George Reeves, Husband of Anne Phipps

Regarding the George Reeves who married Ann, Anne, or Anna Phipps, daughter of Francis Phipps of Reading, Berkshire, England, and who moved to Virginia, it should be helpful to note that there appear to have been at least TWO men named George Reeves who came from England to Virginia, if all the information claimed in sources is correct.

One of these men named George Reeves was living in London when he married Anne Phipps, daughter of Francis Phipps, in 1675. He later moved to Virginia, which is where he supposedly died. The other George Reeves had previously been living in Virginia, but was now in England when he wrote his will in the same year, 1675. Whether these two individuals were related is unclear.

As noted in various earlier posts, an abundance of circumstantial evidence appears to probably link another George Reeves, the much later one who was the father in law of Samuel Phips or Phipps of Wilkes and later Ashe County, North Carolina, with the earlier George Reeves who married Anne Phipps. Interestingly, circumstantial evidence also appears to link Samuel Phips to the much earlier Francis Phipps of Reading, who was Anne’s father.


The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 11, July 1903, pp. 68-79, includes an installment of an ongoing series titled “Virginia Gleanings in England” by Withinton. This includes information on pp. 78-79 about one of these individuals named George Reeves. That article includes an abstract of the will of George Reeve, also Reeves. His will was dated 1 November 1675 and was proved 26 April 1689; in other words he had died by this time. His will referred to him as “of the Island of Virginia, Merchant, now residing in England.” This would, of course, indicate that he had lived in Virginia prior to 1 November 1675.


The other George Reeves is the subject of a marriage record abstracted in Chester and Armytage, Allegations for Marriage Licences Issued from the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury at London, 1543 to 1869, London: Harleian Society, 1886, p. 134. There it is recorded that George Reeves married Anne Phipps on 21 September 1675 at Lee in county Kent. This was, again, the same year in which the other George Reeves wrote his will.

The George Reeves who married Anne Phipps was a bachelor of St. Augustine’s in London, and was age 26. Anne was of Lee in Kent and was a “spinster” whose age was about 18. In those days, the term “spinster” simply meant that she was unmarried. The record also notes that her parents were dead and that she was marrying “at the disposal of John Blagrave, of Arborfield, Berks [Berkshire], Esq., & Thomas Bullock, of Binfield, Berks, Gent., who consent.”

Although it may have just been coincidence, it appears that some Phipps and Blagrave connections continued in America, as discussed in past posts. Although the marriage license refers to Reeves as being of St. Augustine’s in London, H.R. Phipps says he was of “Ln,” which one would assume referred to Lincolnshire.

As noted in earlier posts, H.R. Phipps said that George Reeves “deserted” his wife Ann Phipps, after marrying her, and “died in Virginia.” This marriage is also noted in other sources, including Foster, London Marriage Licences, 1521-1869, London: Bernard Quaritch, 1887, p. 1124; H.R. [Henry Ramsay] Phipps, “Phipps Families of Berkshire,” The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Archaeological Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1 – New Series, April 1912, p. 17; and Duncan and Barron, eds., The Register of All the Marriages, Christenings and Burials in the Church of S. Margaret, Lee, in the County of Kent, from 1579 to 1754, Lee, Kent: Charles Rorth for the Lewisham Antiquarian Society, 1888, p. 7.

Various other sources and past posts refer to George Reeves’s wife Ann, Anne, or Anna Phipps as being the twin sister of Constantine Henry Phipps (who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland). Both were born in 1656 in Reading, Berkshire, England. Their parents Francis Phipps and his wife Anne Sharpe are discussed in various past posts. Francis appears in one of the heraldic visitations in Berkshire, and was the source for the Phipps information found in The Four Visitations of Berkshire, Vol. 57, p. 195; and Crisp, ed., Visitation of England and Wales, Notes, Vol. 8, 1909, pp. 156-161. Francis, who was born about 1610, was a son of George and Anne (Elliott) Phipps.


By the way, a certain John “Ryves” seems to have been living in Westmoreland County, Virginia during the 1650s and 1660s. A certain George “Reeve” was administrator of the estate of his brother Thomas Reeve, with a ffrancis (Francis) Reve also mentioned, in a 1671 administration somewhere in Virginia. This is referenced in McIlwaine, Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632, 1670-1676, with Notes and Excerpts from Original Council and General Court Records, into 1683, Now Lost, Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1924, p. 287.

Then the same source, on pp. 296-297, refers to the widow of ffrancis (Francis) Reeves as administering the estate of her late husband. The abstract also appears to refer to this ffrancis as a brother of Thomas Reeves, deceased, with a George Reeves having been another brother.

An unconfirmed secondary source refers to George Reeves and his wife Ann as being mentioned in county court records in Middlesex County, Virginia in 1682. If true, this would presumably refer to George Reeves and his wife Anne (Phipps) Reeves who married in 1675.

Then one of the individuals named George Reeves supposedly died in Middlesex County, Virginia in 1688, according to an unconfirmed secondary source. The one who married Anne Phipps, however, was said by Crisp to still be alive in 1695. According to H.R. Phipps, the husband of Anne Phipps died in Virginia, but she returned to England where she lived with her sister Mary at Lee in Kent.

One secondary source says that the will of George Reeves was probated in London in 1689 after he died in Middlesex County, Virginia. This appears to be incorrect, however, and may be confusing the (apparently) two different individuals, or misreading the Virginia Magazine abstract. That abstract says that the will of George Reeves was presented for probate in Middlesex County on 2 April 1689, but it does not say whether this refers to Middlesex County, Virginia or Middlesex County, England (London). That abstract says that he was living in England when he died.

This entire subject appears to be an area in which it would be helpful to examine actual records, since some earlier writings may have confused two or more individuals or two or more locations. There was certainly considerable opportunity for confusion. For example, a reference later in the Virginia Magazine abstract is to a deed dated 1707 from Charles Reeves of Middlesex County, England as heir of George Reeves of Virginia, deceased, but conveyed to a man of Middlesex County, Virginia. The abstract concludes by noting that George Reeves had been a resident of Middlesex County for a number of years, but without specifying which Middlesex County.

The abstract in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography refers to George Reeves “of the Island of Virginia, Merchant, now residing in England,” not Virginia, who wrote his will 1 November 1675 but who had died by 23 April 1689. That is when letters of administration were issued to his brother Charles Reeve AKA Reeves. The abstract, at that point, also refers to this George Reeves as having been a George Reeves, Jr. That being the case, who was Sr. and who was Jr.? Were there THREE individuals named George Reeves?


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