Tag Archives: Whiting

Christopher Pryor of Gloucester County: 1787 Signature

We now have a signature of Christopher Pryor of Gloucester County, VA. He signed a 1787 legislative petition concerning the taxation of slaves.

And an earlier signature from 1786. I noticed that he signed near John Whiting on both petitions. (see post that explores Whiting connection)

And yet another signature from 1785 and again near John Whiting. Under Whiting is James Baytop– Col Thomas Baytop was master of Botetourt Masonic Lodge and the executor of Christopher Pryor’s estate.

The Kin of Major John Pryor of Richmond, VA


I keep trying to piece together the family of Major John Pryor of Richmond. If you’ve heard any loud frustrated sighs, that’s probably me. The Major had no children so what I’m curious about is who were his siblings and who was his father. This week I’m taking another look at his family tree with some of the new information I’ve found.

First Wife: John Pryor married Anne Beverly Whiting, the daughter of Thomas Whiting and Ann Sewall. Anne was a socialite with dwindling fortunes. They married in 1796 when the Major was in his late forties, over-weight and in poor health and Anne was in her teens.  The marriage dissolved when Anne ran off with her French tutor, Mr. Fremon. In 1811 Major Pryor asked the Virginia Legislature for a divorce, however there is no evidence that they ever granted a divorce, in fact there is strong paper evidence they said “no.”

Second Wife: The Major was a creature of  habit– he married twice and each time married considerably younger women. In 1815 at the age of 65 Major Pryor married Elizabeth Quarles Graves, who was about 15 years old. They remained married until his death in 1823. There is a fat file of depositions which were collected in the 1850’s when Elizabeth applied for a Widow’s Revolutionary War Pension. A deposition from Sarah Hatcher of Richmond states she was the daughter of Methodist minister Edmund Lacy who married John Pryor and Elizabeth Graves. She said she remembered the ceremony because of the “disparity” of their ages. Sarah also remembered that John was related in some manner to Elizabeth. A letter in the file written and signed by Elizabeth herself states she was the grand-daughter of the “reputed” Major James Quarles. A while ago I figured out that Major James Quarles was married first to Major John Pryor’s sister, Mary Pryor, and Elizabeth was a daughter born to Major Quarles and his second wife Dorothy Waller. Therefore, Major Pryor and his wife were related, but not by blood.

There is some other connection between the Virginia Pryor families and the Wallers. I’m not exactly sure how it came about. Here are some more posts where the name Waller was discussed. So this is another connection that remains on the back-burner for now.


Sister, Mary Pryor Quarles: The Major’s marriage to his brother-in-law’s daughter (It starts to sound like a soap opera!) is supported by the Revolutionary War Pension application made by Patsy Minor Quarles the wife of Robert Quarles and also the mother of Pryor Quarles. Patsy states that Robert’s mother was Mary. http://revwarapps.org/w9868.pdf. There is  still a question whether Mary was a sister or an aunt– Major Pryor named his nieces and nephews in  his will, however Robert Quarles was still alive at the time was not named in the will.

Sister, Elizabeth Pryor Hankins, born about 1755. Elizabeth probably pre-deceased the Major as she was not named in his will although her children were named:

  • Archer Hankins b. 1771 – 1780. He was the presiding justice in James City. He’s on the 1830 Census in James City.
  • Pryor Hankins b. 1782. In 1810 Pryor was counted in York County and in 1830 and 1850 he was counted in James City, VA.
  • Dorcas Hankins b. 1785-1790. Dorcas married John Bryan and is named as Dorcas Bryan in Major Pryor’s will. Researchers state her husband died in 1806 which I believe pushes her year of birth back to around 1785 – 1790. Dorcas is a head of household on the 1810 and 1820 Census in York Co., VA (probably Williamsburg area). There are several Hankins households near Dorcas on census records and Pryor Hankins administered the estate of her step-son Frederick Bryan.

A Hankins Mystery:

There are Hankins families on the 1850 Census in Knox County, TN. Eli Hankins was married to Nancy Graves and had a son they named Pryor Hankins. I suspect there is a connection to the Hankins, Graves, and Pryor families from Richmond, VA. Are other Pryors in Knox County related to the Richmond Pryors? Well, I may have the answer to this in my next post!

