Reeves, Reuben (c1765 SC - 1817 TN)


Reeves, Reuben


Father: Unknown

Birth: c1765, South Carolina
Birth Source: Estimated from Census

Death: 1817, Maury County, Tennessee
Death Source: Maury County Probate Records

Spouse1: Unknown
Spouse2: Hannah Cooper, m. 28 Dec 1808 in Sumner County, Tennessee


Children of Reuben Reeves and unknown wife:
  1. Elijah Rieves, b. c1790
  2. Joel Rieves, b. before 1795, d. 1819
  3. Susannah Rieves, b. before 1800, m. John Forsyth on 7 Apr 1821
  4. William Reeves
  5. Nancy Rieves, b. 1801, m. Henry Baker
  6. Sarah Rieves "Sally", m. William Smith 11 Jun 1819 See Research Notes
  7. Thomas Jefferson Rieves¹, b. 1800-1805?, d. 1872
Children of Reuben Reeves and Hannah Cooper:
  1. John C. Rieves, b. c1810, d. 1845
  2. James Rieves, b. 1814, Tennessee, named as Joshua in probate records
  3. Purify Rieves, b. 1815, m. William Flanigan 5 Dec 1837
There may be several more children, primarily daughters, born to Reuben and his first wife but there is no record of them in the probate file.

There was a Reuben Reaves in Battalion 3 (Woodfolk's) Tennessee Militia in the War of 1812. Woodfolk's Battalions covered Williamson County, directly above Maury. However, this may have been another Reuben Reeves.

Reuben was in Maury County, Tennessee by 1810 according to tax lists.

The household of widow Hannah Reeves in the 1820 Maury County, Tennessee census included 1 male ‹10 (James), 1 male 10-15 (John C.), 1 female ‹10 (Purify) and 1 female 26-44. These are probably the only children born to Reuben Reeves and Hannah. Reuben's first wife apparently died about the time the family arrived in Tennessee.

In all of the subsequent census of Maury County for the rest of Hannah's life, James was living in the home with her.

Maury County TN Probate
Recorded April Term 1818
Wills & Settlements, Book C, p. 440
Sale of property of Reubin Reaves, deceased. Buyers: Elijah Reaves, Hannah Reaves (widow), Susannah Reaves, Nancy Reaves, Wm. Adams, Joel Reaves, Henson Brown, John Chism, Thomas Nations, Thomas Night, John Webb, Derrel Bridges, Wm. C. Hill, Josiah Alderson, Wilson Curry, John Cooper.

According to Sarah Collins Rieves Duncan, daughter of Gus Rieves s/o Elijah N. B. Rieves s/o Thomas s/o Reuben, Reuben and Hannah are suppose to be buried in the Rieves Cemetery in Maury County.

The following historical bits were published in the Columbia Harold and Mail, 21 July 1876:
In 1808, when Michael Lancaster built first, on the bank of Fountain Creek, and when the creek bottoms were a dense cane-brake, after he had erected a cabin, his wife and three children moved one evening into the house, intending the next morning to bring over the supplies. That night it rained heavily, and continued to rain for three days and nights....For five days the only food for herself and children that she had, (for her husband was absent) was this coarse hominy; although her supplies were just across the creek. There were very few settlers, and they some miles off, and no road through the cane....Old man Rieves, the father of Elijah and Tom, together with an older brother, Joel, had pitched a tent near the mouth of Hurrican Creek and that was flooded with water, and the family had to leave. It was the days of canoes and dug-outs; but Joel Rieves, like their descendants of our days, was equal to the occasion. He got a horse-trough that required to be perfectly balanced to prevent turning over; so he went first to his father's house, and by getting down into the water, he first collected supplies for his father's family, then he loaded up his trough for Mrs. Lancaster, and braved the flood of water, and so relieved her and family from actual suffering.

Mr. Edmond Harris, who had settled across the creek in 1806, had a yearling running on the land of Mrs. Lancaster, and called from across the creek for her to kill his calf, but Joel relieved her with abundant supplies. Those old settlers were whole souled people, and we see in their descendants, some of our best citizens.

