Monday, March 26, 2012

Reliques of the Rives tree on

Sharland, Carolyn, and Gerald, Reeves DNA Group 8 cousins and collaborators have launched a new tree on The Reliques of the Rives Group 8 DNA tree contains the lines of all Reeves males who have tested as members of Group 8 in the Reeves DNA project.

There are two ways you can approach the tree:

1. You can start at the top with Robert Ryves, the earliest documented ancestor of this line, and click a son. Each Ryves/Rives/Reeves who is in the direct line of one of the Group 8 Reeves will have this picture of the Ryves crest attached to his profile.

As you navigate through the tree, clicking on sons with that picture will lead you to someone who has tested as Reeves DNA Group 8 through his YDNA.

2. Another approach is to start with the pedigree of someone at the bottom of the tree. Here is an example using the line of K M Reaves. In the pedigree, you will see the Reeves crest displayed for each male in his direct line.

Although there are currently eight members of Group 8 DNA, only seven lines are included in this tree as the line of the eighth person remains unknown. We have included wives and siblings whenever they are available.

We have added citations and comments to many people in the tree and will add more as time permits. We have also used the inferred DNA feature available on to display the Haplogroup, E1b1b1a1, on each Reeves male profile page.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Uncle Tommy Reeves of Malden, Missouri

Thomas Bird Reeves settled in Dunklin County, Missouri in 1859. He was the son of William T. Reeves (originally spelled Reves) and Michell Hoskins of Halifax County, Virginia born on the 26th February, 1819. In 1829, his father died leaving a widow and seven children.

Thomas Bird Reeves
Thomas Bird Reeves
After William’s death, Michell Hoskins Reeves took her seven children and migrated west into Tennessee along with her family where her father, Thomas C. Hoskins died around July of 1839 in Rutherford County, Tennessee.

It was in Rutherford County that Thomas Bird Reeves married Louisa E. Ford* in 1848. The extended Reeves’ family then moved on to Gibson County in northwestern Tennessee where several of his sisters married as did his brother Peter May Reeves.

By the census of 1860, Thomas and his family were recorded in the census of Dunklin County, Missouri. The majority of his extended family remained in Gibson County, Tennessee, where his mother Michell Hoskins Reeves died in 1878. Thomas Bird Reeves lived in Dunklin County, Missouri for the next forty years where his children and grandchildren grew up and married. According to his biography published in The History of Dunklin County, Missouri - "Uncle Tommie, as he is affectionately called, owned and occupied one of the first business houses in Malden but has been principally a farmer." Some years after Thomas moved across the Mississippi River into Missouri, his brother Peter migrated to Greene County, Arkansas which is just across the state line from Dunklin County.

Obituary of Thomas Bird Reeves published in the Weatherford Democrat of Parker County, Texas on the 9th January, 1896:
Thos. B. Reeves died last Sunday morning, Jan. 5th, near Greenwood, aged 76 years, of general debility or paralysis. He was sick only about 36 hours. He moved to this county from Missouri last November. He has been a member of the Missionary Baptist church since 1862. He was a member of the Cotton Hill lodge No. 306, I.O.O.F. of Missouri since 1874. His remains were interred in the Greenwood cemetery Monday, under the auspices of the Odd Fellows of this city. Rev. Mr. Tenison of the Greenwood settlement preached the funeral discourse in the house of the deceased’s son, where Mr. Reeves died.

Family of Thomas Bird Reeves - his widow, Louisa Ford Reeves on far left
The above photo contains members of Thomas Bird Reeves family - (Back Row) Tom Sipes, Belle Keedy Stevens holding Herbert Stevens Jr, Charles F. Moore; (Front Row) Louisa E. Ford Reeves, widow of Thomas Bird Reeves, Minnie Stevens Sipes holding Rosina Sipes, Lou Reeves Moore, Bernice Stevens and Clara Stevens.

My own grandfather, William Hubbard Reeves, was born in Ballard County, Kentucky and also migrated across the Mississippi River into New Madrid County, Missouri as an adult. I often wonder if he might have been aware that he was closely related to these Reeves’ cousins who lived just a few counties away.

* Recently I found a death certificate for one of the children of Thomas Bird Reeves which lists his wife's name as Louisa Elizabeth Ford. Somewhere in my mother's 30+ years of Reeves' genealogy she had found something indicating her middle name was Emetine which now seems doubtful. Her name was very probably Elizabeth, not Emetine, and I'm trying to sift through all the various data files to find the source of the name Emetine so I can correct all my family records.

(Many, many thanks to Sarah McEachern for the photos of Thomas Bird Reeves and his family.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Role of the Reeve

The office of sheriff owes its origins to the Anglo-Saxon system of local self government, where the "shire reeve" was the chief of a group of several hundred families. The whole realm was parted and divided into shires with the reeve of the shire being the chief officer to the King within that shire. The Sheriff assumed a particular role under Alfred the Great for the maintenance of law and order in each county.

Each of the towns divided into groups of ten families, called tithings. Each tithing elected a leader called a tithingman. The next level of government was a group of ten tithings (or 100 families), and this group elected its own chief. The Anglo-Saxon word for chief was gerefa, later shortened to reeve.

During the next two centuries, groups of hundreds banded together to form a new, higher unit of government called the shire. The shire was the forerunner of the modern county. Each shire had a chief (reeve) as well, and the more powerful official became known as a shire-reeve. The word shire-reeve became the modern English word sheriff — the chief of the county.

Where originally in Anglo-Saxon England the reeve was a senior official with local responsibilities under the king, after the Norman conquest, it was an office held by a man of lower rank appointed as manager of a manor and overseer of the peasants. In this later role, historian H. R. Loyn observes, "he is the earliest English specialist in estate management."

