Saturday, September 28, 2019

Surprises thru DNA

Recently several descendants of Hardy Reaves of Duplin County, North Carolina have completed Y-DNA tests. It had always been supposed that Hardy was in some way related to the family of William Reaves who died in Wayne County in 1793 since they were in close proximity and both lineages used the spelling "Reaves". Although William named no son Hardy in his 1790 will, there was always the chance that Hardy could have been a brother or nephew.

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.
It is unclear exactly which Hardy Reaves this document pertains to and there appear to be two different individuals by that name in early Duplin County. In the 1790 census, there are two Hardy Reaves recorded in Duplin County. One Hardy Reaves is listed with a household consisting of 4 Males over 16, 4 Males under 16 and 5 Females on page 44 of the census listing of James Kenan. Another Hardy Reeves is listed on page 40 of that same census listing with a household containing 2 Males over 16, 3 Males under 16 and 5 females. Since the total persons in the households differ, presumably there were two Hardy Reaves living in fairly close proximity in Duplin County but this could also be the result of errors by census enumerators. One of these Hardy Reaves is undoubtedly the parent of the next generation Hardy Reaves born 1785.

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.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Colonial Commandments For Names

I saw this today and couldn't resist sharing it here. Sadly, all of these commandments seem to have been strictly followed by our colonial ancestors. To make it a little more relevant for Reeves research, the given name George should be included in Nbr. 1.


Source - Detroit Society for Genealogical Research

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Curtis F. Reeves' Missing Children

Confluence of the Ohio & Tennessee Rivers at Paducah, Kentucky
My 2nd great grandfather's brother, Curtis F. Reeves was born on the 24th of January, 1807 in Madison County, Kentucky to George Reeves and Elizabeth Wilkerson. Curtis died in 1845 at the young age of 38. For many years Eliza Bryant who he married in McCracken County, Kentucky in 1841 was believed to be his only wife and their sons Benjamin F., born about 1843 and William H. born a year later were thought to be his only children. A few years ago I became aware of a prior marriage to Delilah Doolin of Butler County which was adjacent to Warren County where his family had moved around 1820.

Although there is no marriage recorded between Curtis F. Reeves and Delilah Doolin, in April of 1833 after the death of her father, Delilah, her mother Nancy and her siblings conveyed a tract of land on the banks of the Green River in Butler County, Kentucky to Jesse Lee. Curtis Reeves signed that deed as the husband of Delilah Doolin which establishes that they had married at some time prior to early 1833. Within the next couple of years following the death of their mother, Curtis along with his younger brothers William H. and Sidney Preston Reeves left Warren County and migrated to the westernmost area of Kentucky where they were recorded in McCracken County by 1840. A biography of his brother William Harrison Reeves states that he left Warren County as a teenager after the death of his mother and lived in the household of an older brother in the Jackson Purchase area.

Throughout the later part of the decade 1830-1840, Curtis is found in various records of McCracken County. In January of 1839 he was appointed to the county court as a Justice of the Peace. The 1840 census of McCracken County shows that Curtis and Delilah had seven children by 1840. The census of that year lists their household as including 2 males 0-5, 1 male 5-9, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 30-39, 2 females 5-9, 1 female 10-15 and 1 female 30-39. Delilah apparently died sometime shortly after that census was recorded in 1840 for in March of 1841, Curtis was remarried to Eliza Bryant in McCracken County.
14 January 1839
Court Order Book A, pg 370
By July of 1840, Curtis resigned his position as a Justice of the Peace. The court order book where it is logged gives no explanation or reason for the resignation. The two sons born during his marriage to Eliza Bryant were born in Kentucky in 1843 and 1844 after which he moved to Mississippi County, Missouri. The Goodspeed's biography of his son William H. states that "owing to the overflow of that year", he became disgusted with the country (Missouri) and returned to his native State. However, he later returned to Missouri where he died in Wayne County in 1845. By 1850 his widow with their two sons had returned to Missouri where she had remarried to an Edward Fleece and was living in Mississippi County as recorded in that census. None of Curtis' children from his marriage to Delilah Doolin are listed in the household and their whereabouts are unknown.

Over the years I have searched the households of other Reeves' family members for these children but have never found any likely candidates, other than a 16 year old George Reeves living in the household of Curtis' brother William Harrison Reeves in 1850. However, since he had another nephew of that name and age, there is no way to determine whether this was one of Curtis' orphans. I continue to search for Curtis' children and hopefully someday I'll have some success.

