Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Few More Reeve(s) Signatures

The signatures of today's post are from various Reeves' individuals of several different surname variations and lineages. The excerpts of these pictured documents have come from collections of original documents scanned from archived records in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the last decade numerous collections of scanned original documents, not copies of pages from deed and will books that were written by county clerks, but documents written by or at the least signed by the parties executing the documents. Collections by Family Search, the Library of Virginia and other sites have put these documents online helping family researchers to make great advances in genealogy. These scans of original documents have also allowed us to see the actual signatures of our ancestors which is a tremendous help in differentiating between all the Reeves of the same given name.

Will of William Reaves of Wayne County NC
also includes signature of William Reaves, Juner as witness
The document on the left is from a scanned copy of the original 1790 will of William Reaves, Sr. of Wayne County, North Carolina. The document includes the signature of William Reaves, Sr. as well as the signature of his son William, Jr. as one of the witnesses. The origins of this family who appeared in now extinct Old Dobbs County in the late 1750s have been a mystery but recent DNA tests of several descendants from this family have now established that their DNA matches that of descendants of William Reeves who died in Granville County in 1751.

Promissory Note by H. I. (Hezekiah) Reeves
On the right is a promissory note given by Hezekiah I. Reeves of Fauquier County, Virginia to William H. Tilley in 1819 which was the basis of a Chancery Case brought by Wm H. Tilley against Hezekiah Reeves, William and Daniel Thornberry. Hezekiah may have been a member of the Reeves family of Charles County, Maryland which is just across the Potomac River from Prince William County, Virginia where Hezekiah is also recorded. His signature is quite unique and should help to identify him. Sadly, there have been no participants from this lineage or other Reeves of southern Maryland in the DNA project which would greatly benefit Reeves' research.

Thomas Reeves' Signature as Witness
The witnesses to the above document include Thomas Reeves of Augusta, Virginia, previously of Spotsylvania County. The document is found in an Augusta County chancery case entitled Brewer Reeves vs. Aaron Hughes whose first pleadings are dated 1792. The witnesses signatures appear to be original as they are not similar to the body of the document which was written by a clerk or attorney with excellent penmanship - note the surname Reeves as written by the clerk is far more skillfully written than that of Tho. Reeves' signature. Brewer Reeves of this case was identified in other court documents as the brother of Thomas Reeves.

Signature by Edward Reavis on
1752 Northampton County NC Will
Edward Reavis is first found in Henrico County, Virginia, later migrating to northeastern North Carolina. He clearly wrote his name as Reavis differentiating it from the various other individuals of that area of North Carolina who used the Reeves and Reaves variations of the surname. Descendants of Edward Reavis are also totally different genetically to other inhabitants of Northampton and Halifax counties based upon DNA testing.

Signature of William Reeve, Soldier of the Revolution
on his 1833 RW Pension Application
Affidavit and Signature of James W. Reeve
son of William Reeve above

In April of 1833 William Reeve gave a statement in support of his application for a Revolutionary War pension. Appearing in court in Abbeville, South Carolina he gave a declaration regarding his service. He stated that he had entered the service in the summer of 1776 in Prince William County, Virginia as a drafted militia man serving in troops commanded by Colonel Henry Lee. That initial tour was followed by several others under different commanders.

William Reeve was originally from Prince William County, Virginia where his father, grandfather and other extended family consistently used the Reeve surname variation. However, within a few generations most of his descendants began to use the more common Reeves surname.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Reeves' Research of Mrs. Helen Trent Hobbs

Map with Indiana Counties
 Greene and Lawrence
Some years ago, I happened upon a posting to the Reeves Forum at Geneology.com which referred to biographical statements made by George Washington Reeves of Ashe County, North Carolina. George was the son of John Reeves and Phoebe Osborne of Grayson County, Virginia and grandson of George Reeves of that county.  The message contained the following:
From: Smithb13@aol.com
Subject: MORE FROM MRS. HOBBS
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 04:23:47

