Birth: c1680, probably Prince George, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives, age estimate based upon age of father and DOB of children.
Death: 1746, Prince George, Virginia
Death Source: Reliques of the Rives
Spouse1: Elizabeth Foster
Children of William Rives and Elizabeth Foster:
- Benjamin Rives, b. c1706
- Mary Rives, b. c1708, m. Thomas Jeffries
- Timothy Rives, b. c1710
- William Rives, b. c1712
- Foster Rives, b. c1714
- Elizabeth Rives, b. c1716, m. William Cook
- George Rives, b. c1720
- Robert Rives, b. c1722
From Reliques of the Rives:
Col. William Rives, born about 1683, was probably a member of Martin's Brandon Parish which lay in Prince George adjacent to Surry county. He is the first of the family whose name appears in the Virginia land patent books. On September 19, 1711, he was granted, for the transportation of five persons, Thomas Potts, Richard Flahoven, John Brocke, Edward Ladd, and Mary Wobb, into the Colony, and upon the payment of 20 shillings, 422 acres of land in Prince George county on Blackwater Swamp, beginning at a corner shrub * * * of John Butler on the east side of Unity's Branch * * * to Benjamin Foster's line. In 1715 he served as a juryman in Prince George county, and on July 15, 1717, he was granted for the transportation of another five persons, Isabel Barrough, Ruth Ives, Anne Brookwell, Arthur Tramp, and John Howard, 206 acres in Prince George on the southside of the Nottoway River, a patent which was not recorded until 1722. On August 13, 1723, "William Rives, of Prince George County, Planter," deeded the above 206 acres to Thomas Jones, and "at a court held at Fitzgerald for the County of Prince George," September 12, 1727, "Elizabeth, wife of William Rives, came into court * * * and voluntarily relinquished to William Thomas Jones her right of dower."1 On February 22, 1724, as "William Rives of Prince George County," he received for the transportation of an additional five persons and upon payment of 40 shillings, 400 acres on the southside of the Meherrin River on the east side of the Great Swamp in that part of Isle of Wight county which was incorporated in Brunswick county in 1732. In 1734 Daniel Hicks, of Brunswick county, mentioned in his will "land in the Great Swamp of Col. Rives where John Hicks lived." In a lease made April 18, 1735, by Jas. Douglas to Timothy Rives [12. Timothy4] of 100 acres in Brunswick on the southside of the Meherrin River, "beginning at a Red Oak on the east side of the Great Swamp, a line tree of William Rives land," reference is obviously made to that tract of 400 acres patented by Col. William Rives in 1724.
Col. William Rives died some time prior to March 1, 1746, for on that date Benjamin Rives "of Prince George County," and "George Rives of Brunswick County," and Thomas and Mary Jeffries of Brunswick deeded to "Timothy Rives of Brunswick County" two tracts of land in the Parish of St. Andrews in Brunswick county on the southside of the Meherrin River, comprising one tract of 400 acres and the other of 50 acres, "being part of a parcel or tract of land surveyed by William Rives of Prince George County and given by will by the said William Rives decd to Thomas Jeffries and is the upper end of the land and beginning where George Rives did live and Thomas Jeffries plantation."
The will of Col. William Rives, of which his son Benjamin had evidently been made an executor, was no doubt recorded in Prince George county and must have perished in the almost total destruction of records of that county at the hands of Northern troops in 1865, an act, it is sad to reflect, characteristic of their wanton depredations in Virginia.
His title must have been derived from service as commander or deputy-commander of the county militia of Prince George, and betokened a man of means and importance in the life of his little community.
Early in the history of Virginia each county was required to maintain a body of militia, in the service of which every male of 16 years or more, unless a servant or a negro slave, was liable. The county officers of militia were chosen from amongst the most prominent men in their respective communities for "the most ordinary foresight * * * dictated that, when the appointment of these officers was to be made, the most capable men whom each county could furnish should be chosen."1 The militia of Prince George must more than once have seen active service; for the county formed early in the 17th century one of the frontiers of Virginia and America against the Indians who populated the westward regions. An idea of the sparseness of population in Prince George in 1704 may be gained from the fact that in that year there were only some 326 landowners in the entire county, which, of course, at that time embraced a far greater extent of territory than the county does today.
Col. William Rives married Elizabeth (Foster?), possibly a daughter of that Benjamin Foster whose land adjoined that of William Rives in 1711, and who appears as the owner of 923 acres of land in Prince George in 1704. She survived her husband and died before June 1, 1759, on which date the following inventory of her personal estate was presented into court by Benjamin Rives, her administrator:
In obedience to an Order of this Court we the Subscribers have appraised the Estate of Elizabeth Rives deceased being first sworn before Benjamin Rives Admitro.
At a Court held for Prince George County at the Court House on Tuesday the 1st day of June 1759.
Benjamin Rives Administrator of Elizabeth Rives decd returned the within written Inventory and Appraisement of the said Deceadent's Estate which is by Order of the Court truely recorded. Test Theo. Bland C. Clerk.
Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p79