Friday, May 12, 2017

Early Reeves' Families in Colonial America

Over the course of the last seven years, the members of The Reeves Project have been attempting to identify the various Reeves' lineages in this country as well as tie their members to results of DNA testing as more and more participants join the Reeves DNA Project at FtDNA. Using DNA results has had a great impact on the accuracy of the recorded lineages.

Each location identifies a different known Reeves family. There were numerous other Reeves individuals who are documented as arriving in the American colony during the early years of its settlement as detailed in Cavaliers & Pioneers which can be seen in the listing of Virginia Land Patents and Grants at The Reeves Project but this data pertains to those Reeves who raised families in the colony leaving descendants.

The map above marked with numbers represents various different family lines who were present in colonial America prior to the Revolutionary War. These families are as follows:
#1 - Thomas Reeve of Long Island, New York
Thomas Reeve and his brother James arrived here and settled on Long Island, New York in 1636 after sailing from Barbados to the Chowan area of North Carolina in search of spirits of resin. The story of that adventure can be read at the post A Tale of Adventuring in Chowan Country on this blog. Descendants of the Reeve family of Long Island NY that have participated in DNA testing are members of DNA Group 5.

#2 - George and John Reeve of Prince William County, Virginia
George Reeve and his brother John were recorded in the records of Prince William County, Virginia. The first reference to George Reeve(s) of Virginia's Northern Neck area was on 17 October 1719 in Northumberland County, Virginia when his oldest son Thomas was entered into the birth registry there. Some of the children of George Reeve migrated over the Appalachians to Kentucky and then into Ohio after the Revolution. Children of George Reeve also moved southward to Lancaster County, South Carolina prior to the Revolution as did a grandson of John Reeve after the Revolution. The connection between these families has been verified by DNA matches between Reeve(s) individuals in both areas and they are members of DNA Group 10.

#3 - Thomas Reeves of Charles & St. Mary's Counties, Maryland
The large Reeves family of Charles and St. Mary's Counties of southern Maryland appears to descend from Thomas Reeves and his wife Mary Upgate although only one individual from a member of that family who migrated to Ohio has participated in DNA testing. There is one other individual who matches this descendant of Thomas Reeves and he descends from John Reeves who died in Craven County, North Carolina in 1790. That individual's lineage had been a mystery and the connection to the Maryland Reeves' family has been an excellent clue to his origins. The probate records of Charles and St. Mary's counties are relatively extensive and most appear to be extant. Additional participants in the Reeves DNA project would be a great boon to research of this family. Other descendants of this lineage migrated to Rowan County, North Carolina, Wilkes County, Georgia and eventually as far as Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

#4 - Henry Reeves of Essex County, Virginia
Henry Reeves, Sr. was granted 600 acres on Tigner's Creek on the south side of the Rappahannock River in Virginia in what is now Essex County on 1 January 1666. Henry left a will when he died in 1687 as did the majority of his children at their deaths. There is no clear pedigree detailing an extended listing of Henry Reeves' descendants. A very few whose lineage can be documented as descending from this family are recorded in DNA Group 9. At one time it was believed that George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia was a descendant of Henry Reeves but DNA has not supported that theory.

#5 - George Reeves of Middlesex County, Virginia
In Middlesex County, Virginia was the large family headed by patriarch George Reeves of Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom. His four known sons were Thomas, Francis, George, and Charles. There was no known connection between the family of George Reeves of Lincolnshire and that of Henry Reeves, Sr. of neighboring Essex County or any other Reeves' lineages in colonial America. Middlesex probate records of the estates of Thomas, Francis or George, Jr. when he died in 1689 make no mention of any heirs left in America. The surviving brother Charles returned to England where he appears to have remained.

#6 - Timothy Ryves of Surry County, Virginia
The Rives or Ryves family who settled south of Virginia's James River is featured in James Rives Childs' 1929 book Reliques of the Rives (Ryves). Based upon the evidence now available, the patriarch of this large family appears to be Timothy Ryves, born 1625, son of Timothy and Mary Ryves of Oxford. Timothy Rives settled initially in Surry County, Virginia with his descendants spreading over most of the counties south of the James River and now across the country. Descendants of this family are represented in DNA Group 8 of the Reeves DNA Project at FtDNA.

