Rives, George (c1660 VA - aft 1719 VA)

Rives, George

Rives, George


Father: Timothy Rives
Mother: Mary

Birth: 1660, Surry, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives

Death: after Sep 1719, Surry. Virginia
Death Source: Reliques of the Rives and deposition of Sep 1719.

Spouse1: Ursula


Children of George Rives:
  1. William Rives, b. c1683
  2. Thomas Rives, b. c1690
  3. Mary Rives, b. c1695
  4. Joseph Rives, b. c1698

Five members of DNA Group 8 descend from George Rives, four through his son Thomas and one through his son William.

From Reliques of the Rives:
George Rives, who was born in 1660, according to a deposition made by him in 1719, was one of that venturesome and stout-hearted band of early Virginia traders who braved not only the ordinary perils of the seas but, even more implicit of danger, the pirates who infested the American coast in the latter part of the 17th and the early part of the 18th century. "These sea wolves roamed, singly or in packs, along the lines of trade. They came into harbours and took merchant vessels under the noses of enraged governors and horrified citizens. "Sometimes they landed and laid a port under contribution. Charleston, South Carolina, was served in this fashion by that be guiling sea saunterer Mr. Teach, sometimes known as Black-Beard. "Between the years 1690 and 1720 there were more than 2,000 pirates afloat off our coasts between Maine and Florida.

"On New Providence Island, in the Bahamas, and dreadfully convenient to our coast, nearly 2,000 more of this sea gentry loafed about to acknowledge the Royal Proclamation, accept the King's Pardon, go to sea again in pretense of honest privateering, turn pirate once more at the first opportunity, and end, often, on Execu tion Dock.

"It was almost as much as a skipper's life was worth to trade along the Atlantic Coast. Everywhere some sea-rogue or other lurked to take incoming or outgoing vessels."

As early as 1682 there is evidence of the entrance of a pirate ship through the Capes of Virginia, and in the following year the shores of Virginia were infested with pirates to a greater degree than usual. This condition of affairs continued until well into the 18th century, or down to the time when George Rives is known to have been pursuing his activities as a trader with the other Provinces.

The extent of his activities is not known; it is quite possible they may have extended even to England. In any case he is known to have visited South Carolina on matters of trade as late as 1719 for, in that year, his name appears subscribed to the following deposition in Prince George county, Virginia:
George Rives aged fifty nine years or thereabouts Deposeth that some time in the month of Aprill Last past while he was tradeing in the Province of South Caroline, he did both See and Oftentime conversed with a runaway Mallatto Man Slave, Named Jack, belonging to Samuel Harwood the Younger of Charles City County. That the said Slave came into that Province in the company of Mr. Robert Hix! and other Traders, as the P. Traders Informed this Deponent, that the Said Mallatto Man Slave, there goes by the name of John Bunch and would have returned home to his said Master, but was forcibly detained in that Province by One Capt. How and others Traders there. This Deponent further saith that he very well knows the said runaway Slave to belong to the said Harwood and for some years past did Live upon his plantation on the poplar Swamp under him, and further saith not, this 8th day of September, 1719.George x Rives
At a Court held at Merchants hope for the County of Prince George on the second Tuesday in September, being the Eighth day of the sd. moneth Anno Dom: 1719—
The above written Deposition of George Rives was taken in Court and on the motion of Samuel Harwood junr. the same was Ordered to be Recorded, and accordingly is truly recorded.Test Win. Hamlin C. C.

This is all that is known with certainty of George Rives. It is rather strange that neither he nor his brothers, Robert, John and Timothy appear as landowners in the Virginia quit rent rolls of 1704, nor does he appear among the patentees of land whose grants are of record in the land office in Richmond. He was evidently a man of some substance but if he left a will it has been lost in the destruction of most of the Prince George county records. The name of his wife is not a matter of record, nor the names of all his children; but it is evident from all the attendant circumstances that he was the founder of the earliest Rives families of Prince George and Brunswick (formed from Prince George and a part of Isle of Wight counties in 1732) counties and that his issue included, no doubt, the following: William Rives, Thomas Rives, Mary Rives, and Joseph Rives.

Other Information:
George Rives first appears in the records of Prince George County VA in 1711. Two references are abstracted in Prince George County, Virginia, Wills & Deeds 1710-1713 compiled by Benjamin D Weisinger III 1992. In both of these records, there is a wife named Ursula but her surname is not known, nor is it known whether she was the mother of his children.

George and Ursula Rives lease land on Blackwater Swamp from John and Elizabeth Moore.

P 88 Deed, 7 Oct 1711, John Moor & Elizabeth his wife, of Bristol Parish, Prince George Co., to George Reives & Ursula his wife of same for L 16, lets and leases 100 acres in same parish, bounded by main Blackwater Swamp and Edward Birchett, for three years.

Jno (x) Moore, Eliz (x)Moore

Wit: Jno Hamlin, Jno(x) Golightly, E Goodrich

Recorded 11 Jan 11

George and Ursula Rives witness the will of Randolph Birchehead in 1711

P 71. Will of Randolph Birchenhead of Prince George Co. To daughter Eliza Pool, 1 shilling. Rest of estate to be divided between Mrs. Bartholomew and my wife, Eliza Birchenhead. 19 July 1711.

Signed Randol (mark) Birchenhead

Wit: Geo (x) Reives, Ursula (x) Reives, Wm Stainbacke [CGM Note: William Stainbacke served as security for Mary the widow of Timothy Rives in 1792 in Charles City County]
On 3 Sept 1711, will presented by witnesses & recorded

George appears in 14 August 1714 as a landholder in a deed between John Womack Sr, of Prince George County granted to John Womack Jr. of 200 acres on the north side of Blackwater Swamp next to "George Reve" (Prince George County Records 1713-1728, p 22). He was also a witness to the inventory of the estate of John Davis on 10 February 1714 (Prince George County Records 1713-1728, page 55).

On 12 March 1715, "George Reves" was listed as one of the 12 jurors summoned by the Sheriff to make equal division between Stith Bolling, plaintiff and Robert and Thomas Bolling of 100 acres of land.

[CGM Note: The deed that follows is a very important record. The Henry Batte referenced is likely the Capt Henry Batte who appraised the estate of Timothy Rives in Charles City Co in 1692. This helps tie George b 1660 to his father Timothy. The William Eaton who is grantor in the deed is likely the William Eaton who married George's daughter Mary ]

In a deed recorded on 11 November 1717, James Thweatt of Prince George County granted to William Eaton, 200 acres on the north side of Blackwater Swamp, south side of Reedy Branch, next to John Cureton, Mr. Henry Batte, Robert Burchitt, John Womack and "George Reives" (Prince George County Records 1713-1728, page 197).

Note that Charles City County VA was the parent county of Prince George County. From Wikipedia: Beginning in 1703, all of the original area of Charles City County south of the James River was severed to form Prince George and several other counties.

The deposition from 1719 included in Reliques further establishes that George Rives was once living in Charles City County.


Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p77
Prince George County Records 1713-1728, pp. 22, 55, 197
Prince George County, Virginia, Wills & Deeds 1710-1713 compiled by Benjamin D Weisinger III 1992
1719 Deposition - George Rives - Prince George County, Virginia Record Book 1713-1728 (Wills, Deeds, etc), p350