In the meantime, I have found one possibility in Y-DNA matches. A few years ago I found a male third cousin who was willing to do a Y-DNA test for which I paid so we would have genetic evidence of any family connections. Among those DNA matches is an individual with the surname Davis. I have written to this individual but he appears to now be deceased. Besides having Y-DNA that matches all the members of DNA Group 6A where descendants of this family are found, his earliest known ancestor is recorded as having been born in McCracken County, Kentucky in 1839. To add to the inferential evidence that this could have been one of Curtis' orphans, there are several connections with the Davis family in this area. Delilah Doolin's sister Sarah also married into the Davis family in Kentucky. Although this by no means proves that this Davis DNA match is one of Curtis Reeves' children, so far nothing has been found to rule it out. I'll just keep looking for these children in hopes of eventually finding them.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Elusive Sidney King Reeves

One of the many Reeves' mysteries is to which family Sidney King Reeves belongs. He appeared in Pike County, Georgia on the 1830 census after marrying Sarah Caroline Nicholson in Walton County in 1829. Numerous incorrect theories have circulated regarding his lineage, one of which places him among the children of William Reeves of Guilford County, North Carolina who died in Wilkes County, Georgia in 1816. The will of William Reeves disproves that theory since he is not listed among the children named in William's 1816 will. His descendants and other Reeves' researchers have tried unsuccessfully to find his origins, but the only clue to his life before his appearance in Georgia is the fact that in every census, his place of birth is recorded as North Carolina.

The Raleigh Register pub. 25 Jun 1824
Jonathan Reeves, one of my colleagues at The Reeves Project, recently happened upon the pictured newspaper ad when searching historical papers. Although The Raleigh Register published articles pertaining to news and individuals throughout North Carolina, a Charles Fowler was a resident of Wake County at this time which indicates the location was undoubtedly Raleigh. On 6 Jan 1826 and again on 13 Jan 1826, another related newspaper, the Weekly Raleigh Register published a listing of letters remaining in the post office at Raleigh on the 1st of January 1826 and in both editions Sidney Reeves was listed.

After finding the probable location of Sidney King Reeves home and presumably his family as well, I've spent much of the last week searching the records of Wake County as well as the adjacent counties. My own Reeves family had been there and in the counties from which it was formed since at least 1746. Being familiar with Wake County and families with a variation of the Reeves/Reaves/Reavis surname I knew that after the migration of my 4th great grandfather, William Reeves, and all but one of his sons by 1803 Sidney was not a descendant of that family. The only son remaining in Wake was John Reeves who died in 1824 and all of his children are recorded in probate documents and property divisions. That left the Reavis family who descend from Isaac and Samuel Reavis, sons of William Reavis who died in Northampton County. The sons of both Isaac and Samuel are well documented so we can be sure that Sidney K. Reeves was not part of that lineage.

The only other Reeves family residing in Wake County in the early part of the 19th century descends from Revolutionary Soldier Frederick Reeves (originally Rives) and his wife Elizabeth. An 1843 statement made by their son Hartwell Reeves, born 1 March 1783, when he petitioned to draw pension benefits of his father's service after the death of his mother in 1837 gives some limited information regarding this family. The only surviving son of Frederick Reeves, Hartwell, appears to have been a lifelong resident of Wake County and purchased a lot in Raleigh in 1809. Hartwell and his sons Henderson and Alpheus were all tradesmen. The 1850 census of Wake County lists each of them as shoe makers. This might be significant in that Sidney K. Reeves was apprenticed to a tailor to learn a trade.

Hartwell Reeves is known to have had at least three wives beginning with a marriage in Wake County to Christian Sugg in 1811. However, he would have been an adult in 1804 and could have married around that time, possibly fathering a child in 1806. No marriage record has been found prior to 1811, but sadly the 1810 and 1820 census of Wake County are not extant to verify whether he did in fact have a male child born circa 1806.

To date, no Reeves male descending from the lineage of Sidney King Reeves has participated in the Reeves Y-DNA Project which could provide verification of the Reeves family to which Sidney King Reeves belonged. The above mentioned family of Frederick Reeves as well as that of his brother Richard Reaves who lived in Franklin County adjacent to Wake are the most likely candidates for the family to which Sidney belongs. Richard Reeves (Reaves) and his second wife Mary had 3 male children born 1800-1810 per the 1810 census but only two of them have currently been identified.