#7 - Isaac Reeves of Mecklenburg, Virginia and Wilkes, North Carolina
The first record currently found of Isaac Reeves is the tithables list for Mecklenburg County in 1764, followed by a 1765 deed in which Isaac Reeves and wife Margery sold 100 acres in Mecklenburg County, Virginia to Ephraim Puckett. By 1784 he was recorded in Wilkes County, North Carolina where within a few years his children began to appear in the records of that county. The History of Morgan, Monroe & Brown County of Indiana, published in 1884 makes several interesting statements regarding a grandson of Isaac and Margery Reeves particularly that his father (James, son of Isaac) was a native of Ireland. That biography also states that Isaac and Margaret Reeves came from Ireland previous to the Revolutionary War. Descendants of this family who have been tested by FtDNA are found in DNA Group 6C.

#8 - George Reaves of Halifax County, Virginia
A wealth of historical data indicates that George Reaves who appeared in Halifax County, Virginia circa 1770 was the same individual by that name who was previously recorded in Prince William County, Virginia. See the blog post "The rest of the story..." which details the extensive research of this family back to George's birth circa 1726/27. This individual has been confused with George Reeves, Sr. of Grayson County, Virginia because over a period of 20 years the border between Virginia and North Carolina changed regularly and various individuals confused the two men named "George Reeves" who both appear in Wilkes County over those years. This George Reaves who came to Wilkes County from Halifax, Virginia sold his property in Wilkes County to William Petty in 1794 and moved back to Virginia where he lived the remainder of his life. He was listed consistently on the Halifax County tax lists from 1796 to 1815 and appears to have died around 1815.

#9 - William Reeves of Chowan, Edgecombe and Granville Counties of North Carolina
William Reeves was first mentioned in February 1718 as an adjoining landowner in a deed in Chowan District, North Carolina. He is recorded in numerous transactions of Edgecombe County until 1749 when he received a grant from Lord Granville for 200 acres in Granville County on both sides of Fishing Creek. It was in Granville County that his will was written and proved in December of 1751 after his death. His children remained in that vicinity of North Carolina for some years but by around 1800 most had migrated elsewhere, many to Georgia and South Carolina. Descendants of this family who have tested with FtDNA are found in DNA Group 3.

#10 - John Durdan Reeves of Halifax County, North Carolina
According to his Revolutionary War pension statement, John Durdan Reeves was born in Halifax County, North Carolina in 1759. He volunteered in 1780 from Halifax County, served several tours and had been commissioned as a Lieutenant by the end of the war. After the Revolution he lived for several years in Cumberland County where he married around 1788. By the census of 1800, he had migrated westward to Surry County where he died in 1841. Some of his descendants remained in the Surry County NC area while others migrated to Tennessee and Kentucky. The descendants of John Durdan Reeves who have participated in the Reeves DNA Project are represented in DNA Group 6B.

#11 - William Reeves of Wake County, North Carolina
William Reves (Reeves) was described as of Johnston County, North Carolina when, in 1746, he received a McCulloch land grant for 400 acres on the Neuse River in what soon became part of Orange County, then Johnston once again in the 1760's and finally Wake County at its inception in 1771. That land is now part of Durham County and just outside the city of Durham. His son, William Reves, served as a Tax Collector and Assessor in Wake County and was a Justice of the court there until at least 1803. He is named as a DAR Patriot based upon his civil service during the Revolution. Once incorrectly believed to be associated with the Reeves family in Granville County, Y-DNA testing has proven that was not the case. Descendants of this family who have tested are found in DNA Group 6A matching descendants of George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia at Location #13.

#12 - Reeves Families of Orange County, North Carolina
There were at least three Reeves families living in Orange County, North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War. Revolutionary War soldier John Reeves who stated in his 1834 pension affidavit that he was born in North Carolina in 1747 and volunteered from Orange County in 1776. George Reeves, Sr. appears in Orange County by 1772 when a deed for 200 acres from Ruffin MacNair was proved in court there. The parents of both George and John Reeves are unknown as is whether there was any family connection between them. Also living in Orange County shortly before these individuals are recorded there was William Reeves (Reves) identified in Location #11 from 1746. There is also no historical record to suggest that there was a family attachment to that family whose DNA results are identified with Group 6A of the Reeves DNA Project. Sadly, no one whose lineage is documented from either John or George Reeves has done a DNA test which would help to identify their family connections.

#13 - George Reeves (Reves), Sr. of Grayson County, Virginia
George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia migrated from the Neuse River basin in Johnston County, North Carolina to the New River area along the border between Grayson, Virginia and Ashe, North Carolina in 1767. George Reeves is documented as a Revolutionary War Patriot by the DAR based upon his service as a Lieutenant in McDonald's Company in Montgomery County, Virginia. DNA of three descendants of George Reeves matches that of descendants of William Reves of Location #11 above. George along with his father-in-law Richard Burton can also be found in the records of early Orange and Johnston counties before leaving that area around 1765. In 1805, George Reeves gave a statement in a court case indicating that he arrived in the New River area of southwestern Virginia in 1767 which would agree with his absence from Johnston County circa 1765. George Reeves' descendants are found in DNA Group 6A.

