Reeves, George (1716 VA - 1803 TN)

Reeves, George

Reeves, George


Father: Thomas Rives
Mother: Hannah Bishop

Birth: 1716, Brunswick County, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives and family bible of Elizabeth Garland Pack

Death: 19 Feb 1803, Davidson County, Tennessee
Death Source:

Spouse1: Mary Jordan


Children of George Reeves and Mary Jordan:
  1. Jordan Reeves, b. 26 Mar 1747 in Northampton, North Carolina
  2. Mary Reeves, b. 9 Feb 1749 in Northhampton, North Carolina
  3. Charlotte Reeves, b. 2 Jan 1751 in Northampton, North Carolina
  4. Sarah Reeves, b. 31 Mar 1752 in Northampton, North Carolina
  5. William Reeves, b. 6 Mar 1755 in Northampton, North Carolina
  6. Hannah Reeves, b. 17 Sep 1758 in Northampton, North Carolina
  7. Burrell Reeves, b. 28 Jul 1761 in Northampton, North Carolina
  8. Lucy Reeves, b. 9 Feb 1764 in Northampton, North Carolina
  9. George Reeves, b. 12 Jan 1767 in Johnston, North Carolina
  10. Timothy Reeves, b. 29 Jul 1769 in Johnston, North Carolina

From Reliques of the Rives:
George Rives was born in 1716 in Virginia. according to the family bible record of a descendant, and died February 19, 1803, at "Traveler’s Rest," in Davidson county, Tennessee. He resided until about 1747 in Brunswick county, Virginia, removing about that time to Northampton county, North Carolina, and finally retiring in his old age to Tennessee to spend his remaining years with his daughter, Charlotte (Rives) Robertson.
That he was a resident of Brunswick county in 1746 is proved by the deed of gift, previously quoted, of 50 acres made to him in that year by his father, Thomas Rives, of St. Andrews Parish in Brunswick county, "in consideration of the true love and natural affection which I bear to my son George Rives of the Parrish and County aforesaid" (D. B. 3, p. 245). A little later he removed to North Carolina for on May 5, 1748, the following deed was recorded in Brunswick county, Virginia:
To all Christian People * * * Know Ye that I George Rives of County of Northampton in the province of North Carolina Planter, for and in consideration of the sum of Fifty pounds to me in hand paid by James Parham of Virginia in the County of Brunswick in St. Andrews Parish * * * have * * * conveyed * * * unto the said James Parham * * * one certain messuage or Tract of land containing by estimation Fifty acres more or less it being a tract * * * granted the sd George Rives by a Deed of Gift hearing date the Twenty Ninth day of November Seventeen Hundred and Forty Six by Thomas Rives his father * * *
George x Rives (Seal)

Witnesses: Absolom Atkinson
John Atkinson
William Ezell, Jr.
At a Court held for Brunswick County May the Fifth Seventeen Hundred and Forty Six this Deed with the Memorandum of Seizen thereon endorsed were acknowledged by the within named George Rives and Ordered to be Recorded and Mary the wife of the said George appeared in Court and being first privately examined as the Law Directs freely and voluntarily relinquished her Right of Dower in the Lands within mentioned.

