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.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The rest of the story...

Since the previous posting regarding the mysterious George Reaves referred to in a Halifax County deed of September 1793 by the heirs of John Epps, much new information about his identity has been discovered.

Revolutionary war soldier Asher Reaves' pension statement recounts that he was born in Prince William County, Virginia and joined the revolutionary forces from Halifax County, Virginia in 1778. He states that he lived in Halifax County, Virginia prior to the Revolution from where he originally enlisted, then his father relocated to Wilkes County, North Carolina, from there he was recruited for subsequent tours of service. Asher stated that he moved with his father to Wilkes County in the State of North Carolina about 2 miles from Wilkes Court House on the Yadkin River where he lived until the fall of 1789.

Asher's parents have previously been unidentified, however the following appear to be some of the earliest references to Reeves or Reaves in Halifax, Virginia:
On 27 Dec 1771, George Reeves witnessed (signed with his mark) a deed from Luke Williams, carpenter, and Catherine his wife of Halifax County to James Ingram, gentlemen of Accomac County for 500 acres near Sandy Creek. Halifax County Deed Book 8, p. 295.

On 18 Jun 1773, Luke Williams of Halifax County executed a deed of trust to John Lewis, Jr. of Halifax County for 986 acres adjoining William McDaniel, James Henry, Charles Wormack, George Reaves, Joseph Morrosson, George Curry. Halifax County, Virginia Deed Book 9, p. 202

On 15 Oct 1778, Luke Williams of Halifax County deeded 100 acres on Court house branch to George Reaves of same county. Halifax County, Virginia Deed Book 11, p. 128-129.
Wilkes County, North Carolina
The only older Reeves' individual living in Wilkes County, North Carolina during the Revolution was an Isaac Reeves with wife Margery. Isaac Reeves did not name any of his children in his 1807 will, but they have been identified through tax and deed records of Wilkes County and do not include Asher. Although at times George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia was listed in the records of Wilkes NC, it should be noted that the state line between Virginia and North Carolina was in dispute for approximately 20 years. Areas along that boundary were constantly being shifted back and forth between the two states. The area where George Reeves lived along the New River was along that boundary so the state and county changed repeatedly. From 1767 when he arrived on the Peach Bottom Tract until his death in 1811, George Reeves lived on the north side of the New River. The Peach Bottom Tract on the New River is approximately 40 miles from the Wilkes County Courthouse and the Yadkin River as described by Asher Reaves in his RW pension statement and Little Cub Creek adjacent to the Moravian line mentioned in George Reaves' Wilkes County deed of 1794. (See above map with the New River at the top and the Wilkes Courthouse "CH" much further south.) This George Reaves is the only individual who was both a resident of Halifax County, Virginia and Wilkes, North Carolina who could be the father to which Asher referred.

George Reaves origins are undocumented but the statement of Asher Reaves in his Revolutionary War pension that he was born in Prince William County, Virginia suggests that George came from Virginia's northern neck. In Northumberland County, Virginia, Margaret and William Scurlock administered the estate of a Thomas Reeves who died about 1729. This suggests that Margaret was Reeves's widow and that she married William Scurlock as her second husband. One Margaret Scurlock later married Joseph Morrison in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia, on 9 December 1739. This Margaret appears to have been the widow of both William Scurlock and Thomas Reeves.

Joseph and Margaret Scurlock Morrison were taxed in Dettingen Parish, Prince William County, Virginia in 1747 with Joseph Scurlock and George Reves as tithables in their household, indicating that they were young men aged 16-21 years (and thus born between 10 June 1726 and 10 June 1731). This appears to suggest that Margaret (MNU) married first Thomas Reeves, second William Scurlock, and third Joseph Morrison, and that George Reves and Joseph Scurlock were her sons.

The following appears in Prince William County, VA, Order Book 1759-1761, 25 March 1760, p. 69: Nathaniel Chapman vs. Joseph Morrison, Fortunatus Legg and George Reeves. In debt. the defendants filed their plea to which the plaintiff demurred generally and time is allowed the defendants untill next Court to consider the same. (Published in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, p. 38.)

Margaret and Joseph Morrison were both still alive on 4 December 1762, when they were dismissed from Broad Run Baptist Church in Fauquier County to join Birch Creek Baptist Church in Halifax County, Virginia. Joshua Scurlock, a proven son of William Scurlock, was dismissed from Broad Run "to Halifax" on 10 June 1763. Joseph Morrison and Joshua Scurlock are found in Halifax County during the 1760s. A 1778 Halifax County deed identifies Joseph Morrison as a neighbor of George Reeves. Additionally, he is recorded in the Halifax tax lists through 1788.

