Sunday, January 8, 2012

Maritime Records

Maritime records are a relatively unexplored source of information about Reeves/Rives who emigrated from England to the Virginia colony.

In his book The Ryves-Rives-Reaves Families of Europe and America, W Patrick Reaves includes the following tantalizing, but flawed, references to shipping records:

The Ryves, as indicated by English shipping records in the Virginia colonies, were associated with the following ships:

  • "The Griffin"
  • "Providence" (owned by Charles Ryves)
  • "Sarah" (the name of Timothy's wife. This ship was inherited by Charles Ryves in 1689 according to VA Maritime archives record 5R 10081, reel 960, public records office class C24//1128, Chancery records dated 1689, lawsuit involving "The Sarah", Names of Persons involved were: Charles Ryves, George Ryves, Merchant of Virginia and Francis Parsons, Master) [NOTE: Sarah? We know that Timothy's widow was Mary from records in Charles City County Virginia, but Sarah may have been a previous wife]
  • "The Exchange" (owned by Brune Ryves Jr of London and Portsmouth)
  • "Charles" (owned and captained by Charles Ryves, a grandson of George Ryves of Woodstock, 1685-6, record SR12622, p 22, Va Maritime archives)
  • "The Blandford"

"The Providence", owned by Charles Ryves of Woodstock, was operating in Virginia in port about three times a year from 1629 and into the 1700s.

Investigation of the above claims has uncovered several fallacies in assumptions made about these records.

The Brune Ryves Jr mentioned above was indeed the great-great-grandson of Robert Ryves of Dorset, but we don't yet know whether or not he actually owned the "Exchange".

However, the George Reeves and Charles Reeves involved with the ship "Sarah" are not of the DNA Group 8 (Robert Ryves) line as Patrick Reaves believed. They are two of the four sons of this George Reeves as documented on the Reeves Project Wiki. See:

George Reeves of Middlesex VA

Charles Reeves of Middlesex VA

Documentation for Charles Reeves also indicates that he was co-owner of the "Providence" referred to above and not Charles Ryves of Woodstock.

The claims about the ships "The Griffin", "The Exchange", "The Charles", and "The Blandford" still need to be pursued.

The invalid assumptions drawn from the records about George and Charles Reeves accentuates the importance of retaining the spelling of names as found in records. None of the records found for these two men and their brothers Thomas and Francis appear to have used the spelling "Ryves."

We should also be very careful about trusting claims made in genealogy books when primary sources are not provided or when they are transcribed inaccurately or incompletely.

Thanks to Beverly for her meticulous research on George, Charles, Thomas, and Francis Reeves of Middlesex, Virginia.

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