Reeves, George (c1780 NC - 1827 KY)

George Reeves

Reeves, George


Father: William Reeves
Mother: Anne

Birth: c1780, Wake County, North Carolina
Birth Source: Deed by Heirs of William Reeves & age approximate from 1810 U.S. Federal Census for Madison County, Kentucky

Death: 1827, Warren County, Kentucky
Death Source: 1826 Will of George Reves probated July 1827

Spouse1: Elizabeth “Betsy” Wilkerson, 5 Jan 1802, Madison County, Kentucky


Children of George Reeves and Elizabeth Wilkerson:
  1. Walter Alvis Reeves
  2. Susan Reeves
  3. Curtis F. Reeves
  4. Jesse Britt Reeves
  5. Peter M. Reeves
  6. Mary M. “Polly” Reeves
  7. William Harrison Reeves
  8. Nancy Reeves
  9. Sidney Preston Reeves
  10. George H. Reeves
George Reeves apparently left Wake County, North Carolina as soon as he became an adult and along his younger brother, Jeremiah, migrated to Madison County, Kentucky around 1800 for his marriage to Elizabeth Wilkerson is recorded there in January of 1802. A 1786 Granville County, NC deed to Elizabeth Wilkerson's father, Wyatt, for land on the north side of the Neuse River at the mouth of Knap of Reeds Creek suggests that George may have known Betsy and the Wilkerson family before moving to Kentucky. This tract of land on Knap of Reeds Creek would be in close proximity to William Reeves' land on the south side of the Neuse. Within a few years of their arrival in Kentucky, George and Jeremiah were followed by their father and older brother William, Jr. who are found on the Madison County tax lists by 1808.

George is listed in Madison County, Kentucky in the 1810 census but by 1820 he had migrated farther westward to Warren County and is recorded there in that census. His wife, Betsy Wilkerson Reeves' parents Wyatt and Mary Wilkerson also moved from Madison to Warren County as well as Betsy's sister Polly with her husband John Thompson and family.

When William Reeves died in 1821, George Reeves was granted letters of administration on the estate of William Reeves, deceased, in November of 1821 in Madison County.

George Reeves only survived his father by six years for his will was probated in Warren County in July 1827. The will of George Reves was written on 20 Oct 1826 and recorded in Will Book D at page 3. In it he names the above listed children along with his wife, Elizabeth.

Research Notes

George Reeves can be found listed as "George William Reeves" on some internet sites; however, there is NO documentation of any middle name, every historical document lists his name as simply George Reeves i.e. all census records, probate of his father William Reeves' estate, his own will, etc. Additionally, his brother born about 1770 was named William Reeves, Jr. so it is extremely unlikely that the name would have been given to another son.

A biography of George's son William Harrison Reeves as published in Battle, Perrin & Kniffen's "Kentucky - A History of the State" states that the origin of George Reeves is Halifax, Virginia, but there is no record of this family ever having lived in Halifax until 1800 when Peter, followed by Charles in 1801, left Wake County and located there. In the 1850 census of Halifax, the birthplace of Peter Reves, age 81, is stated as North Carolina. Additionally, the only other sibling of George Reeves' who was living in 1850 when the census adding place of birth was recorded, was the youngest brother Jeremiah who also gave his birthplace as North Carolina. It is noteworthy that George Reeves' children were very young when he died in 1827 and would have had very few years to interact with him and gain an idea of the family's history. Knowing that they had an uncle in Halifax County may have led the children to believe that the family had originated there. Additionally, their mother Betsy Wilkerson descended from Wilkerson and Britt families of Virginia.

Even after a thorough search of colonial tax records of Halifax no record of this family can be found there. There are, however, 60 years of records of this family living on one particular tract of land south of the Neuse River and east of Ellobey's Creek which was located in Orange County, Johnston County, and then Wake County, North Carolina as the county designations changed through the years. Land owned by this Reeves' family is now located within five miles of the northern boundary of the city of Durham, North Carolina. The pilings of the bridge crossing the Falls of the Neuse Lake on I-85 to the northeast of the Durham city limits, stand on land once owned by this family. Two other tracts owned by George's father, William Reeves, are located within the city of Durham.


Deed by Heirs of William Reeves, Madison County KY Deed Book Q, P. 7-9
Marriage Records of Madison County, Kentucky
Tax Lists of Madison County, Kentucky
1810 Census - Madison County, Kentucky
1820 Census - Warren County, Kentucky
1826 Will of George Reves, Warren County KY Will Book D, p. 3