April 9 1747 The first public record in which his name appears is regarding land located just south of the VA line in Northampton Co, NC; he witnessed a deed by which his father acquired an improved property. James' brother Edward, Jr. was a witness with him.
July 25 1753 James Reavese (also Reavease), Sr. "of Northampton County" bought from John Avent of Surry County, Virginia 320 acres on Peahill Creek in Northampton Co, NC. Witnesses were Thomas Reavise, Henry (X) Williams, and Foster (R) Reavise.
August 7 1755 James Reavis, planter of Northampton Co, sold 160 acres in the same county to Thomas Reavise. Witnesses to the deed were William Reavise and Samuel Reavis. This deed states that James possesses the property in a "state of inheritance in fee simple."
November 10 1755 James Reavis, Peter Day and John Page witnessed a deed of Lewis and Sarah Anderson to Jethro Bass for 100 acres in Northampton County.
August 21 1756 James Reavise bought 85 acres on Peahill Creek, Northampton Co.
July 1758 James Reavise purchased from William Thompson 500 acres on Roanoke River, land formerly owned by Arthur Harris whose name appears on various other Reavis instruments. Witnesses were Robert Stewart and Nicholas Dunning. (Possible the seller was William Riddlehurst Thompson, his brother-in-law; see second item following.)
October 25 1759 James Reavis witnessed a deed of Jesse Reavis to Samuel Reavis.
August 26 1761 James Reavis sold 511 acres on the Roanoke River to William Rutledge. property the property he acquired in 1858. The witnesses were William Reavis , William Riddlehurst Thompson and Agnes (X) Thompson. (She was probably James' sister.) On the following day James Reavis bought from William Rutledge 100 acres on the Roanoke River, beginning at Peahill Creek. The witnesses were again William Reavis, Wm. Rid. Thompson.
January 26 1762 Now we learn the probable name of the wife of James Reavis, although the deed does not mention the specific word "wife". James Reavis and Elizabeth , "of Northampton County" sold to Hollman Southall "of Sussex County, Va." 260 acres. Signed James Reavis, Elizabeth Reavis. Witnesses: Samuel McCraw, Mark Moore, and William Dancy.
August 2 1762 James Reavis, "planter," sold to William Riddlehurst Thompson, 23 acres on Peahill Creek to Rutledge's corner.
October 10 1766 James Reavis witnessed the deed of John Cooke to Samuel Reavis.
November 1766 James Reavis (also Revis) "of Northampton County" bought from Holman Southwell 260 acres on the Roanoke River, "begenning at the old county line on Peahill Creek." Witnesses were Samuel Reavis, Lewis Williamson and Nathanial Moore.
May 10 1768 James Reavis witnessed a deed to Samuel Reavis.
February 15 1771 James Reavis, "planter of Northampton County," sold to Henry King 150 acres on Roanoke River at Peahill Creek. Signed: James Reavis, Elizabeth Reavis. (Here again we have the wife signing: such signing was necessary when a wife's dowry was relinquished.) Witnesses: John Lashley, Holman Southall, John King.
April 24 1772 James Reavis "of Northampton County" sold to Charles Seath "of Brunswick County, Va" 260 acres in Northampton Co, NC. on Peahill Creek. Witnessed to the deed were Thomas Owen and Miles Alley. (Here we have one of the Alley family again. We think James' mother was an Alley.)
June 5 1773 James and Elizabeth Reavis were "received by letter" into the Dutchman's Creek Baptist Church in Surry County (now Davie County) in the western part of North Carolina. This information is important in establishing the time of removal of James westward from Northampton County. The intention to migrate is indicated by the fact of the wife's joining her husband in the deed of 1871. It seems that a husband in colonial times, generally deeded his property without his wife's signing the deed, except when the family residence (the home place of the wife) was sold. Then both the husband and the wife signed; or otherwise the wife went into a county court and, after private inquiry by the judge, acknowledged that she relinquished her dower right.
(Note: The succeeding references to Surry Co are now in Yadkin Co.)
1779 The records of Surry Co (Yadkin) for this year show that the state granted James Reavis 640 acres on Deep Creek in the county named. The same record appears in the Land Grant Office of Raleigh, dated September 4th, 1779. (A record in Surry (Yadkin) County in the year 1781 of a deed from James and Mary Reavis must refer, to James, youngest son of our present James. Several entries that follow may refer to either father or son; it is not easy to tell which. Then the records begin to differentiate by the use of "Sr" and "Jr".) 1789.
May 18 1789 James Reves' corner is mentioned in a grant of200 acres on Deep River from the state to David Reves. (This David is James' second son.)
1793 James Reavis sold 40 acres in Surry (Yadkin) County to Thomas Hutchinson, and bought 175 acres on Deep Creek from Richard Cook.
1794 James Revis, Sr. bought 112 acres on Deep Creek in Surry (Yadkin) County from Thomas Clark. Also James Reavis Sr. of "Surry (Yadkin) County" sold 175 acres on Deep Creek to George Steelman
1795 James Reavis "of Surry (Yadkin) County" sold 100 acres on Deep Creek to Joseph Reavis. (This Joseph is the third son of James Sr. His descendants are numerous in North Carolina to the present time.) In the same year, James Reavis Sr. sold 20 acres on Deep Creek to George Steelman. The deed was witnessed by Edward Reavis and Charles Steelman. (Edward-3 was the eldest son of James-2.)
1795 In this year James Sr. appears in Rutherford County, where he remained until his death in 1804. On December 3rd of this year he sold a slave girl to his son-in-law James Doyle. Witnesses were David Doyle and John Doyle, grandsons of James-2.
1799 James Reavis, with Abraham Fauther, witnessed a deed from John Bradley to Harris Reavis. (The Bradleys seem to have been closely associated with the Reavises and some of both families migrated westward together when that event occurred about twenty years later.)
October 15 1803 James Sr. made a deed which was, in effect, his Will. "For love, good will and affection" and effective at his death, he deeded to his grandchildren, the children of his "well beloved son James, deceased," his household furniture, stock of every description, and five negroes. The grandchildren were Wilson, Mary, Morgan, Washington, Elizabeth, Lucinda, and Nancy. Witnesses to the deed were Shadrick Wren and Anslem Bradley. This deed helps us determine the date of death of James Jr., who made his will on March 11, 1801. It was filed July 6, 1803. An early historian says that Sr. outlived his wife and died about 1804. It is probable that James Sr., being a widower , was then living with his youngest son James and family, when James Jr. died about 1803. This occurred only a few months before James Sr., signed his deed (will) of October 15th, 1803. James Sr seems to have died about the beginning of 1804, instead of "about 1798". The deed passing the personal property at his death was filed November 26, 1804.
This concludes our knowledge of James-2, the son of Edward Reavis, so far as the public records disclose the facts to us, and we know little else of him from any other source. An early historian reports: "James and family were farmers by occupation, and in religion Baptist. James died about 1798 [nb: should be 1804], in Rutherford County at about 85 years of age, his wife having died several years previously."
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