Reeves History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Reeves dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from a member of the family who worked as a local representative of a lord, a reeve, sheriff, steward or bailiff. [1] [2] The surname Reeves was originally derived from the Old English (ge)refa which referred to a representative. [3] The name is "an official appointed by the lord of the manor to supervise his tenants' work." [4]

Early Origins of the Reeves family

The surname Reeves was first found in Leicestershire where Walter and James le Reve were listed in 1220. John atte Reuese was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1327. The plural form of the name which is actually most common today dates back to 1332 when Richard del Reves was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Lancashire in 1332. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Sampson le Reve, Suffolk; and John le Reve, Cambridgeshire. [5]

In Somerset, William le Reve, John le Reveson, and William le Reveson were listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [6]

Early History of the Reeves family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reeves research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1662, 1611, 1638, 1686, 1729, 1818, 1900, 1585, 1647, 1660, 1594, 1672, 1608, 1658, 1618, 1678, 1660, 1678, 1673, 1737, 1667, 1726, 1667, 1861 and 1865 are included under the topic Early Reeves History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reeves Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Reeves has undergone many spelling variations, including Reeve, Reve, Reave, Reaves, Reeves and others.

Early Notables of the Reeves 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 in...
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reeves Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reeves World Ranking

In the United States, the name Reeves is the 343rd most popular surname with an estimated 79,584 people with that name. [7] However, in Canada, the name Reeves is ranked the 956th most popular surname with an estimated 5,632 people with that name. [8] And in Australia, the name Reeves is the 401st popular surname with an estimated 9,241 people with that name. [9] New Zealand ranks Reeves as 476th with 1,430 people. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Reeves as 331st with 18,517 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Reeves family to Ireland

Some of the Reeves family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 196 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Reeves migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Reeves were among those contributors:

Reeves Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Reeves, aged 19, who landed in New England in 1634 [12]
  • Leonard Reeves, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [12]
  • Edward Reeves, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [12]
  • Charles Reeves, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [12]
  • Edmond Reeves, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reeves Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Rachel Reeves, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [12]
  • Robert Reeves, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [12]
  • Richard Reeves, who landed in New England in 1716 [12]
Reeves Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Reeves, aged 31, who landed in Kennebunk, Me in 1830 [12]
  • Joseph Reeves, aged 7, who landed in Kennebunk, Me in 1830 [12]
  • Henry Reeves, aged 5, who arrived in Kennebunk, Me in 1830 [12]
  • Frederick Reeves, aged 3, who arrived in Kennebunk, Me in 1830 [12]
  • Absalom Reeves, who landed in Texas in 1835 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Reeves migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Reeves Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Reeves, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Thomas Reeves, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. John Reeves U.E. who settled in St. John River [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1784 [13]
  • John Reeves was Chief Justice of Newfoundland in 1791 [14]
Reeves Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Henry Reeves from England, deserted the British Navy by jumping overboard at Channel Head, Newfoundland swimming to Port Aux Basques, and changing his name to Lawrence, in the early 1800's
  • James Reeves, who settled in English Harbour in 1835

Australia Reeves migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Reeves Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Reeves, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. George Reeves, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. Daniel Francis Reeves, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [17]
  • William Reeves, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [18]
  • Mr. James Reeves, (b. 1812), aged 16, English errand boy who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 29th April 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1830 [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Reeves migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Reeves Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Reeves, aged 29, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Eliza Reeves, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wyvern" in 1856
  • Miss Mary Ann Reeves, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gloucester" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 28th December 1858 [20]
  • Ann Reeves, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "African" in 1860
  • William Reeves, aged 22, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ambrosine" in 1860
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Reeves (post 1700) +

  • Pamela Lynn Reeves (1954-2020), American jurist, Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court in Tennessee
  • Richard Furman Reeves (1936-2020), American writer, syndicated columnist and lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California
  • Martha Rose Reeves (b. 1941), American R&B and Pop singer
  • George Reeves (1914-1959), American actor, best known for his role as Superman in the 1950s television program
  • Chief Petty Officer Thomas James Reeves (1895-1941), US Navy radioman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1941
  • Franklin Delano "Del" Reeves (1932-2007), American country music singer
  • Bryant Reeves (b. 1973), retired American Basketball Player
  • Admiral Joseph Mason "Bull" Reeves (1872-1948), United States Navy officer who became known as the "Father of Carrier Aviation" for his role in integrating aircraft carriers into the Fleet
  • Albert Lee Reeves Jr. (1906-1987), American Republican politician, Lawyer [21]
  • Albert L. Reeves (b. 1873), American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives, 1901-02; Judge of U.S. District Court, 1923- [21]
  • ... (Another 87 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Miss Dora Reeves (1909-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Windsor, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [22]
  • Mrs. Rose Elizabeth Reeves (1886-1914), née Wright Canadian Third Class Passenger from Windsor, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [22]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Raymond Henry Reeves (1923-1941), Australian Ordinary Seaman from Casino, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Ellis Leslie Reeves (1919-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [23]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • William Reeves (d. 1945), British Stoker 2nd Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [24]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stanley E Reeves (b. 1923), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Southampton, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Cyril A Reeves (b. 1921), Welsh Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [25]
Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Anita Lynn Reeves (1964-1988), American Passenger from Laurel, Maryland, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [26]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Frederick Simms Reeves, aged 33, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4 [27]
  • Mr. David Reeves (d. 1912), aged 36, English Second Class passenger from Slinfold, West Sussex who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [27]


The Reeves 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 Reeves +

  • Those Reeves Girls by Christine Wood.

  1. ^ Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  14. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  18. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Andromeda voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1826 with 147 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1826
  19. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th April 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  20. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  21. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  22. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  23. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  24. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  25. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  26. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  27. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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