DC VA VA.

1880 Census East Capitol St., Washington DC
Charles R. PRIOR 55 mu, Labor Bureau employee VA VA VA
Angelina 54 wife mu VA VA VA
Martha E 23 dau mu teacher in public school VA VA VA
Carrie E. 20 dau mu teacher in public shcool VA VA VA
Ellsworth W. 18 son mu VA

1900 Census East Capitol St., Washington DC

Page 17a, #704 Charles R. PRYOR black Sept 1824 75 VA VA VA carpenter
Angeline M. wife, black Dec 1824 75 VA VA VA
Mary Brooks boarder Jun 1875 24 DC VA VA dressmaker
Charles M. boarder Jul 1892 19 DC VA VA at school
Lucy Lewis boarder Nov 1888 11 DC VA VA at school
(Mary Brooks was a grand-daughter of Charles and Angeline, daughter of Madison Brooks and Sarah Pryor).

1910 Census East Capitol St., Washington DC
#704 Charles R. PRYOR black Sept 1824 86 VA VA VA
Angeline M. wife 86 VA VA VA
Mary J. Tignor gr-dau 34 divorced DC VA VA
Madison Tignor gr-gr-son 8 DC DC DC
Lucy Lewis lodger 24 DC

1920 Census Washington DC – ED#235
Sheet 14b, #704 Angeline PRYOR 100 widow VA VA VA
Mary J. Tignor gr-dau 42 widow DC VA VA
Lucy Lewis roomer 32 DC VA VA teacher
Madison W. Tignor gr-son 18 DC VA VA