#14 - William Reaves of Wayne County, North Carolina
The Reaves family of Wayne County, North Carolina descends from William Reaves who died there in 1793. He appears to be the person by that name who was living in now extinct Dobbs County by the late 1750's as established by deed indexes which are the only extant records for that area due to a courthouse fire. He also appears to be the individual by that name who was listed on the 1769 tax lists of Dobbs County. His will written in 1790 naming his children was presented for probate at the April Court 1793 in Wayne County. His origins had been a mystery until several of his documented descendants participated in the Reeves FtDNA Project and were found to match descendants of William Reeves who died in Granville County in 1751. Those descendants are found in DNA Group 3.

#15 - Reeves Families of Bladen, Cumberland and Brunswick, North Carolina
The Reeves/Reaves families of Bladen, Cumberland and Brunswick counties are very likely several different lineages. A Robert Reeves was listed on the 1742 tax lists of Bladen County and a 1750 grant for 100 acres places an Edward Reeves there. Whether he is the same Edward Reeves who was a Bladen County taxpayer in 1763 is unknown. By 1773 another Reeves' individual, Nathaniel, is recorded in Bladen County east of Harrison's Creek and again in 1779 along with a Zachariah Reeves. In the 1790 and subsequent censuses, both Nathaniel and Zachariah were listed in Cumberland County. In neighboring Brunswick County, Solomon and Mark Reaves are believed to be sons of William Reaves and Prudence Harralson. Interestingly, Prudence Harralson was the daughter of Paul Harralson of Edgecombe County who was involved in many dealings with William Reeves, Jr. of the Granville County family. No one from any of these families has participated in the Reeves DNA Project which could give some clue as to their origins and whether they were related or have connections to any of the other Reeves' families in colonial North America.

#16 - John and Moses Reeve(s) of Lancaster County, South Carolina
John and Moses Reeve(s) who were located in the area of Lancaster, South Carolina before 1780 appear to be sons of George Reeve of Prince William County, Virginia - see Location #2 above. British Mercantile Claims 1775-1803 for claims relating to Prince William County Customers and/or Residents list a John Reeves and Moses Reeves. This was from a list of debts due William Cunningham and Company, of Glasgow, Scotland, at their Falmouth Store before the Revolution. The notes indicate that John Reeves Removed about twenty years ago. John Reeves was living above Camden by July 1775 and Chester County deeds place Moses Reeves in the area as early as 1777. The Revolutionary War pension statement of Daniel Reeves has affidavits from Daniel's brother William Reeves and his cousin Jesse that provide some background on the family in South Carolina. The connection between these Reeve(s) families to those members in Prince William County, Virginia has been established by Y-DNA testing where they match descendants of George Reeve who migrated to Kentucky and Ohio as well as a descendant of his brother John who migrated to South Carolina. Participants from these families are members of DNA Group 10.

#17 - Thomas Reeves of Richmond & Washington Counties, Georgia
Thomas Reeve, the son of George Reeve and Ann Doggett of Prince William County, appears to be the individual by that name who settled in Washington County, Georgia. It is very probable that this is the Thomas Reeve who received a bounty land warrant in Washington County, Georgia in 1784 and died there around April 1787. The British Mercantile Accounts show a Thomas Reeves indebted to a British mercantile company, William Cunningham and Company, of Glasgow, at their Falmouth Store, with a bill for 6 pounds, 5 shillings, and 9 pence due in May of 1774. After the Revolutionary War, the company assigned an agent to determine the status of the company's accounts receivable in Virginia; the agent investigating the claim against Thomas Reeves whose finished report dates from 1803 concluded that the man in question had "moved to Georgia about twenty years ago, then solvent." This would suggest that Thomas Reeves left Prince William prior to 1783. It is regrettable that no one from this family has participated in the Reeves Y-DNA Project to prove the family connection.


Link to full size map showing water courses and more detail in 1733 Map of North America.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Reves Family of Halifax County, Virginia

Over the last few years, the Library of Virginia has been scanning original documents from the Chancery Court case files of Virginia counties. These records are a wonderful source of family records which were previously unavailable online. As anyone who follows this blog knows, I am always thrilled to find original signatures of Reeves individuals especially when they are from my Reeves or Reves family. Signatures are such a great help in differentiating between early Reeves families where some names such as William, George and various others were frequently used by numerous completely unrelated Reeves' families.

