Reeves, William (c 1750 NC - 1816 GA)


Reeves, William


Father: James Reeves
Mother: Millicent

Birth: Between 1747 and 1752, North Carolina
Birth Source: Tithe of James Reeves on 1768 Rowan County NC Tax List (=Age 16-21)

Death: c Nov 1816, Wilkes County, Georgia
Death Source: 1816 Will, Probate Records of Wilkes County, Georgia

Spouse1: Hannah (probably Rhodes), before 1784, Guilford County, North Carolina


Children of William Reeves and Hannah (Rhodes):
  1. John Reeves, born about 1777, North Carolina.
  2. Sally Reeves, born about 1778, apparently unmarried in 1820, m. Joseph Wheatley before 12 February 1827, at which time Joseph Wheatley signed for his wife's legacy.
  3. Lucretia Reeves, born about 1779, m. before 18 May 1816, Robert Cunningham.
  4. Hezekiah Reeves, born about 1780, North Carolina.
  5. Elijah Reeves, born about 1781, m. Lillie Ann Moore.
  6. Hannah Reeves, born about 1786, m. Robert Graham on 19 Dec 1811
  7. Elizabeth Reeves, born abt. 1790, m. before 18 May 1816, Alexander Seale.
  8. William Reeves Junr.∗, born about 1793, South Carolina or Georgia.
  9. Judith Reeves, born before 1794.
  10. Jeremiah Reeves, born about 1795, Georgia.
  11. Cynthia C. Reeves, born about 1797, Wilkes County, Georgia, m. Jarvis Seale on 5 Jan 1828, Wilkes County, Georgia.

William was named an executor of his father James Reeves' will of 1781. A deed dated 1 Apr 1784 recorded in Guilford County, NC Deed Bk 3 Pg 95-96 names his wife as Hannah as does a 1791 deed by William and his mother Millicent. In that deed dated 22 Nov 1791, William and his mother Millicent sold 320 acres to Samuel Mileham. The deed stipulates that this was the plantation conveyed by James Reeves' Will unto his Son & wife "the said William Reeves & Milley Reeves". Hannah Reeves, wife of William, signed the deed as well.

William Reeves is one of the providers of bail or security for Fortune Reeves and her son, Jesse, for the administration of the estate of Malachi Reeves in November of 1784. He also appears in the Guilford County Court Minutes serving on juries in Feb 1785, May 1785, May 1787, Aug 1787, Nov 1787, Feb 1790 and May 1790.

In the 1790 US Federal Census of Guilford County NC, William Reeves' household consists of 1 Male over 16, 3 Males under 16, 5 Females and 1 Slave. This must be William, the son of James Reeves, not a son of Malachi and Fortune Reeves since James' son William is still living in Guilford County in 1791 when the above transaction selling James' plantation to Samuel Mileham takes place.

William left Guilford County sometime prior to the 1800 US Federal Census. The above deed of 22 November 1791 in which William Reeves and his mother, Milly, are conveying to Samuel Mileham the plantation left to them by James Reeves in his will, would appear to be in preparation for their removal from Guilford County. Several members of this Reeves family can be found in Wilkes County, Georgia in the early part of the 19th century, including James Reeves' son Jeremiah and the William Reeves listed below who names wife Hannah in his will.

William appears to have been firmly established in Wilkes County, Georgia, by 1792. Richard Burton, Jr., had conveyed 270 acres on Fishing Creek to William Reeves on 21 July 1791 (Wilkes County, Georgia, Deed Book II, p. 267). He was taxed with property on Fishing Creek from 1792 for the remainder of his life. He lived in the district designated as "A" by Frank Parker Hudson in his two volume published abstracts of Wilkes County tax digests before 1805:

1792: Taxed with 270 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Douglas.

1793: Taxed with 270 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Duglass.

1794: Taxed with 270 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Douglass. Next to William Reaves appears Eustas H. Roads, with 200 acres and 1 slave, his property joining William Reaves and Alexander Seal. (Eustace H. Reeves was probably named for Eustace Rhodes.)

1795: Taxed with 270 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Jenckins.

1796: Taxed with 270 acres, Fishing Creek, joining William Heard.

1797: Taxed with 226 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Sterling Jinkins, granted Richard Barton.

1799: Taxed with 226 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Sterling Jenkins, granted Richard Burton.

1800: Taxed with 113 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Us Rodes, and granted R. Burton. Also taxed in the district were John Reeves (William's son), who owned 1 slave and no property.

1801: Taxed with 162 acres, Fishing Creek, joining E. H. Rhodes and granted Richard Burton. Taxed nearby were John Reeves (with 1 slave and 54 acres on Fishing Creek joining William Reeves and granted Jacob McClendon), and Hezekiah Reeves with no property.

