Reeves, George (1691-1773 VA)
Father: Unknown, but possibly Thomas Reeves
Birth: c1696, place of birth unknown, but possibly Lancaster Co., VA
Death: Before Feb 1774, Prince William County, Virginia
Death Source: Executors/Administrators Bond Book 2, page 108
NarrativeChildren of George Reeves and Ann Doggett:
- Thomas Reeves, b. 17 Oct 1719
- Benjamin Reeves, b. 4 Jan 1721
- Elizabeth Reeves, b. c 1727, probably m. William Haggard
- George Reeves, b. before 1731
- John Reeves, b. c. 1732
- Moses Reeves, b. c. 1734
- Asa Reeves, b. c. 1736
This George Reeves's paternity has not been established, but geography, chronology, and nomenclature suggest that there may be some sort of family connection to Thomas Reeves of Richmond and/or Northumberland Counties. In addition to to a Thomas Reeves, however, there were at least three other adult Reeves heads of household in Northumberland County during these years, Robert Reeves, William Reeves who died about 1698 and William Reeves. Robert Reeves's will mentions only one child, a son John Reeves. Thus far, William Reeves is not known to have had children. The younger William Reeves was the son of John Reeves of Lancaster County and was about the same age as George Reeves. Northumberland County records from the 1720s strongly suggest that there may have been two men named Thomas Reeves living there during these years.
The estimated birthdate for this George Reeves has been calculated based upon the date on which he was excused from paying taxes in Prince William County, Virginia. George made his request, and was granted it, at a court session on 25 May 1761: "On the Petition of George Reeve he is Exempted from paying County and Publick Levy for the future." (Prince William County Court Orders 1759-1761, p. 266). This is based on the presumption that he was probably about sixty-five years old at the time; he might have been slightly older or slightly younger.
The first known reference to George Reeves is the 17 October 1719 Northumberland Co., VA, birth register entry for the birth of George Reeves's oldest known son, Thomas Reeves. A year later, on 16 October 1720, George Reeves witnessed the will of Dennis Conway of St. Stephen's Parish, whose will also mentions land he owned on "Long Neck Branch" and "Gayner Branch" on which George Reeves was then living in Northumberland County. Three months after he witnessed Conway's will, Reeves baptized his second known child, son Benjamin, in St. Stephen's Parish.
George Reeves, described as of Northumberland County, received a grant from Lord Fairfax on 7 Oct 1726 for 370 acres in Stafford County on a branch called Croopers Cabbin Branch adjoining Edward Grayham and Richard Melton (formerly of Richmond County) (Northern Neck Land Grants, Book B, p. 8). Reeves was of Stafford County on 24 February 1728/9 when he received a grant for 941 acres in Stafford County on Rushy Branch of Bull Run, joining Reeves's other tract, Richard Mellon (Melton), Howsen Hooe, John Creel, William Moats, and William Bland (Northern Neck Land Grants, Book B, p. 181). Prince William County was formed in 1731 from Stafford and King George Counties; following its creation, George Reeves would live in Prince William — from which Loudon and Fauquier Counties were later formed — for more than forty years.
Prince William County records establish that George Reeves had at least one sibling, a brother John. There is a deed of gift from George to John Reeves on 19 April 1732 which specifically identified John as "my Loving Brother John Reeves." George Reeves deeded 313 acres on the upper side of Occoquan to his brother John Reeves, the land being part of his 941 acre grant. Reeves deeded the land in exchange for love, good will, and five pounds, the same consideration described in the deed below to Thomas Davies. (Prince William County, Virginia, Deeds, 1731-1732, Liber A, pp. 181-183.)
Prince William County, Virginia, Deeds, 1731-1732, Liber A, pp. 137-138, shows that on 17 November 1731 George Reeves of Hamilton Parish in Prince William County deeded, "for naturall love and affection....unto my dear and well beloved friend Thomas Davies of same, mason and bricklayer....113 a.... branch of Bull Run and branches of Buckhall....part of tract of 941 a....granted George Reeves by Proprietors Office dated Feb. 24, 1728" The deed also mentions five pounds consideration. The land was described as adjacent property owned by Howsin Hoe. George Reeves signed the deed with James Miller and William Rice as witnesses. The deed was acknowledged on 17 November 1731 in open court, at which time Ann, wife of George Reeves, relinquished her dower.
Prince William County, Virginia, Deeds, 1731-1732, Liber A, pp. 138-140, shows that on 17 November 1731 George Reeves of Prince William County leased to "William Rice and Jain his wife and John Rice his son of same.... for natural lives of William Rice, Jain Rice and John Rice.... 100 a....land joyning the land of Thomas Davies." George Reeves signed the deed with Thomas Davies and James Miller as witnesses. Reeves acknowledged the deed in open court on 17 November 1731.