Other members of the extended Scurlock/Morrison family also migrated to Wilkes County, North Carolina about the time that George Reaves did. The following excerpt from Michael Scurlock of the Northern Neck and Some of His Descendants refers to Joshua Scurlock who is very likely the half brother of George Reaves:
"Sometime after 1762, like so many Virginians of the era, Joshua (Scurlock) and his family migrated from their home state, going first to Wilkes Co., N.C., where he received a North Carolina land grant of 300 acres on both sides of Moravian Creek on 1 March 1780. On 27 October 1788, Joshua, now, 'of the State of Georgia,' sold this land and the deed was recorded in Wilkes Co., N.C."
George Reaves described as "of Wilkes County, North Carolina" is named in a Halifax deed dated September 6, 1793 as one of the legatees of John Epps, deceased. The deed refers to the heirs of a deceased son Joshua, as being: Nathaniel Epps, Moses Epps, David Powell, Sr., John Comer, Edy Epps, and Temperance Epps of Halifax County, Virginia; Ambrose Gresham of Lunenburg County, Virginia; and George Reaves of Wilkes County, North Carolina. According to Joshua Epps' Will of 1778 (Halifax Co. Will Bk. 1, 1773-83, p 216) his children were: John, Nathaniel, William, Isham, Moses, Mary (m. David Powell, Sr. before 1767), Elizabeth “Betty” (m. Ambrose Gresham on 24 Mar 1787 in Halifax VA), Millison (m. John Clay), Dicy (m. Elisha Lacy), Amey (m. John Comer before 10 Sept. 1775), Temperance (unmarried in 1793), Edy (unmarried in 1793) and Patty (a nickname for Martha) who must then be the daughter who married George Reaves. This is further confirmed by the appearance of a widowed Martha Reaves listed as head of household beginning on the 1816 tax lists and in the 1830 Halifax census after the death of George Reaves around 1815.

Asher Reaves was Surety on a Halifax County, Virginia marriage bond dated 25 November 1785 for the marriage of Joseph Morrison to Margaret Raney establishing another connection between Asher and George Reaves. Joseph Morrison was the probable step-father of George Reaves and therefore step-grandfather of Asher.

George Reaves reappears on the Halifax County, Virginia tax lists in 1796 after selling his property in Wilkes County in 1794:
9 Dec 1794 Deed - George Reeves deed to William Petty, Sr. for 200 acres on Little Lick Creek adjacent to the Moravian line. Wilkes County, North Carolina Deed Book B-1, p. 416
Excerpt from 1796 Halifax County Personal Tax List
At the time George Reaves returned to Halifax County, he was apparently over 65 years of age for he was listed as exempt on the 1796 personal property tax list which coincides with the birth date of George Reeves, probable son of Thomas in the Dettingen Parish tax listing of 1747. George and his sons Elijah and George, Jr. are listed in the tax records of Halifax through 1815 when George appears to have died. The following year, a widowed Martha Reaves is listed as head of household in the place of George on the tax list.

This extensive additional information regarding George Reaves of Halifax County, Virginia and Wilkes County, North Carolina was located as part of an effort to learn more about the Reeve(s) families of Virginia's northern neck. The collaboration of several Reeves' researchers, especially Dan Knight, has helped to link George and Asher Reaves to each other as well as their roots in northern Virginia. Hopefully more information will be found and possibly a descendant will someday participate in the Reeves DNA Project adding further to our knowledge of George Reaves.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Those Places Thursday - The Cumberland Gap

The Cumberland Gap is a pass through the Cumberland Mountains section of the Appalachians located just north of the point where Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia meet. Native Americans had used this pass through the mountains long before the American colonists became aware of it. After a team of loggers led by Daniel Boone widened the path and made it more accessible to settlers migrating westward, it became a major passageway through the lower central Appalachians and an important part of the Wilderness Road.

The Cumberland Gap Looking Toward Kentucky
Around the age of 65, my ancestor William Reves left Wake County, North Carolina which had been his home for most or possibly all of his life and migrated to Madison County, Kentucky around 1806.  His youngest sons, George and Jeremiah, had made this trip several years before along with other settlers from the Granville-Wake County area.

