Birth: c. 1665/6, probably Virginia or England
Birth Source: 1674/5 Northumberland Co., VA, Court judgment
Death: Before 19 July 1727, Northumberland Co., VA
Death Source: Will proven, Northumberland Co., VA
Spouse1: Frances Whilliard
Robert Reeves and wife Frances had one known child:
1. John Reeves (c. 1691 - after 1740).
Robert Reeves was a servant in Northumberland County by 17 March 1674/5, at which time his master, Peter Presly, Jr., adjudged him to be nine years of age. On 18 November 1691, another one of Peter Presly's servants, Frances Whilliard, was found guilty of having a child out of wedlock during her period of service to Presly, and she made oath that Robert Reeves was the father. Presly requested that the court accept his payment of a fine in lieu of the legally authorized punishment that would otherwise have been given Frances, but he also requested that extend her period of service by six months as reimbursement.
After becoming free, Robert married and became a landowner. On 21 October 1702, he purchased 50 acres in Betty's Neck from Edward Barnes; following the courthouse fire, he re-recorded the deed on 15 July 1713. An 18 June 1706 court reference notes that his lands were adjacent those of Vincent Garner, whose estate he appraised on 16 May 1711 following Garner's death. Reeves also purchased additional land from Garner in 1706.
Robert became a prominent individual in Northumberland County, owning land and servants and serving as a district constable; many records regarding him between 1699 and 1713 can be found in Northumberland County Court Orders.
In addition to his assocations with Vincent Garner, Robert Reeves also had ties to the Bowes family. On 17 December 1705, along with Vincent Garner, James Oldham, and Rodham Neal, he appraised the estate of John Bowes (also spelled Boaze).
The will of Robert Reeves was written 14 June 1723 and proved 19 July 1727 in Northumberland County, naming wife Frances (for her widowhood) and John, "son of my wife Frances." John was to receive "all my lands in St. Stephen's Parish" as well as the rest of his Robert Reeves's personal estate. John Wornum and Phillip Eunies witnessed the will.
There were several Reeves families in the Northern Neck of Virginia between 1650 and 1750. One William Reeves died about 1699 in Northumberland County. Thomas Reeves lived in Richmond County, and John Reeves lived in Lancaster County. A Robert Reeves who was a contemporary of this William lived in Northumberland County. Later, George Reeves would also live in Northumberland County. Slightly further afield, the family of Henry Reeves, Sr. lived in Old Rappahannock/Essex County. Across the Rappahannock River in Middlesex County was the large family headed by George Reeves and his four known sons, Thomas, Francis, George, and Charles. DNA analysis establishes, however, that there was no connection between the family of George Reeves and that of Henry Reeves, Sr.. Since descendants of these other Reeves families have not yet been tested, the possibility of kinship between some of them cannot be precluded.
Beverly Fleet, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 20 (Northumbria Collectanea, 1645-1720, M-Z).
James F. Lewis and J. Motley Booker, Northumberland County, Virginia, Wills and Administrations, 1713-1749, p. 70.
Note that the reference to Frances Whilliard and her illitimate child was supplied by Lois Downey.