Wednesday, December 21, 2011

William Reeves of York County, South Carolina

William Reeves who died in York, SC in 1821 was believed to be William Reeves, Jr., son of William Reeves who died in Granville County, North Carolina in 1751. This appears to have been based upon the book The Reeves Review II but seems unrealistic since William Reeves, Jr. would have been approximately 110 years old when he died in 1821 in York County, South Carolina if that were the case. Although that is not impossible, it is certainly unlikely and extremely unusual.

William Reeves, Jr., son of William who died in Granville NC in 1751, is found in the deed records of Edgecombe County from around 1728 until 28 Jun 1758 along with his wife, Hardy. He is last mentioned there in a deed from Samuel Hardy to Thomas Jackson, both of Edgecombe (Halifax) County, which references land adjoining William Reeves and Persimmon Tree Creek. There is no further documentation regarding William Reeves, Jr. and certainly none that record him with any other wife than Hardy whose maiden name is unknown.

William Reeves, Jr. witnessed a Bertie County NC deed from Ralph Mason to his father, William Reeves circa 1728/29. The required age to witness a deed in North Carolina at that time was 14, accordingly William Reeves, Jr. would have been born before 1714. Additionally, in the 1782 tax lists of the Fishing Creek District of Granville County, his brother Malachi Reeves is noted as "Aged" or over 60, whereas William Reeves is not. It is far more likely that a generation was missed and the William Reeves with wife Elizabeth who died in York, South Carolina was a son or nephew of William Reeves, Jr., born circa 1710.

William Reeves, Jr. described as "of Edgecombe County" deeded land to his brother Malachi in 1753 which appears to be the last transaction that definitely pertains to him in Granville County.

The bulk of the documentation found in Granville County regarding this particular William Reeves indicates that he was the son of Malachi Reeves. Malachi was listed with 3 tithes in 1755 in Granville County - himself, William and the negro Jackson. Again in the 1762 tax lists of the Fishing Creek District, sons William and Jonathan are listed with Malachi.

William Reeves received pay for 12 days service in the Granville County Militia under Colonel Robert Harris on March 24, 1769. William Reeves, Jr. would have been approximately 60 years old at this time and it’s doubtful, although not impossible, that he would have served in the militia.

He was listed as a taxpayer in Granville County along with Malachi in 1769 and again in 1771. In 1788, William was a taxpayer in Tabb’s Creek District, Granville County. In August of that year, he and Joseph Hays were added to the hands of Avery Parham to oversee the Bankes Road in Granville County. Again, although not impossible, highly unlikely that an individual approximately 70 years old would be assigned the duties of maintenance on a road crew.

The eight children of William and Elizabeth Reeves as documented in York County Probate Records, Case Nbr. 45, File 1904 (William) and Will Book F, Pgs 225-226 (Elizabeth) are:

1. Hardy Reeves
2. Mary Reeves, m. William Thomasson
3. Willis Reeves
4. Wiley Reeves
5. Tabitha Reeves, m. James B. Glover
6. Elizabeth Reeves, m1. Unknown Glover, m2. James Gaulden, m3. James B. Glover
7. William Reeves, Jr.
8. Lucy Reeves, m. William Glover

Exhaustive research of the Granville County NC tax and deed records, only yield one individual named William Reeves during the years 1755 through 1800 and that person was William Reeves, the son of Malachi Reeves, and it was he who relocated to York County, South Carolina around 1800.

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