William Reves lived most of his life on a 400 acre tract granted to his father William Reves, Sr. in what had been Orange County in the 1750s, Johnston County in the 1760s, then Wake County and is now Durham County.  In her book Durham County - A History of Durham County, North Carolina, Jean Bradley Anderson states "Among the first to take up land in present Durham County were William Reeves, who received 400 acres where Ellerbee Creek runs into Neuse River (1746)".

In August of 1760, as William Reaves, Jr. he registered his cattle brand in Orange County.  He is found listed in the minutes of the Wake County Court from the county's inception in 1771 through 1803. He is recognized as a Revolutionary War Patriot based upon his civil service as a tax assessor in Wake County during the revolution by the DAR. From the 1770's, he served on juries, was overseer of roads, assessor and tax gatherer in Captain Woodson Daniel's district and from 1787 to 1803 was a Magistrate Justice of the Wake County Court.

Many of the documents that refer to him spell his name Reeves, but he and his sons who were all literate, always spelled their name Reves which tends to set them apart from the many other Reeves families of North Carolina.  DNA of several of his descendants also establishes that they were unrelated to the other Reeves families in the Neuse basin but to date no records have been found with clues to their origins.

His final appearance as a justice of the Wake County Court is recorded in 1803 and on Sept. 16th, 1806, his son William Jr. sold his 130 acre tract south of Ellobey's Creek. These were the last records for either of them in Wake County and by the 1810 census, both are recorded in Madison County, Kentucky.  

Several years ago my cousin and I made a trip to North Carolina by way of southern Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap into Virginia and drove a two lane highway through the Appalachians from Virginia into North Carolina. Even in a modern vehicle on modern roads, it is apparent what an accomplishment it was for my 65 year old 4th great grandfather to make such a trip through the Cumberland Gap in 1806.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Access to Family Trees on Family Search

For everyone who has longed to be able to access the LDS family trees on Family Search in order to make additions or corrections - it is now possible.  If you haven't already discovered the changes at Family Search, you will be pleased to know that these seriously flawed trees, full of duplications and undocumented connections, can now be accessed.  Many of these family trees were created long before the internet with the records that are now available or DNA testing.

Family Information for William Reaves
of Wayne County, North Carolina
Family Search has entered these family pedigrees into a wiki type database which could eventually be a wonderful source of family information but it is currently a mass of conflicting family connections and duplications.  See the image inserted at left for information retrieved on a search for William Reaves of Wayne County, North Carolina.

William Reaves, born circa 1737, is shown as the child of John Reeves, born circa 1745 who obviously could not be William's father.  This lists John Reeves as marrying in North Carolina but there are countless records from Augusta and Rockingham Counties of Virginia for John Reeves and Margaret Duncanson.   A descendant of this John Reeves has tested and been placed in DNA Group 9.

Recent DNA testing by descendants of William Reaves of Wayne County have placed this family in DNA Group 3 which connects them to William Reeves who died in Granville County in 1751.  Also included among the proposed siblings in this listing are members of the family of Isaac Reeves of Wilkes County, North Carolina (DNA Group 6), William Rives of Prince George County, Virginia (DNA Group 8) and even one individual with the surname Rapp who was born in Germany.

This image is included simply to call attention to the errors in the information at present. In spite of all the errors, this is a tremendous step forward for online genealogy and if those of us who love genealogy all perservere in helping to correct the incorrect data and merge the duplications, it could eventually be a wonderful resource.

One of the exciting features the Family Search software provides is the ability to link a scanned copy of original documents, i.e. wills and probate documents, marriage certificates, etc., to the individual's page.  This excellent feature allows a scanned document from Family Search's collections to be added to the person's page and provide documentation with sources for the data.  Their software will also allow the addition of pictures.

There are countless "legacy issues" recorded in these records where individuals have noted errors and requested corrections in the past.  If you've always wanted to correct the information in the LDS files for your ancestors, now's your chance.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Interesting New Developments

In the earliest days of this blog, I added a post regarding the Reaves family of Wayne County, North Carolina whose origins prior to their arrival in Old Dobbs County have been a mystery. Thanks to DNA, that mystery may finally be solved. Two participants in the Reeves DNA Project who descend from William Reaves of Wayne County have now matched DNA Group 3. DNA Group 3 includes the descendants of William Reeves who died in Granville County, North Carolina in 1751.

