Rives, William (1712 VA - 1786 VA)

Rives, William

Rives, William


Father: William Rives
Mother:Elizabeth Foster

Birth: 1712, Prince George County, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives

Death: 1786, Dinwiddie County, Virginia
Death Source: Reliques of the Rives

Spouse1: Mary Pegram


Children of William Rives and Mary Pegram:
  1. Thomas Henry Rives, b. 1740
  2. Robert Rives, b. 1750
  3. Son Rives, b. abt 1752

From Reliques of the Rives:
William Rives was born presumably in Prince George county, Virginia, about 1712, the son of Col. William and Elizabeth Rives, of the same county. With Benjamin Rives, he patented on January 10, 1735, upon payment of 50 shillings, 500 acres of land "lying and being in the County of Amelia (formed on September 30, 1734, from Prince George and Brunswick counties) on the lower side of the Lazaretta Fork of the Little Nottoway River." In a deed dated November 12, 1746, and recorded in Amelia on March 20, 1746/7, "William Rives and Benjamin Rives of the County of Prince George" deeded for £ 70 to George Currie, of Amelia, the above-mentioned 500 acres, to which John Bridgeforth, Arthur x Leath, and Robert Ferguson were witnesses.

He evidently resided in that part of Prince George county from which Dinwiddie county was formed in 1752: for, in a survey made in Dinwiddie on March 28, 1771, of 1,312 acres "lying on both sides of and near the heads of Saponey Creek and in the Parish of Bath and County of Dinwiddie," reference is made to "two white oaks near William Reeves's."1 In 1782 he appears as the owner in Din widdie of 466 acres of land, valued at £175, and of 11 slaves, 8 horses, and 33 head of cattle. In that year and in 1783 he was one of 633 slave owners in his county, of whom 95 had one slave only, 66 had two, 71 three, 45 four, and 50 five slaves. No less than 60 had twenty-one or more negroes ; so that, while William Rives possessed considerably more than the average number of slaves, he was not one of the large slaveholders of the county. It must be remembered, however, that in 1782 he was already within his alloted three score years and ten, and that after the custom of the time he had no doubt reduced his slaveholdings by gifts to his children as they successively established their own homes or removed, as his son Thomas had done, to another county. He died in Bath Parish in 1786 "about 25 miles south of Petersburg," and left a will which has perished in the destruction of the Dinwiddie county records.

His sons Thomas and Robert Rives were made the executors of his estate, as appears from a number of suits, brought by "Thomas and Robert Rives, Exors of William Rives decd" in 1789 and 1790, and recorded in the Dinwiddie Order Book, the sole record book of that county surviving from the 18th century. In the Dinwiddie Quarterly Sessions Court for August, 1789, there is notice of the abatement by the death of the defendant Hardaway of a suit brought by Thomas and Robert Rives against Joel Hardaway and John Smith "Defu in Debt." Again in November of the same year, in a similar suit brought against John Scott Coleman and Joseph Fowler, it is noted that "this suit abates as to the def* Fowler by his death" ; but the surviving defendant "relinquishing his former plea acknowledges the Pet8 action to be just" and judgment was accordingly given for £31 :7 together with costs. It was ordered, however, that the judg ment (with costs excepted) was to be discharged "by the Payment of £15:18:6 * * * with Lawful Interest thereon from the 25th day of November 1786 to the time of payment." Again, in January 1790, judgment was given in a suit brought by Thomas and Robert Rives "Exors of Wm. Rives decd" against William Scott and Frederick Jones for £3:10 with interest from November 25, 1786, and at March Court, 1790, judgment of £35:9:1 was awarded against William Hardaway, administrator of Joel Hardaway, with interest from the same date. It has been stated that William Rives married a Miss Pegram, and to this I am disposed to give some credence on the strength of the unusually authentic testimony preserved by his descendants of the family relationships and which, whenever tested, has disclosed none of the customary chaff of untrustworthy tradition.

From Pegram family website:
MARY PEGRAM3 (Daniell, George') evidently went to Prince George County, now Dinwiddie, along with her brothers.

Records in Amelia County show William Rives patented some land. When he sold the land his wife signed with him, and her given name was Mary (38). In the 1782 personalty tax list of Dinwiddie County the only titheable of William Rives was a man by the name of Thomas Parham. In Hughes' book on Dinwiddie County (39), Thomas Parham is listed in the records of a doctor in Dinwiddie, as a son-in-law of E. Pegram. This was in the 1780s. Edward Pegram4 married Ann Harper Parham, after his first wife, Mary Lyle, died. Actually Thomas Parham was not a son-in-law of E. Pegram, but was the son of Edward's wife, who had previously been married to a Parham (19). This is additional information of the relationship between William Rives and the Pegram family.

Research Notes

Reliques surmised that Green Rives of Lincoln and Marshall Counties in Tennessee was a grandson of William, son to his unnamed son.


1746 Deed - William & Benjamin Rives to George Currie - Amelia County, Virginia Deed Book 2, p469
Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p153
Pegram family website