Reeve, Abigail (aft 1686 NY - fl 1758 NY)

Reeve, Abigail

Reeve, Abigail


Father: Joseph Reeve
Mother: Abigail MNU

Birth: after 1686, before 1698
Birth Source: Censuses

Death: after 1758
Death Source: Will of John Dickerson

Spouse: John Dickerson


Note: This page represents the Abigail Reeve who was the wife of John Dickerson, and whose descendant records are relatively well documented. Of her parentage there are different possible conclusions. For now we will follow the conclusions of Wesley Baker's studies (as has been done previously on TRP for other members of the Southold Reeve family), subject to further research.

Abigail Reeve of Southold, New York was probably the oldest daughter of Joseph Reeve and Abigail MNU.

Abigail Reeve appears in the 1698 Southold, NY Census in the household of Joseph Reeve.
However, the person count of Joseph Reeve's household in the prior census of 1686 does not include Abigail.

Abigail married John Dickerson on 2 (or 5 or 25) December 1710, in Southold, NY.

Children of John Dickerson and Abigail Reeve:
  1. Bethia Dickerson
  2. Mary Dickerson
  3. William Dickerson, m1. Dorothy Corey; m2. Deborah Horton; m3. Esther Halsey
  4. John Dickerson, m. Elizabeth Corey
  5. Infant
  6. Selah Dickerson, m1. Sarah Overton; m2. Susannah Robinson
  7. Deborah Dickerson, unmarried
Probable children of John Dickerson and Abigail Reeve
  1. Samuel Dickerson, m. Martha Racket
  2. Mehetable Dickerson, m. Joshua Dickerson

Abigail is mentioned by name in her father Joseph Reeve's will in 1736 as one of three daughters.

Abigail is executrix of her husband John Dickerson's will proved in 1758.

She has not yet been found in later documents.

Research Notes

Birth date
Range 1686-1698 based on absence from 1686 and presence in 1698 Southold Census entries for her father's household.

Abigail Reeve wife of John Dickerson was surmised to be the daughter of William Reeve or John Reeve in several well-circulated genealogical and historical collections. However, Wesley L. Baker revisits this matter in much detail in his more contemporary books Reeve Family of Southold, Long Island, N.Y. and Dickerson and Dickinson Descendants of Philemon Dickerson cited below. There, Baker reviews the origins of the previous assumptions, reveals certain errors and additional previously unconsidered data, and presents a case for this Abigail Reeve actually being the daughter of Joseph Reeve.

Some specific points made in those studies include:

There are three Abigail Reeve's names in the 1698 Census of Southold, NY, in the households of John, Joseph, and Mary Reeve.

John Reeve's will of 1712 refers to his eldest daughter, Hannah, as "now wife of Gideon Young", but refers to his two other daughters, Abigail and Martha, only by their given names. Further, Abigail and Martha are each bequeathed half of the household while Hannah is bequeathed only a small amount "over & above what she hath already had." According to Baker, "this was a frequent reference in wills of those days to a married daughter" as the married daughter would already have been given her share as a wedding gift. It is known that John's daughter Martha was unmarried at the time of the 1712 will. The subject of this TRP page would have been already married (to John Dickerson) at the time of the 1712 will.
All of this seems to rule out John Reeve as the father of John Dickerson's wife Abigail Reeve.

Joseph Reeve's will of 1722 refers to his three daughters, Abigail, Mary & Hannah, only by their given names, with no mention of marriage status for any of them. Daughters Mary and Hannah were both unmarried at the time of the 1722 will, while the subject of this TRP page would have been already married for 12 years. This is certainly not conclusive, but is not a strong contradiction of Abigail's marriage status as that presented by John Reeve's will.

Mary Reeve is presumed to be the widow of William Reeve, who died in 1697 but did not leave a will. Baker reasons that since this family lived in Mattituck (Craven, A History of Mattituck, p.71) , while the Dickerson's lived in the Hamlet of Southold about 8 miles away, it is unlikely that the Abigail Reeve from this household was the one who married John Dickerson. This also is not conclusive, but adds support to Baker's reasoned conclusion.

Useful references:

  • Baker, Wesley Logan. Study of the Reeve family of Southold, Long Island, N.Y. : and Southold descendants of the Southampton, L.I. Reeves family and genealogy of said families up to 1800, Douglaston, N.Y.: 1970. Pages 114-115, 358, 369-371 (FamilySearch.org)            Filled with transcriptions and reproductions of primary source materials for the Reeve Family of Southold, NY ca 1600's-1800's

  • Baker, Wesley L.. Dickerson and Dickinson Descendants of Philemon Dickerson of Southold, Long Island, N.Y.: Also Long Island Descendants of Captain John Dickinson of Oyster Bay: Published Chicago, IL: Adams Press, 1979. Pages 42-43.            Filled with transcriptions and reproductions of primary source materials for the Dickerson Family and their many Reeve marriage connections of Southold, NY ca 1600's-1800's

  • Craven, Charles Edmiston, A History of Mattituck, Long Island, N.Y. Published 1906 for the author, Mattituck, N.Y. (Archive.org)

  • Moore, Charles Benjamin. Town of Southold, Long Island. Personal index prior to 1698, and index of 1698, J. Medole, New York, 1868. Page 112. (Archive.org)            Attempt to identify all inhabitants of Southold through analysis of the primary material of the time.

  • Werner, Charles Jolly, Genealogies of Long Island families; a collection of genealogies relating to the following Long Island families: Dickerson, Mitchill, Wickham, Carman, Raynor, Rushmore, Satterly, Hawkins, Arthur Smith, Mills, Howard, Lush, Greene, publ. 44 Whitehall Street New York, N. Y. - 1919. Page 13, 16. (Archive.org)            A reference used to complete many genealogies even today, yet the information deserves careful verification against primary source material.


Birth:              1686 Census
                         1698 Census
Marriage:       The Salmon Records
Death:             1757 Will of John Dickerson; New York in Vol. 21, page 110.

1686 Southold, NY (Archive.org)
1698 Southold, NY

1712 Will of John Reeve; New York Will Vol. 8, page 301
1722 Will of Joseph Reeve; New York in Vol. 12, page 514