Monday, August 28, 2017

Reuben Reeves of Maury County, Tennessee

Reuben Reeves who appeared in Maury County, Tennessee shortly after 1800 has been something of a mystery. He was believed to be the Reuben Reeves who was recorded in the 1790 and 1800 census in the Cheraws District in South Carolina. His first wife, the mother of his oldest seven children, is unidentified and was deceased before 1808 when he married Hannah Cooper in Sumner County, Tennessee. He and Hannah had three more children before his death in 1817.
Maury County TN Deed Book L, p. 384
Searching the probate records of Maury County has produced no significant records identifying Reuben's children. The only probate documents in his estate file were an inventory of his estate and records of the sale of that personal property. However, Family Search has recently begun to add deed records to their online catalog which has finally established the members of Reuben's family. A deed wherein the heirs of Reuben Reeves sold their portions of a 140 acre tract on the south side of the Duck River to son Elijah Reeves is recorded in Maury County in January of 1825. That deed identifies all seven of Reuben's older children as well as the husbands of the married daughters.

Maury County TN Deed Book P, pg. 380
To further help determine Reuben's origins, the Y-DNA test of a descendant of a George Washington Rives born in Tennessee in 1811 has matched the participants of Group 10 of the Reeves DNA Project. Prior to the discovery of these two Maury County deeds, this George Washington Rives was a mystery. The above deeds name the sole surviving heir of Reuben's son Joel as Washington Reeves in the first deed, then in the second deed regarding Joel Reeves' estate, his name is shown as George W. Reeves.

Currently DNA Group 10 is comprised of descendants of George Reeve and his brother John of Prince William County, Virginia. Three of George Reeve's sons left PWC shortly before the start of the Revolutionary War with British Mercantile Accounts (attempts by British merchants after the Revolution to collect monies owed them from before the Revolution) showing that they appear to have migrated to South Carolina and one to Georgia. John Reeve and his brother Moses are found in the Old Camden District, later Lancaster County while Thomas Reeve appears to be the individual who was initially in Chester County SC before moving into Washington and Columbia counties of Georgia where he is recorded by 1784.

John Reeve, brother of George above, was the grandfather of Revolutionary War soldier William Reeve who initially settled in Abbeville District after the Revolution, before migrating to DeKalb County, Georgia where he died in 1842. William Reeve left numerous descendants in South Carolina and Georgia. His descendants who have participated in the Reeves DNA Project have all matched the members of DNA Group 10 descending from George Reeve above.

There is still much research to be done to document the descendants of John, Moses and Thomas Reeve but DNA continues to clarify the family lineage as more members of this family test.