ONE GEORGE REAVES WAS BORN IN EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA ABOUT 1704 AND LEFT DESCENDENTS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.IN 1897 ONE GEORGE W. REAVES WROTE "MY GRANDFATHER WAS GEORGE REAVES...PRINCIPALLY REARED IN EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA...CAME FROM THE NEUSE RIVER, NORTH CAROLINA,TO NEW RIVER, GRAYSON COUNTY,VA. ABOUT 1725 (sic), BRINGING HIS WIFE WITH HIM.  HE CONTINUES WITH THE STATEMENT THAT HIS FATHER WAS A COUSIN OF THE EDWARD REEVES OF BLADEN COUNTY, N.C.  EDWARD REEVES OF BLADEN COUNTY WAS A SON OF WILLIAM REAVIS (SO SPELLED IN HIS WILL) OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY,NORTH CAROLINA. HIS OBITUARY,EDWARD REAVES OF BLADEN COUNTY WAS PUBLISHED IN THE RALEIGH REGISTER 8/20/1829 AND AHOWS (sic avows?) THAT HE WAS BORN 1724 AND DIED IN BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. 8/3/1829, BEING 105 YEARS OF AGE...

THAT'S ALL FOR NOW EXCEPT THAT I HAVE FIGURED OUT WHO IRENE AUTRY IS OR MUST BE,THE DAUGHTER OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN REAVES AND DORA RACKLEY MARRIED 4/15/1890.

THERE IS AN IRENA REAVES BORN 8/14/1902. SHE COULD BE THE HOLDER OF THE REAVES BIBLE.
The statement that Edward Reeves of Bladen County was named as a son of William Reavis in his will is completely incorrect since the two were approximately the same age and William named no son Edward in his 1784 will. Although there are numerous errors especially the parentage of Edward Reeves of Bladen and most of the dates mentioned, it still has merit and contains many true statements. I have been intrigued by the post primarily because the Y-Chomosome DNA of descendants of George Reeves of Grayson VA is a genetic match to that of the descendants of my ancestor William Reeves of the Neuse River basin.  At the time I happened upon this post, I had previously never found statements eluding to George Reeves' origins in eastern North Carolina. This theory is supported by deed and court records of Orange and Johnston counties of North Carolina which have numerous references to George Reeves and Richard Burton who is believed to have been George's father-in-law. Previously it was believed that George Reeves had come from Chesterfield County, Virginia based upon Dr. A. B. Cox's book Foot Prints on the Sands of Time: A History of Southwestern Virginia and Northwestern North Carolina published in 1900. I have personally been unable to locate any historical record that would place this Reeves' family in Chesterfield County prior to their arrival in the New River area.

Attempts to locate the individual who had submitted this post to the Reeves Genforum list were unsuccessful. Emails to their address as well as to the list administrator were fruitless. I did eventually find that Mrs. Hobbs was Helen Trent Hobbs of Indianapolis, Indiana, the wife of Henry W. Hobbs. Since Mrs. Hobbs included the Grayson County VA and Ashe County NC Reeves in her research, I assume that she had a family connection to them through descendants of George Reeves of Grayson's son William who migrated to Indiana after leaving North Carolina. Most of William's older daughters married and settled in Lawrence and Greene counties in Indiana raising their families there.

Mrs. Hobbs reportedly submitted all of her genealogical research to the Indiana State Library which was said to include a family bible for one of the families included in her research. Most of the individuals who posted to the Reeves Genforum and were searching for Mrs. Hobbs research were unsuccessful in locating it at that library. Hopefully at some point in the future, her research that pertains to the Reeves' family will be located and shared.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hardy, wife of William Reeves, Jr.

Early North Carolina deeds recorded primarily in Edgecombe County from before 1740 include Hardy as the wife of William Reeves, Jr. of the Reeves' family of Granville County. Hardy has long been a complete mystery with no clues to her maiden name or family but recently another researcher who descends from the Merritt family of Chowan, Bertie and Halifax counties called to my attention that Charles Merritt's 1718 Chowan County will named a daughter Hardy. Hardy was not married at the time the will was written and it is assumed she was still underage.
Scan of Charles Merritt's Original 1718 Will
This Reeves' family lived in the same areas of North Carolina where Charles Merritt and family were found. After Bertie was formed from Chowan in 1722, William Reeves continued to engage in land transactions in the same area on the Roanoke River where Nathaniel Merrit, son of Charles, appears. After Edgecombe County was formed from Bertie in 1732, William Reeves, both Sr. and Jr., along with Merrit family members are found there. The following deeds document the close ties of these two families:
William Reeves, Robert Long, Joseph Sewards, and Franis Varnums were adjacent landowners referenced in a deed from Nathaniel Meriot to Joseph Ballard on February Court 1723. The land was on the Roanoaky River on Plumtree Island.