In some manors the reeve was appointed by the lord of the manor, but in others he was elected by the peasants, subject or not to a right of veto by the lord. It depended on the custom of the manor, but there was an increasing tendency for election to be favoured. No doubt an elected reeve was more willingly obeyed and sometimes the peasants generally would be made financially liable if an elected reeve defaulted.

He oversaw the work performed by peasants as an obligation to the lord of the manor on the estate. He was also responsible for many aspects of the finances of the manor such as the sale of produce, collection of monies and payment of accounts. He was usually himself a peasant and was subject to the steward, but the steward might not always be resident on the manor and would not usually concern himself with day to day working. The reeve was chosen once a year, generally at Michaelmas, but a good man who carried out his duties efficiently and was trusted by the lord and the peasants was likely to stay in office more or less permanently. By the 14th century the reeve was often a permanent officer of the manor.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

John Durdan Reeves

Another of the continuing mysteries of Reeves' research is the ancestry of John Durdan Reeves whose Revolutionary War pension statement given in Surry County, North Carolina on the 12th of February 1833 states that he was born in Halifax County, North Carolina in 1759. Much research by many Reeves' researchers has failed to discover his parents.

John D. Reeves married Sarah Locke Elwell around 1788 in Cumberland County, North Carolina where several other Reeves individuals are recorded but no documentation of a family connection has yet been found. There are, however, deeds that establish a connection between John Lock and Nathaniel Reeves such as the 1785 deed for 3 tracts of land in Bladen County. Nathaniel Reeves' will only names three daughters which would appear to prove that he was not John Durdan's father, but may have been an uncle or other family member.

Other Reeves of Cumberland County such as Zachariah are also recorded as having been residents of Halifax County as children. Zachariah Reeves gave a statement in 1826 supporting the Revolutionary War pension application of Sherwood Fort in which he states that they were boys together in Halifax County, North Carolina.
1866 Letter from Richard Elwell Reeves
Letter from Richard Elwell Reeves, page 2
The 1778 Halifax County will of Micajah Rawls left legacies to his half brothers John and Jesse Reves. It appears from this will that John Durdan Reeves' father had married a Rawls widow who was the mother of John and Jesse Reeves, but currently no records have been found in Halifax County that identify either his father or mother.

Children of John Durdan Reeves and Sarah Locke Elwell were Richard Elwell Reeves, Micajah Reeves, Elizabeth Reeves, John Reeves, Sarah Locke Reeves, Hannah Reeves and Jesse Franklin Reeves.

Several descendants of John Durdan Reeves have participated in the Reeves DNA Project and were placed in DNA Group 6. Currently relationships to other Reeves' lineages in that group do not appear to be close enough to help identify John's father.

(Photos of 1866 letter by Richard Elwell Reeves courtesy of Billy Fred Reeves, descendant of John Durdan Reeves.)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

On the trail of another George Reeves

Original of 1816 Will of George ReevesRecently I came across the 1816 will of a George Reeves in Wilson County, Tennessee. The will only named two children - Jeremiah who was described as his youngest son and a daughter Susanah. Curiosity as to who this George Reeves was set off another search.

Within a short time, Jeremiah was found to be Jeremiah Turner Reeves who later migrated to Madison County, Arkansas and died there in 1862. Census showed Jeremiah was born in Virginia, a fact which soon led to Patrick County, Virginia where Anny, daughter of George Reeves, had married James Turner in 1796. Ann and James Turner also migrated to Wilson County, Tennessee.

Marriage records of Patrick County found online produced two more marriages that recorded George Reeves as the father of the brides - Lucy Reeves to William Witt on 24 Feb 1799 and Jane Reeves to James Williams on 12 Dec 1813. Another Patrick County marriage that did not specifically name George as the father was that of Polly Reeves to Nicholas Thomas on 14 Mar 1808. Polly was apparently widowed very soon after her marriage and was found in Wilson County by 1816 where she was remarried to John F. McDaniel.

George Reeves' daughter Susanah died in 1823 and although she died intestate, the probate records of Wilson County include an inventory and estate sale. In those documents, her brother Jeremiah is listed as administrator. Her brother-in-law John F. McDaniel along with Burwell Reeves who is possibly another brother are both named in the inventory as owing debts to Susanah. The sale of Susanah's estate names Jeremiah, Burwell, John F. McDaniel and Frances Turner, Susanah's niece (daughter of Ann and James Turner), among others, as buyers.

The family of George Reeves has begun to take shape but more historical records are needed to document his other sons. It is very likely that John Reeves who married Hannah Perigo in Patrick County and later migrated to Campbell County, Tennessee is a son of George Reeves in addition to Thomas, Charles and Josiah Reeves who are named in court orders and/or marriages there. More extensive marriage records have been ordered and may soon resolve some of these questions.

The final question is - who were George Reeves' parents? Could he be the son of Frederick Rives of Franklin County, Virginia? James Rives Childs when writing Reliques of the Ryves believed that George may have died around 1806 because he executed a Power of Attorney to his brother Burwell at that time. Did George Rives (Reeves?) die, or did he just move away to Tennessee? Or, could he be a descendant of Henry Reeves of Essex County, Virginia whose descendants are known to have been located a little further north in the Shenandoah Valley from Augusta to Frederick counties? Hopefully, searching the extant deed and court records of Franklin, Henry and Patrick counties of Virginia will someday produce the answer.

(Photo of Jeremiah T. Reeves' gravestone by Gary & Nancy Clampitt for Find A Grave.)