Re: earliest prunty in the u.s.?
Bryan Prunty's name was possibly the more Irish BRIONES or BRION before he immigrated to America. He supposedly married Jane Black in 1740 in the First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA. Brion ( pronounced Bree-ion ) and Jane apparently had three sons, who they named for the New Testement saints ( Thomas, James & John ), then moved on to York County, where as you know they were connected to your Hale family in a 1761 Hale will. Briones or Brion seems to have been unable to write his whole name
in York Co. documents and in one instance just signs his initials B.P. This factor and a thick Irish brogue probably confused the pronunciation and spelling of his name by his American contemporaries and his later descendants.
In the mid 1760s Briones/ Brion/ Bryan and a Robert Prunty (possibly a brother) settled in Pittsylvania County, Virginia with the Hales. Here a Brian Prunty appears on county documents as Bryan, Bryant and the misspelled Bragan, but it's basically the same given name. Some descendants apparently Latinized Briones/ Brion to BARNABAS, while others seem to have slightly corrupted the original sound and spelling to Bryan/ Brian to make it appear more American. The Boston Transcript Barnabas Prunty and Pittsylvania County Bryan/ Bragan Prunty are always described as a father or brother of the three saints above, but it's my theory that they are both the Brian Prunty from York County, PA, who was obviously related to the Thomas, James and John Prunty that lived along Plum Creek next to the Hale Family. In the early 1770s Thomas, James and John headed south and followed their apparent father Brian Prunty (and possible uncle Robert) down to southern Virginia. For some reason John broke off from his apparent brothers and went to Hampshire Co. which is near the former home of a mysterious Michael Pruntee in Frederick County. John went on to establish the noted Prunty Family in Harrison, Ritchie and Taylor Counties in present West Virginia.