Three generations all come to Virginia, youngest is a "man" at age 7?

+2 votes

"He is probably the same man of that name who was listed as one of the 77 passengers brought to Virginia in 1673 by Thomas Hall and John Pigg who received 3,831 acres for bringing them into the Virginia Colony from England."

If Robert Pryor was born about 1666 and traveled at age 7 to Virginia, he couldn't have been listed as a man on a passenger list. It's more likely this was his father, if Robert traveled at age 7, at all.

Furthermore, it seems highly unusual that three generations in a row are all born in England, yet die in Virginia. Can anyone explain how Robert, his father and his grandfather William who is supposed to have died in 1670, three years before Robert arrived in Virginia at age 7, could all emigrate to Virginia but only the youngest generation is credited with being the first to arrive for this line of the Pryor/Prior family?

Does anyone have any sources for this family that connects the family in England with the family in Virginia?

It's hard to tell if some of this confusion is due to the number of merges that have occurred or previous family myth making, but sources are desperately needed and sorely lacking.

WikiTree profile: Robert Pryor
in Genealogy Help by R Prior G2G2 (2.8k points)
Father's profile Pryor-224 Robert Pryor

Grandfather's profile Pryor-225 William Pryor
Don't immediately discount three generations born England all coming to the colonies. Within my own ancestry is found a couple with children who came as part of the PGM and two years later the parents came over. Great confusion was caused by the parents coming after the son who was married with children who came first.
I mean, it's possible but I'd still like to see sources and right now there's none for any of the three generations arrival, let alone origination.
You should note that this lists of individuals being transported to the colonies are often padded.  A seven-year-old boy might be listed as a "man" in order to increase Hall and Piggs's reward based on the numbers.  There were all kinds of machinations (same person on multiple lists, the dead included, etc.), so look for more data.  I found some interesting discussions on this topic in the Maryland Colony.

2 Answers

+3 votes
Whoever called him a "man" could have been writing of the man he later became, who may have arrived in his childhood. He would have been old enough in 1693 to hold land.

But that is the least of the issues here.

Looking at what sources there are, I suspect that the birthplace of Gloucester England is an error, that the Gloucester is the county in Virginia. If the grandfather and father were indeed born in Flintshire, that is a place in Wales, not England.
by Lois Tilton G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
edited by Lois Tilton

Poetic license aside, my point was that any adult male on a passenger list in 1673 would not be the 7 year old. And 7 year olds were rarely listed as being completely on their own on 17th century trans-Atlantic passenger lists, unless accompanied by some tale of woe regarding the parents who died mid-trip.

Have you the list?

No, I don't have the list and now I find it wasn't even in 1673, but 1673/74, due to this reference in a reprinted article from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol 75, No. 3, Sept. 1987, called "Interpreting Headrights in Colonial-Virginia Patents: Uses and Abuses" by Richard Slatten, who said:

"The date of the patent to Hall and Pigg of 3,833 acres (the recorded version says 3,831) on the north (northeast to be exact) side of the Mattaponi River is transcribed as 18 February 1673. But in the patent book itself, the date 18 February 1673/74 is given."

He's talking about a different passenger on the same list and the possibility for fraudulent patent records/headrights, but it's obvious to me at least that subsequent researchers in to the family of this Robert Pryor have used the same incorrect dating system in their attempts to identify the origination of their family line. I'm willing to theorize that several of these profiles are for folks who didn't exist or at a bare minimum we have zero sources for and lots of wishful thinking.

I'm hopeful that this post will generate some new sourcing or at least a discussion of what evidence is/isn't there. Basically, I'm trying to follow the Honor Code, rather than just disconnect parental connections that are lacking in sources.

Someone has access to the referenced list, it's just not me. Yet. :-)

Source for above quote:

There were certainly instances of families immigrating to places where land grants were being distributed to list all the male members of their family, regardless of age. If the sponsors who paid the passage for the immigrants were the ones receiving the land grants, they would have had the same incentive.
I don't think the key to this mystery is going to be found in the Virginia land patents, I think it's more likely to be found in Great Britain.

I could not find any Prior records in Flintshire, but there were a number of records in Gloucestershire England, which suggests that the profiles here for the older generations could be incorrect (having no sources for them). Do the records for the ship show that it sailed from Bristol?
Have yet to find a ship name, so as RJ points out in the other answer, we don't know that a ship even arrived at this time. They could have arrived previously but weren't included in a land patent until Feb. 1673/74.

While it would be nice to narrow down the origination to Gloucestershire, England, I'm not convinced of that either. The only connection is that they seem to have is that they begun their new lives in what became/was Gloucester County, VA. It's a connection that could imply such a thing but who knows.

At this point, would you agree that we can mark as uncertain Flintshire? And even designate the parent/grand-parent relationships as uncertain, too?
Definitely uncertain.
+3 votes
There won't be a passenger list, just a list of headrights redeemed for a land patent.

But headrights were often bought and sold, and were often redeemed when years old.  So the assumptions being made aren't valid.
by Anonymous Horace G2G6 Pilot (568k points)
I'm reminded of ghost voters in Chicago.

It would be helpful to see some source for the death date of grandfather William, if he really died in 1670.

Or whether the William in question might be the son of grandfather William, died maybe 1700, brother of father Robert.
Found the following but have no idea of it's accuracy...

Name Robt Prior
Arrival Year 1673-1674
Arrival Place Virginia
Source Publication Code 6221
Primary Immigrant Prior, Robt
Annotation Date and place where land was patented and record was created listing those transported/imported. Only the names of those to be transported were indexed. Abstracted from Patent books 6 through 8, from the Land Office records located at the Virginia State Source Bibliography NUGENT, NELL MARION. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. Vol. 2: 1666-1695. Indexed by Claudia B. Grundman. Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library, 1977. 609p. Page 143
"Cavaliers and Pioneers" is abstracts of land patents, with names of headrights redeemed.  You get the date of the patent and the county where the land was.

You don't know if the headright was ever in that county, or was still alive, or had arrived recently.  They arrived on some earlier date than the patent obviously.

This above evidently comes from a database of immigrants that used the headrights in Cavaliers and Pioneers as a source of names.

Looks like the programmers provided a date range instead of a "before" flag.  Maybe the date should have been entered as 1607-1674.

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