Friday, January 27, 2012

The Reeves of Christian County, Kentucky: Part 3


There was still another Reeves line in early Christian County Kentucky: Miles Reeves is first seen in records there in the 1810 Federal Census with two males under 10, two males 16-25, one male over 45 (Miles Reaves), two females under 10, one female 10-15, and one female over 45 (his wife Ann). He has not been found in any 1790 or 1800 census anywhere. His origins are unknown.

The Reeves found in the 1800 Christian Co Kentucky census, James, John, Martha, William, and William Jr. (see Part 2 of the Christian County Kentucky Reeves post), do not have any apparent ties to Miles nor do James Reeves of the 1810 census and James and Thomas of the 1830 census.

Miles’s birth date and birth location are not known; however, based on the 1810 census age, he was likely born by 1765. His children, according to census records were born in both North and South Carolina, with the youngest born in Kentucky in 1812.

The first record we have on Miles Reves is when in Lancaster County, South Carolina, on 8 March 1788, he received a wolf bounty. So far, no records have been found between this time and his appearance in Kentucky more than twenty years later.

Records of Miles’s eldest son Joseph suggest the family was in Christian County by 1809 when Joseph first appears in a tax list.

Miles died in 1821. His will establishes the names of his children: Joseph Reaves, Sally Griffey, John Reaves, Elizabeth Thweatt, Miles Reaves, Ruth Reaves, Robert Reaves, Milberry Reaves, and William Reaves.

After Miles’s widow Anne died between 1841 and 1843, Miles’s estate was inventoried and settled. The estate settlement document establishes that John Reaves had died, leaving as orphans Mahala, Clinton, and a third child who was not named. The same document also states that Miles Jr is deceased, leaving orphans William R Reeves and Chapman Reeves. Chapman Reeves is often attributed to a different father in online trees, but he was actually Miles Jr's son.

Some of Miles Reeves's descendants believe that he was a son of Jordan Reeves Sr, who is of the Reeves Group 8 DNA line. DNA analysis has shown that this is not the case; one of Miles’s descendants has tested with DNA that closely matches Hatchers and Burtons and which does not match any other Reeves who have participated in the Reeves DNA project.

A relationship to Jordan Reeves was presumed on minimal information.
  • Miles’s 1844 estate sale included a slave named Jordan, but Jordan was born ten years after Miles died.
  • Several sons of Miles Reeves came to Independence County Arkansas (one in 1837 and two about 1844/1845) as did Jordan Reeves Jr who was in Independence County by 1825. There is a large time gap between Jordan Jr’s arrival and the arrivals of Miles’s sons. They lived in different parts of the county, and no records have turned up linking Jordan Jr to any of Miles’s sons. Proximity is no indicator of a relationship in this case.
  • One mysterious item that contributed to the Miles-Jordan myth is a crumbling 1905 appointment notebook belonging to Dr. Marshall Calloway Reves of Searcy County Arkansas, a great-grandson of Miles Reeves. The notebook claims that Miles’s father was Jordan Reeves who had two sons: Miles and Joel; no other of Jordan's numerous sons, including Jordan Jr, were named. No documentary evidence has ever been found linking Miles to Jordan Reeves Jr or Jordan Reeves Sr, nor is it known how accurate the transcription of the notebook is. No other "Jordan Reeves" have ever been identified.

Many descendents of Miles Reeves used the spelling Reves while others stayed with Reeves. Miles's surname is variously spelled Reeves, Reaves, Rives, and Reves depending on the document.

The Hatcher/Burton DNA results indicate that research into these surnames might be fruitful.

Many thanks to Margaret Harlow who provided a great deal of research on Miles Reeves.

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