Reeves, Bennett (1766 MD - c1831 GA)

Bennett Reeves

Reeves, Bennett


Father: Thomas Reeves
Mother: Mary Murphy

Birth: 13 Mar 1766, Charles County, Maryland
Birth Source: Trinity Parish Records

Death: after Feb 1831
Death Source: Name in Court Action in Walton County, GA February 1831.

Spouse1: Anna (probably Dyson)


Children of Bennett Reeves and Anne:
  1. John D. Reeves
  2. Thomas Reeves
  3. Mary Reeves, b. 1795
  4. Sophia Reeves, b. c1800
  5. Margarite D. Reeves, b. 1804
The 1790 census of Charles County, Maryland lists the household of Bennett Reeves as containing 1 Male over 16 or Head of household, 2 Males under 16, 1 Female and 2 slaves.

He moved from Charles County to Wilkes County, Georgia where he purchased 300 acres on the waters of Newford Creek on 2 Nov 1791. Witnessed by John Dyson, Archib. Riddle.

In 1797, Bennett Reeves and John Dyson who had also migrated to Wilkes County from Maryland were involved in a lawsuit that lasted until 1798. The plaintiffs in the case were John Michael and Samuel Lawrence. There are several documents extant regarding the case but none that explain the nature of the suit but it was most likely a debt. The case was decided in favor of the plaintiffs and Bennett and John Dyson were ordered to pay $278.37 plus interest from June of 1795. (See attachment)

On the 17th of Nov in 1802, Bennett Reeves registered a grant for 325 acres in Wilkes County which he received from the State of Georgia.

In the records of Wilkes County, Georgia, Bennett is listed among those eligible for 2 draws in the Land Lottery of 1803.

In the 1820 census of Wilkes County, Georgia, Bennet Reeves' household consists of 1 Male 16-26, 1 Male >45, 2 Females 10-16, 1 Female >45 and 5 Slaves. According to this census listing, Bennett had two daughters living at home, one of those daughters is probably Margarite D. Reeves who married John Rich in Wilkes County on 12 Oct 1820. An November 1820 Wilkes County deed by Bennett Reeves for love and affection to his son-in-law John Rich who intermarried with his youngest daughter Margarite documents the family connection. Additionally, John and Margaret Rich named a son Bennett Rich which adds further credence to the belief that Margaret was Bennett's daughter. (Wilkes County GA DB GGG, p. 316)

Another daughter is likely is Mary Reeves who married Joseph S. Freeman in Wilkes County however, there does not appear to be any documentation of that marriage. An 1821 Wilkes County deed by Bennett Reeves left a negro girl Lilly to the children Mary and Joseph S. Freeman. The children named in that 1821 deed are Harris, Sarah Ann, William, Eliza and John D. Freeman and any other children that Mary might have. (Wilkes County GA DB GGG, p. 317)

Like Margaret and John Rich, Mary and Joseph Freeman named one of their sons Bennett. Although the naming of a child is not definite proof of an individual's parentage, it is generally a likely assumption especially with an uncommon given name such as Bennett. Bennett's son Thomas Reeves paid the taxes on one slave for the children of J. S. Freeman in the 1823 and the 1824 Wilkes County, Georgia Tax Digests in Captain Ragsdales District.

Bennett Reeves identified another daughter, Sophia Reeves, when in January 1820 he deeded a 12 year old slave boy Jacob to his daughter Sophia Reeves. (Wilkes County GA DB GGG, p. 316)

He is recorded in Wilkes County as a taxpayer in 1824 and in the 1827 Georgia Land Lottery, he drew land in Muscogee and Carroll Counties.

Bennett may have migrated along with his son Thomas for they are both named in a court action in Walton County, Georgia in 1830. The plaintiff of the case was Tarlton Sheets with whom Bennett is recorded in Wilkes County deed records vs Thomas and Bennett Reeves et al. The Walton County Order Book 1827-1834 at page 310 records the dismissal of the case at the February Term 1831. Thomas did not remain long in Walton County and within a few years sold land there and was referred to as Thomas Reeves of Alabama in that deed.

In the 1880 census, Hickerson Reeves and Thomas Reeves, sons of Thomas Reeves and Bethany Stinson, as well as Bennett F. Reeves and John D. Reeves, sons of John D. Reeves, each give information that their father was born in Maryland. This confirms that they were grandsons of Bennett Reeves, son of Thomas Reeves and Mary Murphy of Charles County, Maryland, who migrated to Wilkes County, Georgia around 1800 1790.

Research Notes

There is an abundance of inferential data supporting the belief that Bennett Reeves' wife Anne or Anna was the sister of John Dyson. Thomas Dyson formerly of Charles County MD who died in Frederick MD in 1776 named his younger children as John, Anne and Margaret in his will (Frederick MD WB Vol 1 p561-562). Anne Dyson was born 1765 in Charles County and her birth recorded in the Trinity Parish Register. In addition to being named in her father's will, Anne Dyson is mentioned in the 1781 will of their grandfather Hatch Dent in Charles County. Both wills were written prior to her marriage so she is named as Anne Dyson and no married name or husband is listed.

It appears that all three of these younger Dyson children migrated to Wilkes County, Georgia by 1800 with a contingent of Charles County, Maryland residents which also included Dent family members.

John Dyson is repeatedly connected with Bennett in the records of Wilkes County GA from the 1790s. Additionally a Margaret Dyson died circa 1824 and the Wilkes County administration of her estate records John Rich, son-in-law of Bennett Reeves as the administrator. Michael L. Dent one of the securities on her estate administration further connects Margaret to the Dyson family of Maryland since Thomas Dyson's wife and Margaret's mother was Esther Dent.

This page has the following file(s) attached:-


Records of Trinity Parish, Charles County, Maryland
Charles County, Maryland, Will Book 1777-1780, Pg 212
Charles County, Maryland, Inventories,1791-1797, Pg 186
1775 Will of Thomas Dyson, Frederick County MD WB V1 p561-562
1790 Census - Charles County, Maryland
Wilkes County GA, Deed Book GG, Pg 518
The Early Records of Georgia, Volume I, Wilkes County, Pg 312 - 1803 Land Lottery
1820 Census - Wilkes County, Georgia
1824 Tax List of Wilkes County, Georgia
1827 Georgia Land Lottery, Wilkes County Residents
1830 Walton County GA Court Records
1850 Census of Desoto County, Mississippi (John Rich HOH)
Wilkes County GA Deeds DB GGG, p. 316
IBID p. 317
Walton County GA OB 1827-1834, page 310 online scanned images at Family Search