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The Pruiett Family

Part 2

Easy Purchase located on a modern map of the area around Colesville, Md.
Easy Purchase located on a modern map of the area around Colesville, Md.

Samuel Pruitt I leased 100 acres of land, including a 20 ft. dwelling and a 50 ft. tobacco barn, from Nathaniel Beall on Sept. 22, 1737. His 100 acres were part of a much larger tract called "Easy Purchase" which was located within the boundaries of Prince George's County at that time. Ned Bayley's book, "Colesville, Maryland, The Development of a Community, Its People and Its Natural Resources, Over a Period of Four Centuries," places "Easy Purchase" just south of present day Colesville in Montgomery County, Md. Other 18th Century tracts around Colesville included Drumeldry, Wolfs Denn, The James and Mary, Beall Christie, Bealls Manor and Addition to Easy Purchase, all owned by members of the Beall family, as well as Snowdens Mill and Snowdens Fourth Addition to his Manor which were owned by Richard Snowden.

Will of Samuel Pruitt I
Will of Samuel Pruitt I

Samuel Pruitt wrote his will on April 29, 1760 and died before Jan. 3, 1761, the probable date of probate. The date of probate is not entirely clear since it was designated as Jan. 3, 1760 in the will book. However, it appears immediately after a will that was probated on Jan. 2, 1761, so Jan. 3, 1761 seems the likely date. The will says wife Elizabeth gets all livestock, household furnishings, crops and Henry Doltin [Dalton] for the remainder of his servitude, if any, until age 31. At his mother's death, Samuel Pruitt II was to get Henry for the remainder of his servitude, if any. Daughters Priscilla Davail [Duvall] and Sarah Boilstone [Boydston] were to get the remainder of the estate. Samuel Pruitt appointed his wife as executor. The will was witnessed by Barton Harris and Ann Harris. Margaret (Pruitt) Hawker, Zachariah Pruitt, John Pruitt, and Mary Pruitt were not mentioned in the will.

Not long after Samuel Pruitt's death, his widow Elizabeth married John Riddle, Sr. who was a widower with a large family. On June 5, 1765, Elizabeth recorded the following in Frederick Co., Md.:

I, Elizabeth Pruitt, now Elizabeth Riddle, have delivered all my right and title to the estate of late husband, Pruitt, left me unto husband John Riddle.

John Riddle served as the administrator of Samuel Pruitt's estate. On June 11, 1765, he turned in a detailed inventory. Among the creditors of the estate was John Glassford and Company, a prominent mercantile firm of Glasgow, Scotland engaged in the tobacco trade in Maryland and Virginia. Riddle turned in the final accounting on May 10, 1766. Both John and Elizabeth Riddle lived into their 90s. Elizabeth died shortly after 1795.

The Henry Dalton mentioned in Samuel Pruitt's will was born around 1750 to Ann Dalton, an Englishwoman, who was an indentured servant to Ann Martin, the wife of a sea captain. Ann Martin ran a rooming house or hotel in Bladensburg, Md. Court documents describe Henry Dalton as a "base-born" child and, at the age of six months, he was indentured to Samuel Pruitt. Henry seems to have gotten his freedom before he turned 31 because in 1777 he was living at the Redstone Settlement near Brownsville, Penn. where he was drafted into the militia and fought in the Revolution. He was drafted for another six month's service in 1778 before settling in Bladensburg, Md. again. Then in May 1781 he was drafted once again and, according to his 1832 pension application, was present near Yorktown, Va. when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington. He eventually moved with his wife Eleanor Russell to Clinton Furnace in Monongalia Co., Va. (now West Virginia) which is where he died in 1836.

Soon after the death of Samuel Pruitt I, his three sons, Samuel II, Zachariah and John, moved to the area of Halifax Co., Va. that later became Pittsylvania Co. Around the same time, members of other local families, including the Hawkers and Butts, also moved to Halifax Co. To help keep the county citations straight, here is the chronology of the formation of counties in southern Virginia between 1720 and 1777:

Pittsylvania County tax lists for the mid-1760s confirm that Samuel, Zachariah and John Pruitt were living there. There are many other records including marriages and births for Samuel Pruitt, John Pruitt and their children. However, there are few other records for Zachariah Pruitt, son of Samuel Pruitt I. It's not known what happened to Zachariah Pruitt after the 1760s. Records for Samuel Pruitt II's son, also named Zachariah Pruitt, who was born in 1758, began appearing in the 1770's when he came of age.

Samuel Pruitt II, son of Samuel Pruitt I and Elizabeth Hawker, married Lucy Owen in Frederick Co., Md. in 1754. Samuel and Lucy Pruitt had the following children:

John Pruitt, Sr., son of Samuel Pruitt I and Elizabeth Hawker, had the following children:

John Pruitt, Sr. died after 1800, probably in Pittsylvania Co., Va.

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