Tag Archives: Williamsburg

Revolutionary War Patriot “John Prior”… Who Went By Another Name

I go back through and check Pryors in different ways. This week it was looking at some of the Revolutionary War pensioners. The first I’m posting about is John Prior of Burke county, GA.

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Croxton Pryor of Williamsburg (d. 1777)

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I wrote about Croxton Pryor back in 2012 (see post) because he had some pretty fancy shoes in his will. There’s futher notice of his estate published on May 9, 1777 in The Virginia Gazette, a Williamsburg newspaper.croxton-pryor

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Revolutionary War – Henry Pryor of Botetourt County?

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On 1 August 1777 an H. Pryor, Lieut advertised in Purdie’s Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg). He was seeking his friend Thomas Vaughn Nance who had enlisted with him in Col. Harrison’s artillery in York. He was entreating his friend to return to the unit before he was “deemed a deserter.” Thank goodness for Wikipedia.org, because there’s some good information there on this artillery. They formed in Williamsburg and fought in the Southern theater during the Revolutionary War, so Virginia should be the right place to start looking for this Pryor.

So Lt. H. Pryor may have been from Gloucester, Hampton, York Counties, or James City, Elizabeth City. I’ve got lots of records on the Pryors and “H” is a stand-out name in VA in the 1700’s. I have only one more Pryor that begins with “H” — Henry Pryor who was  recorded in Botetourt County, VA in 1786.

Now Botetourt is interesting because this H. Pryor was looking for a Nance and there are several Nance’s later in Botetourt.  Children of Joseph Pryor in Botetourt married into the Nance family: Molly Pryor married Peter Nance, and Thornton married Mary/Polly Nance.

The surname Vaughn is also connected to this line of Pryors: Joseph of Botetourt’s nephew John Alexander Pryor married a Martha Vaughn. Shadrack Vaughn married Mary Meriwether — Mary was one Joseph of Botetourt’s step nieces and nephews through his brother Samuel’s marriage to Frances Morton who had children from her first marriage to a Meriwether (I hope that had some clarity — there’s no easy way to state that relationship!)

I think we may be on our way to ID a “lost” Pryor.

It’s A New Pryor to Add to The List– Arthur Pryor (d. abt. 1752)

lunenburg1It has driven me absolutely NUTS. Catherine Pryor who married Henry Lansford and they are connected to Pittsylvania County, VA and Williamson County, TN– who were her parents? Several researchers have posted online that she was from Lunenburg County, VA. But, there aren’t any Pryors in Lunenburg! At last I think I have a clue.

There’s an ad placed in The Virginia Gazette of Williamsburg, VA on 10 April 1752.

King and Queen, March 20, 1752
To Be Sold
One thousand and Eighty Acres of good Land, lying in the County of Lunenburg, on Toxekiah Creek, joining Lines of Baker, and Stunks, purchased of Mr. Charles Stunks, purchased of Mr. Charles Irby, by Arthur Pryor, deceas’d, the Pattent to be taken out in the Purchaser’s Name, or good lawful Deeds to be made by the said Irby, before the 10th day of June next, or after, when required, one Half the Money to be paid down, the other Half twelve Months after. Any Gentleman inclinable to purchase may know the Price, and by Direction may be met with at any convenient Place, to be treated with at any Time by
John Waller
Christopher Pryor,

ARTHUR PRYOR. Who the heck is Arthur Pryor?????

I suspect the Christopher Pryor is NOT the Christopher born about 1745 who was married to Catharine Clayton and living in Gloucester County. This is an older Christopher Pryor. I don’t completely trust Gatewood Pryor’s book, but here’s an interesting post that ID’s a Christopher Pryor in 1704 (archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/PRYOR/1998-06/0898146722). If this older Christopher and the Arthur in Lunenburg are connected then it suggests a kinship between that line and the Pryors who migrated through Pittsylvania County and Williamson County.

I can find only one other reference to Pryors in Lunenburg County: Thomas Dozer (or Dozier) married Caty Pryor on 17 June 1775. John Barry (or Berry?) was surety. This is about 30 years after Catharine and Henry Lansford married, and about 3 years before his death, so for now I have to believe this is a different Catherine or Caty Pryor.

Off to explore!

Nancy Pryor Marriage in York County, VA 1796

Alas there are times when people are lost to the ages. Sometimes it feels like many of our female Pryors are lost. I have an idea of which line this Nancy Pryor belongs to.

There’s a York County, VA marriage…

Thomas Sands to Nancy Pryor
Bondsman: Edward Brook (signed “Brooke”)
Witness: Ben. Waller, Jr.
August 23, 1796,  p. 426

I suspect this Nancy Pryor is related to Major John Pryor of Richmond.

1. Major John Pryor’s sister was Mary Pryor who married James Quarles. When Mary died, James married Dorothy Waller.

2. The Waller’s were a prominent family in Virginia (as were Major Pryor’s family). Benjamin Waller Sr. was the son of a Dorothy King. Was Benjamin Sr. the father of both Benjamin Waller Jr. and Dorothy Waller Quarles?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Waller

3. The will of John Tayloe Corbin was witnessed by Benjamin Waller of Williamsburg in 1793. Major John Pryor was connected to the Tayloes through his horse trading:

A  publication of a horse pedigree in The American Farmer states a horse named Federalist raised on the estate of John Tayloe, deceased, was sold to Major John Pryor by William Beale Jr. (published April 17, 1829, but the sale possibly occurred 10 to 20 years earlier). The America Stud Book, Vol. 1 states Federalist was bred at Mt. Airy.

I’m keeping a note of this Nancy Pryor as a possible niece of Major John Pryor.