Reavis, Henry (1752 NC - 1837 IL)

Reavis, Henry

Reavis, Henry


Father: Thomas Reavis
Mother: Ann MNU

Birth: 11 Aug 1752, Northampton County, North Carolina
Birth Source: Revolutionary War Pension Application S32475

Death: 21 Apr 1837, Madison County, Illinois
Death Source: Probate Records of Madison County IL Vol. 3, pg 11 - Letters of Administration filed by Isham Reavis

Spouse1: Unknown
Spouse2: Polly Biggerstaff, m. 1827 in Bond County, Illinois


Children of Henry Reavis and unknown wife:
  1. Isham Reavis
  2. Pheraby Reavis, m. Joshua Renfro
  3. Elizabeth Delilah Reavis, m. William Burgess
  4. Mary Reavis, m. Aquilla Low
On June 7th, 1832, Henry Reavis made application for a Revolutionary War pension in Madison County, Illinois. He stated that he volunteered in Surry County, North Carolina in the fall of 1775 and joined the company commanded by Captain Jacob Free. After that 3 month service, he was drafted for several more tours of duty. See transcript of his pension application.

In that pension application, he recalled that when he left Northampton County, he moved to Surry County and from there to Rutherford County, both in North Carolina. He left North Carolina and settled in Kentucky in 1808 or 1809 where he lived more than 2 years and then moved to Madison County in 1811 where he lived until his death.

An affidavit testifying as to the truth of the statements made in the pension application was made by one Harris Reavis whose relationship is not stated. Harris Reavis appears to be a brother to Henry since he was also born (Dec 1754) in Northampton County, North Carolina from where he moved to Surry County, and eventually to Illinois. Henry Reavis gave a similar affidavit for the pension application of Harris.

In a brief biography by Henry's grandson Hiram Wilburton Reavis, son of Isham, Hiram stated that his father and mother were cousins on his father's side. Mary Reavis was the daughter of Harris Reavis which establishes that Harris and Henry were brothers.

In an 1818 election under the new Illinois Constitution, Henry Reavis was a candidate for governor¹:
The result in Madison County was as follows: for state, congressional, and county officers:
For Governor: Shadrack Bond, 515; Henry Reavis, 19.

Henry Reavis died intestate in Madison County, Illinois on 21 April 1837 according to the statement of his son Isham when he applied for letters of administration for the estate of Henry Reavis. Henry's wife Polly died the following year for her estate was also recorded in the probate records of Madison County.

Henry is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery, Collinsville, Madison County, Illinois.

Research Notes

Although Henry is associated with the Reavis variation of the name, his is the only DNA for a Reavis male who does not match that of other Reavis' participants in the Reeves DNA Project who compose DNA Group 7. Instead, the DNA of a descendant of Henry Reavis has been placed in DNA Group 6 with other Reeves' individuals. His DNA most closely matches that of three descendants of John Durden Reeves who was also born in Northampton County, North Carolina. John Durden Reeves lived for a brief time in Cumberland County before he also migrated to Surry County, North Carolina. Whether there is a family connection between these two ancestors is currently unknown and needs much research.

The Rev. War Payment ledger states Henry died 21 Sep 1837.


1820 Census:  Madison County, Illinois
1830 Census:  Madison County, Illinois

Revolutionary War Pension Application of Henry Reavis
Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934 Database at www.familysearch.org
Madison County, Illinois Probate Records Vol. 3
¹Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois, and Its People, 1812 to 1912 by William T. Norton, pub 1912
Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers, Illinois, p408 (FamilySearch)