Over the course of the last six months I've spent time weekly at my local Family History Center searching Virginia records to find more information in the extant records of Essex and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia to fill in all the gaps in the family of Henry Reeves. I've found that some of Henry's descendants did migrate to Kentucky, but not to Taylor County nor did any of them appear to have made a detour through North Carolina on their way west.
Jackson Reeves born around 1790-1800 was a son of Joseph Reeves, son of Henry Reeves, Sr. He has never been located after he left Essex County. He left no trail and there are no records of a Jackson Reeves of that generation who could be the son of Joseph Reeves of Essex. He was also probably too old to be the father of a child born circa 1770 although it would not have been impossible. The next possibility is Henry Reeves, son of the third Henry Reeves and probably born before 1740. When his father died in 1745 he didn't require a guardian so he may have been an adult by that time. He may have died young or simply migrated elsewhere, but he has currently not been located. Finally, Thomas Reeves, grandson of Thomas Reeves, Sr., born in 1753, was serving an apprenticeship in Spotsylvania County that began in 1768 and was only about 15 years old at the time. He was obviously not married or living in North Carolina by 1770.
That leaves only one Reeves' male outstanding from the Essex Reeves' family and he brings us full circle back to George, the son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. who was named as a legatee in the will of his uncle George Reeves in 1754. For many years Reeves' family researchers believed that this George Reeves was the individual of that name who arrived in the New River area along the border of Grayson County, Virginia and Ashe County, North Carolina in 1767, until the theory was proven incorrect by Y-DNA. Three descendants of George Reeves of Grayson, Virginia have matching Y-DNA to descendants of William Reeves of Wake County, North Carolina in addition to an abundance of documentation of their connections in the Neuse River basin before George Reeves migrated to the New River area. These descendants of George Reeves and William Reeves of Wake County are participants in DNA Group 6A of the Reeves DNA Project. Two other descendants of George Reeves of Grayson County do not match these six individuals, but neither do they match DNA Group 9 where the documented descendants of Henry Reeves are located.
Oddly, I recently realized that there is one more George Reeves who is a possibility as the father of John Reeves of Taylor County, Kentucky. When I initially became aware of this George Reeves, based upon proximity and the fact that the individuals his children were apprenticed to, Woodson Daniel and Reuben Allen, were both close associates of William Reeves, I assumed he was a member of that family of Wake County.
September 1778 CourtThe only other information to be found in this area of the Neuse basin is from the records of the 1778 Granville County Militia. A George Reaves served in Captain James Langston's Company No. 7. He was described as 29 years old (born circa 1749), 6 feet high, thick made; of a ruddy complexion & dark hair; a Planter.
Ordered that Mary Reeves orphan of George Reeves deced. be bound unto Reuben Allen unto She come to age at this time being Eight Years of Age.
Ordered that John Reeves orphan of George Reeves deced. be bound an Apprentice unto Woodson Daniel untill he come to the Age of twenty one Years being about this time the Age of three Years.
Once the theory that this individual could possibly have been George Reeves, son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. of Essex and Spotsylvania counties began to develop, the one major obstacle to this line of thinking was why. I was plagued by the question of what would prompt George Reeves to leave the Rappahannock area and migrate to North Carolina when his siblings had all settled in the Shenandoah Valley's Augusta and Rockingham counties until I recalled that his Gatewood cousins had settled in Pittsylvania County, Virginia along the border just north of this area of North Carolina. Peter and Elizabeth Gatewood Copeland are said to have even settled in North Carolina for a brief time and Peter is listed on the 1767 tax lists of Cumberland County. This was apparently the same year they returned to Virginia where they are found in Pittsylvania County by 1767 and Peter Copeland is documented as one of the first justices of the county. Elizabeth's sisters Sarah Gatewood Dunn and Patience Gatewood Farguson with their families also settled in Pittsylvania County around this time. Elizabeth Copeland, like George, was also named as a legatee in the 1754 will of their uncle George Reeves. These Gatewood daughters were first cousins to George and have helped to resolve doubts as to whether George might have found his way to this locale.
Obviously, this theory still needs much more research before John Reeves of Taylor County, Kentucky could be declared a child of George Reeves, son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. of Essex and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia. For now, it's just something to ponder while we dig deeper into the historical records to solve this puzzle.
The most current listing of the descendants of Henry Reeves of Essex County, Virginia can be found at The Reeves Project.