Reeves, James (c1785 SC - 1844 SC)


Reeves, James


Father: Unknown, but probably Elisha Reeves
Mother: Unknown

Birth: abt 1785, probably South Carolina
Birth Source: Place of birth from statements of children on 1880 census.

Death: 29 Jan 1844, Lancaster County, South Carolina
Death Source: 1844 Will and James A. Blackmon Family Bible

Spouse1: Betsy Garris, m. c1804
Spouse2: Bethenia Williams, m. c1824


Children of James Reeves, Sr. and Betsy Garris:
  1. John Reeves, b. c1805
  2. Winifred Reeves, b. c1809
  3. Elisha Reeves, b. c1810
  4. James Brady Reeves, Jr., b. c1812
  5. Jane Reeves, b. 1 Feb 1815
Children of James Reeves, Sr. and Bethenia Williams:
  1. Elizabeth Reeves, b. 17 Jun 1825
  2. Malissa Caroline Reeves, 15 Nov 1827
  3. Mary Missouri Reeves, b. May 1831
  4. Dorcas A. Reeves, b. 7 May 1835
  5. Thomas Jefferson Reeves, b. 7 Dec 1837
  6. Amy Ella Reeves, b. 4 Aug 1840
  7. Charlotte Ann Bethenia Reeves, b. 31 Jul 1844
James Reeves Sr. is thought to have been born around 1785. There is no good source for this exact date, but the ages on the census records narrows the window down to about 1785-1790. His middle name may have been Brady, just as his son Junior's is, but no record which states this has been located.

The names of his parents have not been determined, but there are several possibilities. It has been suggested that James had a brother, John Reeves, who died August 3, 1840 in Mississippi, and a sister, Elizabeth Reeves, who married David Williams. In the 1790 census, there is an Elisha Reeves living in Camden District with a wife and a boy under 16 years old. By 1800, Elisha was gone. Based on age, enumeration, associations, and geography, Elisha seems to be the best candidate to have fathered James Reeves and John Reeves, although it is possible that they were children of John Reeves by his second marriage.

By 1800,William Reeves was living in Lancaster County with his wife, one girl under 10, and two boys under 10. This William is known to have been a son of John Reeves. His children were named in his will, and he is not the father of this James or John. William's neighbors, however, place him living in the same area where Elisha Reeves had been living in 1790. One neighbor was David Williams, husband of Elizabeth Reeves. Several members of the Blackmon family were also living nearby.

It is known from Daniel Reeves's pension application that Daniel was born in 1754 and that he was a son of John and Nancy. Also from Daniel's pension application, it is known that his mother Nancy had died and that John had remarried by the time that Daniel was away fighting in the Revolution. Daniel's relationship with his step-mother was so strained that he stayed with his father's brother (apparently Moses Reeves of Lancaster County) when he was home for leave, and, after Daniel married, he left his wife Eleanor to live at his uncle's home rather than with his own father. It would seem that with John's second marriage he had begun a new family and that relations with his older children may have soured, at least with Daniel. This scenario fits well with the 1790 census, which shows John with one son born after 1774 and what appear to be three unmarried daughters in his household. It seems possible that James Reeves, Sr., was the son of John Reeves by his second marriage. One factor that seems to support the idea that James Reeves might have been John's grandson is that James was born after 1785 and John Reeves in or after 1790. Another important factor is the tradition that James Reeves, John Reeves, and Elizabeth Reeves, wife of Daniel Williams were close relatives. Since James Reeves married Elizabeth's daughter, she almost certainly was not his sister. Age estimates based on census reports indicate that she was probably born between 1775 and 1778. She could have been the daughter of either John Reeves or his brother Moses Reeves. But the close proximity between David Williams, Britton Blackmon, James Reeves, and John Reeves — and the frequency of intermarriages among these four families — suggests a close connection. If Elizabeth were John's daughter and James were John's grandson, this would make her his aunt. But all relationships remain speculative until further evidence emerges.

James seems to have married in 1804 or 1805 in Lancaster County. By 1810, James Reeves was living in Lancaster County as a head of household. James owned most of what is now the Rich Hill community in Lancaster County. On the 1825 Mills Atlas map of Lancaster County, his place is marked 'Reeves.' James and Betsy had three children who died young. James died January 29, 1844 according to his daughter Malissa's family bible. He left a will, but it was challenged right away. John declared the "Horton Acres" was his. He said his father had bought that land for him and must have been too old to remember it. Elisha and Bethena joined forces and sued everyone else in the family, including the in-laws and baby Charlotte, to keep the land. James H. Witherspoon ordered the disputed land to be put up at Public Auction to the highest bidder. John bought back 'his' land for $1802.
- Source: Research of Dora Reeves and Sherry McLemore; Census.

On the 1810 census, there are listed the ages which correspond to these people: James (listed as head) 16-25; Betsy (16-25); John (0-10); Winnie (0-10).

On the 1820 census, there are listed the ages which correspond to these people: James (listed as head) 26-45; ?Betsy (26-45); John (10-16); Winnie (10-16); Elisha (0-10); James Jr. (0-10); male1 (0-10); male2 (0-10); Jane (0-10); female (0-10). Three children, two boys and one girl, unidentifiable.

On the 1830 census, there are listed the ages which correspond to these people: James (listed as head) 40-50; Bethena (20-30); John (20-30); Elisha (16-20); James Jr. (16-20); Jane (10-15); male (10-15); Betsy (0-5); Malissa (0-5). One boy unidentifiable.

Although early Lancaster County, SC, probate records were destroyed, the land transactions are largely in tact. In one early transaction, circa 1814, James Reeves purchased 100 acres on Bear Creek that had been granted to James Blackmon in January 1780 from James Blackmon of Lancaster County. David Myers and John Blackmon witnessed the deed. (Lancaster Co., SC, DB H, p. 155.) In 1827, John Blackmon sold 15 acres to James Reeves. The land had been granted to John Blackmon on 16 January 1786 and joined land owned by Dudley Hale; George Craig and David Williams, husband of Elizabeth Reeves, witnessed the transaction. (Lancaster Co., SC, DB L, p. 284.)

Lancaster County deeds show that James Reeves was involved in land transactions with Burrell Clark (1827, DB L, p. 281), Edward Pigg (1826, DB L, p. 282), William Baskins (1827, DB L, p. 283), and Amos Blackmon (1840, DB O, p. 3). James was also involved in land transactions with his son John (1839, DB L, pp. 459-64; 1840, DB L, p. 535; 1840, DB N, p. 535) and with his son James (1839, DB N, pp. 460-61). Following James's death, his second wife Bethenia, who survived him, was also involved in land transactions (1850; DB Q, p. 24).

Cumulatively, land transactions associate James Reeves and his sons John and James Brady Reeves with Flat Creek, Rocky River Road, Bear Creek, and Little Lynches Creek in southeastern Lancaster County.

This page has the following file(s) attached:-


Jonathan Reeves' Reeves Family Website(external link)
1844 Will of James Reeves, Sr.
1790 Census - Lancaster County, SC
1800 Census - Lancaster County, SC
1810 Census - Lancaster County, SC
1820 Census - Lancaster County, SC
1830 Census - Lancaster County, SC
Lancaster County, SC Deed Records

Contributors to this page: Jonathan Reeves1873 points  , Dan_Knight8638 points  and Beverly87594 points  .
Page last modified on Wednesday 06 of September, 2017 16:37:54 CDT by Jonathan Reeves1873 points .

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