Reeves, Benjamin (c1721 VA - 1795 KY)

Reeves, Benjamin

Reeves, Benjamin


Father: George Reeves
Mother: Mary Ann Doggett

Birth: 4 Jan 1721/22, Prince William County, Virginia
Birth Source: Parish Register for St. Stephen's Parish, Northumberland County, Virginia

Death: May 1795, Mason County, Kentucky
Death Source: Will probated 26 May 1795

Spouse1: Sarah Wright Smith∗
Spouse2: Sibella Conner


Children of Benjamin Reeves:
  1. Austin Smith Reeves
  2. Benjamin Reeves
  3. Jane Reeves, m. John Roussau
  4. Nancy Rose Reeves
  5. Samuel Reeves
  6. Sarah Reeves, m. Fields (probably Simon Fields)

Benjamin was already a head of household in 1747, when the tithables list for Dettingen Parish, Prince William County, was compiled. He was listed as "Ben Reves" and was responsible for only one tithable (himself).

On 28 Oct 1751, Benjamin received 150 acres of land in Prince William County in a deed of gift from his father, George Reeves.

Prince William County court records from the 1750s include several mentions of the name Benjamin Reeves:
  • in 1753 as a newly appointed constable
  • in 1755 as an outgoing overseer of highways
  • in 1756 as a lessee of Robert Carter Esq and witness to several other Carter deeds of lease
  • in 1752 and 1753 as a juryman
  • in 1755 as witness in a court case
  • in 1753 and 1756 as plaintiff in court cases
  • in 1754 and 1755-6 as defendant in court cases
It is important to note, however, that there was another Benjamin Reeves who lived in Prince William County after this Benjamin Reeves had moved from the county. Some of the above records may refer to the other man with this name.

The 1754 and 1760 Prince William County rentals lists showed Benjamin Reeves with 150 acres; in 1754, his land was shown as being 3 years in arrears, and in 1760 (when his name was spelled Reive) it was shown as being 9 years in arrears. He was charged with 150 acres ten years in arrears at the time of the 1761-1762 rent roll.

By at least 1762, Benjamin had relocated to Hampshire County, Virginia. In deeds of lease and release dated 9-10 November 1762, he purchased 400 acres in Hampshire County from John Ross. The land was located on the banks of the Wappacomo (or "Great South Branch of Potowmack"). The deeds indicate that at the time of the purchase, he was already a resident of Hampshire County.

The record of Benjamin's activities after his move to Hampshire County include the following:
  • October 1765, worked as a chain carrier for a Northern Neck tract being surveyed in Hampshire County in the Northern Neck Proprietary¹
  • November 1766, Virginia Assembly order that Benjamin, a resident of Hampshire County, be paid 417# of tobacco by the Orange County sheriff in exchange for services rendered.
  • 8-9 March 1770, deeds of lease & release from Benjamin Reeves & his wife Sarah, jointly with George & Ann Reeves, conveying Benjamin's 150-acre tract in Prince William County to Maximilian Haynie
  • between 28 November 1777 and 7 May 1778, worked as a marker for surveys in Hampshire County for the Northern Neck Proprietary
  • included in the Hampshire County lists of tithables and taxable personal property from 1781-1791 (a slaveowner by 1783)
  • 15 March 1788, recommendation by the Hampshire County court for continuation as a tobacco inspector at Cresap's Warehouse (The court record documenting Benjamin's initial appointment as a tobacco inspector did not survive, thus making the length of his tenure in this position uncertain.)
  • 10 June 1788, received grant for 60 acres in Hampshire County from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • 16 October 1788, appointment as an appraiser of Michael Cresap's estate
  • 16 October 1788, appointment to work with a team of neighbors in building a new road from the Green Valley to Cresap's Warehouse (Benjamin would have been a 66-year-old road builder.)
  • 27 March 1792, sale of 460 acres in Hampshire County to Isaac Parsons; deeds indicating that Benjamin's wife Sibbey had released her dower right to the land
By 1788, Benjamin's wife Sarah had died, and he had married Sibbol Conner. Records from the Chancery Case of Loudoun County, Virginia note a 1788 case between Mary Hopeweel vs the heirs of Samuel Conner, listing one of the heirs of Samuel Conner as Sibby Conner wife of Benjamin Reeves.

Shortly after the 1792 sale of Hampshire County land, Benjamin and Sibbey moved to Mason County, Kentucky, where he was listed as a taxpayer that year.

Benjamin Reeves' will, written 30 January 1794 and presented for probate on 26 May 1795 in Mason County court, mentions wife Sibbol along with her granddaughter Elizabeth Melton, sons Austin Smith, Benjamin and Samuel, daughter Sarah Fields and the children of daughter Nancy Rose.

(The majority of this information is from the research of Lois Downey.)

∗Research by Dan Knight:
Northumberland Co., VA, Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1743-1749, published pages 104, 105, 143:

27 July 1747. I Benjamin Reeve of Dittingin Parish, Prince William County, am firmly bound unto William Nelms, joyner, of St. Stephens Parish, Northumberland County, for 106 pds...whereas the afsd Benjamin Reeve & Sarah his wife by deed of feoffment...conveyed to sd William Nelms 26 acres of land…which fell heir to Sarah w/o sd Benja Reeve daughter to Samuel Smith decd... Wit: Leroy Oldham, John Blundall. Proved by Leroy Oldham, Abraham Haynie, & John Blundall, 10 August 1747. Original Pp. 104-105.

12 September 1748: In obedience to an order dated 8 August 1748 we Wm Kenner William Nelms Junr Jno Corbell & Ellis Gill did meet at the house of Leroy Oldham & did divide the estate of Samuel Smith decd & that of Judith Smith ded. Paid to William Barratt gdn to Smith Barratt orphan of Goerge Barratt decd one Negro boy Isaack…Paid Benjamin Reeves one slave Pleasant & money…Paid Leory Oldham to slaves...Moll & Doll... Paid Leroy Oldham gdn Ruth Smith orphan to Samuel Smith two Negroes Peter & Ben... Returned 12 September 1748...

The St. Stephen's parish births show:
Sarah Smith, daughter of Samuel, born 5 December 1725
(The register also shows that Sarah's father, Samuel, was born in 1692 and that she had sisters Jane, Judith, and Grace born in 1722, 1724, and 1729 respectively.)

After further research of the Samuel Smith family by TRP's Anne McDonald, the parents of Samuel Smith were found to be Samuel Smith and Alice Austin which may account for the use of the name "Austin Smith Reeves" in this and many subsequent generations of this family.


Birth:      Parish Register for St. Stephen's Parish, Northumberland County, Virginia
Death:      1794 Will of Benjamin Reeves, Mason County KY WB A:91-94

Northumberland Co., VA, Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1743-1749, published page 105
Titheables - Dettingen Parish, Prince William County VA
Prince William County VA Court Orders
Hampshire County VA Deed and Court Records
1823 Deed - Heirs of Jane Rousseau, Mason County KY DB Z pg. 230-233
1792 Chancer Court Case - Mary Hopewell vs heirs of Samuel Conner,
Clater Smith admr. - Loudoun County, Virginia Chancer Court 1792-002 (Case # M1357)