Nieces, Elizabeth Taylor and Rebecca Taylor – These nieces were probably daughters of the Major’s sister, Sally Pryor Taylor, who was deceased by 1800 per the Major’s will. I do not not know which Taylor married Sally Pryor.

Niece, Mrs. Charlotte Morrison (of Williamsburg, VA) was counted on the 1850 Census in York County. Charlotte was the widow of George F. Morrison.

Nephew, Thomas Pryor. I believe he is the Thomas Pryor on the 1820 Census in Rockingham County, NC. He was counted one line above Elizabeth Pryor Archer. They both have connections to Pryors in Pittsylvania County, VA. There’s a whole lot more on Thomas in one of my next posts!




Another DNA Match – Major John Pryor of Richmond

Hold onto your wigs and your tri-corn hats… it looks like we have another DNA match for the Tennessee Pryors to Colonial Virginia.  The frustrating part is that it looks like we’re missing someone from the family tree.

The Match – The new cousin is Mary Pryor who married Robert Quarles.  The good news is that we know exactly who this Mary is and who are her siblings. She is the sister of Major John Pryor of Richmond (read post about his time line).  The Major’s name may ring a bell for you in connection with the story of his wife, Anne Beverly Whiting, running off with her French tutor and becomming the mother of explorer John C. Fremont.

This means that we need to consider his place as a descendant of Nicholas Pryor b. 1688.

I’m a bit shocked because I was hedging my bet that Major John was connected to the family of Col. Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton.  Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised because Major John Pryor had a Jeffersonian connection as well as other connections to other prominent Virginia families. We know that our other Pryors who were in Albemarle and Amherst Counties were also connected to Jeffersons family, one of them even marrying Jefferson’s sister. (read post about Jeffersonian connections).

Father: ___________________? Deceased by 1787
Mother:___________________? Alive in 1787, possibly remarried.
Child 1: Major John Pryor born 1750, married Anne Beverly Whiting and Elizabeth Quarles Graves.
Child 2: Mary Pryor, married Robert Quarles
Child 3: Sally Pryor, married Mr. Taylor, daughters: Elizabeth Taylor, Rebecca Taylor
Child 4: Elizabeth Pryor, married Mr. Hankins, sons: Archer, William, Romert, John, and Pryor Hankins of James City, VA.
And nieces whom I have not yet matched to their parents:
Dorcas Bryan
Charlotte Morrison (of Williamsburg, Va.) born 1790 – Probably Charlotte who married George F. Morrision who was on the 1830 Census in York Co. Charlotte was age 60 on the 1850 Census in York Co. On the same page of the 1850 Census there is a free-African-American family headed by Pryor Jackson and his wife Dorcas Jackson.
Elizabeth Hazelwood

I’ll keep digging. Let me know if you know how Major Pryor fits into the family tree!

Identity of John Pryor – Revolutionary War Bounty Land in Kentucky


Long ago I stumbled upon the data from Elizabeth Pryor Harper’s book Twenty-One Southern Families: Notes and Genealogies. It references a  4000 acre millitary land warrant to John Pryor in Kentucky.  In addition she states the same John Pryor was “Supposed to have been killed by Indians before 1825.” [view online]  It’s time to reveal which John Pryor got the military land and prove Ms. Harper wrong– this is not the John Pryor who was killed by Indians. And this may not be the John Pryor you expect!

It’s Major John Pryor of Richmond, VA.  The aging Revolutionary War vet who was deserted by his first wife, Anne Beverly Whiting. Don’t know who he is? Read more…

The Major’s second wife, Elizabeth Quarles Graves, filed for a widow’s pension for his Revolutionary War Service. There’s a easy-to-read transciption of the pension application online at https://revwarapps.org/w12064.pdf. It’s important to read the application, especially the last paragraph on page 2. This paragraph states that John Pryor held the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain-Lieutenant. I don’t think he ever held the rank of Major– it was probably a respectful title like “Colonel” in the South.

