William Reeves, Jr.

(About 1740 — About 1821)

Fortune Rhodes?

(About 1740 — Unknown)

Parents: William Reeves and Unknown
Son: George William Reeves

William was born in about 1740 in Granville County, Colony of North Carolina[1]. He first appeared in the public records in May 1765, when he was the grantee in a deed from his father, who was also named William. The land conveyed was 200 acres in Orange County—which was formed from Granville County in 1752.

Though this particular deed did not show his name as "Jr.", others in the period did. He dropped the "Jr." in the 1770s or 1780s, possibly indicating that his father had died. Another deed, dated October 26, 1798, and recorded in Deed Book Q, pages 128 and 129, was from William Reves, Senr., "for love and affection" to Charles Reves (220 acres on the south side of "Elobeys" Creek and Ellerbe) and William Reves, Jun. (130 acres on the south side of "Elobeys" Creek.[2]

Mary Reeves Abt. 1760 Granville County, Colony of
Sarah Reeves Abt. 1762 Granville County, Colony of
John Reeves Abt. 1767 Granville County, Colony of
Peter Reeves Abt. 1769 Granville County, Colony of North Carolina
William Reeves, Jr. 1776 Granville County, Colony of
Charles Reeves Abt. 1779 Granville County, Colony of
George William Reeves 1780 Halifax County, Colony of Virginia
Jeremiah Reeves Abt. 1782 Granville County, Colony of

Wake County, North Carolina was formed in 1771 from the upper portion of Johnston County. It adjoins Granville County to the south. Records in Wake County show William Reeves' name on several deeds. (The courthouse burned in 1832, destroying most of the records from the 1770s.) In 1785, he sold 460 acres to James Comer. Two years later, he sold 505 acres on "Horse Creek (on the north side of the Neuse )" to Robert Bell. In 1788, he witnessed a deed from Thomas Holloway to Major Holloway.[3]

In 1791, in Warren County, North Carolina, William Reeves was appointed co-executor (along with John Daniel) of the estate of Woodson Daniel. (Warren County was formed in 1779 from a part of Granville County, the county in which William was born.) In that capacity, he and John Daniel signed deeds conveying Woodson Daniel's land in 1796, 1797 and 1800. Also, on October 16, 1800, William Reves, Senr., of Wake County conveyed to Nathaniel Jones, Senr., for $1,708,427 acres on the south bank of the Neuse River adjoining land of William Reves, Junr. John Reves (probably his son by that name) was a witness to that deed.[4]

The 1800 census showed William Reeves living in Warren County, North Carolina in a household consisting only of himself and a number of slaves. His wife had either died or otherwise departed by then.[5]

William Reeves (Reves) moved from North Carolina to Madison County, Kentucky in about 1801. He settled near Boonesboro, on Otter Creek. With him moved his sons, William, Jr. (along with William, Jr.'s wife and children), George and Jeremiah. About the same time, his sons Charles and Peter moved to adjacent Halifax County, Virginia. His son John and his two married daughters remained in Wake County, North Carolina.[6]

The 1810 census for Madison County showed William as being "over 45" and having 15 "other" (meaning slaves} in the household.[7]

In 1820, census records showed this Reeves family as still being in Madison County, Kentucky. His household consisted of one white male 45 or older (William), seven white females between 26 and 45, one white female 45 and older, 6 "foreigners not naturalized," 2 people engaged in agriculture, 3 male slaves under age 14, 2 male slaves between 14 and 26, and 2 male slaves 45 and older.[8]

William died in 1821[9] in Madison County, Kentucky. In November 1821, the Madison County Court appointed appraisers for William’s estate. Silas Tribble, Cobby B. Quisenberry and H. Brooks, Jr. certified that his personal property consisted of 15 chattel slaves, household goods, implements and several promissory notes. The administrators—‘administrators’ are appointed when there is no will, ‘executors’ when there is one—were George Reeves (his son, then living in Warren County, Kentucky) and John Hawkins[10].

On October 12, 1822, commissioners appointed by the county court met in the Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky law office of Squire Turner to settle the estate. The record showed that "all the legatees" were present. The commissioners reported assets of $1,407.82 and debts of 1,208.015, with a balance of $199.80 3/4[11].

William Reeves’ estate inventory, dated 1822, listed such things as cups, a looking glass, feather beds, etc. and including the names of buyers and values. It also showed that he was a slaveholder[12].

On October 23, 1822, William Reeves' six surviving children, along with the attorney-in-fact for the heirs of a deceased daughter conveyed to William's son Jeremiah Reeves William's land "on the waters of Otter Creek and Muddy Creek"[13].

Note: Various online genealogies show that William Reeves married Fortune Rhodes on August 20, 1788, Guilford County, North Carolina.[14] However, looking at two distinct secondary sources reporting the marriage records, unless both have made the same scrivener’s error, it was a ‘Fortune Reeves’ who married a John Rhodes that day. I have not been able to find any other wife for William and so have left Fortune as his wife in this genealogy until further proof one way or the other.