Reeves, Isaac (c1725 IE - 1808 NC)


Reeves, Isaac, Sr.


Father: Unknown

Birth: before 1727, possibly Virginia probably Ireland
Birth Source: 1787 Wilkes County tax lists record Isaac's household with 0 polls indicating that he was over 60 years of age and none of the male children remaining in his household were over 16. Place of birth from A History of Morgan, Monroe & Brown County.

Death: before May 1808, Wilkes County, North Carolina
Death Source: 1807 Will probated in Wilkes County Court May 1808

Spouse1: Margery MNU


Isaac "Rives" was on the list of tithables for Mecklenburg County, 1764.¹

The Isaac Reaves of Wilkes County, N.C. was previously in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Early Settlers of Mecklenburg Co., Va., Vol. II, by Katherine B. Elliott, mentions that Isaac and Margery Reeves sold 100 acres at the mouth of Buckhorn Creek in Mecklenburg County to Ephrain Puckett, 14 October 1765.² (Recorded in Deed Book 1, pg. 165.) Isaac Reeve is also recorded on a list of tithes taken in Cumberland Parish, Lunenburg County on June 10, 1769.

Wilkes Court of Pleas & Quarter Session Minutes of 28 Oct 1784 lists Isaac Reaves as one of those assigned to assist Benjamin Glover in working on the road from the fork of road above court house to the fork at Thomas Holman's.

In 1787, he was listed on the Wilkes County, NC Tax Lists in Capt. Gordon's District with 5 white males under 21 or over 60 years old and 5 white females.

Isaac Reaves will written 11 May 1807 does not name any children and the only legatee is his wife, Margery.

An incorrect theory which appears to have originated in the Reeves Review has created an amalgamation of Isaac Reeves of Wilkes County, North Carolina, Isaac Reeves the son of William Reeves who died in Granville in 1751 and Samuel Reeves of Rowan County NC. This composite is listed in various websites as “Isaac Samuel Reeves”. There is no evidence to support that there was such a person. There are even copies of the Rowan County will of Samuel Reeves online which have had the name “Isaac” added. This is unsubstantiated by any historical record. In neither the deed nor probate records of Rowan County, is Samuel Reeves referred to as Isaac Samuel Reeves nor can any records be found in Wilkes County that list Isaac Reeves, Sr.'s name as Isaac Samuel Reeves.

There is a deed between Margery Reaves and Zebediah Baker for 50 acres on the middle fork of Hunting Creek and adjoining land granted by North Carolina to Isaac Reaves on May 18, 1789, now Peter Reaves land, agreed line between Peter Reaves and William Jones. Witnessed by John Sales and Thomas Baker, Wilkes County, August 6, 1808.

None of Isaac and Margery Reeves' children appear to have remained in Wilkes County NC. James Reeves, son of Isaac Reeves, Sr., was listed in both 1796 and 1797 on the Madison County KY tax lists and later found in Mason County, Kentucky by 1800. Joshua Reaves and his brother Isaac Reaves, Jr. are listed on the 1799 tax lists of Madison County, Kentucky. Joshua is also in tax records of Madison County, Kentucky again in 1800 but Isaac Reaves, Jr. is not. Joshua continues to be listed in all subsequent tax listings from 1800 through 1803 after which he migrated into Indiana. There is also a marriage recorded in Madison County KY in 1798 for a Sarah Reeves to William Holton with James Reeve(s) as the bondsman. Youngest son Peter was recorded in the census of Wayne County TN by the 1820 census. He later moved further west to Searcy County, Arkansas.

Probable children of Isaac Reaves and Margery:
  1. James Reeves
  2. Bettie Reeve, m. John Wilson, Wilkes County bond dated 28 Oct 1784, James Reeves bondsman
  3. Isaac Reeve, Jr.
  4. John Reeves
  5. Sarah Reeves, m. William Holton, 1798 in Madison County, Kentucky
  6. Joshua Reeves, m. Providence Baker, Wilkes County bond dated 1 Nov 1796
  7. Peter Reeves, b. before 1780, m. Sally Redden on 29 Apr 1801
  8. Rebecca Reeves, m. William Jones (undocumented)
The 1790 census of Wilkes County records at least two more previously unidentified daughters in Isaac Reeves, Sr.'s household that year, one of whom is probably the Sarah Reeves listed above.

From: History of Morgan, Monroe & Brown County, 1884
by Charles Blanchard, Pg 333
"JOHN REEVES is a native of Mason County, Ky., and was born February 20, 1802, and is a son of James and Sarah (Holton) Reeves, the former a native of Ireland, and the latter of Maryland. John Reeve, Sr., (sic?) emigrated with his parents, Isaac and Margaret Reeves, to America previous to the Revolutionary war, and when sixteen years of age entered the army under Gen. Washington, serving the seven years. He then married and settled in Mason County, Ky., where he and wife ended their days. John Reeves, our subject, is the only child of his father living. In 1823, he moved to Monroe County, Ind., and in 1824 to Owen County, where he married, in 1828, Mrs. Eleanor Hayward. In 1829, he removed to this county, where Mrs. Reeves died in 1861, the mother of eight children - James, Nancy, Abigail, Austin S., Sarah, Samantha, Benjamin and Julia A. In 1863, he married Mrs. Ann Edwards. Mr. Reeves is an excellent gentleman, and he and wife are members of the Christian Church, of which Mr. Reeves has been an active worker for fifty years."

Research Notes

Since Isaac Reeves did not name any of his children in his 1807 will, there is no way to positively identify all of those chidren.

It is worthy of note that a George Reaves is described as "of Wilkes County, North Carolina" in a Halifax deed dated September 6, 1793. This may indicate a family connection to Isaac. Isaac Reeves is the only Reeves/Reaves family known to be located in Wilkes at that time; however, the origins of George Reaves of Halifax VA and Wilkes NC have been found to be in the northern neck of Virginia as described by Asher Reaves in his RW pension statement. There are also Wilkes County citations which refer to George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia; however, he was always located in the Grayson County, Virginia area of Peach Bottom Creek along the New River. This area along the Virginia/North Carolina border for 20 miles either side continued to change state designations for an extended period of time.

It should be noted that the DNA of descendants of the documented Reeve family of Prince William County, Virginia is a different lineage than descendants of Isaac Reeves of Wilkes County. DNA from the lines of George Reaves of Halifax VA and Asher Reaves of Halifax VA/Hawkins County TN/Greene County OH would be a great benefit to the research of these families. There are no participants in the Reeves DNA Project from those lines currently.

The biography of Isaac Reeves' grandson John, son of James Reeves, published in A History of Morgan, Monroe & Brown County, 1884 by Charles Blanchard, Pg 333 gives the origin of the family as Ireland. If James Reeves was born in Ireland, he would have been a very young child when the family migrated since they are recorded in Mecklenburg County VA in 1764 but that is possible. James Reeves would have been born prior to 1763 based upon documents in Wilkes NC which he executed as an apparent adult in 1784.


¹Katherine B. Elliott, Early Settlers, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Volume I, self-published (1984), p. 164
²Katherine B. Elliott, Early Settlers, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Volume II, self-published (1984), p. 98
Wilkes County NC Tax Lists
1790 Census - Wilkes County, North Carolina
1800 Census - Wilkes County, North Carolina
1807 Will of Isaac Reeves, Wilkes County WB 2 p229
History of Morgan, Monroe & Brown County, pub 1884 by Charles Blanchard, Pg 333