Reaves History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain were the first to use the name of Reaves. The name had a practical origin since it came from when its initial bearer worked as a local representative of a lord. The surname Reaves originally derived from the Old English word Gerefa which referred to a representative. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly commonplace in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith and wright.

Early Origins of the Reaves family

The surname Reaves was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Reaves family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reaves research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1662, 1818, 1900, 1585, 1647, 1660, 1594, 1672, 1608, 1658, 1618, 1678, 1660, 1678, 1673, 1737, 1667, 1726 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Reaves History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reaves Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Reaves include Reeve, Reve, Reave, Reaves, Reeves and others.

Early Notables of the Reaves family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Edmund Reeve (1585-1647), English Justice of the Common Pleas, son of Christopher Reeve of Felthorpe, Norfolk; Edmund Reeve (died 1660), English divine, vicar of Hayes-cum-Norwood, Middlesex; Thomas Reeve (1594-1672), English Royalist divine, born at Langley, Norfolk, son of Thomas Reeve, a husbandman; John Reeve (1608-1658), an English plebeian prophet, believed the voice of God had instructed him to found a Third Commission...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reaves Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Reaves family to Ireland

Some of the Reaves family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Reaves migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Reaves or a variant listed above:

Reaves Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Reaves, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [1]
  • Robert Reaves, who landed in Virginia in 1655 [1]
  • Ann Reaves, who arrived in Maryland in 1667 [1]
  • Edward Reaves, who arrived in Maryland in 1667 [1]
  • Francis Reaves, who landed in Maryland in 1667 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reaves Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Susanna Reaves, who arrived in Virginia in 1719 [1]

Canada Reaves migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Reaves Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Reaves, who settled in Bell Island, Newfoundland in 1709 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Reaves (post 1700) +

  • Gayle Reaves, American Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award winning journalist
  • Thomas Johnson "John" Reaves (1950-2017), American college and professional football player
  • Stephanie Reaves (b. 1967), American professional race driver
  • Kenneth Milton Reaves (b. 1944), former professional American football defensive back
  • Mallory Reaves (b. 1984), American writer
  • Shawn Reaves (b. 1978), American actor
  • James Michael Reaves (b. 1950), American Emmy Award winning writer, producer and story editor
  • Thomas H. Reaves, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Forest Park, Ohio, 1961, 1961 [3]
  • Genevera Reaves, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1980 [3]
  • Gene W. Reaves, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 2nd District, 1928 [3]
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Casbie Reaves, American Seaman First Class from Arkansas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [4]

The Reaves Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Animum rege
Motto Translation: Rule thy mind.

Suggested Readings for the name Reaves +

  • 2169 The Reaves Family Tree by Timothy O. Reaves, The Revis Family of Madison County, North Carolina by David H. Reece.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from
  4. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook
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