Pruitt Families migrates from Maryland and Virginia to Georgia and Alabama

Published 11:28 pm Friday, August 21, 2020

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Several years earlier a reunion was held by the Pruitt family in Andalusia, Ala., and it was covered in this column. Those attending the reunion were descendants of Samuel Blake Pruitt who came from Elmore County, Ala., and settled in the Andalusia area in 1920. It had been 50 years since their first major reunion in 1955. This family and some of their early ancestry will be featured in today’s story.

The name Pruitt is sometimes shown as Pruett in various records. However, there may be a separate family line using the Pruett name which may or may not be related to the line being presented in this story.

Samuel Blake Pruitt is remembered as a pioneer citizen and outstanding citizen in Covington County. He acquired land and established a farm in the Adellum community, which is located near the large gully next to Brooklyn Road. He and his wife, Eddie Belle Wall, finished rearing their children and lived out their lives in that home.  He built them a large, fine house, which unfortunately burned some years later. However, they recovered and built a new house on the same site which is still standing in good condition and is owned by a descendant.

Before describing Samuel Blake Pruitt and his family further, his early ancestry will be reviewed. The earliest ancestor identified to date is Samuel Pruitt I, who was born during the early 1700s. He was married to Elizabeth Hawker, daughter of Robert Hawker and Amy Selby. They were the parents of at least three children: Priscilla, b. 1721, m. 1743 William Duval; Sarah, m. 1752 in Frederick, Md., David Boydston; and Samuel II, b. 1730, d. 1801, m. 1754 Lucy Owen (1736-1801). Some family records list two men, Zachariah and John Sr., who may be sons or brothers of Samuel Pruitt I.

The son, Samuel Pruitt II, was living in Pittsylvania County, Va., when he died in 1801. In 1854 he had married Lucy Owen, daughter of Jonathan Owen. They were the parents of the following children; Phillip, b. 1756, d. ca 1818, m. 1781 Anna ?, b. 1760; Zachariah, b. 1758, d. 1843, m. (1) Jane Burgess (1765-1830) (2) Rhonda Doe; Ruth, b. 1760; Samuel III, b. 1762, d. 1845, m. (1) 1789 Lavenia Walters (1774-1813) (2) Keziah (Stokes) Connaly (1780-1850); Elizabeth, b. 1763, d. 1812, m. 1794 Zachariah Butts (1750-1799; Benjamin, b. 1765, d. 1841, m. (1) 1794 Mary Walters (1777-1840) (2) Susan Margaret Degraffenreid; Mary “Polly,” b. 1777, m. 1794 Bozdel Hawker; Joseph, b. 1769, d. 1805, m. (1) 1790 Mary Elliot (1768-1807) (2) 1796 Nancy Ann ?; Sally, b. 1771, m. (1) 1807 Charles Seal (2) 1818 Henry Stamp; Richard, b. 1773; Byrd, b. 1775, d. 1804; and Levi, b. 1778, d. 1804, m. 1778 Elizabeth Taliaferro (1758-1821).

Samuel Pruitt II’s second son, Zachariah Pruitt, was married in 1785 to his first wife, Jane Burgess. They were the parents of the following children: Sallie, b. 1783; Polly, b. 1785; Jenny, b. 1787; Leah Anna, b. 1789; Thomas, b. 1793; Wiley, b. 1794; William, b. 1795; Rhoda, b. 1805; and Catherine, b. 1816. It appears that there were no children from the second marriage.

Samuel Pruitt II’s third son, Samuel Pruitt III, was married in 1789 to Lavenia Walters (1774-1813). They were the parents of the following children: Hezekiah, b. 1789, m. 1811 Fanny Allen; Lucy, b. 1791, m. 1811 John Rylee; Samuel IV, b. 1792, m. 1816 Adecia Montgomery, daughter of James Montgomery; Elizabeth, b. 1794; Robert Walters, b. 1796, m. 1820 Isabelle Little; and Joseph, b. 1798, m. (1) Martha Sneed Hensley. Around 1797, the family moved from Pittsylvania, Va., to Franklin County, Ga. Samuel III was married circa 1814 after his first wife’s death that year to Keziah (Stokes) Connaly, widow of Charles Connaly. They became the parents of one son, John Willis, b. 1815, m. 1835 Susan Clementine Neal (1816-1886).

That son, John Willis Pruitt, and his wife, Susan Neal, were the parents of 11 children: Lucinda Emeline, b. 1836, d. 1922, m. 1859 Francis Patton Eberhart; Samuel Augustus, b. 1838, d. 1839; Louisa Ann, b. 1840, d. 1914, m. 1860 Thomas Travis Dorough; William Benton, b. 1842, d. 1904, m. 1886 Henrietta Allman; Keziah Betavia, b. 1845, d. 1910, m. 1867 George Sammons Osborne; Harriet Ellen, b. 1847, d. 1930; Laura Elizabeth, b. 1849, d. 1865; Mary Eliza, b. 1851, d. 1906; Angie Clementine, b. 1854, d. 1856; John Milton, b. 1856, d. 1945, m. (1) Mary Bray (2) Jane Queen; and Susan Adelle “Ada,” b. 1861, m. 1891 Dr. William Preston Harden.

