Rives, Christopher (1739 VA - 1772 VA)

Rives, Christopher

Rives, Christopher


Father: George Rives
Mother: Frances Tatum

Birth: 20 or 30 Dec 1739
Birth Source: Albemarle Parish Register

Death: 16 Jul 1772, Sussex County, Virginia
Death Source: Reliques of the Rives

Spouse1: Elizabeth Mason


Children of Christopher Rives and Elizabeth Mason:
  1. William Rives, b. 9 Feb 1760, d. 10 Feb 1760
  2. Elizabeth Rives, b. 25 Feb 1761
  3. Nathaniel Rives, b. 23 May 1763
  4. John Rives, b. 26 May 1765
  5. Christopher Rives, b. 14 Aug 1767
  6. Frances Rives, b. 23 Aug 1769 12 Jul 1772
  7. George Rives, b. 2 Jun (or 12 Jul) 1771 (or 1772)
  8. Gabrial Rives, b. 2 Nov 1773

Christopher Rives was killed when struck by lightning on July 16th 1772 on his way home from Sussex Court. His brother Timothy, Joseph Atherton and William Wylie were with him and had gone into a barn on the roadside for shelter. They were also struck but recovered.

From Reliques of the Rives:
Christopher Rives was born December 30, 1739, and died July 16, 1772, in Sussex county, Virginia, where he made his home and where he was a planter of prominence and considerable estate for his day. From his father he inherited 400 acres of land in Sussex and 235 acres in Brunswick county, four slaves and his trooper’s arms. In 1757 Christopher Rives succeeded Thomas Mitchell as county surveyor of Sussex (0. B., p. 205). From his father-in-law, Major John Mason, Sen., of Sussex, he received with his wife, in 1761, a deed of gift of two slaves. On July 16, 1772, Christopher Rives "was struck dead by lightning on his way home from Sussex Court. In company with him were Tim: Rives, Jos: Atherton and William Wylie who were like wise struck down, but recovered. They had gone into a Barn on the Road Side to shelter themselves from the Rain."
The inventory and appraisement of the personal estate "of Mr. Christopher Rives deed" was taken on November 29, 1772, by the administrators, Elizabeth (his wife) and George Rives, his brother and was recorded by the Sussex court on October 21, 1773. His personal estate, which was valued at £1,269, included 14 slaves in Sussex, and 5 in Brunswick county.
Christopher Rives married Elizabeth Briggs Mason (b. May 10, 1742, d. Nov. 5, 1803), in Sussex county, Virginia, daughter of Major John Mason, according to a marriage bond recorded in Sussex county, June 2, 1759. The mother of Elizabeth Briggs (Mason) Rives was Elizabeth, daughter of James Chappell and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Briggs.

The Virginia Gazette, 30 July 1772

The following melancholy Accident happened in Sussex, on Thursday the 16th Instant. As Mr. Christopher Rives, Mr. Timothy Rives, Mr. William Willie (Nephew of the Reverend William Willie) and Mr. Jesse Etherton of Northampton County, North Carolina, were returning from Sussex Court, Mr. Christopher Rives was struck dead with Lightning, and the others much hurt. Mr. Timothy Rives's Watch, with two Dollars in his Pocket, and his Shoe and Knee Buckes, were melted; and all of them had their Clothes much scorched, particularly the Deceased, the Crown of whose Hat had a Hole burnt through it. He has left a Wife and six small Children.

Research Notes

There is at least one record for an unidentified Christopher Reeves in South Carolina. On 23 February 1768, Jacob Wolf was granted 200 acres in Orangeburgh Township, Berkley County, adj. Gavon Pou and Christopher Reeves. (Brent H. Holcomb, South Carolina’s Royal Grants, Volume Two: Grant Books 10 Through 17, 1760-1768, p. 283, Citing Book 16, p. 213.) This Christopher Reeves has not been identified.

Note that Bodie's transcription of the Albermarle Parish Register states he was born 20 Dec while Reliques states 30 Dec from the same source. The Register states Frances Rives was born 12 Jul 1772 whereas Reliques states 23 Aug 1769. It also states George was born 12 Jul 1772 whereas Reliques and his headstone state 2 Jun 1771. It also includes an entry for Gabrial Rives which Reliques omits.


Birth:          Boddie, John Bennett. Births, Deaths and Sponsors 1717-1778 from the Albermarle Parish Register of Surry and Sussex Counties, Virginia, p120
Death:        The Virginia Gazette, 30 July 1772

Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p451
1761 Deed - John Mason to Christopher Rives - Sussex County, Virginia Deed Book B, p199
1772 Inventory - Sussex County, Virginia Will Book C, p77