Reaves, John (1744 VA - 1803 TN)


Reaves, John Sr.


Father: Unknown

Birth: c1744, Virginia
Birth Source:

Death: 1803, Greene County, Tennessee
Death Source: Greene County TN Will Records V1 p34-35

Spouse1: Elizabeth Fox


Children of John Reaves and Elizabeth Fox:
  1. William Reaves, b. 1765
  2. Elizabeth Reaves, m. George Jameson
  3. Moses Reaves, b. 1768
  4. James V. Reaves, b. 1769
  5. John Reaves, Jr., b. c1770
  6. Louiza Reaves, b. c1776
  7. Jane Reaves, b. 1777, m. Joseph Posey
  8. Milly Reaves, m. Jacob Johnson
  9. Martha Reaves
John Reaves presumably died in 1803 as that is when his will was probated. This family tended to spell their names "Reaves" but appears often as "Reeves" as well. Two of his children, Martha and Milly, are named in the will. John Jr. died in 1791 and John Sr. had the administration on his estate in 1792. William was named as a son of the widow Elizabeth Reeves in a power of attorney from 1812. This was witnessed by Joseph Posey. William's security for his marriage in 1786 was a George Jameson. George married an Elizabeth Reeves that same year, presumably another child of John's. George Jameson also served as security for the marriage of Moses Reeves in 1796. Minutes from a Presbyterian synod meeting from 1797 reveal that Joseph Posey (who later witnessed the power of attorney from Elizabeth to William) was married to a Jane Reeves. This would indicate that she was a daughter of William as well. Proof of the connection to James V. Reaves is currently lacking although A History of Hickman County Tenn records that he was from Greene County as well. There is a marriage between a Vize Reeves and John Allison in 1797 who appears to be a daughter named Louiza according to the book The Reaves Family of Greene County, Tennessee.

In 1810, Wilson's Knoxville Gazette advertised John's homeplace to be sold as a result of a court case involving the daughter Milley Reaves:
Bequeathed by John Reaves, deceased, to his daughter Milley Reaves, now the wife of Jacob Johnson, including the mansion house, orchard and spring where the said John Reaves resided at the time of his decease, which I have seized in execution and shall proceed to sell, to satisfy a judgment John Russell esq. recovered against the said Jacob Johnson, in the court aforesaid, unless the same be previously satisfied, with costs, &c.
Sheriff of Greene county.

June 2, 1810.

The book The Reaves Family of Greene County, Tennessee contains information on John's family and descendants. Among the papers collected by Mr. Reaves for his book was a copy of a power of attorney from Elizabeth Reeves appointing her "beloved son William Reves of the County of Greene and State aforesaid" as her attorney for anything owing her "within the County of Greene aforesaid but more especially in my name as Executrix of the estate of John Reves deceas'd and as heir by Will of said Estate." Joseph Posey and John Maxwell were witnesses. The power of attorney is dated 13 Aug 1812 as was from Blount County but may have been filed in Greene County. A citation for this record is lacking.

The following is taken from the former Phillip Knox Family website:
In 1781 and 1782 John appears in the records as a court witness in Washington County, North Carolina (now in Tennessee). In 1785 John Reaves appears on a census taken in Greene County, Tennessee. In 1786 he was mentioned in the will of Samuel Vance as owning land near him on the Little Chucky River in Greene County, State of Franklin (now Tennessee). This land was located about 2 1/2 miles due east of what is now Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee near the intersection of Hartman Road and Vintage Lane near the present day Little Chucky Creek. In 1788 John Reves was the overseer of two roads in Washington County, Tennessee. In 1790 land next to Samuel Vance located at the head of a branch that runs into the Little Chucky River on the south side of Lick Creek was granted (North Carolina Land Grant 2437) to John Reaves. This land transaction was recorded December 16, 1791. Records show John Reaves served as a juror in Greene County in August 1790. In 1790 John Reaves, in company with other jurors in Greene County, reported on a road from the south bank of the Buckingham Ford on the Nolichucky River to the court house. On January 4, 1795 John Reaves received a North Carolina land grant (Tennessee 101319) for 100 acres in the same location as the 1790 land grant. In 1809 Elizabeth (widow of John Sr. deceased ) brought a lawsuit on behalf of John's estate against Moses Reaves. She also (in 1809) brought suit on behalf of John's estate against George Jameson for land on the south side of Lick Creek on the waters of a branch that runs into Little Creek below the land on the Little Chucky Creek. George Jamison's land was confiscated by the sheriff and put up for auction to satisfy the court suit. In 1812 Elizabeth Reaves (widow of John Sr.) now of Blount County, Tennessee gave her son William Reaves power of attorney over her estate. Elizabeth apparently (along with daughter and son-in-law Jane and Joseph Posey) had moved to Blount County sometime about 1812. On January 31, 1817 180 acres (John Reaves' estate) was sold to Henry Dyck Sr. Jr. by Martha Reaves. John Reaves' land, spring and cabin subsequently passed through many hands. The cabin was eventually torn down, moved, and reassembled across from the Greeneville Town Hall and in back of the library as a replica of the old State of Franklin Capitol Building. He died in 1803 in Greene County, Tennessee.(20290) Henry Dyke and Elizabeth Reves were the co-executors of his last will and testament. The only children mentioned in the will were Milly and Martha.

Henry Dyke Sr. and Elizabeth Reeves gained administration of John's estate in April 1803. A copy of the will was recorded the administrations book. (Admins 1802-1810, p33)

Research Notes


1801 Will - John Reeves - Greene County ,Tennessee, Will Records V1, p34-35
1810 Deed - 1810 Deed - James Patterson to Coonrod Hulvey - Greene County, Tennessee Deed Book 9, p18
1812 Will - Elizabeth Reeves - Blount County, Tennessee, Will Admin & Exe V1, p127
1817 Deed - Martha Reaves to Henry Dyche Sr. - Greene County, Tennessee Deed Book 11, p222
Greene County, Tennessee Administrations and Settlements 1802-1810, p33-35
Reaves, Timothy O., Sr. The Reaves Family of Greene County, Tennessee
Phillip Knox Family (link now broken)