Thursday, October 13, 2011

Busting the Single Immigrant Myth

Did you know that hundreds of individuals with the surname Reeves (or related surname) were immigrants into the American colonies before the Revolution? Yes, in Virginia alone, one researcher documented seventy-eight Reeves who were transported to that colony before 1700, and that list was compiled from a relatively small set of sources.

The Reeves DNA project, with its 108 participants, has already identified at least fourteen genetically distinct lines of Reeves with another twenty-one participants who don’t match any of those fourteen groups.

So you see, the Reeves community form a pretty diverse group.

It is an unfortunate fact that research into the colonial origins of many Reeves families has been stymied by an unfounded assumption that there was but a single immigrant from whom most Southern Reeves descend. Many Reeves researchers, including a few book authors, have claimed descent from Robert Ryves, born 1490 in England, but genetic studies have shown that this is simply not possible. In addition, research has confirmed multiple lines of descent from multiple immigrants.

In future posts, we will identify some of the Reeves lines where more research is needed to identify family origins. In the meantime, don't let the spelling of the name limit your research. In some lines, all possible spellings appear, often in the same generation, and sometimes for the same person.

No comments:

Post a Comment