The timing and terms of the deeds to Davies and Rice, together with the 1732 deed to his brother John Reeves, may indicate a possible kinship between Reeves and the Davies and Rice families. On the other hand, it is worth noting that Reeves did not specifically mention Davies's wife in the deed and that the conveyance to the Rices is a lease, a commercial transaction, and the mention of Jain Rice and her son John may have been a legal formality. (NOTE that a 27 August 1739 Prince William County deed from Thomas Davies to Margaret Evans "for love and affection" identifies Thomas Davies's wife as Judith; the land deeded bordered "John Reeve's Mill Branch." The relationship to Evans is not specified; likewise, in 1746, George instituted a similar lease to Joseph and Ann Hutchinson and their son William.)
The association between George Reeves and Thomas Davies lasted for many years and seems to have been of greater importance than any connection he may have had with Rice or Hutchinson. On 16 July 1746 (Sparacio, Prince William Co., VA, Deeds, 1745-1746, pp. 136-137), "George Reeve" deeded 100 acres on the south side of Buckhall Branch to Joseph Hutchinson. The land bounded the lands of Thomas Davies, Edward Barry, and Joseph Bohanan. The deed was "for the natural lives of Joseph Hutchinson and Ann his wife and or William his son," provided that an annual rent was paid to George Reeve. Thomas Davies, Thomas Wallis, and Richard Dogged witnessed the deed.
George Reeve deeded to his sons Benjamin, John, Moses and Asa for natural love, land on Bull Run in Prince William County on October 18, 1751. Another son, George, may have been deceased by the date of this conveyance. This son, George, is documented on page 1 of the 1747 tithables list for Dettingen Parish in Prince William County wherein George Reves, Sr., is recorded with 2 tithes, himself and George Reves. The deed from George Reeves to his children can be found in Prince William Co., VA, Deed Book M. Therein, George — whose name is spelled Reeve throughout — conveyed small tracts of land to each of the five children named. Interestingly, there is no reference to son Thomas or to son George. Yet Thomas seems to have been still alive in Prince William; it is possible that George expected him to inherit property by virtue of the system of primogeniture still in practice in the Chesapeake or that he planned to make other provisions for him. George's son George was not mentioned either; he appeared with his father in the 1747 tax list but may have been deceased by 1751.
Shortly after making the deed of gift to his children, on 22-23 November 1751 (Prince William Co., VA, Deeds, Liber M, 1749-1752, pp. 205-207), George Reeves and Ann his Wife of Prince William County deeded to John Reeves of the same county of the other part, "for the sum of Fifty pound Sterling do sell unto said John Reeves and to his heirs all that tract of land which was formerly made over unto said John Reeves by said George Reeves by Deed of Gift recourse unto which being had will appear together with all the houses & appurtenances whatsoever to the said Three hundred and Thirteen acres of land (according to the bounds and Courses mentioned in the former Deed of Gift)(all which said premises are now in the actual possession of him the said John Reeves by virtue of Indenture for term of one year and by virtue of the statute for transferring uses into possession)." George Reeve and Anna Reeves signed the deed, and Judith Davies, Thomas Stone, and Isaac Reeve witnessed it. George and Ann acknowledged the release and receipt in open court on 25 November 1751.
In the 1751-1752 Northern Neck rentals list for Prince William County, George Reeve was listed with 611 acres, apparently reflecting his land holdings prior to dividing his property among his offspring.
At the time of the "Rental for the County of Prince William for the Year 1754," George Reeve was shown with 210 acres. His son Benjamin was shown with 150 and his son John with 150, both shown as three years past due. The 1760 rentals list also showed George Reeve (spelled Reive) with 210 acres, "suposed to be the remainder of the 813 acres charged Jno Reive Jnr who does not hold it." He was noted in one location with 210 acres (but then later in the same record with 310 acres) at the time of the 1761-1762 rent roll. The 1762 Prince William landholder list showed him with 310 acres.
On 23 March 1761, Richard Melton, John Hooe, Gent., George Reeves, and John Reeve were ordered to appraise the estate of William Hewitt. (Prince William Co., VA, Order Book, 1759-1761, p. 231).
In February 1762, George Reeve, James Bridges, James Hamrick, and Richard Melton were appointed to inventory the estate of Richard Hazelrigg (Prince William Co., VA, Order Book, 1759-1761).
On 4 May 1762, William Bird and George Reeve were securities when Sarah Melton filed for administration on the estate of William Melton, deceased (Prince William County, Virginia Bond Book August 1753-1782). (Note that since George Reeves, Sr., owned land adjacent that of the Meltons, this reference probably pertains to him.)
George was show with 1 tithable and 310 acres at the time of the 1765 Prince William Co., VA, tithables list taken by Lewis Reno. At the time of the 1767 Prince William County rent roll, he was shown as George Reaves, Sr., with 310 acres that was 4 years in arrears.