Frederick and Richard Reeves were sons of William Rives of Surry County, Virginia who died 1778 in Bute County, North Carolina. That lineage is documented among the participants of the Reeves Y-DNA Project found in DNA Group 8 who appear to descend from the Ryves family of Dorset in England.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

1777 Tavern Menu

In the course of searching an Orange County, North Carolina book of unindexed court minutes page by page, I happened upon this menu. In 1777 the court orders are full of countless entries that were a product of the colonies' Declaration of Independence and the resulting Revolution. New county officials had to be appointed, lists of individuals who had failed to take an oath of allegiance to the new country documented and countless other orders which resulted from the change in the colonies' government affiliation.

Amongst all the very serious entries pertaining to our separation from Great Britain, the court order book also included this menu and price list that had been approved by the Orange County Court which I thought should be shared.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Just Supposin' Again

Since I wrote the post Just Supposin' several months ago, I found a little more documentation that serves to support my theory that the George Reeves who died in Wake County in 1778 could have been the missing member by that name of the family of Henry Reeves of Essex County, Virginia. In that post I shared my recent thoughts that he could be the link that connects John Reeves of Taylor County, Kentucky whose descendants are Y-DNA matches to known descendants of Henry Reeves through John Reeves of Augusta County, Virginia. John was a son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. initially of Essex County who died in Spotsylvania County in 1760. Thomas was a son of Henry Reeves, Jr. and grandson of Henry Reeves in addition to being the father of the missing George Reeves detailed in this post.

I became aware of this George Reeves in Wake County when I happened upon a 1778 court order apprenticing his children Mary and John to residents in the county. Based upon proximity, the surname Reeves and the fact that the individuals his children were apprenticed to, Woodson Daniel and Reuben Allen, were both close associates of my ancestor William Reeves, I wrongly assumed he must have belonged to that family.
September 1778 Court
[213]-75
Ordered that Mary Reeves orphan of George Reeves deced. be bound unto Reuben Allen unto She come to age at this time being Eight Years of Age.
Ordered that John Reeves orphan of George Reeves deced. be bound an Apprentice unto Woodson Daniel untill he come to the Age of twenty one Years being about this time the Age of three Years.
Although at the time it did seem strange that these children would have been apprenticed to neighbors rather than cared for by family members and that no tidbits of information linking John and Mary Reeves, orphans of this George, to the family of William Reeves of Wake County had ever been found. It also became increasingly more apparent that it was George Reeves of Grayson County, due to both genetic and documentary evidence in Orange and Johnston counties who was a member of the William Reeves' family, not the George Reeves who died in 1778.

Excerpt from Markam Map of Early Orange County Grants
The primary impediment to my suppositions that this George Reeves could be the missing son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. from Spotsylvania County, Virginia was the fact that there seemed to be no reason for his sudden appearance in north central North Carolina. However, remembering that his first cousin Elizabeth Gatewood had married Peter Copeland who was believed to have been born in North Carolina, I felt that could have been a factor in George Reeves' appearance there after his father's death since Elizabeth and Peter were said to have moved back to North Carolina a few years after their marriage. After writing the first post and sharing this theory, I decided to do more research in the area of Wake County.

In the course of that new effort to research this theory, I happened to notice that Peter Copeland was listed as one of the early property owners in Orange County, North Carolina. This area of the upper Neuse River basin had initially been part of Craven County, then Orange County from around 1752 until the early 1760's when it became part of Johnston County and then back to Wake County at its inception in 1771. See excerpt of the Markham Map of eastern Orange County above with Peter Copland's land along the Eno River noted. This is the immediate area where William Reeves settled in 1746 and both of the individuals with whom George Reeves' orphans were apprenticed were located. Reuben Allen's tract is located a little to the south of Peter Copeland's tract while Woodson Daniel's property was on the north side of the Neuse River which is not included in this map but was also in close proximity.

