Mother: Probably Ann Doggett
Birth: probably 17 Oct 1719, Northumberland County, Virginia
Birth Source: Parish Register for St. Stephen's Parish, Northumberland County
Death: abt April 1787, Georgia
Death Source: Letters of Administration on the Estate of Thomas Reeve published 21 April 1787
Spouse1: Jane MNU
Spouse2: Sarah MNU Reeve
Thomas Reeves was on the list of tithables for Western Dettingen Parish in Prince William County, 1747, with one tithe. He was listed there again in 1765 on Foushee Tebb's list.
Thomas was not included in George Reeves' deed of gift to his children in 1751. However, one or more men named Thomas Reeves appear in several documents in Prince William County Virginia during the period when Thomas would have been an adult:
1) As plaintiff in a suit for assault and battery brought against Anthony Seale, Jr., in Prince William County court on 20 August 1753 and dismissed 28 May 1755.
2) As "com'on bail," along with Isaac Foster and William Barr, "Seale not appearing," in 1753.
3) As security on 25 June 1754 for the administratrix of an estate.
4) As a cuckold in 1755 — his wife Jane having had a lover named Cariby Veale, who was the object of a presentment on 26 May 1755 to a Prince William County jury for the sin of cohabitation.
5) As security on 25 June 1759 for the executrix of a decedant's will.
6) As an overseer/surveyor of highways, appointed on 23 November 1761.
7) As a Prince William county resident who, according to the county's 1765 tithables list, was excused from paying his poll taxes because he had worked on slave patrol. His name was shown on Lewis Reno's tithable list in that year as Thomas Reeve, patroler.
8) As a Dettingen Parish resident whom the parish vestry reimbursed on 25 November 1765 for having provided support for a "poor man" named Valentine Higgs and for subsequently burying Higgs.
9) As the appointed guardian of Dettingen Parish orphans in 1766, 1767, and 1770. In 1767 Thomas was listed as a turner, and the child was to be taught the art of turning. In 1770 the child, Alexander Edison, was to be taught "the art and mystery of farming." Whether these refer to the same Thomas Reeves who was both a woodworker and farmer, or to two different men, is unknown.
10) As appraiser of an estate recorded in the Prince William County court orders for 7 December 1767.
11) As owner of an account at Daniel Payne's store in Dumfries between 1759 and 1763 (the only period for which the store ledger survives). His account, recorded in folio 90, includes a debit entry for 28 January 1761, that included an apparent purchase of fiddle strings by his son Elijah, for which Elijah was 4 pence short, the 4 pence being added to Thomas' other purchases of the day. The son Elijah may have been the Elijah Reeves whose son Spencer would marry the daughter of Thomas' younger brother Asa in Mason County Kentucky in 1790.
12) As witness to a deed from George & Ann Reeves and Benjamin & Sarah Reeves to Maximilian Haynie in 1770. The land sold lay adjacent land owned by Charles Wickliff, a neighbor of Thomas Reeves in 1775.
13) As the owner of land adjacent to land included in two deeds recorded in Prince William County in 1768 (adjoining land owned by William Melton, son of Richard Melton and ward of Lewis Reno) and 1775 (property joining Arrington and Charles Wickliff).
14) As indebted to a British mercantile company, William Cunningham and Company, of Glasgow, at their Falmouth Store, with a bill for 6 pounds, 5 shillings, and 9 pence due in May of 1774. After the Revolutionary War, the company assigned an agent to determine the status of the company's accounts receivable in Virginia; the agent investigating the claim against Thomas Reeves — whose finished report dates from 1803 — concluded that the man in question had "moved to Georgia about twenty years ago, then solvent." This would suggest that Thomas Reeves left Prince William prior to 1783. (The same company had postwar claims in Prince William County against Moses Reeves and John Reeves.)
How many of these Prince William County references to a Thomas Reeves refer to the son of George and Ann Doggett Reeves is unknown; the 1747 Prince William tithable list documented the presence of Thomas Reeves, born in 1719, son of George and Ann, as well as a younger Thomas, born between 1726 and 1731, who may have been a son of Thomas Reeves of Northumberland County. It seems likely that many of these records — given the close geographical association with George and Ann Doggett Reeves and their neighbors — relate to their son Thomas. After their parents' deaths, however, the children of George and Ann seem to have scattered; it seems possible that Thomas may have migrated to Georgia about this time.
(From the Research of Lois Downey)
It is very probable that this is the Thomas Reeve who received a bounty land warrant in Washington County, Georgia in 1784 and died there around April 1787.
The individual who received a certificate of entitlement to a bounty land grant in Washington County, Georgia on 20 Jul 1784 appears to be the same Thomas Reeves born 17 Oct 1719 to George Reeve and Ann Doggett in Northumberland County, Virginia. This date closely corresponds with the July 1784 date when Spencer Reeves was also issued a land warrant for 250 acres in Washington County.