Ralph Mason Sr., of Bertie, to Phillip Smith, land on the south side of the Morratock River on Plumb Tree Island between the lands of Buckley Kimbrough (late of Joseph Calvert and Amy Besnon Vernon), adjacent Robert Lang, John Gray, Thomas Witmell and the Goose pond (being land said Mason and Ralph Jr., his son, formerly lived on and was purchased from William Reeves and Nathaniel Merrit). Witnessed by Robert Harris, Richard Moore, Ralph Mason, Edgcombe County, August 20, 1739.

William Reeves, Jr. and Hardy his wife of Edgecombe County to Mary Merritt (county not identified). For 12 pounds sterling money of England, 220 acres more or less in the fork of Chockeyott creek joining John Muston, the Spring meadow and the Wolf Trap branch, including all houses, orchards, gardens. Wits.: Robert Harris, Richard Cuerton (sic Cureton), Nathaniel Merritt (X his mark). Registered: Robert Forster C. Ct. 23 Sept 1741

Although there is no extant marriage record or other documentation that has been found to date, there are ample records involving William Reeves, Jr., his wife Hardy and the Merritt family to suggest a connection and support the belief that Hardy Reeves was the daughter Hardy named in Charles Merritt's 1718 Cowan County will. Much more in depth research of the Reeves and Merritt families in Chowan and Bertie counties is needed.


This William Reeves, Jr. was previously believed to be the same William Reeves who died in York County, South Carolina in 1821; however, it is unrealistic to conclude that based upon current documentation. The William Reeves who died in South Carolina in 1821 would have been well past 100 years old if that were the case. It is far more likely that a generation has been missed and the William Reeves with wife Elizabeth who died in York, South Carolina was a nephew of William Reeves, Jr., born circa 1710.

The results of DNA testing for two recent new participants in the Reeves DNA Project who descend from William Reaves who died in Wayne County, North Carolina in 1793 have revealed that they belong to DNA Group 3 and are genetic matches to descendants of William Reeves of Granville. This suggests that the children of William Reeves, Jr. may be the individuals who appear in the deed indexes of Old Dobbs County, North Carolina beginning in the late 1750s.


Thanks to my Yancey cousin, Charlie Rathbun, for calling Charles Merritt's will to my attention.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

More Myth Bustin' - Mrs. Harriet E. Bedingfield

John T. Reeves son of Jeremiah Reeves and Jane Brazile is said to have married widow Mrs. Harriet E. Bedingfield on the 6th of December 1812 in Baldwin County, Georgia according to page 92 of The Reeves Review II. As a result countless Reeves' descendants have copied this incorrect marriage to their family trees and list Harriet Elizabeth Bedingfield as the mother of John T. Reeves' children.

A more accurate narrative of Harriet E. Bedingfield's story begins with a marriage record for Harriet Eliza Hargrove's marriage to John Bedingfield on 27th of May 1807 in Richmond County, Georgia. By the 7th of January 1811, John Bedingfield was deceased and his will was presented for probate in Baldwin County, Georgia. That abstracted will is as follows:
Will of JOHN BEDINGFIELD of Baldwin and Richmond Co.'s, 10/5/1810:1/7/1811, Wife: mentioned, not named. Exrs: Wife, and George R. Clayton. Son: John. Niece: Harriett Pegram Fox, dau. of Colonel James Fox, decd. Testator to be buried in St. Paul's Churchyard near son, John. Wits: F. Walker, Thomas Watkins, Robert Watkins, Vas Walker. Baldwin Co. WB A p. 31
The next year, Harriet married John T. Rives, son of Timothy Rives of Richland County, South Carolina originally from Prince George County, Virginia. The Georgia Journal of Baldwin County, Georgia published this notice - 23 Dec 1812 - Turner Reeves of Washington Co. married to Harriet Bedingfield of this place. After his marriage to Harriet, John T. Rives served as guardian for Harriet's son John Bedingfield.