In 1927, as a result of the indefatigable researches in behalf of my work by Mrs. Louise M. Bryan, of Nashville, Tennessee, there was sent me through the kindness of Miss Nellie J. Roche of that city some material relating to the family of Gen. James Robertson, founder of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, and his wife, "Charlotte Reeves," according to which "Charlotte Reeves Robertson" was stated to have been born "in Northampton county, North Carolina, on January 2, 1751, the daughter of George and Mary Jordan Reeves." This record, taken from a family bible, contained also a statement of the death of "George Reeves" at "Traveler’s Rest" on February 19, 1803, and of Mary Jordan on October 29, I813. Circumstances, which I need not recount in all their detail here, led me to believe that these Reeves were originally of the Rives family of Virginia; and this opinion was given strong support a year later upon the receipt from Mrs. J. 0. James, of Richmond, Virginia, of a bible record which, she wrote, had been sent her some years previous from Texas by "a friend tracing the Napier family." This bible record was entitled "George Reeves’ Family" and gave the dates of birth of his children which will be given presently, and the following additional information:
George Reeves father of this family, born 1716, died Feb. 19, 1803. Mary Reeves, his wife, was born "Man" (Jordan) 1726, died Oct. 29, 1813. Paton H. Robertson (Peyton Henderson) was murdered by the Indians and his heart cut out and carried one mile, and was not found until next day when his father and 4 or 5 men went in search of it. Charlotte Robertson (daughter of Charlotte Rives) died November 11, 1782. Mary Robertson, mother of (Gen.) James Robertson, born June 28, 1722, and died December 5th, 1775. James Robertson (Gen. James Robertson) died September I, 1814. Jonathan F. Robertson (Jonathan Friar, eldest son of Charlotte Rives Robertson) died October 23, 1814. James Randolph Robertson (second son of Charlotte Rives) was killed by the Indians on the Fork River Dec. 11, 1794.

The record sent Mrs. James contained also a family bible record of the issue of Gen. James Robertson which will be given subsequently.
The names of the children of George Reeves (Rives), i. e., Jordan, Mary, Charlotte, Sarah, William, Hannah, Burwell, Lucy, George, and Timothy convinced me that I had here to deal with members of the Rives, rather than the Reeves, family. Subsequent discovery of the two deeds in Brunswick county, Virginia, the one in 1746 from Thomas Rives to his son George Rives, and the other from George and Mary Rives, of Northampton county, North Carolina, in 1748, placed the matter beyond peradventure of a doubt.
Two generations of illiteracy had sufficed to obscure the identity of a family by the corruption of the original name of Rives into a form, Reeves, representing a family of alien origin.
If any further proof, in substantiation of these county and bible records, were needed, it is to be had in the will of the father of Mary (Jordan) Rives, Thomas Jordan, whose will dated October I, 1763, and proved in Brunswick county, Virginia, August 26, 1771, mentions his son Thomas Jordan, daughter “Mary Reives,” daughter Hannah Jordan, son Burwell’s children and his (Thomas Jordan's) children Thomas, Drury, and Jenney. Executors named were his sons Thomas and Drury Jordan and witnesses were Haley x Dupree, John x Dupree, and Robert x Dupree (W. B. 4, p. 76).
After the Revolutionary War,and following the establishment of peace in the settlement at Nashville, Charlotte (Rives) Robertson returned to North Carolina to bring her parents to make their homes with her at “Traveler’s Rest” where they died, George Rives on February 19, 1803, and Mary (Jordan) Rives on October 29, 1813.

Regarding Brunswick Co., VA, and Northampton Co., NC: It is instructive to note that these were in fact the same locality around 1750 as this is the time the border between Virginia and North Carolina was settled. Lands that previously had been granted and deemed in Brunswick Co., VA, were later recognized as lying in Northampton and Halifax Counties in North Carolina. Thus George is not shown to have moved from one location to another. Rather, the accepted political designation for the locality had changed.

George was a Presbyterian minister according to family tradition and the Tennessee research of Virginia Howell.

Other Information:
Born in Brunswick Co Virginia in 1716 or 1722 (per family bible records), George Reeves married Mary Jordan and moved to Northampton County, NC by 1754, then to Johnston Co NC by 1764, and then to the Watauga settlements. The Elisha Garland Bible states George was born 22 June 1722, and Mary in 1732.

George and family accompanied daughter Charlotte and her husband James Robertson to the Watauga settlements, now Washington Co TN. George and Mary and some of their sons then moved to Pendleton District SC and rejoined the rest of the family in Nashville starting around 1795.

George died in Nashville, Davidson Co, TN in 1803.

