Sunday, October 14, 2012

George Reeves of Warren County, Kentucky

We have profiled numerous George Reeves on this blog, but not my ancestor George who migrated from Wake County, North Carolina to Madison County, Kentucky and finally to Warren County. George was the son of William Reeves whose father of the same name was one of the earliest settlers in the area of present day Durham County, North Carolina. In 1746, as William Reeves, planter of Johnston County, North Carolina, he received a grant from Henry McCulloch for 400 acres on the south side of the Neuse River and east of Ellerbe Creek.

Marriage Bond - George Reves to Elizabeth Wilkerson
Madison County Marriage Bond
for George Reves and Elizabeth Wilkerson
Whether George was acquainted with Betsy Wilkerson prior to migrating to Kentucky is not known, but deed records of Granville County show that in 1786 Betsy's father Wyatt Wilkerson purchased a tract of land on the north side of the Neuse River at the mouth of Knap of Reeds Creek. Knap of Reeds Creek would have flowed into the Neuse almost directly across the river from William Reeves' land where Ellerbe Creek joins the Neuse River on the south side. An acquaintance and possible romance with Betsy may have even been the motivation for George, along with his younger brother Jeremiah, to leave North Carolina around 1800 when numerous Granville County residents including Wyatt Wilkerson were migrating to Fort Boonesborough in Madison County, Kentucky. In Madison County on the 5th of January 1802, George Reves married Elizabeth Wilkerson.

Most of George and Betsy's ten known children were born in Madison County. Their children were Walter Alvis Reeves, Susan Reeves Heard, Curtis F. Reeves, Jesse Britt Reeves, Peter M. Reeves, Mary "Polly" Reeves Turner, William Harrison Reeves, Nancy Reeves May Alderson, Sidney Preston Reeves and George H. Reeves.

George's father William remained in Wake County for several years after George and Jeremiah relocated to Kentucky. It is unknown exactly when he left North Carolina but his last appearance as a Justice in the minutes of the Wake County Court was in May of 1803. Sometime in the next few years, William Reeves, Sr., along with his son William, Jr. and his young family, also left North Carolina for Madison County buying a tract of land on Otter & Muddy Creeks where he was recorded in the 1810 census. When William Reeves died in 1821, George was an administrator of the estate.

Grave of Polly Reeves Turner
Gravestone of daughter
Mary M. Reeves Turner
Several years before William Reeves' death, George and his family had joined Wyatt Wilkerson and other members of Betsy's family in migrating further westward to Warren County, Kentucky. In Warren County, they appear to have settled around Richardsville on a ridge high above the Barren River, a little north of Bowling Green. George Reves will written in 1826 was probated in Warren County in July of 1827. His name in the 1826 will was written as "Reves" as all of the family had historically spelled their name, but over the next generation most of his descendants began to use the more common variation

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