When the results of the first descendant to test were posted at Family Tree DNA, they came as a complete shock. Rather than matching DNA Group 3 members where the descendants of William Reaves of Wayne County are found, they matched DNA Group 8. Group 8 is comprised of descendants of Timothy Rives an early resident of Virginia. That family is covered in the book ''Reliques of the Rives'' by James Rives Childs in which the author traces Timothy's lineage back to Robert Ryves of Randleston and Damory Court in Blandford Forum, England.
The earliest residents of this area of North Carolina appear to have been recorded in Dobbs County which was formed in 1758 from Johnston County. In 1779 the western part of Dobbs County became Wayne County. In 1791 Dobbs County was divided by the North Carolina legislature into Glasgow County which was later renamed Greene County and Lenoir County, after which Dobbs County ceased to exist. Sadly, the records of these counties were destroyed by fire on 15 October 1873 after having been moved to the Lenoir County Courthouse. This loss of records has adversely impacted research of the Reaves families of both Wayne and Duplin Counties. The only Dobbs County records that survived the fire were an original grantee deed index and some early tax records.
Thanks to those extant records we do know that there were several Reeves/Reaves living in Dobbs County by sometime between April 1757 and April 1758 when a William Reaves and a Thomas Reaves were recorded in that index. In the index of April 1765 to April 1769 a Drury Reaves and Timothy Reaves are recorded. Timothy Reaves is currently unidentified but Drury may have been from the DNA Group 8 family since the name Drury is used repeatedly in that lineage. Drury Reeves/Reaves migrated further south to Darlington, South Carolina where he died intestate in 1792.
Duplin County was formed in 1750 from New Hanover County and is located just to the south of Wayne County and adjacent to Dobbs County on it's southwestern side. Hardy Reaves is first recorded in Duplin County on the 17th of October, 1770 when a summons was issued by the sheriff of Duplin County to value a horse which was the property of Hardy Reaves. The document states this was in the course of a sute (sic suit) by Stephen Herring. The horse was valued at twenty pounds and the reverse side of the summons has been signed with Hardy Reaves mark on that same date. The document was the only thing found in what was recorded as an estate file for Hardy Reaves.
Hardy Reaves who is the documented ancestor of the individuals who have tested matching DNA Group 8 was born circa 1785 and died before January 1862 in Duplin County where probate records record the identities of his nine (9) children. Hopefully current research of this family will eventually be able to establish a connection to the Rives family of the southside of Virginia and document that relationship.