These two deeds connect George to his father Thomas Rives:
  • Thomas Rives of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick County, for Love and Affection which I bear to my son George Rives of same, 50a, being part of the land where I now live on, dated 29 November 1746. Signed Thomas Rives (bhm). (Deed Book 3, Page 245)
  • George Rives of Northampton [sic] County, North Carolina for £50 paid by James Parham of Brunswick County, St. Andrews Parish,50a, being a tract of land granted to the sd. George Rives by a deed of Gift dated 29 November 1746 by Thomas Rives his father, dated 5 May 1748. Signed George Rives (bhm). Witnesses: Absalom Atkinson, John Atkinson, William Ezell, Junr. Court May 5, 1748, Deed and memorandum acknowledged by George Rives and Mary the wife of the said George appeared and relinquished her right of Dower. (Deed Book 3, Page 411)

Several deeds place George Reeves in Johnston Co NC from abt 1764 to 1771. It is important not to confuse these deeds with those of an unrelated George Reeves who lived in Johnston County and participated in land transactions during the same time frame.

Notable Johnston Co NC Deeds for this George Reeves:
  • Johnston County, NC Deed Book D-1 p. 130. 15 April 1764. John Bradley, Johnston County, Planter, to George Reeves, same, Planter, £133 610 proclamation, Quit Claim, 200 Acres in Johnston County on upper side of Smith's beginning at the mouth of said creek running up the river to William's corner at a hickory: North to a pine: East to the said creek at a white oak: down the creek including one half the stream of said creek & also one mority or half of a Grist Mill on said stream & so along the said run? As before to 1 st sta...Wit: Thos. Johnson, Jno. Rogers, Thos. Houghton. _ John Bradley

Note that Thomas Houghton was also a Watauga settler.

George sells the same land:
  • Johnston County, NC Deed Book Transcript-1 p. 86. 6 September 1770. George Reves, planter to Demsy Powel, Planter £40 proclamation, a plantation, 200 Acres in Johnston County on North side Neuse River, together with one half of a Griss Mill on a creek called Smiths creek it being a plantation said Reves now lines on...beginning at the mouth of Smiths on the upper side of said creek running up the river to Williams corner at a Hicory: North to a pine: East to the aforesaid creek at a White Oak: down the creek including one half of the Stream of said creek & alsoone Moety or half of a Grist Mill on said stream & so along said Stream as before to 1 st sta...Wit: John Rogers, Michl. Rogers. George (x) Reves

George Reeves was a property owner in the Watauga Settlements: Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee states George Reaves was among the first to patent land after the Watauga Purchase, May 1775. His patent of 500 acres on Blevins Branch was granted November 1775. He also obtained a grant from the State of North Carolina (Grant #551) for 640 acres, paying 50 shillings per 100 acres. Researcher Gerald Witt has a copy of the original land grant and a copy of its subsequent sale in 1789.

George Reaves, Jordan Reaves (Dunkard), and William Reaves (Single) are listed in the Washington County, TN tax list for 1779.

George Reeves is referenced in an order to build a road in 1783 in the Watauga settlements now in Washington County, TN: Order to Lay Road.

  • Page 81-8/10/1789 George Reeves by his attorney, Mesheck Hale to John Hendricks; 640 acres on the Watauga River "including said Reeves plantation". ADJ: James Southern, Daniel Dunn, Richard Brandent, Sanders Rhea, Jacob Chamberlain Note: George Reeves is very likely in SC at this time.

The 1790 census places George Reeves in Pendleton SC.

Apparently, Charlotte Reeves Robertson "persuaded" her parents to move to Nashville before 1800 as George Reeves Sr is not on the 1800 Pendleton District census.

George most likely lived with Charlotte until his death on 19 February 1803 in Davidson County.

Research Notes

Three descendants of George Reeves, through his sons Jordan, George Jr., and William, have tested as members of DNA Group 8 in the Reeves DNA project.


Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p322
Elisha Garland Bible, positive
Elisha Garland Bible, negative
Rasmussen, Geoffrey D. East Tennessee Tax Records Index, Volume I: Washington County 1778-1821
1746 Deed - Brunswick County, Virginia Deed Book 3, p245
1748 Deed - Brunswick County Virginia Deed Book 3, p411
"Ancestry of Eliza Jane Reeves 1819-1884" by Virginia Howell in Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Summer 1995, Volume IX, Number 1/33