Thomas Reeves of Prince William County was indebted to a British mercantile company, William Cunningham and Company, of Glasgow, at their Falmouth Store, with a bill for 6 pounds, 5 shillings, and 9 pence due in May of 1774. After the Revolutionary War, the company assigned an agent to determine the status of the company's accounts receivable in Virginia; the agent investigating the claim against Thomas Reeves — whose finished report dates from 1803 — concluded that the man in question had "moved to Georgia about twenty years ago, then solvent." This would suggest that Thomas Reeves left Prince William prior to 1783 which coincides with the appearance of Thomas Reeve in Washington County, Georgia in 1784.
After receiving the Washington County, GA, land grants, Thomas and Spencer Reeves sold their lands at the same time:
- 1785, 27 September: Spencer Reeve “of county aforesaid” (probably Richmond County; no heading indicated in abstract) to William Greaves now or late of Savannah for 10 shillings and 50 pounds sterling, 287.5 acres in Washington County, granted 5 March 1785, bounded NE by John Finn, SE by John Young, NW by Nathaniel Wade. S: Spencer Reeve. Wit: N. Harris, JP, James Sims. (Greene Co., GA, DB 1, pp. 4-8, in Lucas, Some Georgia County Records, 2: 162.) (See transcriptions here and here)
- 1785, 27 September: Thomas Reeve to William Greaves, “now or late of Savannah,” for 10 shillings and 50 pounds sterling, 287.5 acres in Washington County, granted 8 March 1785, bounded NE by Samuel Sterks, NW by Samuel Jacks, SE by Edward Hail. S: Thomas Reaves. Wit: N. Harris, JP, Britain Simms. (Greene Co., GA, DB 1, pp. 9-13, in Lucas, Some Georgia County Records,2: 162.) (See transcriptions here and here)
Thomas was also mentioned in a 26 October 1785 deed:
- 1785, 26 October: Richard Call of Augusta, Esq., to Thomas Ferguson of Charleston, SC, Esq., for 300 pounds, 575 acres, waters of Shoulderbone Creek in Washington County…bounded by Edward Hail and Thomas Reaves (W), Samuel Jack (N), granted to Samuel Stirk, ESq., 8 March last. Wit: Thomas Glascock, J.P., James Simmons. (Greene Co., GA, DB 2, p. 220-221, in Lucas, Some Georgia County Records, 2: 258.)
Richard Call had acquired the tracts sold by Spencer and Thomas Reeve to William Greaves prior to 30 July 1786, when he resold them to Robert Flournoy of Greene Co., GA. (Greene Co., GA, DB 1, p. 557, in Lucas, Some Georgia County Records, 2: 216.)
The following record establishes that he was in Chester Co., SC, prior to 1786:
1786, 9-10 February: Thomas Rivess, living in the state of Georgia, on Brier Creek, planter, to John Findley, of Waxhaws, Lancaster County, planter, for 84 pounds, 14 shillings sterling, 140 acres on a branch of Wateree River called Fishing Creek, granted to Alex McCown, FFF, 375, on which Thomas Reaves formerly lived, adj. land laid off by William Carson, 140 acres, granted 21 April 1775. S: Thomas (X) Reaves. Wit: John McCown, Robert Robinson, Robert Thompson.
(See here for a complete transcription)
Petitions for land from the SC Council Journals on 4 Dec 1771 show that Alexander McKewn (sic) was granted 300 acres in Craven County, but that the land was originally surveyed for Arch'd McDonald. On 5 May 1773 this petition of also listed as needing to be certified and read again as the plat had elapsed. The plat of the 300 acres of land for Archibald McDonell or McDowell from 1756 is described as "on the S W side of the Wateree River on Fishing Creek." As the deed states, the actual grant bears date 21 Apr 1774. The deed states he only sold 140 acres of the original three hundred. Perhaps the other parts remained with the rest of the family or was previously sold. The fact that this land was on Fishing Creek suggests he lived close by his brothers John and Moses.
This deed further links Thomas Reeve(s) of Richmond County, GA, with Spencer Reeve(s), for a 3 July 1786 headright certificate for Spencer Reeve indicates that the 100 acres of land was “in the said county of Richmond, on his own headright to be laid out to Include his Improvement on Brier Creek.”
Augusta Chronicle (published under original name, Georgia Gazette): 21 April 1787:
"Whereas John Reeve, Son, hath applied to me for letters of administration on the estate and effects of Thomas Reeve, late of this county, deceased, these are therefore to cite and admonish all and singular the kindred and creditors of the said deceased, to be and appear before me, at my office, on the 21st day of May next, and shew cause, if any there be, why letters of administration should not be granted."
The timing of the administration notice for Thomas Reeve is significant, for, on 7 May 1787, Sarah Reeve received a certificate for 200 acres “on her own head Right” in “said county of Richmond” joining “lands of Mathews & Spencer Reeve.” (A later deed, in which Spencer Reeves sold part of this tract of land establishes that he was this Sarah Reeves's son. On 6 Jul 1822, when Spencer Reeves sold land in Columbia County to William Luckey, the property was described as being the southwest corner of two tracts of land, the one granted Spencer Reeves on 15 March 1787 and "the other granted to Sarah his mother on the 14th day of October 1787." The land is described as lying on a small branch running between the lands of said Reeves and Luckey. (Columbia Co., GA, Deed Book Y, p. 548. A map showing these tracts may be found in Daniel Crumpton's Richmond County, Georgia, Land Records.)
