Reeves, James (c. 1783 NC - 1858 GA)

Reeves, James

Reeves, James B.


Father: Jeremiah Reeves
Mother: Jane Brazile

Birth: 1784, NC or Wilkes County, Georgia
Birth Source: Headstone, Census

Death: 6 Apr 1858, Carroll County, Georgia
Death Source: The Baptist Encyclopedia, pub. 2001

Spouse1: Sarah "Sally" McElroy
Spouse2: Mrs. Nancy Harper Phillips, m. 18 Dec 1827 in Butts County, Georgia


James Reeves and his first wife were said to have had ten children and he and his second wife, the widow Mrs. Phillips, five.

Some of the children of James Reeves and Sarah McElroy were:
  1. Lucy N. Reeves, b. c. 1805, GA, m. Smith Barron on 6 Apr 1824
  2. Unknown Child, b. c. 1807.
  3. John B. Reeves, b. c. 1809.
  4. Joel Avery Reeves, b. c1836 c1810-1812, m. Ann Brown
  5. Josiah Reeves, b. 4 Aug 1812, m. Cynthia Scoggins
  6. Jeremiah Reeves, b. c. 1815, m. Elizabeth Scoggins
  7. Unknown Child, b. c. 1817.
  8. Unknown Child, b. c. 1819.
  9. Unknown Child, b. c. 1821.
  10. Jabez Pleides Marcellus Reeves, b. 1824, GA.
  11. Unknown Daughter, b. 1825/1827.
Children of James Reeves and Mrs. Nancy Harper Phillips:
  1. Ann Reeves, b. 1828, GA, d. 1872, m. Samuel B. Little on 29 Jan 1846
  2. James F. Reeves, b. 1830, GA.
  3. Milton R. Reeves, b. 1832, GA.
  4. Joseph A. Reeves, b. 22 Aug 1836, m. Lizzie Parker
  5. Humphrey Posey Reeves, b. 1837
James Reeves's first marriage to Sarah McElroy is documented in several biographical sketches outlining the details of his ministerial career. Additional confirmation comes from Dallas Co., AL, Chancery Court Record, Book A, page 88, November, 1841:

"McElroy, James decd. Notice is given the Court that nothing is to be done about the Estate without notice to William McElroy and John P. Blaine. Isaac McElroy filed the will of James McElroy for probate. Citations ordered issued to James Reaves in right of his wife, Josiah McElroy, William McElroy, John McElroy, Jacob Driskell in right of his wife, James A. McElroy, George W. McElroy, John D. Adams and wife Asenath Adams, Isaac W. McElroy, Wiley J. McElroy, Henry McElroy, John P. Blaine and wife Elizabeth, Daniel Comalander and his wife, Isaac R. McElroy and his wife Nancy McElroy, and Sally McElroy. Isaac R. McElroy was appointed to administer the estate."

Sarah McElroy Reeves was a daughter of James McElroy (1761-1841)and his first wife, Lucy; she was probably born about 1785 in Wilkes Co., GA, where James McElroy was living on Golden Grove Creek.

James Reeves married second Mrs. Nancy Harper Phillips, widow of Matthew Phillips, on 18 December 1827 in Butts Co., GA. She was born about 1794 in Georgia and died 28 June 1881 in Carroll Co., GA, where she is buried beside her stepson Josiah Reeves (1812-1877) in Bowdon Baptist Church Cemetery. Nancy was a daughter of John N. and Elizabeth Mickelbrough Harper, who moved from Wilkes Co., GA, to Troup Co., GA, and then to Tallapoosa Co., AL. Returns on the estate of Nancy's first husband Matthew Phillips were filed in Troup County, Georgia, identifying Nancy's father John Harper as guardian of her children. A final division of John Harper's estate in Troup Co., GA, dated 1850, identifies several heirs, among whom were "James Reeves in right of his wife No. 1" and "Tyre Reeves in right of his wife No. 2."

James appears to have been in Troup County in 1831. As James Reeves of Troup County, he sold some land formerly in Henry County, but at the time in Butts County, to John B. Reeves of Butts County.

The 1840 Carroll Co., GA, Census showed James, John B., and Jeremiah Reeves in GMD 713. James was shown with 2 males under age 5 (Humphrey and Joel Joseph), 2 males aged 5-10 (Milton and James), 1 male 15-20, 1 male 50-60 (James), two females 10-15 (Ann and another daughter), and one female 40-50 (Nancy). John B. Reeves was aged 30-40 with three sons aged 0-5, one daughter aged 0-5, one daughter aged 5-10, and one female aged 30-40. Jeremiah's household included one male aged 0-5, 2 males aged 20-30, and one female aged 20-30.

The 1850 Carroll Co., GA, Census shows James and Nancy with children James F. Reeves (age 20), Profit Reeves (age 16), and William Reeves (age 13). James Reeves was shown as a Baptist preacher with $2000 worth of property. The census enumeration does not match known facts about James's family, however. James died testate, and in his will he mentions sons Humphrey Posey Reeves, Joel Avery Reeves, and Milton R. Reeves. Two of these men are buried in Columbia County, Arkansas, with marked graves, each giving place of birth (Troup County, Georgia) as well as date. Humphrey's stone indicates that he was born in 1837 and Milton's that he was born in 1832. Joseph A. Reeves, possibly the same individual as Joel Avery Reeves, was born in 1836; he is buried in Ouachita Co., AR.

The following is from a biography¹ of James Reeves published in 1874:

"The subject of this imperfect sketch, was the son of a Baptist minister, Jeremiah Reeves, of North Carolina, who removed to Georgia and settled in Wilkes county. He had four sons, all of whom became Baptist preachers, Malachi, Jeremiah,...John and James. The oldest, Malachi, was an eminently useful man in his day, and was contemporary with Jesse Mercer, Thomas Rhodes, and other distinguished characters. John was still living at last accounts, a very old man. He has been quite useful in his day.

James Reeves was born in Wilkes county, where he was brought up, and lived successively in Jasper, Butts, and Troup. His last move was to Carrol county, where he died, April 6th, 1858, in the seventy-fourth year of his age...It is believed he was about thirty when he commenced preaching, which was probably in Jasper county. He was twice married—first, to a Miss McElroy, and next to a Mrs. Phillips. He raised a large family of children..."
Complete Biography

James is buried in Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Carroll County, Georgia. A daughter, Rebecca Reeves is buried in the same cemetery. No dates given for Rebecca.

Research Note

The middle initial "B" is widely used in James' name; however, there does not seem to be any credible source for this middle name or initial.


¹Georgia Baptists: Historical and Biographical by J. H. Campbell, Perry, Georgia. Pub Macon, GA. by J. W. Burke & Company. 1874.
Georgia Marriages, 1699-1944
Randall A. Allen and Danny Knight, Early Estate Records of Troup Co., GA, 1827-1850.
1831 Deed - James Reeves to John B. Reeves - Butts County, Georgia Deed Book C, p380
1840 Census - Carroll County, Georgia
1850 Census - Carroll County, Georgia
Will of James Reeves, Carroll County GA WB A p. 36-38
Headstone, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Carroll County, Georgia (1784-1858)