Reeves, John (c1732 VA - aft 1790 SC)

Reeves, John

Reeves, John


Father: probably George Reeves
Mother: probably Ann Doggett

Birth: c1732, Unknown
Birth Source: Estimated from birth of son Daniel in 1754 and the fact that John does not appear on 1747 tax list

Death: after 1790, probably Lancaster County, South Carolina
Death Source: No further census listings

Spouse1: Nancy
Spouse2: Unknown


Children of John Reeves and Nancy:
  1. Daniel Reeves, b. 1754, d. 1824
  2. William Reeves, b. c1769, d. 1837
  3. (probably) Elisha Reeves, b. c. 1760
  4. (probably) Nancy Elizabeth Reeves, b. c. 1775-1778
Probable children of John Reeves and his second, unknown wife:
  1. Son, b. aft. 1774. This child might be James Reeves; it seems more likely, however, that James may have been a son of Elisha Reeves.
  2. Son, b. aft. 1774.
  3. Daughter, at home in 1790
  4. Daughter, at home in 1790. This child might be Nancy Elizabeth Reeves named above. Given that her name was Nancy, it is more likely Nancy was her mother.
  5. Daughter, at home in 1790. This child might be Anna Reeves, who married Britton Blackmon.
This John Reeves may be the same individual as John Reeves of Prince William County, who sold land in Prince William County about 1774. That John had a brother Moses Reeves who with wife Jane sold land in Prince William in 1773. By about 1777, John Reeves and Moses Reeves were living in what became Lancaster County, South Carolina. Both were middle-aged men with families; they may be the two brothers of about the same age who had previously lived in Prince William County, Virginia.

The British Mercantile Claims — attempts of British merchants after the Revolution to collect debts due from before the Revolution — show that "John Reaves of Prince William" owed 8 shillings and 6 pence due since 1772. The notes indicate that he "Removed about twenty years ago." This was from a list of debts due William Cunningham and Company, of Glasgow, Scotland, at their Falmouth Store. The list was generated over a period of years ending in 1803, suggesting that John Reeves had left the Prince William area at some point prior to 1783.

John Reeves's birthdate has not been conclusively established. He does not appear with his father or other family members on the 1747 tax list for King William's Dettingen Parish, suggesting that he was not yet 16 years old. He was probably born after the 6 June tax date, suggesting a birthdate after 6 June 1731. Since George had moved to Stafford (later Prince William) County by this date, it seems likely that John was born there.

The first known mention of John was on 18 October 1751, when George Reeves deeded "unto my loving Son John…150 acres" out of a tract of 941 acres joining Mr. Housin Hooe, Rushy Branch, Bull Run, and the dividing line between him and his brother Benjamin. This provision was in the context of the larger deed of gift Reeves made to his children.

The 1754 and 1760 rental lists for Prince William County both showed John Reeves with 150 acres. The 1754 list showed that the land was 3 years in arrears; the 1760 list showed that it was 9 years in arrears. The same list also noted that he had originally been charged with the tract of 813 acres that had belonged to his father but that this was an error, with 210 acres of that land then belonging to George Reeves, Sr., and 100 acres to William Haggard. The 1761-1762 rent roll correctly showed him with 150 acres but then confused him with his uncle, John Reeve, Sr., noting that "this is 313" (the acreage owned by John Reeve, Sr.. At that time, he was also charged with 813 acres, beside which is the notation "mistaken."

John Reves, James Bridges and Newman Mathis were securities for Newman Mathews to serve as executor for the estate of Griffin Mathis, Prince William County. John signed as John (X) Reeve, Mary 2, 1763.

John Reeve was on the list of tithables on Captain Lewis Reno's list for Prince William County with one tithe in 1765; no land was indicated, although he then owned at least 150 acres. His name appears very near that of his brother Moses and close to that of his uncle, John Reeve.

At the time of the 1773 Prince William County rent rolls, he was taxed with 200 acres two years in arrears and the indication that he was "of Carter's Este." His cousin George Reeves of Broad Run had earlier been "Col. Carter's tenant," as had their associate Fortunatus Legg. Reeves may have been farming some of Carter's land, which may account for the designation in that year. More puzzling is the additional fifty acres — again perhaps a tract leased from Carter — since he is known only to have owned 150 acres.

John Reeve sold his property in Prince William County about 1774 and seems to have left the county about that time; while it remains to be proven, he may be the John Reeves who appeared in Lancaster Co., SC, shortly after this date.

Regarding the sale of John's land about 1774, the original deed is lost among Prince William County records. The deed is mentioned in a surviving index, or "Alphabet" of deeds (which indicates that it was recorded in DB S (which ends in 1774), p. 499), and more information about it is found in later deeds. On 7 Apr 1788, John and Ann Hooe conveyed land to their son Bernard; included in the gift were 150 acres they had purchased from Maximilian Haynie (who had purchased the land from Benjamin Reeves) and 150 acres they had purchased from John Reeves. The land Benjamin and John had received in their father's 1751 deed of gift was the northern section of George's land and lay adjacent to the Hooe property. The date at which John Reeves sold his land to Hooe is unknown, but it has been estimated as around late August 1774 (based on an assumption that deeds were conveyed with fairly regular frequency during the 1771-4 period, and that the deed records absorbed relatively equal space in the record book, which is known to have spanned those years).

Since the "Alphabet" of Prince William County deeds mentions no wife for John (unlike in most other deeds, where a spouse is indicated), it seems likely that John's wife was then deceased. If he is, as seems likely, this is consistent with statements that his son Daniel (born 1754) preferred to stay with his uncle because Daniel's father John had remarried and Daniel did not get along well with his stepmother.

The last known reference to this John Reeves in Prince William County comes from an erroneous entry in the 1777 Prince William County rent roll, which had yet to be fully updated from the 1777 deed. John Reeves appears, taxed with 200 acres six years in arrears; this seems to be the same land with which John had been taxed in 1773, at which time he was called "of Carter's Este." The individuals preparing the rent roll learned of the 1774 deed in which Reeves had sold his property to John Hooe, but they erroneously attributed the sale to his uncle John Reeve, making an entry beside the notation for his 313 acres that "200 to John Hoe in futer" — apparently indicating that he had transferred 200 acres to Hooe which were to be credited to Hooe in future rolls. In reality, John Reeve had not sold the land, and he continued to be taxed with his 313 acres in the future. It was instead his nephew John, son of George Reeves, Sr. and wife Ann Doggett Reeves, who had sold his 200 acres — including the 150 acres deeded to him by his father George in 1751 — to John Hooe. A minor mystery concerns the additional 50 acre; perhaps John had somehow acquired 50 acres of from his brother Benjamin which he also deeded to Hooe, or perhaps John was renting or had purchased 50 acres from Carter's estate, which he also conveyed to Hooe. No further references to this John Reeves have been found in Prince William after the deed recorded in 1774 and the confused 1777 rent roll entry.

In evaluating the likelihood that George Reeves's son John left Prince William County, Lois Downey has noted that she "found nothing in Prince William County records that mentions a man named John Reeves between 1774 and 1783 other than four records that almost certainly referred to George's brother John: (1) a 1778 request that he be excused from paying county taxes in the future; (2) another from 1778 reporting on a route for a road from John Reeves to the Dumfries road (presumably George's brother who still owned property in Prince William County, rather than George's son who had sold his Prince William County property about 1774), (3) the 1782 property tax list that includes the names of slaves known to have been owned by George's brother John, and (4) the 1782 will of George's brother John...the absence of his name from Prince William County records between 1773 and 1788, including the personal property tax lists for 1782-4, makes it seem that he must not have been living in Prince William County at that point."

Several specific pieces of information about John Reeves can be gathered from the Revolutionary War pension application of son Daniel and statements by Daniel's brother William and cousin Jesse:

-- First, Daniel was born in 1754, and he was a son of John and Nancy Reeves.
-- Second, Daniel enlisted in the 3rd South Carolina Regiment under Capt. Eli Cashaw and Col. William Thomson about a month after it was formed — thus, probably, in July 1775. This establishes that John Reeves was living in the area by about July 1775.
-- Daniel came home on furlough during the war. As Jesse described it, "That he recollects distinctly,that he came home on furlough & was there a short space of time & being related to said Daniel Reeves (to wit) Cousins his Father & said Daniel's residing near to each other & consequently were in each other's company frequently enables him to recollect the time better, than he would otherwise had done."
-- Jesse further stated: "That the service in the regular line was performed in the year 1779 or 1780 and during the spring of 1780 said Daniel Reeves came home on furlough as above stated. He had before his enlistment engaged himself to marry Ellenor Guthrie and this Deponent believes this was the main cause of his return on furlough. Ellenor Guthrie was an orphan girl and was said by her near relation Mr. Land who lived a close neighbor and the said Daniel Reeves and Ellenor Guthrie were married at the house of Land and on next day took dinner at the house of this Deponent's father because the said Daniel did not like his step mother the second wife of his father who also lived not far off. The same cause of dislike made Daniel Reeves leave his wife at the house of this Deponent's father after his furlough above spoken of was nearly out while he went and served out the balance of his time and thinks that after this he was at the Siege of Charlestown he is certain of his being there but will not say whether before or after the marriage but believes he is certain the longest period of the service was after the marriage as he never came home until he had served out his time from these circumstances and particularly Daniel Reeves leaving his wife at his father's during the time of the balance of service in the militia tours he afterwards served this Deponent has a perfect knowledge and recollection of these transactions."
-- Ellenor Guthrie Reeves stated: "She further Declares that she was married to the said Daniel Reeves on the 17th day of March 1779."
-- Jesse further stated: "And this Deponent being further ask and interrogated Deposes and says that after Daniel Reeves was discharged from his tour of regular service and had come home sometime and lived at his Deponent's father's with his wife. He served to the militia tours of 3 months each one under Captain Steel and the other under Captain Land one of these was as a volunteer the other was as a drafted militia both these tours were served in the latter part of 1780 in the first of 1781 and the reason was the British had during this time marched up and invaded the whole country and it was safer to be out in the Army then at home on account of British and Tories..."
-- Daniel's younger brother William stated: "It was after this a little he cannot say Whither it was when General Sumter was defeated or some other battle that...his Brother...and...was...taken prisoner but was left in the neighborhood as this affiant's father lived at that time above Camden...miles"
-- Jesse further stated: "Thus he believes that the said Daniel served about 12 months in the regular service part of which was after his marriage with Ellenor his wife and 3 militia tours of 3 months each after the regular service in all about 2 years. This Deponent will state some of the most remarkable circumstance is these were the battles of Camden and Sumter's defeat the latter was fought within 3 miles of this Deponent's father's and this Deponent was there next day or day after and saw the dead and the wounded the latter out of their senses and crawling about. There were a great many dead horses and the wagons were cut to pieces with axes and destroyed in that manner. Daniel Reeves was out in service at that time under Sumter as he thinks but cannot positively say and this Deponent does not recollect whether he got any of his wounds in this battle or not so it was however he was wounded in 2 places one a cut with a sword and the other a ball piercing his side and coming out again neither of which done him material injury." (Note that the events Jesse described as "Sumter's Defeat" are better known to history as the Battle of Fishing Creek, which took place near where Fishing Creek flows into the Catawba River, just north of the falls of the Catawba, on 18 August 1780; British forces commanded by Bannastre Tarleton fought American forces commanded by Thomas Sumter in present-day Chester County.)
-- Jesse further stated: He "knows a great many more circumstances about the Revolution and could relate them having been an eyewitness to many of them...and has a tolerable history of the Reeves family."

Cumulatively, these statements — quoted at length because of their importance — establish that (a.) John Reeves was living above Camden by July 1775, (b.) that John's first wife had died and that he had remarried by the time Daniel was in service, (c.) that John and his brother (father of Jesse Reeves) lived in close proximity to one another, (d.) that the brothers had a neighbor named Land who was a near relation and guardian of Ellenor Guthrie Reeves, (e.) that Ellenor Reeves remained with Jesse's father for most of the remainder of the war, (f.) that Jesse's father (and presumably Daniel's father) in 1780 lived within three miles of the Battle of Fishing Creek, and (g.) that both John and his brother seem to have still been living in the area, some miles north of Camden, near the end of the Revolution. Although the pension statements never identify Jesse's father, the South Carolina jury lists (quoted below) and the administration of the estate of Moses Reeves seem to confirm his identity. (Regarding the Land family, deeds indicate that Moses Reeves had a neighbor William Land on Rockey Creek; there was also a family of Lands living nearby, in the vicinity of Land's Ford and headed by Capt. Thomas Land, which included several officers in the South Carolina line.)

Jury Lists of South Carolina, 1778-1779, by GeLee Corley Hendrix and Morn M. Lindsey, shows "Petit Jurors Between the Broad and Catawba Rivers. The names of John Reaves and Moses Reaves appear in sequential order. The description between the Broad and Catawba Rivers places this area in what became York and Chester Counties, as do the names of other individuals shown near John and Moses on the list. The Revolutionary War pension descriptions further place them within three miles of the site of the Battle of Fishing Creek, in what is today southern Chester County. Chester County deeds place Moses Reeves in the area as early as 1777. All of this is consistent with William Reeves's statement that his father lived some miles "above Camden."

In the records of Old Camden District, South Carolina both John Reeves and Moses Reeves are on the Petit Jury List in 1780.

At some point after the end of the Revolution, John and Moses Reeves both seem to have moved eastward across the Catawba River. John lived in southern Lancaster County while Moses lived in northern Kershaw County. Moses seems to have remained in Kershaw, on White Oak Creek, until he died about 1797. Both men still remained north of Camden and within a dozen or so miles of the Fishing Creek battlefield.

John Reeves is listed in the 1790 census of Lancaster County, where his household is described as 1 male over 16, 2 males under 16 and 4 females. Although there is no definitive proof, this is most likely the father of Daniel Reeves living with his second wife and young family. William Reeves stated that he was 15 years younger than Daniel in his statement for Daniel's RW pension this places his birth at about 1769. William has not been located, but his estimated birth of 1769 makes him too old to have been the young son enumerated in 1790. It is possible, however, that the census age was in error and that he was actually the younger man living in his father's household. Another probable son of John seems to have been Elisha Reeves who was enumerated in the 1790 Lancaster Co., SC, census.

In terms of subsequent Reeves migration and activity, John's location in 1790 is significant. The census is not divided into districts, but his neighbors included Joseph Blackman and James Blackman. John's name appears about 200 entries after Elisha's name, suggesting that, if the entries were sequential, the two men may have been living at some distance. But Elisha's immediate neighbors included John Blackman, Sr., John Blackman, Jr., and Daniel Blackman, relatives of John's neighbors. The Blackman family was to be particularly important in the lives and activities of the family of James Reeves, Sr.

Research Notes

What became of John Reeves after 1790 is unclear. He does not appear to have owned land in Lancaster County. He may be the John Reeves who appears in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, after 1793, although that was likely a younger man.

In the DAR file for Lou Etta Brosius Eldrige, #84849, a descendant of Aquila Price and Hannah Reeves, daughter of Daniel, there is a letter from Mrs. Mollie Price Brosius, a relative, who refers to information in the James Nelson Bible as follows: "I have the James Nelson family bible with his children's births, his daughters (Elenor and Daniel Reeves) family, Her sons family and her grandsons family records in it. After the sons family is John Reeves born about 1720, showing that it was entered about the same time, thus not being sure of his date." Given that there is no mention of a birth date for John Reeves in the family Bible record contained in the Daniel Reeves pension application file, it appears Mrs. Brosius had access to the actual Family Bible, or another one with additional information.

John is registered with the DAR as a soldier in the American Revolution based upon a South Carolina stub entry from 1785 to a John Rives for militia duty in 1781 and 1782. This is almost surely a misidentification given the spelling of the last name. It's likely this John was related to William Rives from Prince George County, Virginia, a number of whose sons moved to South Carolina.


"British Mercantile Claims, 1775-1803," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 21 (1977), p. 47.
Hendrix, GeLee Corley, etc. Jury Lists of South Carolina, 1778-1779
Daniel Reeves RW Pension Statement
1790 Census - Lancaster County, South Carolina
1800 Census - Chesterfield County, South Carolina
Daughters of the American Revolution, John Reeves A095055