Further proof that the husband of Mrs. Harriet Bedingfield was not the son of Jeremiah Reeves, is found in the 1820 Will of Timothy Rives of Richland County, South Carolina. The will recorded in Will Book G, page 180-183 includes the following:
Whereas there now unhapily exists a Suit and controversy either in Law or Equity in the County of Washington in the State of Georgia between Harriet Rives Widow & relect of my deceased son John Turner Rives as Administratrix of her Said deceased husband Plaintiff and my son Thomas Rives (who is in this suit acting as my agent) Defendant...
John Turner Rives died between 1816 when he was recorded as the guardian of John Bedingfield, Jr. in Baldwin County and the 5th of February, 1820 when his father Timothy wrote his will. Harriet Hargrove Bedingfield Rives had lost two husbands in less than a decade and by August of 1828 was deceased when her own estate was probated in the records of Baldwin County.

John T. Reeves, son of Jeremiah and Jane Brazile Reeves, married an Elizabeth, born circa 1797, whose maiden name is still unknown sometime around 1810. They are recorded in Jasper and Muscogee counties in Georgia but by 1860 are listed in the census of that year in Gadsden County, Florida and were still there in 1870. Based upon all the documentation presented here, it is completely impossible for Harriet E. Bedingfield to have been the wife of this John T. Reeves as proposed by The Reeves Review.


Thanks so much to Reeves' researcher Joan Chase who found the will of Timothy Rives of Richland SC while searching for her Thomas Reeves and let me know that Harriet had been mentioned in the will as the widow of his son John Turner Rives.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mary Reeves Doughton

The family of Mary called Polly, daughter of George Reeves of Grayson, Virginia, who married Joseph Doughton has been a mystery since there are no probate records for Joseph who died in 1832 in Ashe County, North Carolina. Documenting their children has been a futile effort until I recently discovered that Ashe County, North Carolina's Register of Deeds has put scans of their deeds back to 1799 online. In many instances, deeds are about so much more than the sale of land and in this particular instance, these Ashe County deed records are a gold mine of genealogical information.

In Deed Book V there are three deeds by the heirs of Joseph Doughton which provide the names of their nine children who lived to maturity. In each of these three deeds, the heirs were selling a tract of land to another of the heirs - Jesse Doughton, Charles H. Doughton and George Reeves, son-in-law and husband of daughter Elizabeth Doughton.

These deeds not only document the children of Mary Reeves and Joseph Doughton, they give the names of the husbands of those daughters who had married by 1832 when Joseph died. David Cox, John Cox McGimsey, Denny Robinson and George Reves are identified as the husbands of daughters Jane, Charity, Polly and Elizabeth. The deeds provide as much documentation of the family members as a will would have.

Heirs of Joseph Doughton to George Reves
Ashe County NC Deed Book V, page 268
Heirs of Joseph Doughton to George Reves
Ashe County NC Deed Book V, page 269
According to family legend, Joseph Doughton is believed to have been a member of an early surveying team in the New River area. He contracted typhoid fever and was taken in by former Revolutionary soldier Lt. George Reeves who had settled along the New River in 1767. As the story goes, Joseph was nursed back to health by George Reeves' daughter, Mary. During his convalescence, they fell in love and were married.

Joseph Doughton was recorded as a justice of the Ashe County Court by 1806 and in 1817 served as a representative from Ashe County to North Carolina's House of Representatives. Descendants of Joseph and Polly Doughton continued the family's public service - Rufus Doughton would later serve as North Carolina's Lt. Governor and Robert Doughton as a U.S. Representative.

