Friday, May 11, 2012

Elizabeth Reeves David – Who Does She Belong to?

Precious few granddaughters of George Reeves (born 1716) and his wife Mary Jordan (born c 1726) have ever been identified. As with all families, the women are much harder to identify and trace as there is so much less documentary evidence to chase. So often we must rely on circumstantial evidence to identify our foremothers and that is the case for Elizabeth Reeves. What little evidence I can find suggests that Elizabeth Reeves, born about 1783 possibly in South Carolina, is one of the elusive granddaughters of George and Mary Jordan Reeves.

Here’s why:

Marriage records in Davidson County, Tennessee seem to tie Elizabeth to this family:

On December 1, 1800, James David and Elizabeth Reeves were married; Jonathan F Robertson, son of James Robertson and Charlotte Reeves Robertson (daughter of George and Mary) was bondsman.

 On January 15, 1816, George Reeves and Rhoda Newsom were married. James David and William Reaves were bondsmen.

The George Reeves and William Reeves in the second record are themselves elusive and unattached to parents though it is very likely (through considerable circumstantial evidence) that they are also grandsons of George Reeves and Mary Jordan. Likely fathers for them include Jordan Reeves, Timothy Reeves, or less likely, Burrell Reeves, but no documentary evidence has yet been found to connect them to their parents. They may be brothers or perhaps first cousins, and it seems quite possible that Elizabeth Reeves is their sister or cousin, given that her husband was bondsman for the marriage of one of them..

 According to census records of her children, Elizabeth Reeves, wife of James David, was born in South Carolina. Though I have not found Elizabeth herself named in any census, her birth year is estimated to be in the early to mid-1780s, around the time that George and Mary Reeves, along with sons William, Jordan, and younger children in the household moved from the Watauga settlements in what is now far eastern Tennessee to South Carolina.

Naming patterns for Elizabeth’s presumed children are consistent with Reeves and Robertson names, for example: sons named George, William, Timothy, and Felix Robertson. The last-named son is probably named for Felix Robertson, son of James and Charlotte Reeves Robertson.

More research is needed on Elizabeth and these other Reeves to determine who her parents were, . Many online trees claim that Elizabeth is the daughter of William Reeves (born 1755) and this is possible, but no one has presented any supporting evidence. Jordan Reeves is the only other son of George and Mary old enough to be Elizabeth's father, and he does have unidentified daughters.

Elizabeth Reeves David died in 1860 at the home of her son Seth David in East Baton Rouge, LA.

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