After a wait of several years, the LVA has begun to add the images of Chancery Court cases for Halifax County. These images have produced many interesting documents and original signatures for the Reves family there who descend from Peter Reves, brother of my third great grandfather George Reeves (Reves) of Wake County, North Carolina who died in Warren County, Kentucky.
The 1834 document above is in relation to the sale of 103 acres on Runaway Creek which had belonged to Peter Reves' son William T. Reves who died in 1829. William was only about 35 years old when he died and his estate appears to have had more debts than assets so this tract of land adjoining that of his widow was purchased by his father. The document contains the signatures of Peter Reves as well as those of his son Peter M. Reves and his son-in-law Bird Lanier Ferrell.
Michal Hoskins Reves, widow of William T. Reves, signed the 1831 document on the left which is her answer to the Chancery bill regarding her husband's estate. I find it interesting that Michal could sign her name in an era when few women were literate. The document also lists the names of their children William H. Reves, Thomas B. Reves, Elizabeth M. Reves, Ann T. Reves, Peter M. Reves, Sarah G. Reves and John Y. A. Reves.
The above 1860 letter from William Bolivar (W.B.) Ferrell, grandson of Peter Reves, pertains to a Chancery case filed by his father William C. Ferrell against the estate of Peter Reves following his death in 1857. William C. Ferrell, another son-in-law was the husband of Peter's daughter Elizabeth who died circa 1830. For whatever reason, Peter Reves will did not name William C. Ferrell or the heirs of Elizabeth Reves Ferrell in his 1854 will. He did, however, write a codicil to the will in 1855 in which he included Elizabeth Ferrell Chaney, daughter of Elizabeth Reves and William C. Ferrell.

The document on the right is a receipt signed by Peter's son Peter M. Reves in 1875 and another example of his signature. After his death in 1876, once again there is a Chancery suit in regard to his estate. The husband of his daughter Elizabeth, Walter S. Hazelwood, filed suit against all of the heirs of Peter M. Reves in order to have the court order a division of his lands among his heirs. The children and grandchildren of Peter M. Reves are named in the suit as Virginia T. Burress along with her daughters Annie and Susan J. Burress; Susan Ann Reeves; James Coates and Maud his wife; Joel T. Anderson and Judith P. his wife; R. C. Chaney and Lucy his wife; Bettie W., William T., Nettie L. and Maggie May Reeves children of Peter M. Reeves, Jr. deceased; William C. Reeves and R. (Robert) E. Reeves.

As unpleasant as I'm sure these Chancery cases among an individual's heirs were, they provide an abundance of tidbits regarding the family's genealogy and make the lives of researchers several hundred years later much easier.



Other posts pertaining to this Halifax County, Virginia Reves family:
Peter Reves of Halifax County, Virginia
William Reeves of Madison County, Kentucky
George Reeves of Warren County, Kentucky
Uncle Tommy Reeves of Malden, Missouri

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Tale of Adventuring in Chowan Country

Actual historical documents that detail the history of early settlers to the American colonies always fascinate me and the story told by one Thomas Osman in a deposition for a court case in Southold Town, Long Island in 1658 is particularly interesting. The Reeve families who settled in Long Island, New York are mentioned in the 1658 deposition that was transcribed as follows:

A copy of the transcription of the deposition was included in the Southold Town 1636-1939 Commemorative Book. The book noted that the original of the deposition was in the possession of a member of the local Long Island Historical Society. That individual died in 1944 and the location of the original deposition is unknown, if in fact it does still exist. In 1969 the 50 page Study of the 1658 and 1686 Depositions of Thomas Osman compiled by Wesley L. Baker was published chronicling the search by Baker and other individuals for the original document.

According to English emigration records, in 1635 a Thomas Reeve, age 24, sailed from London for St. Christopher, in the West Indies along with William Salmon, 25, and Thomas Terrill, 18.

Thomas Osman's deposition tells the story of his journey in 1636, along with a group which included James Reeve and his father-in-law William Purrier, from the "Summer Isles" in the Caribbean to the Chowan Country in what is now North Carolina for the purpose of distilling "spirits of resin" for the production of turpentine. After arriving in the Chowan country, they found that the area abounded with other parties of Englishmen with similar plans. One of the parties they met while there who had also come from the Summer Isles included a Thomas Reeve who has been described in some accounts as the brother of James Reeve. Because of the excessive competition in North Carolina they set sail up the coast to the Hashamomock Neck in Long Island, New York where one of the party already owned land.

