Birth: c1745, probably North Carolina
Death: 1778, Wake County, North Carolina
Death Source: Wake County NC Court Minutes of Sep 1778
The Wake County court minutes in 1778 record the death of a George Reeves. His 3 year old son, John, was apprenticed to Woodson Daniel and his 8 year old daughter, Mary, to Reuben Allen. Like Woodson, Reuben Allen was closely associated with this Reeves' family and was very likely the brother of Bartlett Allen.
Children of George Reeves and Unknown Wife:
William Reeves, Sr. who arrived in the area of the Neuse basin by 1746. The identity of the children of William Reeves, Sr. other than William, Jr. is unknown; however, George Reeves, Sr. of Grayson County, Virginia appears to be the individual by that name in the records of Orange, Johnston and Wake Counties throughout the 1750's to 1765. The individual associated in deeds with William Reeves, Sr. and Richard Burton, his father-in-law, seems far more likely to be George Reeves, Sr.. The George Reeves who died in 1778 may be closely related to this family, but it is doubtful that he was the son of William Reeves, Sr.. George Reeves who removed to the New River area of Grayson County, Virginia in 1767 and whose descendants share matching DNA with descendants of William Reeves, Jr. is the most likely candidate to be his sibling.
This George Reeves who died in 1778 may be a member of this Reeves' family but there is currently nothing more than proximity to support the connection. There also do not appear to be any further connections between the William Reves family and the orphans of this George Reeves. After much consideration, I feel confident that this George Reeves was not the child of William Reves of Orange, Johnston and Wake counties because had he been, his orphans would have been cared for by family members, not apprenticed to neighbors.
It is possible this individual may have been George Reeves, son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. of Essex and Spotsylvania counties. Two of the members of DNA Group 9 descend from John Reeves of Taylor County, Kentucky who was born circa 1770 in North Carolina, but the three other members of that DNA group are descendants of Henry Reeves of Essex County, Virginia with documented paper trails. Although this John Reeves doesn't appear to have any link to Essex County or Henry Reeves, Sr., his descendants' Y-DNA appears to document that he does.
The major obstacle to this line of thinking was what would prompt George Reeves to leave the Rappahannock area and migrate to North Carolina when his siblings had all settled in the Shenandoah Valley's Augusta and Rockingham counties. However, his first cousin Elizabeth Gatewood had married Peter Copeland who was believed to have been born in North Carolina, and Elizabeth and Peter are known to have moved back to North Carolina a few years after their marriage. Peter Copeland has been documented with a tract of land in Orange County NC in close proximity to the individuals that were appointed by the Wake County Court for these orphans of George Reeves to be apprenticed to. Peter Copeland sold this land in 1779, the deed for which is recorded in Orange County NC DB:B p:70 in which he was identified as "Peter Copeland of Henry County, Virginia".
This does not constitute proof that the George Reeves who died in Wake County in 1778 was the son of Thomas Reeves, Sr. of Essex and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia but it does add to the inferential data that suggests this connection and requires continued research to add to the accumulation of evidence.
See blog post regarding this theory of George Reeves origins at Just Supposin' and Just Supposin' Again.
Orange County NC DB:B p:70