Rives, Joseph (1725 VA - aft 1758 NC? )

Rives, Joseph

Rives, Joseph


Father: Thomas Rives
Mother: Hannah Bishop

Birth: 1725, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives (Ryves)

Death: probably after 1758 in North Carolina
Death Source:

Spouse1: Charity (probably nee Parkes)


Children of Joseph Rives:
  1. Hannah Rives

In addition to what Reliques cites, the Order Books record the petition of Charity Rieves:
"On hearing the Petition of Charity Rieves wife of Joseph Rieves by Joseph Parkes her next Friend setting forth that &c. Ordered that the said Joseph Rieves be summoned to appear at next Court to answer the Petitioners Complaint." (OB 6, p51)

From Reliques of the Rives:
Joseph Rives, born in 1725, a resident of Brunswick county, Virginia, presents in his person a thoroughly picaresque career. Standing out in striking contrast to his illustrious niece, Charlotte Rives Robertson, Joseph Rives appears as the prize bad egg of the Rives family, a person not often to be met with in genealogies; but who is given a right hearty welcome by the compiler of this record for the color his life gives in the midst of a monotonous array of names and dates of birth and death.
Joseph Rives emerges initially from the records of the time as a deserter from the militia. On July 31, 1746, the Virginia Gazette reported that "whereas Thomas Pledger of Isle of Wight County, Joseph Rives, of Brunswick County [and others] have been duly enlisted by Mr. George MacKenzie, and contrary to their orders have neglected to come to the camp at Williamsburg * * * [they are] looked upon as deserters." A further announcement of the desertion of Joseph Rives was made in the Gazette on August 14, 1746, when he was described as "of a fair complexion, stoops much in his shoulders, about twenty-one years old, living in the lower part of Brunswick."
There is no further record concerning his military service liabilities, but he does not remain long in obscurity: for on March 27, 1751, an indictment is brought against him in the Brunswick court for assault and battery and profane swearing, being described at this time as a laborer (O. B. 4, p. 13). It was presumably after having been found guilty of this charge that he was fined by the December Brunswick court an amount of four shillings for profane swearing.
Joseph Rives, for whom a more fitting name would have been Bardolph or Pistole, was married to a wife bearing the mellifluous name of Charity. The god of irony must surely have had a hand in the casting of her horoscope, for not even all the faith and hope and charity of Charity were to suffice her. Divorce or separation was rarely heard of in the early days of Virginia; and it must have denoted the severest provocation when she brought suit against her husband for separate maintenance. In the end, however, she proved true to her name: for on September 26, 1751, it was ordered by the Brunswick court that "the petition of Charity Rieves, wife of Joseph Rieves, by Joseph Parkes her next friend against the said Joseph Rieves for a separate maintenance and other purposes therein mentioned be dismissed the petitioner not further prosecuting" (O. B. 4, p. 78). From the above and other records, it would appear that Charity Rives was born Parkes.
Joseph Rives was born many years before the age of jazz, but the testimonials he has left of his character make it seem certain that he would have been one of the lustiest singers of that ironical ditty entitled, "of all my wife's relations, I love myself the best." His life was one family squabble after another.
In December, 1751, Joseph and Thomas Rives, his father were defendants in a suit brought against them by Joseph Parkes for a debt of £1:13:1. Suits for separate support by his wife and for debt by his wife's relations led to suits for brawling. In May, 1752, suit was brought against him by Joseph Parkes for assault and battery, and the suit being dismissed, Joseph Rives promptly brought suit against Joseph Parkes for the same offense, a suit which was renewed by him in 1753 (O. B. 4, p. 184; 5, p. 16).
Had Joseph Rives died, and left a will piously invoking the name of his Creator, and making conventional references to his dearly beloved wife, he would have been guilty of the purest cant.
He was true to form to the end, or to the end so far as his life is written in the county records of Brunswick, true to form even in the manner of his taking off. On April 26, 1757, there is the last reference to him in the records when Timothy Rives, his first cousin, obtained in Brunswick county an attachment for £1 :14 :6 against the estate of Joseph Rives "who hath privily re moved himself out of this county or so absconded that the ordinary process of law cannot be served upon him" (O. B. 7, p. 11)

Concerning his daughter Hannah:
In Aug. 1753, "the action of Detinue brought by Hannah Rives an infant by Joseph Rives her father and next friend against Samuel Parkes abates by the sheriff's return." (Brunswick O. B. 5, p. 32)

Research Notes

It is conceivable that Joseph left Virginia, relocating to North Carolina after 1738. His brother George Rives is recorded as living in Northampton County NC in 1746 and by 1764 in Johnston County which joined Dobbs County. A Joseph Reaves is recorded in the index of Deed Book 6, 1758-1765, of Dobbs County, North Carolina and may be this individual. It also appears that Thomas Reaves listed in the prior Deed Book 5 index was likely the son of Thomas Rives and Hannah Bishop of Brunswick County and would have been the brother of this Joseph Reaves.


FamilySearch - Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 4, p78
FamilySearch - Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 4, p184
FamilySearch - Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 5, p16
FamilySearch - Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 5, p32
FamilySearch - Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 6, p51
FamilySearch - Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 7, p11
Virginia Gazette, 31 Jul 1746

Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p318

Index of Deed Book 6, 1758-1765, at North Carolina USGenWeb