On 8-9 March 1770, Benjamin Reeve and Sarah his wife of County of Hampshire & George Reeve & Ann his wife of County of Prince William, of one part, sold to Maximilian Hainie of County of Prince William, for 50 pounds, 150 acres of land, containing 55 acres granted to sd George Reeve by deed from proprietor’s office on 24 February 1743, and another 941 acres granted said Reeve in 1728. The land is described as being adjacent Mr. John Hooe and John Reeve and extending down Bull Run near the Hanie’s fence. Other adjacent landowners were Charles Wickliff (mentioned in 1775 as a neighbor of Thomas Reeves) and the heirs of Benjmian Wickliff. Thomas Reeve, Moses (+) Reeve, Asa (+ in a circle) Reeve, and Peter Arthur (P) Burn witnessed the transaction. (Prince William Co., VA, Deed Book R, pp. 206-210).
At the time of the Prince William County rent rolls for 1773 — the last full year of his life — George Reeves was shown as "Reeves, Geo: Senr." with 310 acres 1 year in arrears.
When George Reeves died, an executor's bond for his son, Asa Reeves, was recorded in the Prince William County Virginia Executors/Administrators Bond Book 2, page 108, dated 7 February 1774. The will is not extant.
Although George Reeves had probably died in early 1774, he was still shown on the 1777 Prince William County rent roll with 310 acres, 5 years in arrears, with the notation that "Isaac Reeves 155 acrs in futer" and "155 acrs to Margerom George." There is record of a deed from George Reeves to Henry Margerom in which he conveyed part of his remaining land; the other 155 acres seems to be the portion of the land on which George resided, which George had deeded to his son Asa in 1751 but on which George continued to reside and pay rent for the remainder of his life. It is unclear why Isaac Reeve is mentioned; given the many errors in the rent rolls, this may have been a mistake that should actually refer to Asa Reeve. On the other hand, it may be that the land had fallen temporarily into Isaac's possession, perhaps as a short-term lease from George Reeves of his son Asa. But it seems clear that this was the tract that George had in 1751 deeded to Asa and which, several years after George's death, Asa sold before making his way to Kentucky.
A 1789 deed from George's son Asa Reeves to William Robinson mentions 3/4 of an acre reserved for a family graveyard; it seems likely that George and Ann Doggett Reeves were buried there, especially since the 1751 deed of gift included in Asa's portion the land "whereon I now live."
A descendant of George Reeves and Ann Doggett through their son Benjamin's son Austin Smith Reeves has participated in the Reeves DNA Project and was placed in DNA Group 10 which includes a descendant of William Reeve, son of George Reeve who was named as a legatee in George's 1778 will. This closely matching DNA confirms the family connection between George Reeves and his brother, John.
Note: The wife of George Reeves is listed in numerous web locations as Mary Ann Doggett; however, she was referred to simply as Ann in the will of her father, Benjamin Doggett Jr, written 18 September 1723 and proved on 13 November 1723 in Lancaster County Virginia. The will referred to her as "my daughter Ann now wife of George Reves." Three surviving documents from Prince William County include Ann's name: (a) Ann Reeves entered her signum on a deed of release from George Reeves to Thomas Davies on 25 October 1751; (b) Ann Reeve entered her signum twice in 1770 — on deeds of lease and release from George & Ann Reeve and Benjamin & Sarah Reeve to Maximilian Haynie on 8-9 March 1770. In all of these places, her name is listed as "Ann" rather than "Mary Ann." George and Ann Reeves' son Asa named one of his daughters "Ann Doggett Reeves" — not "Mary Ann Doggett Reeves." (From the research of Lois Downey.)
There were several Reeves families in the Northern Neck of Virginia between 1650 and 1750. One William Reeves died about 1699 in Northumberland County. Thomas Reeves lived in Richmond County, and John Reeves lived in Lancaster County. One Margaret Reeves was living in Richmond County in 1674. A Robert Reeves who was a contemporary of this William lived in Northumberland County. Later, George Reeves would also live in Northumberland County. One John Ryves was living in Westmoreland County during the 1650s. Slightly further afield, the family of Henry Reeves, Sr. lived in Old Rappahannock/Essex County. Across the Rappahannock River in Middlesex County was the large family headed by George Reeves and his four known sons, Thomas, Francis, George, and Charles. DNA analysis establishes, however, that there was no connection between the family of George Reeves and that of Henry Reeves, Sr.. Since descendants of these other Reeves families have not yet been tested, the possibility of kinship between some of them cannot be precluded.
Northumberland Co., VA, Deeds, Wills, and Court Orders.
Northern Neck of Virginia Land Grants.
Prince William Co., VA, Deeds, Wills, and Court Orders.