Friday, October 21, 2011

The Assorted Reeves of Halifax County, Virginia

In the course of researching my own Reeves family, I found that between 1790 and 1860 there were at least three different Reeves’ family lines and possibly a fourth in Halifax County, Virginia .

Daniel Reaves, great grandson of Asher ReavesThe spelling of the surname of the earliest Reeves' family found in Halifax County is usually "Reaves". According to the pension statement of Ashur Reaves (also spelled Asher), taken in Greene County, Ohio on 23 Nov 1832, he was born in Prince William County, Virginia in 1757. He moved from there to Halifax County, Virginia with his family (parents were unnamed) and it was from there he entered the service around 1778. When he returned from that tour of duty, his father had moved to Wilkes County, North Carolina so he then moved there to join his family. From there he served several more tours of duty and after being finally discharged, he returned to Halifax County, Virginia where he married Diana Miller and lived for approximately 16 years.

Before 1800, a George Reaves, Sr. was also recorded in the tax lists of Halifax. His wife is unknown, but George Reaves, Jr., Elijah Reaves (married Elizabeth Wilson) and Polly Reaves (married William Wilson) appear to be some of his children.

It is unknown whether he was related to Ashur or not but there is a George Reaves described as "of Wilkes County, North Carolina" in a Halifax deed dated September 6, 1793 and named as one of the legatees of John Epps, deceased. The connection to Wilkes County, NC for both Ashur and George may indicate that they were of the same Reaves family.

The second Reeves family located in Halifax before 1800 is that of Daniel Reeves who bought land in Halifax County on Deep Bottom Creek in 1797 and sold it in 1799. In Pittsylvania County on 10 Oct 1799, he married Nancy Dodson, but was back in Halifax County in 1807 when he bought 72 acres on Deep Bottom Creek. He is recorded there in the census records from 1820 until his death in 1846.

Daniel Reeves was also listed as Rives repeatedly in the records of Halifax and Pittsylania Counties. His family origins are unknown, but due to the repeated use of the Rives variation of the surname, he may have descended from the Rives in nearby Franklin, Dinwiddie or Brunswick counties of Virginia.

The third known Reeves lineage is that of my own line where three descendants have been placed in DNA Group 6 of the Reeves DNA Project. Within a few years after Peter Reves, the brother of my ggg grandfather George Reves, married Ann “Nancy” Tucker of Lunenburg County, he relocated from Wake County, North Carolina to Halifax where by 1800 he is recorded in the tax lists of that year. By 1801, his brother Charles who had also married into the Tucker family, moved from Wake County to Halifax.

There are countless records in Halifax County of the descendants of these three Reeves' lineages with their surnames constantly mispelled. Unlike many other counties, genealogists are fortunate in that most Halifax marriage records are extant from around 1790 and usually include the parents' names which has been a great benefit in differentiating between these families.

Halifax County is just one of many examples of the pitfalls of assuming that all Reeves in a particular area must be related.

(Photo by Mark Cottrell for Findagrave.)


  1. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

  2. Welcome to the Blogging community. I have 2 sets of Reeves in my family, think I'll follow your blog for a while, it could prove fruitful.