Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Few More Reeve(s) Signatures

The signatures of today's post are from various Reeves' individuals of several different surname variations and lineages. The excerpts of these pictured documents have come from collections of original documents scanned from archived records in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the last decade numerous collections of scanned original documents, not copies of pages from deed and will books that were written by county clerks, but documents written by or at the least signed by the parties executing the documents. Collections by Family Search, the Library of Virginia and other sites have put these documents online helping family researchers to make great advances in genealogy. These scans of original documents have also allowed us to see the actual signatures of our ancestors which is a tremendous help in differentiating between all the Reeves of the same given name.

Will of William Reaves of Wayne County NC
also includes signature of William Reaves, Juner as witness
The document on the left is from a scanned copy of the original 1790 will of William Reaves, Sr. of Wayne County, North Carolina. The document includes the signature of William Reaves, Sr. as well as the signature of his son William, Jr. as one of the witnesses. The origins of this family who appeared in now extinct Old Dobbs County in the late 1750s have been a mystery but recent DNA tests of several descendants from this family have now established that their DNA matches that of descendants of William Reeves who died in Granville County in 1751.

Promissory Note by H. I. (Hezekiah) Reeves
On the right is a promissory note given by Hezekiah I. Reeves of Fauquier County, Virginia to William H. Tilley in 1819 which was the basis of a Chancery Case brought by Wm H. Tilley against Hezekiah Reeves, William and Daniel Thornberry. Hezekiah may have been a member of the Reeves family of Charles County, Maryland which is just across the Potomac River from Prince William County, Virginia where Hezekiah is also recorded. His signature is quite unique and should help to identify him. Sadly, there have been no participants from this lineage or other Reeves of southern Maryland in the DNA project which would greatly benefit Reeves' research.

Thomas Reeves' Signature as Witness
The witnesses to the above document include Thomas Reeves of Augusta, Virginia, previously of Spotsylvania County. The document is found in an Augusta County chancery case entitled Brewer Reeves vs. Aaron Hughes whose first pleadings are dated 1792. The witnesses signatures appear to be original as they are not similar to the body of the document which was written by a clerk or attorney with excellent penmanship - note the surname Reeves as written by the clerk is far more skillfully written than that of Tho. Reeves' signature. Brewer Reeves of this case was identified in other court documents as the brother of Thomas Reeves.

Signature by Edward Reavis on
1752 Northampton County NC Will
Edward Reavis is first found in Henrico County, Virginia, later migrating to northeastern North Carolina. He clearly wrote his name as Reavis differentiating it from the various other individuals of that area of North Carolina who used the Reeves and Reaves variations of the surname. Descendants of Edward Reavis are also totally different genetically to other inhabitants of Northampton and Halifax counties based upon DNA testing.

Signature of William Reeve, Soldier of the Revolution
on his 1833 RW Pension Application
Affidavit and Signature of James W. Reeve
son of William Reeve above

In April of 1833 William Reeve gave a statement in support of his application for a Revolutionary War pension. Appearing in court in Abbeville, South Carolina he gave a declaration regarding his service. He stated that he had entered the service in the summer of 1776 in Prince William County, Virginia as a drafted militia man serving in troops commanded by Colonel Henry Lee. That initial tour was followed by several others under different commanders.

William Reeve was originally from Prince William County, Virginia where his father, grandfather and other extended family consistently used the Reeve surname variation. However, within a few generations most of his descendants began to use the more common Reeves surname.

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