It was unusual for boys till ten years old to run through the snow barefooted, and even when Elijah and Tom Rieves were nearly grown, they hunted with dogs and guns all day in the snow barefooted and no coat on - nothing hurt them; they did not mind cold or wet, but must have their frolic.

It does not follow as a matter of course, that they had no shoes or coats, as will appear, for when Elijah Rieves had settled near Davis' ford, on the bank of the river, and kept a canoe for crossing, Tom, then nearly grown, had crossed in the evening, and next morning just after Elijah sat down to breakfast, Tom called for the dug-out to be brought over. Elijah still continued his breakfast, intending to go over after Tom as soon as he finished his meal; just as he got up from the table, in walked Tom, some water dripping from his clothing, some in ice; for it was freezing cold. Elijah remarked, "Why, Tom, why did you not wait; I was coming for you?" Tom turned around and sat down to the table, and remarked, "You suppose I was going to wait over there in the cold, I preferred to swim the river." Nothing hurt those noble men; they had the most robust constitutions, raise large families, among our best citizens; they lived useful and long lives, and just a few years ago were gathered to their fathers,

Elijah Rieves and John D. Love often went together with flat boats to New Orleans and had a walk back through the nations of Choctaws and Chickasaws. Once in returning, they had become nearly famished and stopped at an Indian house to get something to eat, and stay all night. The Indian woman left the cabin to prepare. The saw something covered up in the ashes, and thought an ash cake would be acceptable before supper, so they raked off the ashes, and found a terrapin covered up. They could not go that, and it whole, so covered it over, and waited for supper. Those were days before steamboats ascended the Mississippi.

Research Notes

Based on proximity as indicated in land records and census records, the following Reeves appear to have lived in the same general area between about 1790 and 1810: William Reeves, John Reeves, Reuben Reeves, and Joseph Reeves. West Reeves also appears in the area between 1771 and 1773.

Sarah Rieves, Sally, who is mentioned in documents regarding Reuben Reeves estate was previously believed to be Reuben's daughter; however, recently discovered deed records indicate that Sarah was the widow of his son Joel Rieves. The deed dividing the negroes of Joel's estate made bequests to the former Sally Reaves (sic), wife of William P. Smith along with Joel's son George W. Reeves.

Moses Reeves of Prince William County, Virginia and later Kershaw County, South Carolina is a possible candidate for Reuben's father. Ann Doggett, Moses's mother, had a half-brother named Reuben. In addition there was a Reuben Reeves who lived in Prince William County listed next to George Reeve(s) in the tax list and was likely a son of George and Ann who died as a young man. In Moses Reeves's estate file, there was money set aside for the schooling of Reuben Clanton, apparently a son of Jemima Clanton who appears to be Moses's daughter, another testimony to the continued use of the name. Reuben settled in Maury County, Tennessee which is where Jesse Reeves, son of Moses, lived for some time. Prestley Reeves was also there for a brief period and possible their cousin Daniel as well. Further research is needed to prove the connection.


Marriage2: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002
Death:        Estate File of Reuben Reaves, Maury County, Tennessee
Census:      1790 Census - St. Thomas, Cheraws District, South Carolina
                   1800 Census - Chesterfield County, South Carolina
                   1820 Census - Maury County, Tennessee (Hannah HOH)
                   1840 Census - Maury County, Tennessee (Hannah HOH)
                   1850 Census - Maury County, Tennessee (Hannah HOH)
History:      ¹ Century review, 1805-1905, Maury County, Tennessee, pub 1905
                   War of 1812 Service Record Index
                   1824 Deed - Reuben Reeves Heirs to Elijah Reeves - Maury County, Tennessee Deed Book L, p384
                   Deed Estate of Joel Reeves, Maury County TN DB P p. 380
                   Columbia Harold and Mail, 21 July 1876
                   Maury County, Tennessee Tax Lists