Rives, George (c1737 VA - 1795 VA)

Rives, George

Rives, George


Father: George Rives
Mother: Frances Tatum

Birth: c1737, Surry County, Virginia
Birth Source:

Death: 1795, Sussex County, Virginia
Death Source:

Spouse1: Sarah Eldridge, m. 9 Jun 1762, Sussex County, Virginia


Children of George Rives and Sarah Eldridge:
  1. Judith Rives, b. 29 Oct 1762, m. Thomas Blunt
  2. Thomas Eldridge Rives, b. 15 Dec 1764
  3. Martha Rives, b. 22 Feb 1767, m. John Wilkinson
  4. George Rives, b. 10 Jan 1769
  5. Nancy Rives, b. c1772, m. Stith Parham
  6. Frances Rives, b. 20 Aug 1774
  7. Eldridge Rives, b. 6 May 1776, d. young
  8. Pamela Rives, b. 31 May 1778, m. Thomas Lewis

From Reliques of the Rives:
Colonel George Rives was born about 1737 in Surry county, and died in 1795, in Sussex county, Virginia, where he occupied a position of commanding influence, serving as a vestryman and churchwarden of Albemarle Parish (1), a justice of the county court (2), a member of the Sussex county Committee of Safety in 1774 and 1775 (3), Captain of the Sussex militia in the Revolutionary War (4), and later commander of that militia. He was the third largest slaveholder in the county in 1782, owning 43 slaves; his holdings being exceeded only by William Allen with 241, and William Lightfoot with 79. The average holding in the county at the time was something more than six slaves.

That one of his wealth should have held several of the most important posts in the county only gives added emphasis to a fact frequently commented upon: that the local county offices in Virginia throughout Colonial times were invariably held by the wealthiest and most influential individuals of the several counties. It was in the manifestation of such a public spirit and active interest in local affairs that the genius of Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Marshall, Henry, Monroe, and Mason was cultivated, developed, and extended to a national field of usefulness. It is a natural consequence of the neglect on the part of the modern American of an interest in the duties and obligations of citizenship, and of a resultant decadence of the ideal of public service—of the over-emphasis of rights at the expense of obligations——that the United States owes the decline in the character of its public men.

Col. George Rives married June 9, 1762, in Sussex county, Sarah, born 1740, daughter of Thomas Eldridge (d. 1754, in Sussex, son of Thomas Eldridge, of Surry county, and his wife, Judith, daughter of Richard Kennon and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of William Worsham) and his wife, Martha, born 1713, died October 23, 1749, daughter of Major John Bolling, born 1676, died 1729, of "Cobbs," and a member of the House of Burgesses, by his wife, Mary, daughter of Richard Kennon. Major John Bolling was a son of Col. Robert Bolling, 1646-1709, who married, in 1675. Jane, daughter of Thomas Rolfe, born 1615, who married a Miss Poythress, and who was the only son of John Rolfe, first Secretary and Recorder General of Virginia, by Pocahontas.

Col. George Rives made his will in Sussex in 1795 which was probated on March 6, 1795, as follows:
In the name of God Amen, I George Rives in the county of Sussex and Parish of Albemarle being in a valetudinary state of health but being in perfect sense and memory, thanks be to Almighty God for the same, do nominate and constitute this my last will and testament revoking all those heretofore made. My will and desire is that all my Just debts should be paid by my Executors hereinafter mentioned and that my body shall be decently buried according to the Church of England. Item, I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Eldridge Rives the tract of land lying on Jones Hole Swamp leading from the main run of the said Swamp along a line of trees that divides the said Land that I bought of Golightly till it strike the main road, thence along the said road till it comes to my Brother Timothy's line, to him and his Heirs forever, and I also give to him the following slaves vizt: Daniel, David, Bess, Doll, Ephraim, Nell, and Anthony unto him and his Heirs forever. Item, I give and bequeath unto my son George Rives the following Tract of land lying on Jones Hole Swamp and bounded by the Spring Branch and adjoining his Brother Thomas’ land above to him and his heirs forever. Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Eldridge Rives the plantation whereon I now live, to him and his heirs forever. Also the following slaves, vizt, Andrew, Phill, Rich'd, old Lucy, to him and his Heires forever. Item, I give and bequeath to my daughter Pamela Rives the following slaves vizt, Selva, Bob, Darbie, Drue, unto her and her Heirs forever. Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy Rives the following slaves, vizt, Cupit, Creecy, Aggy, and Colin unto her and her Heirs forever. Item, all the re« mainder of my estate after my debts being paid I desire may be equally divided Between Thomas Eldridge Rives, George and Eldridge Rives and my daughters Pamela and Nancy Rives, to them and their Heirs forever. I do nominate constitute and appoint my sons Thos, George, and Eldridge Rives executors of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty-third day of February -one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five.
Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of the Subscribing witnessesGeorge Rives (seal).
Thos. Dunn, Richard Harrison,
Thos. Eldridge, High Belschers.

Research Notes

In 1786, a George Rives who was sheriff for the county of Sussex was appointed as tax collector for that year for the county. Reliques claimed that George Jr. (b. 1769) was the sheriff so this could be a reference to him, but he would have only been 17 at the time.


Marriage1:  Virginia, Marriage Records, 1700-1850

Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p440
(1) At a Vestry held for Albemarle Parish the 15th day of July 1772 Nathaniel Harrison & George Rieves Gent, lately elected into the Vestry having taken the usual oath: to his Majesty's Person & Government the abjuration Oath & repeated & subscribed the Test in the Court of this County [Sussex] as appears by Certificate & now in the Vestry having Subscribed to be conformable to the Doctrine & Discipline of the Church of England did thereupon take their seats in Vestry accordingly" (Albermarle Parish Vestry Book). In September 1772, the vestrymen included David Mason, William Blunt, churchwardens, Augustine Claiborne, John Mason, Robt Jones and George Rives, Gent. George Rives was appointed churchwarden in 1775.
(2) He was a justice as early as 1766 and as late as 1783, probably holding the office continuously. Cf. Justices of the Peace of Colonial Virginia, and Sussex county Order Books.
(3) William and Mary Quarterly, 1st Series, iv, p. 274.
(4) Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, xiii.

1795 Will - George Rives - Sussex County, Virginia Will Book E, p325
1786 Bond - George Rives Appointed Tax Collector - Sussex County, Virginia Deed Book F, p553