Reeves, George Sr. (c1740 ? - 1821 NC)

Reeves, George Sr.

Reeves, George Sr.


Father: Unknown
Mother: Unknown

Birth: c 1740
Birth Source: Age approximate from Orange County NC census records.

Death: c Aug 1821, Orange County, North Carolina
Death Source: Will probated in August 1821

Spouse1: probably Tabitha Geer, Deceased before 1800


Children of George Reeves, Sr:
  1. John Reeves, married Mary Gwinn
  2. George Reeves, Jr.
  3. James Reeves
  4. Frederick Reeves
  5. Sarah Reeves married Lysias Durham
  6. Nancy Reeves married N. William Baldwin
The above children are listed in his will of 1821 recorded in Orange County in Will Book D at Page 605. It is also possible that George Reeves was the father of a Moses Reeves whose 1794 estate he administered. However, after recent perusal of the items listed in the inventory of Moses Reeves' estate, it seems more likely that Moses Reeves may have been an older individual, a brother or even been the father of George Reeves. although the fact that there are no deed records of Moses as either grantor or grantee initially seemed to indicate that he was fairly young, but closer examination of the items in his estate inventory may indicate otherwise. The items in his estate inventory are more consistent with an older individual who was a hatter, as was George Reeves, since hatter's tools are listed among his belongings.

George Reeves' signature on his 1821 Orange County will may be a clue to possible Reeves' family connections. George's original signature is clearly REEVE, not Reeves.

George Reeves is recorded as being in Orange County, North Carolina in a deed dated 17 Mar 1772. That deed conveys 200 acres on the waters of New Hope from Ruffin McNair to George Reeves.

Robert Cheek witnessed a deed from Keneth Mulkinson of Cumberland County, NC, to George Reees (sic Reeves), on 19 Nov 1796 in Orange County for 294 acres on both sides of Buck Fork of Morgans Creek adj. Lloyd. Other wits were James Cheek and John Reeves. The deed was proved on Nov 1796 by Robert Cheek and recorded in Orange County NC Deed Book 5, pg. 631.

On 22 Nov 1817 in Orange County, North Carolina a deed from Josiah Turner, Sheriff, to John McKerall for 125 acres land of Robert Cheek, Sr., on New Hope Creek adj. Burrows Estridge, George Reeves, and others is recorded at Deed Book 16, pg. 260. The deed describes this as land of Robert Cheek, Sr. sold to satisfy an execution recovered by Charlie Jones for £20 and £29.18.6 costs, also an execution obtained by Richard Cheek for $100 with interest from 20 Sep 1817 and £3.15.3 costs.

Research Notes

In the past it had been believed that George Reeves, Sr. married a daughter of Col. William McCauley of Hillsboro because he mentioned a grandson in his will named James Reeves and left him a house and lot in Hillsboro. James sold this property under the influence of strong drink to Meredith Adams. He then petitioned the court to have his property restored because he had been swindled. The case went to the North Carolina Supreme Court around 1832.

Various testimony in the case demonstrated that this James was a relative of George Reeves. Frederick Reeves and his son William David Reeves were called upon to testify for him. However, he was not James, the son of George Reeves, Sr. That James Reeves had married Elizabeth Madden in 1805 and moved to Hancock County, Indiana, dying there circa 1849. His signature differs from the James of the lawsuit, grandson of William McCauley, as well. The James who married Mary Collins can be found on the 1850 census of Alamance County in his forties.
(Source - research of Larry Cates as posted on Ancestry.com Reeves message board 11 May 2006.)

Another important fact regarding William McCauley is that his children were of the same ages as George Reeves, Sr.'s children. In 1820 census records several of William McCauley's sons which were documented as legatees in his will are recorded as over age 45 years of age with others in the 26-44 year category. The daughter of William McCauley who was the mother of James Reeves would not have been born when George Reeves, Sr. married around 1770. Also, it does not appear from census records that George married a second time after the death of his wife sometime before 1800 for he has no wife listed in the 1800, 1810 and 1820 census records of Orange County.

Alternately, the will of Lysias Durham, husband of Sarah Reeves, daughter of George Reeves, Sr., identifies another likely candidate for the wife of George Reeves, Sr. Lysias Durham named their first daughter as Tabitha Gear Durham. Eliza Jenet, daughter of Frederick Reeves also gave the middle name Geer to one of her daughters. Tabitha Geer was the right age to have been the wife of George Reeves, Sr., her DOB having been estimated circa 1740-1750 and the Geer family lived in the area of the Neuse River where Orange and Wake Counties join. At least two other children of George Reeves named daughters Tabitha as well. Additionally, as naming patterns of the children are generally relevant, Tabitha Geer's father was John Geer and her brother Frederick, names used for children of George Reeves, Sr. It is also significant that after this generation, the name David, extremely common among the descendants of John Geer, begins to be used repeatedly in this Reeves' family.

On 2 August 1769, a short time before his death, John Geer deeded to his daughter Tabitha a negro girl named Judea (Orange County NC DB 2 p.585). The Will of George Reeves, Sr. written in May of 1821 leaves to his daughter Sarah Durham a negro woman named Jude who is very likely the child willed to Tabitha Geer 50 years earlier.

A North Carolina grant to Jos. Burnett for 100 acres beginning at George Reeves' line dated 13 Nov 1779 naming the adjacent landowners as George Reaves (sic), David Gear (brother of Tabitha Geer) and James Cheek would further confirm a connection between George Reeves, Sr. and the Geer family.

Much research is needed of Orange County records to verify the assertions regarding the identity of the James Reeves who inherited the house and lot in Hillsboro from Col. McCauley and engaged in the lawsuit with Meredith Adams.

As descendants from this Reeves' line participate in the new autosomal DNA projects being offered by Ancestry and Family Finder, it will be interesting to see if they find matches to Geer or McCauley descendants.

Recently obtained copy of what appears to be the original will signed by George Reeves, shows he signed his name as REEVE. With further research, this may serve as a link to George's origins.


Orange County NC Deed Records
1790 Census - Orange County, North Carolina
1800 Census - Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina
1810 Census - Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina
1820 Census - Orange County, North Carolina
1821 Will of George Reeves, Sr., Recorded at Orange County NC WB D, p 6o5.
Estate File with copy of original will online at Ancestry.com
Estate File of Moses Reeves at Family Search