Thanks to these wonderful deeds by Joseph Doughton's heirs, we now have documentation that their children were Irena Jane Doughton Cox, Elizabeth Doughton Reves, George H. Doughton, Grace Doughton Phipps, Charles Horton Doughton, Charity Ann Doughton McGimsey, Jesse Doughton, Polly Doughton Robinson and Rosamond Doughton Lewis. There also appears to have been another child, Joseph Doughton born about 1794, who died before reaching maturity. Although undocumented he is listed in several sources and the 1810 census of Ashe County lists a child that age in Joseph and Mary's household.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

More Reeves' Signatures

As I have continued to collect scans of original documents primarily for their signatures, I have numerous signatures for the Reeves (Reves) families of Wake County, North Carolina and Grayson County, Virginia/Ashe County, North Carolina. These families share matching Y-Chromosome DNA but currently no paper trail has been located to explain the connection. Currently proximity is one of the few commonalities, both William Reeves and a George Reeves who appears to be the same individual who settled in the New River area around 1767 were recorded in the deed and court records of Orange and Johnston Counties circa 1760. The other major commonality is that the male members of these families were all literate and consistently signed their names as REVES, not with the double "E" used by later generations.

Included here are various documents signed by William Reeves of Wake County NC and his sons as well as the sons of George Reeves of Grayson County VA.

Signature of William Reves (c1740-1821) of Wake County, North Carolina from his answers to interrogatories in depositions taken in the court case of David Daniel vs. the executors of Woodson Daniel.


The signature above is that of Peter Reves, son of William Reeves (Reves) of Wake County NC. Peter, along with his brother Charles, moved a short distance into Halifax County, Virginia around 1800. This acknowledgement signed by Peter Reves in 1851 is part of an application by Elizabeth Brown Neal for a Revolutionary War pension based upon her husband Thomas Neal's service. Elizabeth Neal's statement was made to Peter who was the Chairman of the Halifax (VA) County Court.

Madison County, Kentucky consent for the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth signed by Jeremiah Reves, one of the younger sons of William Reeves. Elizabeth Reves married a Jefferson Reves whose identity is unknown. Jefferson was likely a cousin of Elizabeth's, possibly the son by that name of her uncle John Reves of Wake County NC who disappeared from the records there around 1837.


Above document is the 1802 Madison County, Kentucky marriage bond for George Reves, the son of William Reeves of Wake County NC, to Elizabeth "Betsy" Wilkerson.


1811 Note to James Cox for $133.00 signed by Jesse Reves of Ashe County, North Carolina, another son of George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia.


1809 Power of Attorney by George Reves, Jr., son of George Reeves of Grayson County VA, to Robert H. Burton to act on his behalf in a court case in the Ashe County Superior Court.

Bond by William Reves, son of George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia, and his son-in-law Allen Burton for John Reves, Jr. and William's wife Ann Reves. This court case, Landreth vs. William Reves, was filed around 1813 and was still active as late as 1822.
The John Reves, Jr. named in this bond is most likely the son of William Reves of Ashe who was born circa 1795. It was a common practice in early America to differentiate between individuals of the same name by identifying the younger person as Junior not necessarily because the individual named as Senior was their parent.


Although the above is not a scan of the original document, the signatures as published appear to be taken from scans of the original document. The signature of Wm Reves on this 1761 Orange County, North Carolina deed would undoubtably be that of William Reeves, Sr., the probable father of both William Reeves of Wake County and George Reeves of Grayson.

There are many more documents signed by these individuals and others as well as later generations using the Reves spelling of the surname but eventually most of the family began to use the more common Reeves variation of the name. As yet I have been unable to find other Reeves' families who spelled their name in the same manner. It would be a great help in locating the family's origins if we can eventually find others using the Reves name.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hub Reeves, My Grandfather

After seriously neglecting this blog for some time, I'm going to make an effort to revive it, even if only with Reeves' pictures until I discover some new Reeves' family connections or solve a Reeves' mystery.

I love this picture of my grandfather William Hubbard Reeves, born 1882 in Blandville, Ballard County, Kentucky to Sidney Preston Reeves and Nancy Susan Wingo.

William Hubbard Reeves (2nd from left)
He moved from Kentucky into southeastern Missouri after marrying and was involved in the timber business. In New Madrid County he had a sawmill and for a time operated a general store there as well. He did love a good team of mules so this picture, taken around 1920, is quite special to me.