1802: Taxed with 170 acres, Fishing Creek, joining U. Rhodes, granted Richard Barton. Nearby were John Reeves with 1 slave and 54 acres on Fishing Creek joining William Reeves and granted Richard Burton and Eustus H. Rhodes.

1804: No land is shown for William in this taxation or for Hezekiah Reaves, whose name appears beside William’s. Also in this district were John Reaves with 1 slave and 54 acres on Fishing Crek granted Richard Burton and joining Eustis Rhodes.

1805: Taxed with 170 acres, Fishing Creek, joining Jinkins and granted R. Burton. Hezekiah Reeves was nearby with no land.

William was also an appraiser of the inventory of the estate of James Holdenness on 2 Apr 1796 in Wilkes County. (Inventories and Appraisements Dec. 20, 1784 to Apr. 10, 1798, Page 76)

On Sept. 1, 1800, in Wilkes County, William Reeves along with Azariah Bailey was Security for his son-in-law Robert Cunningham who was appointed guardian of his younger brothers John, David and Alex orphans of Patrick Cunningham. (Minutes of the Inferior Court 1799-1801, Page 55)

Tax digests between 1805 and 1813 have not been systematically examined, but Reeves was still living in the same area as reflected by the 1813 and 1814 Wilkes County tax digests:

1813: William Reaves taxed with no land in District 5, Captain Charles Heard's District. (Eustace Rhodes's name appeared next, still with land on Fishing Creek joining William Reaves.)

1814: William Reeves, Sr., was taxed with 170 acres on Fishing Creek, joining Jenkins and granted to R. Burton. William Reeves, Jr., was taxed adjacent William Reeves, Sr., as a poll with no land (suggesting a 1793 birthdate).

1816: William Reeves taxed in District Number 3, Captain William Edmund's District, with 170 acres of land on Fishing Creek. He paid poll tax for his son Jeremiah Reeves (suggesting a 1795 birthdate); son Hezekiah Reeves was shown as a defaulter. Son William Reeves appeared in District 17, Captain Simeon Walker's District, as a poll with no land; his name was shown immediately adjacent that of his father-in-law Richard Hingson, taxed with 80 acres joining Elijah Reeves.

Early Records of Georgia, Volume 11, Wilkes County
ORIGINAL PAPERS Part III, pages 257-288
REEVES, WILLIAM dec'd est. Receipts Cinthia C., Elijah, Hezekiah, Jeremiah and Judith Reeves, Robt. Graham, Thos. Roberts for himself and John Reeves, Jos. Wheatley who married Sally Reeves, all in full of their legacies, Feb. 12, 1827. Eustis H. Rhodes, excr. (See will Vol. 1 p. 98).

∗ An abstract of the 1816 will of William Reeves which is listed in numerous places on the internet omitted William Reeves, Jr. who is very clearly named in the will per the original document. (WB HH:56)

William's widow Hannah Reeves was enumerated in Wilkes County, Georgia, at the time of the 1820 census, enumerated on page 302. Her household contained one male aged 16-26; one female aged 16-26; two females aged 26-45; and one female over age 45. This is consistent with unmarried son Jeremiah (born 1795) and unmarried daughters Cynthia, Judith, and (perhaps) Sally.

The complete Estate File of William Reeves is online at the Georgia Virtual Vault. This file is primarily interesting from the perspective that it contains documents with many apparent original signatures of William Reeves' children or their spouses.

Research Notes

The Reeves Review has listed this William Reeves as a son of Malachi; however, there is an abundance of documentation to substantiate that the William Reeves who died in Wilkes County, Georgia, was actually the son of James who had previously been misidentified in that book as William Reeves of Madison County, KY. Based upon research of the probate, deeds and other records of Guilford County, there is no record that Malachi and Fortune Reeves had a son William. Among all the deeds by Fortune Reeves conveying property to their sons after Malachi's death, there are NO deeds to a son William. The only reference to a William Reeves was in the will of John Rhodes which then must be William, the son of James Reeves. The will lists no bequest to the wife of William Reeves and daughter of John Rhodes but neither is there a bequest to his son John Rhodes, Jr., yet both William Reeves and John Rhodes, Jr. (with their relationships stated) are named in the will as Executors.

The Reeves Review II also identified the wife of this William Reeves as Hannah Smith. Hannah Smith married William Rives on 14 Dec 1820 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - 4 years after the death of William Reeves of Wilkes County.


1781 Will of James Reeves, Guilford County, North Carolina
Guilford County Court Minutes, 1785 to 1790
1790 Census of Guilford County, North Carolina
Guilford County, NC Deed Bk 3 Pg 95-96, 1784
Guilford County, NC Deed Bk 5 Pg 299, 1791
Wilkes County GA Inv and Appr, Dec. 20, 1784 to Apr. 10, 1798, p. 76
Wilkes County GA Minutes of the Inferior Court 1799-1801, p. 55
Wilkes County GA Will Book HH, p. 55-57