Wayne County, North Carolina Area
The fact that their origins have previously been unknown probably stems from the 1878 courthouse fire at Kinston in Lenoir County which destroyed all the records housed there. Dobbs County had been formed from the eastern portion of Johnston County in 1758 and in 1791, Wayne County from the western portion of Dobbs. The records of early Johnston and other counties formed from Johnston - Wayne, Greene and Lenoir Counties, were placed at the courthouse there and all were lost in that fire. The only exception was the original grantee deed index from Old Dobbs County.

With this new DNA evidence, we are presented with the question of how the Reaves of Wayne County are related to the family of William Reeves who died in Granville County in 1751. Previously William Reeves, Jr. of that family was believed to have been the individual by that name who died in 1821 in York County, South Carolina. However, the William Reeves who died in South Carolina would have been well past 100 years old if that were the case since he must have been born about 1710. 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 the son or nephew of William Reeves, Jr. Recent research of the probate, tax and deed records of Granville County has established that the William Reeves who was present in the records of Granville County from around 1755 as a tithe of Malachi Reeves was undoubtedly Malachi's son. From 1755 when he is first listed, until November of 1796 when he is recorded in a deed transaction wherein he sold 257 acres on Tabbs Creek to John Hall (Deed Book P, p.342) before leaving for South Carolina, he is the only William Reeves in the records of Granville County.

William Reeves, Jr. along with his wife Hardy was often recorded in the deed records of Edgecombe County from at least 1740 and continued to be found in deeds there until the 1750's. As William Reeves of Edgecombe County, he was last found in the records of Granville County in May of 1753 when he sold 525 acres on Fishing Creek (Deed Book B, p.243-244) to his brother Malachi. His absence in the Granville and Edgecombe County records coincides with the appearance of William Reaves in the records of Old Dobbs County around 1758 based upon the extant deed indexes of Old Dobbs.

1790 Will of William Reaves of Wayne County

 These recent DNA results may indicate that some of the Reaves' individuals found in Old Dobbs and later in Wayne County were descendants of William Reeves, Jr., previously of Edgecombe County and that William Reaves may even have been his son. Hopefully records in the surrounding counties that were not destroyed in the Lenoir courthouse fire can be found to provide more documentation for this family.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Update on the Reeves of Wayne County Tennessee

DNA testing is helping to unravel yet another Reeves mystery. Over a year ago, I wrote a post titled Yet Another George Reeves.  At the end of the post, I opined that DNA testing might help identify this mystery George of  Wayne County.

I’ve long been interested in the numerous Reeves families of Wayne County, Tennessee. Most of my paternal ancestors came from Wayne County, Tennessee, but my Reeves line is maternal. I was very curious – were my mother’s relatives living next door to my father’s ancestors 100 years or more before my parents met in Arkansas? And there were so many Reeves there -- surely they couldn’t possibly all be the same line. Most of them came out of nowhere and moved on elsewhere, but a combination of paper trails and DNA testing is starting to bring them into a sharper focus.

One such Reeves is George W Reeves who sold land on Hardin’s Creek in Wayne County, Tennessee in 1833 as "George Reeves of Hickman County, Kentucky." I found him in the 1830 Wayne County census and then in 1840 in Hickman County, Kentucky and in 1850 in Ballard County, Kentucky.  I was able to identify his first wife as Nancy Elizabeth McClure as well as their children and his second wife as Mary Polly Boone.

Then the trail went cold until my Reeves cousin Laverne got her results from the Family Finder test.  Laverne’s test confirmed, as she always knew, that she is part of the Reeves Group 8 DNA family.  But among her matches was a real gem of a find:  two descendants of "George W Reeves of Hickman Kentucky.”

Having identified his line, I knew a little better where to look for more traces of him.  I found his wife’s family, the McClures, living in Humphreys County Tennessee near several Reeves dwellings including that of Jordan Reeves . Further supporting the family relationship, these McClures migrated to Wayne County with George and Nancy and then on to Kentucky. And finally, an 1820 census record of a George Reeves in Perry County TN that had long stumped Group 8 Reeves researchers fits the family structure of our now less mysterious George W Reeves.

We still don’t know who George W Reeves’ father was, but he could very well be one of the Reeves men who migrated to Humphreys and Hickman County Tennessee between 1808 and 1816/17, sons and grandsons of George Reeves and Mary Jordan. 

Updated to add: I now also have a DNA match to a descendent of George W Reeves and Nancy McClure.