Reavis, Samuel (1721 VA - 1789 NC)

Samuel Reavis

Reavis, Samuel


Father: Edward Reavis
Mother: Hannah Alley

Birth: c1721, Henrico County, Virginia
Birth Source: Will of Edward Reavis

Death: 1789, Granville County, North Carolina
Death Source: Probate of estate Nov 1789 in Granville NC Wills Vol. 2

Spouse1: Nancy Jones


Children of Samuel Reavis and Nancy Jones:
  1. Mary Reavis, b. 29 Sep 1758, m. Hartwell Hyde
  2. Lucy Russell Reavis, b. 1762, m. Lewis William Parham
  3. Hannah Reavis, b. 1764, m. Dr. Benjamin King
  4. Lewis Reavis, b. 1766, m. Sarah Wyche
  5. Thomas Reavis, b. 1768, m. Elizabeth Marshall
  6. Nancy Jones Reavis, b. 1770, m. John Brame
  7. Sarah Jane "Sally" Reavis, b. 1772, m. Turner Moss
  8. Elizabeth "Betsy" Reavis, b. 1774, m. Rowland Harris
  9. Samuel Jones Reavis, b. 1776, m. Martha Harris
  10. Rebecca Reavis, b. 1778, m. Arthur H. Harris
  11. William Whitfield Reavis, b. 1780, m. Elizabeth Wiggins
The above children of Samuel Reavis are named in the division of his estate recorded in Granville County Wills Vol. 2 at pages 292-293.

Samuel is mentioned several times in Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 6 as involved in a case of trespass in 1756. He was taken into custody for perjury and got out with a recognizance bond. An agreement was reached and the trespass case was dismissed.

Samuel Reavis along with his wife Nancy Jones, four sons, six of his seven daughters, and 20 slaves, relocated from Northampton County to the area currently known as Henderson, NC about 1787-1789. They became large landowners and have been recognized as the "founders of Henderson."

It is believed that the eldest Samuel built a house in the northern part of Henderson (on Rock Spring Street near Eaton-Johnston School). Sons Lewis, William, and Thomas built in a community known as Chalk Level, where there was a crossing of two stage coach lines. There was a "Reavis Tavern" located there. They later moved to Henderson, where in 1836 Lewis persuaded the Raleigh-Gaston Railroad to locate a train station in front of his house instead of at Chalk Level, by giving ten acres of his land. Lewis operated a hotel in his large house, which also served as the first post office.

The other son, Samuel Jones Reavis, built what is known as the "Old Reavis House" about 1789/90, on a 300 acre tract located on Indian Creek (Satterwhite Point Rd / Flat Rock Community) one and 1/2 miles north of Chalk Level, along the stage coach line. This tract of land had been purchased by the eldest Samuel on on 16 Jan 1789, but he died in October of that year. The estate papers of Samuel Jones Reavis indicate that he was worth $60,000 at the time of his death in 1854 and also had 34 slaves. The house is illustrated on a "Historical Map of Granville County" by J.E. Buck, dated 1931, with a notation, "Old Reavis House - Abt 1790." The house has always been in the Reavis Family, and is the only surviving house of the original Reavis family.

Rowan County equity records contain a case in which all the heirs of Nancy Reavis are listed and were claiming part of the estate of Lucy Mabry of Iredell County who died intestate in 1831. As "children of Nancy Reavis, who was the sister of Lucy Mabry," they claimed right to part of the estate per a deed from Lucy Mabry dated 7 Nov 1829 to William Whitfield Reavis.

Research Notes


Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 6
Will of Edward Reavis, Northampton NC
Granville County NC, Wills Vol. 2 pgs 292-293
Reavis Family of Vance (Old Granville) County, NC by David C. Reavis
Rowan County, North Carolina Records Court of Chauncery 1820-1834, p223