Last name: Reeves

This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Reeves may be a patronymic form of Reeve, itself an occupational name for a steward or bailiff, from the Middle English "reeve", a development of the Olde English pre 7th century "(ge)refa", reeve. The surname may also be occupational for a servant at the reeve's (house). Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. In medieval times servants in royal households were held in high regard, and frequently those who occupied senior positions enjoyed certain privileges, and the post would be passed on to the the eldest son. The second possibility is that the name is topographical from residence on the margin of a wood, resulting from a misdivision of the Middle English phrase "after eaves", at the edge, ultimately from the Olde English "aet thaere efese". One, John atte Revese was noted in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire. Notable bearers of the name were John Reeves appointed painter to the King, 1800, and Charles Reeves who became architect to the county courts in England and Wales, 1847. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield, with a fess between three azure billets, on a red chief a silver lion passant quardant, the Crest being a black demi griffin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard del Reves, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Stacy Reeves

I am born African American but my parents are from Jamaica, And was searching for a few others on the small island!

Brandon Reeves
wow i always wanted to about my back story before i was born thanks so much

donanova mcandrew reeves
i am looking for more of my family,like my half brothers and sisters. my father is robert lee reeves. he lives caly and is a lawyer.if anyone shares the same father then email me please thank you please help me

felicia reeves monfette
Really wanting to kno more about the reeves name. I live in Louisiana and come from a long line of reeves. Any info would b great! Look me up on facebook. Thank u!

Floyd Reeves
I was born in India and did have people keep asking me my name again even after i said it .. lol it was hard for them to believe that I was an Anglo-Indian and have a surname so unique !

Maggie Reeve Griffin
Also when immigrating to the america's my great great great grandfather immigrated with his brother and the brothers surname was changed to sherell. because the brother came from Germany where he and his wife had lived for only ten years. they told him at the time that reeve was a name associated with the isles. But that sherell was associated with main land Europe. Our family (evidentally generations of hoarders) actually kept the letter between brothers. This was a fascinating forum as far as the crusade erra comments. We have stories back to the 1400's. But nothing provable from before our branch of the family immigrated in 1750's. Our side of the reeves is dying out now. But I can remember my great grandmother talking to my grandfather in Gaelic that she learned from her grandparents who immigrated here. She always said shire reve was land givin by the crown near whortishire long ago for foreign service in Germany.

Maggie Reeve Griffin
My grandfather was a geanioligist who had a ring and a story passed down from we believe the late 1400's about our origins. The ring had a red griffin however. World war 2 pretty much distroyed all family records that were not landed royals. Any one intrested may contact me at to my knowledge reaves however is a galic word for hunted by the sheriff. (correct me if I am wrong) I believe to the African American question that there was a German reeves side of the family that there was a docter in the st Louis area that had a few African American nurses that his wife insisted on educating and they later freed. Causing them to be scorned pre civil war. There is a letter floating around my family that accuses the dr of them possibly being illegitimate children as three boys were givin his surname. Germanic reeves were bounty hunters with dark ages origins to the isles.

S. Reaves
Yeah but what about those reave who stole cattle?

Dr David A Reeves
Yes Sheriff does come from Shire Reeve...there are still Sheriffs in Scotland

Sandra Reeves
Democracy didn't exist in the middle ages - the King ruled and everyone else did as they were told. The Greeks tried to bring it in but only for males and the higher classes. It wasn't until the French revolution that the seeds of democracy started to spread in the West. Women have not had the vote for very long, just over a hundred years, therefore democracy as we know it today is very recent. Therefore the Reeves were not upholding democracy as servants to the King but a monarchist structure.

Barry Reeves
Hi Sandra, If your comment refers to my earlier post about democracy at village level my point was simply that the Reeves had the partly legal enforcement/partly consultative job of co-ordinating 100 households through the meetings of the hundreds Councils, binding Saxon communities together. Other Reeves' were more the King's enforcer as tax collector, hence the unpleasant Reeve's tale in Chaucer. You rightfully imply democratic elements even at village level were very weak under the Feudal powers of Lords and Kings. Kings rarely intruded apart from taxes and wars. My point is not that there was any full democracy including women's right to vote but that its earliest origins leading to all of having the right to vote on national issues, lie deeply in medieval village institutions. there was not then, as you say no national democratic structures, which began to develop under Magna Carter reacting against overbearing power of King's under the Normans. Once invasions and England's internal wars ended then democracy could grow slowly developing its essential checks and balances. The ideas for the French revolution came via the U.S revolution which stems from the English civil war and Republic with, I quite accept, tenuous links back to Saxon village life under a Shire Reeve or local Reeves. We are not here for deep historical debates, not sure how my comments got here, they were sent to an American website then thought Reeves had French origins, hence my quite possibly simplistically patriotic defence of the saxon roots of our surname with elements of community democracy aginst later the later Norman invader's Autocracy when Reeves's were more often agents of the King.

Mark Reeves
My dad told me that Reeve was the local law officer, and Reeves could refer to his family or servants. He also told me the word Sheriff is a corruption of 'Shire Reeve'.

Marissa Reeves
My family says we are mostly german but is there documentation of some of the Reeve(s) migrating to Germany. I just want to know more, but my family does not seem to care.

Pat Reeves
Hi Marissa,
I have heard of Reeves,s in The UK, Ireland and France but never Germany.
So ye would be a new branch.My daughter has Maresa for her second name.
Best wishes

chrysti reeves
i dont even know my father, but his name ,edward carl reeves. and i am chrysti reeves

E Reeves
i never knew about this stuff!

anyway, if you're really interested and not hard-headed, feel free to contact me :

Reeves family has an extremely interesting origin, but I'll keep that finding for me myself for now :)
Im african american and Reeves family name ...please do tell.

Tyshara A.D. Reeves
I'm African american, Native American and Irish o:

meaning of name?

Chritsopher Reeves
Thanks all...very interesting...I am going to have to do some work of my own.

Barry Reeves
Reeves is one, or maybe even the first English name from Reeves which simply means official holding an important office. King Athelread in 930 declared that nobody should buy anything worth more than 20 pence except in the presence of a Reeve or other such trustworthy man. The King wanted his taxes which the Reeve collected. By the Norman (French) invasion of England in 1066 the position became a hereditary name as Reeve, or Reeves. Ethelread also makes the 1st ever reference to a joury of ten men in each county, which had to be organised by the Shire Reeve as the chief executive for local governments. Of course from shire (english county) came sheriff from shire reeves. We still have a Reeves nominally in charge of parts of England (the Isle of Wight etc, and some Canadian counties have a Reeve in charge. Finally the roving Shire Reeve in the 10 bringing some stability in those dangerous and unstable times. The Reeve had to visit all villages and gather the 12 year old boys to swear loyalty to the King and that they would turn in anyone who broke the laws. The Reeves also called the local councils of families each year to decide community issues democratically. I am proud to be a descendant of such upholders of early attempts to bring order and the origins of democratic practice at village level. The tax collecting side is another issue, but as an economist in London I must approve of it.

Taylor Reeves
i wish i could find out if there was any type of royalty in this Reeves family tree. i want to know about my grandfathers family and ancestors before his time .