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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Reavis finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxons of England. It was given to one who worked as a local representative of a lord. The surname Reavis 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.

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The surname Reavis 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.

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Reavis has been recorded under many different variations, including Reeve, Reve, Reave, Reaves, Reeves and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reavis research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1662, 1818, 1900, 1608, 1658, 1618, 1678, 1660, 1678, 1673 and 1737 are included under the topic Early Reavis History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reavis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Reavis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Reavis or a variant listed above: Francis Reeve who settled in Virginia in 1635; Thomas Reeve settled in St. Christopher in 1635; John Reeve settled in New Jersey in 1664; John Reeve was banished to Barbados in 1685.

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  • Waylon Reavis (b. 1978), American vocalist for the alternative metal and industrial metal band Mushroomhead
  • James Addison Reavis (1843-1914), nicknamed the Baron of Arizona, an American forger and fraudster
  • Isham Reavis (1836-1914), American jurist, Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Arizona Territory (1869-1872)
  • David Craig Reavis (b. 1950), American NFL offensive lineman from 1974 through 1983
  • Charles Frank Reavis (1870-1932), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Nebraska (1915-1922)
  • W. H. Reavis, American politician, Member of North Carolina State House of Representatives from Granville County, 1870-72
  • Jim Reavis, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arkansas, 2008
  • J. Ogden Reavis, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1932
  • Wade Reavis (1876-1968), American Republican politician, Member of North Carolina State House of Representatives from Yadkin County, 1911-14
  • Clarrise Haberfelde Reavis (1898-1989), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1932

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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.

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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Reavis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Reavis Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 November 2015 at 11:18.

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