Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peter Reves of Halifax County, Virginia

Peter Reves, born in 1768, was the brother of my 3rd great grandfather, George Reves. Both were sons of William Reeves (originally Reves) of Wake County, North Carolina. The entire family originally spelled their name with one "e" but over time like so many of the various other Reeves' name variations, it became Reeves. The 1858 Death Register of Halifax County gives Peter's age as 90 years old and the 1850 Census of Halifax County confirms that he was born in North Carolina.

On 22 Feb 1793, he married Ann "Nancy" Tucker in Lunenberg County, Virginia. Within a few years, Peter had moved from North Carolina to Halifax County, Virginia which is evidenced by his appearance on the 1800 Halifax tax lists. Their four children were all born and married in Halifax County. Their children were William T. Reves, Anna Dennis Reves, Elizabeth Tucker Reves and Peter May Reves.

In addition to farming, Peter was involved in public service for most of his life beginning when he was appointed constable in Capt. Willis Jones' District of Wake County, recorded in the County Court Minutes of September 1792. By September of 1822 when his father's estate was being administered in Madison County, Kentucky, probate documents executed by his brother Charles in Halifax County were certified by Peter as a justice of the Halifax County Court.

Littleton Tazewell, Governor of Virginia, appointed Peter sheriff of Halifax County in December of 1835. There is a bond for $30,000 dollars recorded in Deed Book 42, Page 628 signed by Peter Reves along with 16 other Halifax residents for the faithful fulfillment of his duties as sheriff of Halifax County dated 26 Jan 1836.

It's unknown exactly when Ann Tucker Reves died, but Peter married a second time to Lucy Haliburton on 16 Jun 1834 in Person County, North Carolina. Lucy was many years his junior and apparently a young widow.

In the later years of Peter's life, he was Chairman of the Halifax County Court. The Revolutionary War pension file of Thomas Neal contains the statement of his wife, Elizabeth Brown Neal, regarding her husband's war service which was taken by Peter Reves as Chairman of the County Court on April 1st in 1851. Being in his mid 80's, his signature is somewhat unsteady but is clearly "Peter Reves".

1857 Dower Survey of Peter Reves' LandThe Halifax County, Virginia death register of 1858 lists the death of Peter "Reaves" on 28 March 1858 at age 90 years. On that record, his father's name is given as William Reeves, no mother is listed and his wife is named as Lucy. The date from the Halifax death record may be delayed by one year and the deaths recorded are from the previous year for the dower portion of Peter Reves' land was surveyed for his widow Lucy in 1857 and recorded in the deed books of Halifax County. Those 1857 documents regarding Lucy Reves' dower also list him as Peter Reves, dec'd. (Halifax VA DB 59 p.299)

Although many remained in Halifax, descendants of Peter Reves and Nancy Tucker Reves migrated to Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and numerous other points west.


(Many thanks to Sara McEachern, descendant of Peter Reves, for the photo of Thomas Bird Reeves.)

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