Both Thomas Reeve and James Reeve lived on Long Island for the rest of their lives and raised their families there. Thomas appears to have died sometime around 1665 when he ceased to be listed in land records and a "widow Reeve" appeared. James Reeve died in 1698 leaving a will which was probated in Southold, Long Island.

Although the Study of the 1658 and 1686 Depositions of Thomas Osman did not conclude that Thomas and James Reeve were related based upon available evidence in 1969, recent DNA results for a descendant of James Reeve match several descendants of Thomas Reeve which establishes that they probably were brothers as previously believed.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Reaves' Chapel Church

Today I happened upon this great photo of the Reaves' Chapel Church which was shared by Gene on his Facebook page Eugene's Carolina Reflections. I asked Gene if I might share it here since we try to share all things Reeves, Reaves and Rives along with other misc. variations and he graciously agreed.


Besides having his own Facebook page, Gene also shares his photos on one of my favorite FB pages Abandoned, Old & Interesting Places - North Carolina.

The chapel was built by former slaves of the Cedar Hill Plantation in Brunswick County, North Carolina after the Civil War. People from other plantations also began to worship at the chapel after the war and sometime around 1909 it was decided to move the church. Witnesses recalled seeing the congregation move the chapel with a team of oxen on logs. The chapel was then named after the man who donated the land, Edward Reaves.

The people of this community are the descendants of West African slaves and known as the Gullah-Geechee people. The Gullah-Geechee developed their own language which was a combination of at least three African languages and English, and is still spoken today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Another Reeves' Mystery Solved?

The origins of John Reeves who died in Craven County, North Carolina in 1790 have previously been a mystery but recent Y Chromosome DNA tests of a direct descendant have identified another Reeves with whom he shares 37 of 37 markers indicating a close family connection. See previous post Craven County's John Reeves from 2012. Not only is it exciting to finally find the origins of John Reeves of Craven County, but also to identify the DNA of the Reeves of Charles and St. Mary's Counties in Maryland. There was a large Reeves' presence in those counties during the 18th century yet this is the first time a descendant from that lineage has tested.

Southern Maryland
Charles and St. Mary's Counties
The Reeves' individual who is a 37/37 match to the descendant of John Reeves of Craven County descends from Josias Reeves who migrated to Ohio where he died in Pickaway County in 1841. Josias was the son of Thomas Reeves and Mary Murphy of Charles County, Maryland. This individual has not joined the Reeves DNA Project but when FtDNA's complete database was searched they were found to have the previously mentioned 37/37 match to the descendant of John Reeves' of Craven County NC.

John Reeves' will was written on the 13th of July in 1790 and he was deceased by September of that year when it was probated, leaving his wife Courtney, their two small children, Jestenon, Francis and another child that would be born after his death, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Reeves. Older children by a first wife are named in that will as Elizabeth Cheshire, Jean Reeves and Mary Wilson. The identity of his first wife is unknown but he married a second time to the widow Mrs. Courtney Taylor Reed sometime after 10 July 1783 when she made a purchase at the estate sale of Frederick Foster in Craven County, North Carolina as "Courtney Reed".

A St. Mary's County deed of 16 Nov 1772 between John Reeves and Justinian Jordan refers to John Reeves as “of Halifax County in the Colony of North Carolina but now in St. Mary's County in Maryland” has interested me since I happened upon it some years ago. The use of the unusual name "Jestenon" (sic Justinion ?) for his child seemed to be another indication of a connection between the John Reeves of Craven NC and John Reeves of Halifax NC/Charles MD. John Reeves was the son of Ubgate Reeves of Charles County and is found in numerous other documents along with Justinion Jordan. There is, however, no known family connection between the two individuals. The identity of John Reeves' first wife and children, if any, is also unknown. He had obviously removed from Charles County sometime after 1760 and was living in Halifax County in North Carolina. This deed appears to be one of the last references to John Reeves in the records of St. Mary's or Charles counties which may suggest that he returned to North Carolina where he died.

The 1763 St. Mary's County will of James Mills leaves the “plantation whereon John Reeves now lives” to his grandson John Jordan. James Mills also left 5000# of tobacco to Lydia Reeves but no relationship is stated. It is unknown whether this could be another daughter of James Mills who was married to John Reeves, possibly his first wife and the mother of the older children named in his will. John Reeves is found in numerous transactions with both the Mills and Jordan families in Charles and St. Mary's Counties.

Once again, DNA is a thrilling compliment to traditional genealogical research.

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 Genealogy.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.