Birth: c1809, Bristol
Birth Source: Census
Death: 1880, Worcester
Death Source: GRO
Spouse1: Ruston, Sarah
Spouse2: Court, Jane
Spouse3: Coombs, Eliza
Charles Reeves married Sarah RUSTON at the Parish Church of St John Bedwardine in Worcester during June 1832. Whilst the name of Sarah's father is shown in the marriage register, the space for Charles' father is left blank. [It is thought his wife Sarah was also known as as Sarah Ann and as Susan (which appears on the 1841 census).]
The known children of Charles Reeves and Sarah (nee RUSTON) are
- Harriet Reeves, bapt. 1833
- Emily Reeves, bapt. 1835
- Walter Reeves, bapt. 1838
- Jemima Reeves, bapt. 1839
- Harvey Reeves, bapt 1841
1841 Census - Charles aged 30 is shown with first wife Susan (sic Sarah) aged 35 and children Harriet 8; Emela (sic Emily) 5 and Jemima 2. They are living in All Saints, Worcester. Charles birthplace is shown as "n" for not in county (Worcestershire) and his occupation is Chimney Sweep.
Charles' first wife Sarah died shortly after the birth of their son Harvey in November 1841. 1 FreeBMD notes the subsequent marriage of Charles Reeves to Jane COURT in the Worcester Registration District during the first quarter of 1842. There is no known issue from this union.
1851 Census - Charles aged 41, now with second wife Jane, is living on Blackfriars in Worcester and with them 3 of the 5 children from his first marriage: Harriet 17; Elmily (sic, Emily) 15; & Harvey 9. (See Research Note 1 below.) Charles' birthplace is shown as Bristol, Gloucestershire and his occupation as Chimney Sweep. Residing with them were 4 males shown as Servants, but in reality apprentice chimney sweeps.
1861 Census - Charles aged 51 with second wife Jane (50) living on Blackfriars in All Saints Worcester. Only daughter Emily (25) remains (she will marry later in the year) plus 3 servants, 2 of whom are described as Sweeps and 1 (aged 14) was probably an apprentice sweep. Charles still styled Chimney Sweep though running a Chimney Sweeper business.
It is likely that the death of Charles' second wife Jane is that recorded by FreeBMD during the first quarter of 1863 in the Upton on Severn Registration District (which covers the area to the south of Worcester). Further FreeBMD notes the marriage of Charles REEVES and Eliza COOMBS during the second quarter of 1864 in the Droitwich Registration District (which lies to the north of Worcester). There is no known issue from this union.
1871 Census - Charles 61 with this third wife Eliza (60) and still at All Saints Worcester. With them two (live in) journeyman sweeps. Charles now styled Master Chimney Sweeper.
1881 Census - Charles has not been identified on this census. His widow Eliza is living at Blackfriars, All Saints, Worcester. She is now 68, styles herself as Mistress Chimney Sweeper and has 3 Journeymen Sweeps living in (1 with his wife).
Charles died in November 1880 in Worcester, his age at death is recorded as 72.
(1) No reference to either son Walter nor daughter Jemima has been found on the 1851 nor any subsequent census return. It is likely (but presently unproven) that Walter's death is that noted by FreeBMD during the first quarter of 1838, suggesting he died as a young baby, and that of Jemima during the fourth quarter of 1842.
(2) Charles' Chimney Sweeping business was evidently successful. He had secured the contract to sweep the chimneys of the nearby Witley Court where the Dowager Queen Adelaide (the widow of the late King William IV) resided from 1842 to 1846. 2. The Dowager Queen Adelaide died in 1849 but as late as 1879 Charles was using what appears to be a Royal Warrant when advertising his business.
He had a display advertisements in both the second (1873) and third (1879) edition of the Littlebury's Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester and District. In the third edition, he is listed on physical page 139 (PDF page 169/979) in the Worcester Alphabetical Directory section as "Reeves Chas., Chimney Sweeper (by appointment to Her late Majesty the Queen Dowager), 5 Blackfriars, Broad street (see advt. page 86)" and again on page 165 (PDF 201/979) in the Worcester Classified Directory section "Reeves Charles (by appointment to Her late Majesty Queen Adelaide), 5 Blackfriars. Broad st. (see advt. p.86)". From the same page 165 we learn Charles was one of nine Chimney Sweepers operating in Worcester (listed in that publication).
On page 86 in the Worcester Commercial Prospectuses section (PDF page 848/979) Charles has a quarter page display advert, including what appears to be a Royal Warrant. (The advert immediately below is for William Large, Basket Manufacturer, who is probably the husband of Charles' daughter Harriet.)
Littlebury's Directory (third edition, 1879) is available from the Historical Directories of England & Wales, part of the Special Collections Online at the University of Leicester http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16445coll4. The directories for just Worcestershire are here.
(3) By the time of the 1891 census the Chimney Sweeping business at Blackfriars was being run by William John WADLEY, one of the Journeymen Sweeps working for Eliza Reeves in 1881. (Also Kelly's directory 1892 physical page 260). Wm. John Wadley, then of 7 Blackfriars, was continuing to provide Chimney Sweeping as late as 1911, continuing the tradition established by Charles Reeves. (RG14, Piece 17632, Reg.Dist. 377 (Worcester), Sub Dist. 1 (Worcester), Enum.Dist. 13, Schedule 36 and also see Littlebury's Directory to the city of Worcester, eleventh edition 1908, physical pages 145, 355 & 374).
Marriage1: FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ7Y-QQB
Marriage2: FreeBMD 1842, March quarter, Worcester Registration District
Marriage3: FreeBMD 1864, June quarter, Droitwich Registration District
Death: GRO Death Certificate - 1880, December quarter, Worcester Registration District
1841 Census: HO107, Piece 1209, Book 2, Folio 14 face, Page 24 and continues Folio 14 reverse, Page 25
1851 Census: HO107, Piece 2042, Folio 223 reverse, Page 45
1861 Census: RG9, Piece 2090, Folio 46 reverse, Page 38
1871 Census: RG10, Piece 3048, Folio 86 reverse, Page 38
1881 Census: RG11, Piece 2914, Folio 86 reverse, Page 34 - Widow Eliza
1 Death: Wife Sarah REEVES - GRO Death Certificate - 1841, December quarter, Worcester Registration District
2 Wikipedia:Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelaide_of_Saxe-Meiningen#Queen_dowager
The Reeves Project is extremely grateful to researchers Bob Spiers and Pat Whelan for providing the bulk of the information which formed the basis for this wiki page.