The exact reason for the delay is not clear, but it was not until 8 December 1787 that John Reeve was officially issued letters of administration on the estate of Thomas Reeve in Richmond County. William Hoge and Thomas Jones were his securities. While it remains speculative, the delay between the 21 April 1787 application for letters of administration and the 8 December 1787 issuance of these letters may have something to do with Reeve's heirs being scattered between Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Back in South Carolina, John Robinson of Newbury County, SC appointed his trusted friend William Thomas Linton of Chester County, attorney to recover from the estate of Thomas Reavis deceased, "anything belonging to me." The relationship, if any, is unclear. The date was 15 Apr 1790. (Holcomb, Chester Co., SC DB B p405-406)
On 1 Jan 1803, in a notice published in the Augusta Chronicle but headed "Columbia County," there is the published notice dated 15 Dec 1802 in which John Reeves applied for "letters dismissory on the estate and effects of Thomas Reeves." An 1859 Georgia law code indicated that letters dismissory were warranted when the estate had been fully administered and "nothing more remains to be done." This seems to indicate that Thomas Reeve's estate had been fully settled by 1803. To date, however, no additional annual returns have been located in Richmond or Columbia Counties, Georgia, that identify all of Thomas Reeve's heirs.
If this Thomas Reeve were the son of George and Ann Doggett Reeves of Prince William County, Virginia, he may have been the father of Elijah Reeves. It is noteworthy that this Elijah Reeves named a son Spencer Reeves. An early neighbor and associate of the Reeve(s) family in Prince William County was Spencer Haynie, who, like the Reeve(s) family, had come from Northumberland County, Virginia. Although the use of the relatively unusual given name Spencer may indicate a family connection, many early Northumberland residents were named in honor of the prominent Northern Neck Spencer family.
April Court 1786: Thomas Reaves v. John Allen, in Trover….James Hambleton stole from John Fleming’s mill house on 3 January 1786… Also Thomas Reaves v. Alexander Walker, in Trover. Continued at Defendant’s costs. (Holcomb, Chester County Minutes 1785-1799, p. 29, Citing Order Book A, pp. 80-81.)
7 July 1786: Thomas Reaves v. Alexander Walker, In Trover. “Dismissed from the Plaintiffs death at his Costs.” (Holcomb, Chester County Minutes 1785-1799, p. 50, Citing Book A, p. 130.)
7 July 1786: Thomas Reaves v. John Allen. “Dismissed from the Plaintiffs death at his Costs.” (Holcomb, Chester County Minutes 1785-1799, p. 51, Citing Book A, p. 131.)
January 1787: An Indenture of Lease and Release from Thomas Reaves to John Finley was proved by the oaths of John McCown & Robert Roberson Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded…. (Holcomb, Chester County Minutes 1785-1799, p. 70, Citing Book A, p. 179.)
4 April 1787: Richard Taliaferro v. Thomas Reaves, Upon an Attachment by Account. James Hemphill the Garnishee summoned in the said Attachment failing to appear on the motion of the Plt: by Daniel Brown Gentleman his Atty. A Seire facias is awarded Against the said Garnishee Returnable to next Court…. (Holcomb, Chester County Minutes 1785-1799, p. 83, Citing Book A, p. 213.)
4 July 1787: Richd. Taliaferro v. Thomas Reaves. Upon an attachment by Account. Came the Plaintiff by Daniel Brown Gentleman his Attorney and the Defendant failing to appear on motion ordered that Judgment be entered by default and that a Jury enquire of Damages at next court. (Holcomb, Chester County Minutes 1785-1799, p. 95, Citing Book A, p. 241.)
3 October 1787: Richd. Taliaferro v. Thomas Reeves. Upon an attachment in Case. (Holcomb, Chester County Minutes 1785-1799, p. 110, Citing Book A, p. 277.)
Prince William Co., VA, Wills.
Prince William Co., VA, Court Orders.
"British Mercantile Claims, 1775-1803," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 23, 1979, p. 271.
Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records at Family Search
Georgia Gazette, notice published 21 April 1787
1786 Deed - Thomas Reaves to John Finley - Chester County, SC Deed Book A, p222
Holcomb, Brent. Chester County Deed Abstracts (DB B p405-406)
SC Archives S213184 Vol 18, p273 - MCDOWELL, ARCHIBALD, PLAT FOR 300 ACRES IN CRAVEN COUNTY
Holcomb, Brent. Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals Volume VII: 1771-1774, p 72, 259
1785 Lease - Spencer Reeve to William Greaves - Greene County, Georgia Deed Book 1, p4
1785 Deed - Spencer Reeve to William Greaves - Greene County, Georgia Deed Book 1, p6
1785 Lease - Thomas Reaves and William Greaves - Greene County, Georgia Deed Book 1, p9
1785 Deed - Thomas Reaves and William Greaves - Greene County, Georgia Deed Book 1, p10