Peter Copeland had been living in Henry County, Virginia for several years when he sold this property in 1779 based upon an Orange County deed of 25 March 1779 which is one of three deeds by Peter Copeland recorded in Deed Book B, pages 65-70.
Orange County NC, Deed Book B, pg. 70
As valuable as this information is, it still does not constitute proof that the George Reeves who died in Wake County in 1778 was the son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. of Essex and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia but it does add to the inferential data that suggests this connection. Surely with continued research, further tidbits can be found to add to the accumulation of additional evidence.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Gatewood Girls

Patience Reeves was a daughter of Henry Reeves, Jr. of Essex County, Virginia and is named as a legatee in his 1728 will. By the time Henry wrote his will, Patience was married to Richard Gatewood for Henry mentions a debt of £14 owed him by his son-in-law Richard Gatewood in that will. Richard and Patience Reeves Gatewood had four daughters as documented in the probate records of Essex County - Elizabeth, Sarah, Patience and Ann.

By November of 1745 both Richard and Patience Gatewood were deceased. Their daughter Ann Gatewood was also deceased and her portion of their estates was divided among the three surviving daughters.

Elizabeth and Sarah appear to have not reached age 21 by the time Patience Reeves Gatewood died for both were appointed guardians to oversee their estates. No guardian was appointed for daughter Patience who was either age 21 by this time or possibly married.

Over the course of the next decade as the daughters of Patience Reeves Gatewood married, they and their families all left the Essex County area and by 1767 sons-in-laws Peter Copeland, husband of Elizabeth Gatewood, and Waters Dunn, husband of Sarah Gatewood, are listed on the tithables list of Pittsylvania County. Joseph Farguson who married Patience Gatewood also settled in Pittsylvania County where he is recorded as a juror in June Court 1767 [Court Records Book 1 p55] and having taken the Oath for Constable in Pittsylvania County at the same court in 1767.

When the 1753 will of Patience's brother George Reeves was written, her daughter Elizabeth was named as Elizabeth Copeland, one of the legatees, and her husband Peter Copeland was appointed as one of the executors of the will. Elizabeth and Peter Copeland reportedly lived for a time in Caroline County, Virginia after their marriage, then moved to North Carolina for a brief time where Peter is listed on the 1767 tax lists of Cumberland County. That same year, they returned to Virginia where by July Peter Copeland was listed as a tithable in Pittsylvania County. Peter was one of the first Justices of the Peace for Pittsylvania County and lived in that portion of the county which later became Henry. Peter and Elizabeth Copeland are recorded repeatedly in the deed records of Henry County over the subsequent years with the last mention of Elizabeth Copeland in 1780. In a deed dated the 20th of April, 1780 Elizabeth is mentioned as being unable to travel to and from the court to sign a dower release. The deed records statements by witnesses that Elizabeth did relinquish her right of dower to the one thousand acre tract being conveyed by Peter Copeland in that deed. Elizabeth and Peter Copeland both appear to have been deceased by 1790 when Charles Copland of Richmond City, Virginia as executor of Peter Copland was settling his estate.

Patience Gatewood was also a legatee in her uncle George Reeves 1753 Spotsylvania County will. In that will she is named as Patience Gatewood and it is believed that she was first married to an unknown Gatewood who was the father of daughter Ann Frazier Gatewood. A 1779 agreement recorded in Henry County documents that Patience Gatewood Farguson was the mother of Ann Frazier Gatewood. There is currently no documentation as to whether any children were born to Joseph Farguson and Patience Gatewood which indicates that much more research is needed of the records of Pittsylvania and Henry counties in Virginia.

The marriage of Sarah Gatewood to Waters Dunn apparently did not take place prior to the death of her mother, Patience, for she is named Gatewood in Patience's will; however, the marriage must have taken place shortly thereafter since their oldest child was born around 1746. Waters Dunn was also associated with the family by the time Patience's will was being probated for he gave a security bond for the guardian appointed to represent Elizabeth Gatewood. Within the next decade Sarah and Waters Dunn moved their family to Pittsylvania county along with her sisters Elizabeth and Patience and their families. Each of these families were located in the area of Pittsylvania County that became Henry County after it's formation. Waters Dunn, Waters Dunn, Jr. William Dunn and Richard Dunn are each listed on the 1778 tax lists of Henry County. Sarah Gatewood Dunn appears to have died around 1785 for Waters Dunn remarried to Ann Farguson in 1786. Waters Dunn along with all of their children migrated to Georgia after Sarah's death. Waters Dunn, Sr. died in Columbia County, Georgia in 1803 and the children of Sarah and Waters Dunn are documented in his will.