Reeves, Stephen (1790 SC - c1873 AL)

Stephen Reeves

Reeves, Stephen


Father: possibly Stephen Reeves or Jesse Reeves

Birth: 1790, South Carolina
Birth Source: Census of 1850, 1860 and 1870

Death: c15 Jan 1873, at home, Lauderdale County, Alabama
Death Source: Petition for Probate of Will, 31 Jan 1873

Spouse1: Unknown
Spouse2: Eliza Jane Dowdy, m. 20 Nov 1845 in Lauderdale County, Alabama


Children of Stephen Reeves and unknown wife:
  1. Nettie Amelia Reeves , b. 26 Nov 1824, m. Noah Shepherd Rhodes 1845
  2. Elmira M Reeves , b. c1825, m1 unk Zellenor, m2 Jesse Carroll 1856
  3. Sarah "Sallie" Reeves , b. 1827, m1 Stewart Pool 1845, m2 John Jennings 1856
  4. Stephen R Reeves , b. 1829, m1 Sophia Cobb, m2 Elizabeth Cobb
  5. Caroline Fanny Reeves , b. 1830, m. John Turner Lee
  6. Mary Reeves , b. c1830, m Shelton Scott
Above children of Stephen Reeves listed in Petition for Probate of Will filed 31 January 1873 in Lauderdale County AL. That document also lists a deceased nephew, Middleton Reeves, who was recorded in the Lauderdale AL 1860 census. That document also names two great grandchildren of Stephen Reeves, Jack and Elizabeth Towns; however, these children appear to be descendants of Andrew Reeves who is the probable father of Middleton Reeves and would have been a brother to Stephen. Their mother Ellen Reeves Towns was living in Andrew Reeves' household in the 1850 census.

Florence Times-Journal, 5 Mar 1873
State of Ala., Lauderdale Co. Probate Court, Special term, January 31, 1873.
This day came Eliza Jane Reeves and produces to the court a paper purporting to be the last will and testament of Stephen Reeves, late of said county, deceased, and moved the court to admit the same to Probate, and issue letters testamentary thereon to her, and it appearing from affidavit of petitioner, that the children of Middleton Reeves, deceased, whose names are unknown, are next of kin to said Stephen Reeves, and are non-residents of the State of Alabama; and the court having appointed the 28th day of February 1873, to hear said petition. It is ordered that notice to said non-residents be made for Four successive weeks in the Times and Journal, a paper published in said county, of the day appointed to hear said petition, at which time and place they may appear and contest the same if they see proper.
Judge of Probate Court.
Feb 5, 1873

Based upon Census records of 1850, 1860 and 1870, Stephen Reeves and Eliza Dowdy had no children.

Stephen Reeves born 1790 may have been the son of Stephen Reeves who was included in probate documents of Moses Reeves and appears to have been his son although it is also possible that he was a son of Jesse Reeves. This Stephen Reeves also left South Carolina and settled in Lauderdale County, Alabama in close proximity to other members of the Moses Reeves' family, such as Jesse Reeves and Asa Reeves.

One Stephen Reave — apparently a younger man that the one enumerated in 1790 — was enumerated in Kershaw Co., SC, in 1820: one male 10-16, one male 16-18, 3 males 16-26, 1 male 26-45, 1 female over 45. An Andrew Reaves, also aged 26-45, was shown as another head of household.

A claim was made in 1871 for a pension for service in the War of 1812 under the name Stephen Reeves (but apparently actually Moses Reeves). In a statement from 10 Jul 1871 in Kershaw County, SC, a man gave the name Stephen Reeves and the following facts: age 90, resident of Kershaw, wife - Nancy Andrews, m. Lancaster County, SC - 4 Mar 1825, stated that he wanted the payment check sent to Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Later included in the file a slip of paper with about 30 signatures stating the following:
We the undersigned, citizens of Kershaw County, do certify that we have known Stephen Reaves, (who is generally known as Moses Reaves) a great many years, and that he was a soldier in the War of 1812; that he is very old and infirm, and needs assistance. We further certify that he is now and has always been, an honest peacable citizen, law abiding, and a thorough going Union man.

Later, a letter was sent by the pension office stating:
Drop from the rolls the name of Stephen Reeves of Capt. C. Levy's Co., South Carolina Militia War 1812, #14 476 Act 14th Feby 1871 the claim having been established through misrepresentation and fraud his real name being Moses Reeves and never in the United States service.

The claim was deemed a fraud. The questions remains as to whether the information provided concerning the marriage was for Stephen, Moses, or fraudulent.

Research Notes

The Middleton Reeves listed as a nephew in the Petition for Probate of Will filed 31 January 1873 in Lauderdale County AL may help to identify Stephen Reeves' family. Middleton Reeves, like Stephen, was a resident of Tennessee after leaving South Carolina. Middleton Reeves married Laurena Christopher on 17 Sep 1840 in Maury County TN. All of Middleton's older children are recorded as having been born in Tennessee up until 1850 when the family lived briefly in Greene County, Missouri before moving back to Tennessee and then to Alabama.


Death:       Petition for Probate of Will, 31 Jan 1873, Lauderdale County AL
Census:     1820 Census - Kershaw County, South Carolina
                   1850 Census - Lauderdale County, Alabama
                   1860 Census - Lauderdale County, Alabama
                   1870 Census - Lauderdale County, Alabama

Lauderdale County AL Will Book B, p. 115-116
Florence Times-Journal, 5 Mar 1873
War of 1812 Pension Application, Stephen Reeves, SC