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.)

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