The land warrants and the pension application match up. On both records John Pryor is a Captain Lieutenant. The Warrant number matches up to John Pryor’s land grant: The grant number was  0126.0 while the pension states it was 1760 (I think the “2” was misread as a “7”) on the transcription of his pension (above).The actual land warrants can also be viewed online through the state of Kentucky website.  apps.sos.ky.gov/land/military/revwar/Revdetail.asp?Type=w&warrant=0126.0.

There were 4 grants given to John Pryor under this warrant number.

1.  Location: Kentucky – on the Cumberland River, near upper corner of C. Carrington’s survey.
Assignee: John Tayloe Griffin
Grant date 9/17/1785.
Received 1000 acres

2. Location: Kentucky – on the Muddy River
Assignee: John Tayloe Griffin
Grate date (surveyed) 7/15/1786
Received 1000 acres

3. Location: On the east side of the Little Miami, later pencil note on document states “land is in Ohio”
Assignee:  John Tayloe Griffin, assigned to Robert Morris
Grant date: (surveyed) 4/17/1788
Received 1000 acres

4. Location: Cypress Creek
Assignee: John Tayloe Griffin, Robert Morris assignee
Grant Date: (surveyed) 12/28/1786
Received 1000 acres


There’s no indication that Major John Pryor resided anywhere but Richmond, VA and probably never saw his bounty land in Kentucky.  He assigned or sold the land to John Tayloe Griffin who was also from Richmond.  I wonder what Griffin’s connections were to the Tayloe family: Major Pryor bought a race horse named Federalist from the estate of John Tayloe per an 1829 racing journal.

With the mention of “Captain” Pryor and a Tayloe connection, it may be time to read another post again and decipher the mystery of Grandma’s Clock [read the post]. And who is the C. Carrington on the first warrant. Could this be Codrington Carrington, son of George Carrington of Cumberland  Co., VA [see deeds] and Fayette Co., KY?

And it’s time to dig out the July 1825 edition of the Louisville Morning Post to find out which John Pryor that Elizabeth Pryor Harper found had been killed by Indians.

Another Virginia Pryor Tree Comes Together

Thank you, Roger! We now know how Brazure W. Pryor and Christopher J D Pryor  together were related.

Generation 1
Chistopher Pryor b. 1745, married to Catherine Clayton. He died 1803 in Gloucester Co.
John Clayton Pryor b. 1779
Julianna Pryor b. 1772, married William Robbins
Samuel Pryor b. 1767-1772
Elizabeth Whiting Pryor

Generation 2
— John Clayton Pryor b. 1779
married 1: Betsy Armistead Tyler (sister of President John Tyler)
children :
John A Pryor b. and d. 1800
Mary Ann Catharine Pryor b. and d. 1802
Ann Contesse Pryor b. 1803
Elizabeth Armistead Pryor b. 1808, married John Tyler Semple
Martha Christiana Pryor b. 1817, married George W Semple
William Clayton Pryor b. 1820, d. 1833
John C Pryor b. 1823, d. 1824
married 2: Maria Smith Crawford in 1827
children: Skaife Whiting Pryor b. 1830

–Samuel Pryor b. 1767-1772
married 1:  Miss Williams, daughter of Brazure Williams and Frances Hopkins
Brazure Williams Pryor b. 1778-1794, d. 1827
married 2: Mary Finch
Christopher J D Pryor b. 1800
Samuel Wyatt Pryor b.  1795

Generation 3
— Brazure W Pryor b . 1778
married: Elizabeth Antoinette DeNeuville in Williamsburg, 1807
Mary A. Pryor b. 1811, married 1 Robert Bird Boyd, 2 Walker Hawes

— Christopher J D Pryor b. 1800
married 1: Maria Armistead
Children: Harriet Ann Pryor b. 1830
married 2: America B Wilkerson in York Co., VA, 1845
Christopher J D Pryor b. 1850
Mary E. Pryor b. 1853
Sarah P Pryor b. 1855
William A Pryor b. 1857
George Pryor b. 1859
E S Pryor b. 1862

— Samuel Wyatt Pryor b.  1795
married: Sarah Dudley Graves in Charles County, VA in 1824
Samuel W. Pryor b. 1830, died early in Civil War 1861
Mary E Pryor b. 1828, living with Graves relatives in 1850 & 1860.