Reeves, Sarah (c1790 NC - cNov 1848 NC)


Reeves, Sarah nee Stuart


Father: Unknown
Mother: Unknown

Birth: c1790, North Carolina
Birth Source:

Death: before Nov 1848
Death Source: Orange County Will Book F, Pgs 422-424

Spouse1: George Reeves, Jr., m. August 1812 in Chatham County, NC
Spouse2: Thomas M. Durham, m. 26 Oct 1832


Children of George Reeves, Jr. and Sarah:
  1. Spencer Stuart Reeves
  2. Harriet A. Reeves, b. c1819, d. 1847 Gravestone gives age as 28.
Sarah's maiden name was Stuart; however, she named two McCauley nephews in her 1847 will although a connection to the McCauley family is currently unknown.

The 1820 census lists the household of George Reeves, Jr. as follows: 1 Male under 10; 1 Male 16-25; 1 Male 26-44; 1 Female under 10; 1 Female 26-44.

George Reeves, Jr. apparently died in 1825 based upon the inscription on his tombstone. In 1838 the land of George Reeves, Jr., dec'd - 530 acres, was divided between "Spencer S. Reeves and Harriet Reeves his only heirs-at-law." (DB 28:208) There is also mention of the "widow dower line" in this division.

After the death of George Reeves, Jr. in 1825, Sarah Reeves is listed in the 1830 census as 30-40 years old with 1 Male child 15-20 and 1 Female 10-15.

On 26 Oct 1832, she married again to Thomas M. Durham in Orange County. Thomas Durham predeceased Sarah for her will written in 1847 requests that a tombstone be erected at his grave and the plot fenced or walled in out of her estate.

In 1847 Sarah's son, Spencer Reeves, killed his sister, Harriet. The case is in the Criminal Action Papers for Orange County, located at the NC Department of Archives and History in Raleigh. Sarah Durham's will written in 1847 mentions that a minimal amount from her estate be used for his support and maintenance if he should be acquitted from the charge alleged against him. The outcome of the trial of Spencer Reeves is unknown shown below; local history is that he was hanged for the crime and buried outside of the family cemetery.

The following was published in the Weekly Raleigh Register on 3 Nov 1847:
At the Fall Term of Guilford Superior Court held last week, Judge Bailey presiding, Spencer S. Reeves was tried and convicted for the murder of his sister, Harriet A. Reeves. The evidence was circumstantial, but carried to the mind inevitable conviction of the prisoner's guilt. Mr. Solicitor Jones and Mr. Waddell appeared for the State, and Messrs. Morehead, Norwood, and Nash for the prisoner.

The full story of the murder of Harriet Reeves and her brother Spencer's trail was published in the Greenboro Patriot newspaper of Guilford County and reprinted as The Orange Murder in The North Carolinian of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina.


Orange County NC Probate Records for Estate of George Reeves, Jr.
1830 Census - Orange County, North Carolina
1847 Will of Sarah Stuart Reeves Durham, Orange County NC WB F p4422
The North Carolinian, Fayetteville, North Carolina, 30 Oct 1847, pg 2

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Page last modified on Thursday 06 of May, 2021 09:07:57 CDT by Beverly.