Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Mystery: William C Reeves of Independence County Arkansas

The family of Jordan Reeves Jr appeared in Independence County in 1825. William C Reeves first appears there in 1834, so I would naturally want to determine whether he is of the Jordan Reeves clan. I have found little to nothing to connect him -- his origins remain unknown.

Records for William C Reeves in Independence County are sparse. This much is known:

He first appears in an 1834 Arkansas tax list in Black River Township, Independence County.

The next record of him is his marriage to Martha Ann Tucker on 31 July 1836 in Independence County, Arkansas. Entries in marriage records are variously spelled as Rives, Reeves, and Reves. The marriage was announced in the Arkansas Gazette on August 23, 1836, per

In Independence county, on the 31st ult. by Hon. Wm. Arnold, Capt. Wm. C. Reans [sic], to Miss Martha Ann Tucker, daughter of Peyton Tucker, Esq.

The title "Capt" would seem to imply military service.

William had died by the April 1840 term of the Independence County probate court when the administrator of his estate, Peyton Tucker, petitioned the court to discharge his duties as executor, having found assets totaling $84. The same petition states that William C Reaves left a widow and one child.

His widow Martha Reeves appears in the 1840 census age 20-29 with one male < 5, one male 15-19, one female 10-14. The two older children are not likely to be Martha's. Their parents are unknown.

Oddly, the 1850 census records identify a daughter Sarah A Reeves, born about 1838, and living with her mother who is remarried to William Hooper. No male child has been found. Sarah A Reeves, born about 1838 in Arkansas, married Adam Allen on 23 Feb 1860.

While William Reeves and Jordan Reeves both lived in Black River Township at the same time, it was a large area and we know that proximity is no indicator of a relationship. William Reeves mother-in-law (step-mother of Martha Tucker) was a Magness and Jordan Reeves was married to a Magness. However, in that period, it would have hard not to have a Magness connection, especially in that sparsely populated area.

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