Samuel Pruitt II’s next son, Benjamin Pruitt, was born in 1765. Around 1798, he and his brothers, Phillip, Samuel III, and Joseph, moved to Wilkes County, Ga. where they resided for about six years before moving on to Franklin County, Ga. Then he had moved to Gwinnett County, Ga., by 1820 where he acquired 250 acres of land. He continued to live there until his death in 1841.

Benjamin Pruitt was married to his first wife, Mary Walters (1777-1840), in 1794. In later years he was married to Susan Margaret Degraffenreid. He and Mary were the parents of the following children: Leah, b. 1794, m. 1816 James McGinnis Jr.; Nancy, b. 1800, m. William Lawless; James M., b. 1806, m. Margaret Bradford; John Walters, b. 1808, d. 1870, m. 1833 Harriett Blalock (1813-d. after 1870); David, b. 1810; Benjamin Jr., b. 1811, m. Elizabeth ?; Mary, b. 1812, d. 1863, m. 1829 Joseph Naler (1805-1882); Thomas, b. 1815; Lavina, b. 1819, d. 1864, m. 1839 William Brandon Taylor (1814-1877); and Clarissa, b. ca 1820, m. Jeremiah M. Jones.

The next son, Joseph Pruitt, was born in 1769 and was married in 1790 to his first wife, Mary Elliot (1768-1807). A few years later, he was married to Nancy Ann whose maiden name was not identified. His four children appear to be with Nancy Ann.  They are Phillip, b. 1797; Patsy, b. 1798; Tillman Dixon, b. 1801; and Zachariah, b. 1803.

The next son, Levi Pruitt, was married in 1778 to Elizabeth Taliaferro (1758-1821). They were the parents of the following three children: Beheathland, b. 1783; Byrd, b. 1784; and Austin, b. 1784.

In the next generation of this family, some of the children of Benjamin Pruitt, son of Samuel Pruitt II, and their families are presented. His son, John Walters Pruitt, was born in 1808 and married Harriett Blalock. They were the parents of the following children: Benjamin Harden, b. 1834, d. 1915, m. (1) 1865 in Lowndes County, Ala., M.J. Collier (2)1867 E.C. Collier in Crenshaw County, Ala. (3) 1871 Eppie Ludwick; George Andrew, b. 1836, d. 1915, m. (1) 1866 Margaret E. Carter (2) 1870 Harriet Jane Pruitt (1835-1914); Mellington Baily, b. 1842, d. 1920, m. Minerva J. ?; William Pinckney, b. 1844, d. 1923, m. 1866 Mary Elizabeth Collier (1848-1933); Darling H., b. 1846, d. 1913, m. Francis Bickerstaff; Samuel A., b. 1847, d. 1916, m. Cora ?; Robert W., b. 1851, d. 1934, m. 1871 Carrie G. Reynolds; and Harriett, b. 1854.

Most of these children were born and lived in Alabama, and the older sons served in the Confederate Army during the War Between the States. George Andrew enlisted in 1862 at Troy, Ala. and was assigned to Company G, 59th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was injured and received a land patent in 1896. Records show he owned 40 acres of land in 1898. His brother, Mellington Bailey Pruitt, enlisted in 1861 as a private in Company B, 14th Alabama Infantry Regiment. In 1862 he was discharged from the Chimborazo Hospital for laryngitis. Another brother, William Pinckney, is probably the W.P. who served in Company D, 59th Alabama Infantry. Still another brother, Darling H. Pruitt, served in Company G, 63rd Alabama Infantry Regiment. George’s relatives, Frank, John and Wiley Pruett served along with him in the same Confederate Company. George’s uncle, Benjamin Pruitt Jr. also rendered service as a private in Company E, 43rd Georgia Infantry Regiment. He enlisted in 1862 as a resident of Forsyth County, Ga. In July 1863, he was captured at Vicksburg, Miss. He was last seen in 1864 and was listed as AWOL.

A daughter of Benjamin Pruitt, Mary Pruitt, married Joseph Naler in 1829. They were the parents of the following children: Benjamin Dixon, b. 1830; Mary, b. 1832; James Waters, b. 1834; Frances Elizabeth, b. 1836; Nancy, b. 1839; Menerva Jane, b. 1842; and Texas Ann, b. 1849.

Another daughter, Lavina Pruitt, was married in 1839 to William Brandon Taylor. They were the parents of these children: Benjamin Harrison, b. 1840; William Pinkney, b. 1842; John Robert, b. 1843; Julia Victoria, b. 1846; Joseph, b. 1850; Mary Frances, b. 1852; Charles S., b. 1855; and Elizabeth Octavia, b. 1857; and David, b. 1859. This family moved to Bell County, Tex., during the early 1850s.

This family’s coverage will begin in the next column with George Andrew Pruitt’s family.

Sources for today’s story include and records compiled by Travis Norman Pruitt and his son, Travis Norman Pruitt Jr. 

Anyone who might find an error is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36430; 334-804-1442; or Email: