Reeves, John U. (1785 MD - 1860 VA)

John U. Reeves

Reeves, John U.


Father: Hezekiah Hornitt Reeves
Mother: probably Lavinia MNU

Birth: 1785, probably Virginia Maryland
Birth Source: U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885, gives age as 75 in 1860

Death: after 1830 May 1860, probably Prince William County, Virginia
Death Source: U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885, gives age as 75

Spouse1: Winifred MNU


Children of John U. Reeves and Winifred:
  1. James T. Reeves, b. 1807
  2. Walter C. Reeves, b. 1809
  3. Unknown daughter born 1811 to 1815, probably Catherine wife of John Mullen
  4. Julia A. Reeves, b. 1818, m. Capt. Elkanah S. Swann 11 Aug 1836 in Washington D.C.
  5. John U. Reeves, Jr., b. 1823
  6. William A. Reeves, b. 1824
  7. Mary Jane Reeves, b. 1830, d. 11 Jul 1873, m. William H. Duvall, m. 26 Sep 1844
John U. Reeves named his daughter Julia Swann along with her husband in an 1851 deed of gift to them. Daughter Mary Jane Reeves is listed in the Index of Death Records of Prince William County, Virginia and identified as the daughter of John and Winifred Reeves.

There is currently no documentation to support the identity of the unknown daughter born 1811-1815 as Catherine Mullen, wife of John Mullen. However, there are inferential facts that support the theory. Catherine Mullen was born 1813-14 according to census and their household was adjacent to the residences of Winifred Reeves and other members of this immediate family in census of 1850 and 1860.

Very little is known of John U. Reeves' family; however, a recently discovered 1841 deed appears to document that he was the eldest son of Hezekiah Hornitt Reeves, of Charles County, Maryland who settled in Prince William County, Virginia sometime after 1800. He was listed, along with his father, Hezekiah, as a voter in a poll taken at the Court House of Prince William County on the first of April 1822 for the election of two delegates to represent the county at the next general assembly of Virginia.

On the 6th of June 1825 John U. Reeves was appointed by the Prince William County Court to the position of Constable. John U. Reeves, Peyton Mills, John S. Fairfax & Francis Simpson signed a $2,000 bond the next day guaranteeing his performance of the duties of that office.

A recent deed of 16 Jan 1830 by John U. Reeves and Winifred, his wife, to Phillip Carter, has identified his wife as Winifred Reeves. [PWC DB 12, p.14] Prior to the discovery of this deed, the only record of Winifred was as the head of household in the 1840 and 1850 census.

On 6 Feb 1826 in Prince William County, he was granted a bond to administer the estate of Sarah King, deceased. The bond contains no information as to any family connection between John U. Reeves and Sarah King. Again on 7 Aug 1827 John U. Reeves was granted a bond as an administrator of the estate of William B. Crouch.

His household in the 1830 census of PWC consisted of 2 Males 5-9, 1 Male 15-19, 1 Male 20-29, 1 Male 30-39, 1 Male 60-69, 1 Female 10-14, 1 Female 15-19, 1 Female 30-39, 1 Female 70-79 and 3 Slaves. It is assumed that John U. Reeves is the male 30-39, and the older individuals in the household are his in-laws or other elderly family members.

There was a Chancery Case styled Benjamin O. Tayloe (Taylor) vs. John U. Reeves et al circa 1838 that appears to be in reference to bonds by James Reeves, John U. Reeves, Wat Reeves (sic Walter) and Winney Reeves concerning the estate of John Tayloe III of Richmond County. The 1842 final decree was recorded in Prince William County but currently the details of the original case have not been found. The bonds appear to be in relation to an agreement between John U. Reeves and Benjamin O. Tayloe as executor of the estate of John Tayloe III.

In an 1841 deed, John U. Reeves conveyed to his brother Thomas I. Reeves all his right, title and interest to the Estate of Hezekiah H. Reeves Dec’d late of the County of Prince William in the State of Virginia. The deed was written in Knox County, Ohio where John U. Reeves personally appeared before R. J. Hickman a Justice of the Peace for Knox County, acknowledged the deed and requested that it be recorded on the 29 of May 1841.

The will of John U. Reeves was presented for probate on 2 July 1861 to the Prince William County Court. His 1860 will only names as his heirs, the children of a Mary Savage who was deceased by that date. He left the house and lot in town where he lived, plus three thousand dollars to her daughter Mary Elizabeth Savage, his plantation to her son John. There were also legacies to her son Thomas I. Savage and daughter Susan V. Rankin. There is no mention in his will of Winifred, his wife previously identified or his children. He does not appear to have lived in the same household with Winifred after around 1830. Neither is there any suggestion as to whether Mary Savage and her children may have been relatives, although it is possible that theirs was a "common law" union and he was the father of these children which appears to be the case based upon the 1850 census of Knox County, Ohio. The will was contested when presented to court in August of 1861 but on a later date after statements were taken by the subscribing witnesses, the court accepted the will and admitted it for probate.

The 1850 census of Knox County, Ohio lists the children of Mary Savage above listed in the will as children of John U. Reeves and Mary Reeves with their surname given as Reeves:
  1. John Reeves, b. 1831
  2. Susan (Virginia) Reeves, b. 1832
  3. Thomas Reeves, b. 1837
  4. Mary Reeves, b. 1845

The Prince William County VA U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 for the year ending June 1860 records the death of John U. Reeves in May of 1860. A notation on this record states that in crossing a branch, he fell and broke his thigh, then died from inflammation of that wound two months later.


Prince William County VA Bond Book 1732-1847
1820 Census - Prince William County, Virginia
1825 Prince William County VA Constable Bond , Deed Book 10, pgs 74-75
1830 Census - Prince William County, Virginia
1830 Deed, John U. Reeves & Winifred, his wife, to Phillip Carter, PWC DB 12, p. 14
Prince William County VA, Chancery Order Book 1, p. 175, online image at Family Search
1841 Deed - Reeves to Reeves, Recorded PWC Deed Book 21, p. 405
1850 Census - Wayne, Knox County, Ohio
1860 Prince William County VA Will, WB R, pgs 128-129
1860 U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885, database online at Ancestry.com
Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917, online database at Ancestry.com (Mary Jane Reeves)