Monday, March 19, 2018

Thomas Reeves of Woodford County, Kentucky

The family of Henry Reeves who settled in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia by 1666 when he was granted 600 acres on Tignor's Creek has been the subject of much interest and speculation. Thankfully the early records of Essex County, Virginia are extant for the most part. Some of the earliest record books are fragmented, but there is still a wealth of information there regarding this family.

North Central Kentucky in 1827
As Henry Reeves' descendants, beginning with his grandchildren, began to leave Essex County for other parts of Virginia and beyond, much less is known of the family. His grandson George left a Spotsylvania County will in 1754 naming as legatees the children of his brother Thomas Reeves, Sr. in addition to his siblings and other family members. That will has been an extremely beneficial document insofar as identifying many members of the family of Henry Reeves, Jr.

After leaving Spotsylvania, the sons of Thomas Reeves, Sr. were recorded in Augusta and Rockingham counties in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Another son, unlisted in George Reeves' will, is Brewer who is named as a brother to Thomas, Jr. in Augusta County court documents. Other than in the will of George Reeves, there is no mention of Thomas, Sr.'s son George and it may be that he and Brewer are the same individual. This George was previously believed to be George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia but DNA has proven that to be incorrect.

John Reeves remained in Augusta County but his brothers Brewer and Thomas, Jr. migrated to Kentucky. Their brother Henry died in Spotsylvania County in 1760 and his estate was recorded at the same time as that of their father Thomas Reeves, Sr. Brewer Reeves is documented as one of the earliest residents of Christian County, Kentucky where he was one of the first justices of the court. Until recently there was very little record of Thomas Reeves, Jr. once he disappeared from the records of Augusta and Rockingham counties but a posting to an online forum provided a clue to Thomas, Jr.'s presence in Woodford County, Kentucky.

1792 Survey for Thomas Reeves in Woodford County
It wasn't until the Woodford County records were discovered that the children of Thomas Reeves, Jr. were identified. His wife Sarah was named in numerous Spotsylvania County deeds and court records of Augusta County, but their children were a mystery. The appraisal of the Estate of Thomas Reeves is recorded in February 1799 in Woodford County Will Book B on pages 83-86. On the 4th of June in 1803, the heirs of Thomas Reeves executed a deed to James Reeves of Henry County, Kentucky for all lands belonging to Thomas Reeves in the state of Virginia and all lots in the town of Versailles in Woodford County which were taken off the land of Thomas Reeves when the town was being laid off. This deed was for compensation to James for his services in transacting and closing the business relative to the estate of Thomas Reeves decd.

Reeves Heirs to James Reeves
Those heirs of Thomas Reeves named in addition to James, were his widow Sarah, David Willson who had married daughter Milley, Elizabeth Reeves, John Samonie who married Delilah Reeves, George Cotter husband of Mary Reeves, Joseph Reeves and son Thomas Reeves.

Over the following ten years there are numerous deeds by these heirs disposing of the property they had inherited from Thomas and by around 1810 most of the family members, Joseph, Thomas and their brother-in-law David Wilson, were recorded in neighboring Gallatin County.

Newly discovered identity of Sarah, the wife of Thomas Reeves, Jr.

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