Clarence Arthur Reeves

Clarence Arthur Reeves,  born January 29, 1887 in Souix Falls, South Dakota.  Died June 24, 1966 in Woodlake, California.

I don’t really know a whole lot about Grandpa.  I was 9 when he died, and so my memories of him are those of a child.  I remember a quiet, distant man, who didn’t seem to relish the flurry of attention a small child brought to his lap.  He didn’t push any of us, my cousins and I, away, but I don’t recall him going out of his way to interact with us.  Perhaps he didn’t really know how to deal with children, even though he was one of six or more, and he fathered eight (or more) himself.   Our family was his second marriage, which occurred on April 15, 1923.  Some of my research has turned up a bit of a mystery, and I’m still working on finding out more, if I can.

I always knew we were grandpa’s second family, and that my aunt knew someone from the first.  There’s only one member of my father’s generation still alive, and I don’t know if he knows anything about that first family, as he was the youngest of grandpa’s children.  Another avenue of research to follow!   I found an entry in the United States Census of 1910 that is a bit intriguing.  It lists Clarence A Reeves, born in 1887, at 23 years of age, living in Stephens, Texas.  Listed as his wife, is Ponny, 19 years of age.  The entry of her name is a bit smudged, and the listing of Ponny could be a misreading of Penny, or some other name.  I can’t find her anywhere else (yet), so I don’t know for sure just what her name really was.  I did find a death entry for a Penelope Adeline Reeves, born about the right time, in Cooke City, Texas.  This woman died on March 22, 1946.  I don’t know for sure yet if this is “Ponny”.   The next time grandpa shows up anywhere is the 1920 census.  A Clarence Arthur Reeves, born in 1887 in South Dakota, is listed at a boarding house in southern California.  He is listed as a carpenter, and as divorced.  This fits grandpa (he later built his own house in Woodlake. By hand. Himself. According to my late uncle Dick) but I never knew he came to California before he brought my Dad’s family here in the 40’s.  The wedding license shows he is back in Texas in 1923, and marries my grandmother.   Naturally, now I wonder about this first family, and cousins aunts and uncles I don’t know.  If you know anything about this family, I’d sure appreciate the information.  You can email me at

The family tree branch that leads to me looks to trace back to 1442, in England.  Most of the information I have located is dependent on the accuracy of work done by others, but seems to hold together, at least so far.  I’m sure some of it will change as I dig deeper, and as more information is put online.  Here’s the line, as I have it now, and a note or two.

Me, Jimmie J. Reeves, Jr.   Dad, Jimmie Joe Reeves, Sr. 1938-2006.  Clarence Arthur Reeves 1887-1966.  Isaac Manasah Reeves 1851-1901.  Richard Hill Reeves 1830-1881.  Manassah Reeves 1796-1868.  Puryer Reeves 1755-1842.

At some point, Puryer Reeves began the family name REEVES.  Prior to him, it’s REEVE.

Purrier Reeve 1725-1782.  Hezekiah Reeve(s) 1690-1770 (he is listed as Reeves, so the name may have been in transition for some time).  Joseph Reeve 1656-1736.  Thomas Reeve 1624-1682.

Thomas Reeve appears to be the Reeve who came from England to America.  He was born in Caldercote,  Northamptonshire, England.  Caldercote is northeast of London.  He marries Mary Purrier in Suffolk County, Long Island New York in 1645, when he was 21 years old.  Mary was also born in England, and I wonder if they knew each other before they left for America.  Perhaps they met on the ship?  Or did they meet in New York?  I don’t know when they came over, only that at some point before he is 21,  and Mary is 17, they come to the United States.  Perhaps some passenger manifests exist that list them.  More digging into the past is required!

Robert Reeve 1580-1638.  Robert died in England, so he didn’t make the trip with Thomas.  Is that why Thomas came to the United States?  His father dies when he is 14, so what is to become of Thomas?  We know he ends up in New York, but what is his story?

William I Reeve born in England in 1560, his date of death is so far unknown.  Thomas I Reeve born in 1535, died at an unknown date in Colchester, Essex, England.  Walter Reeve born 1515, Long Melford, Suffolk, England, with no death date.  John I Reeve born 1479 in Bury St. Edmonds, England, and died on March 26, 1540 Long Melford, Suffolk, England.

The furthest back in my line so far is Roger Reeve, born in 1442 in Long Melford, Suffolk, England.  He died in 1500.

An interesting and wonderfully coincidental fact about the Reeves name:  in old England, most people lived on land owned by a lord or king.  The area was often called a “shire”, perhaps similar to what we might think of today as a county, or city.  The “Rive” was the enforcer of the law for the nobleman or king, so he was the “shire rive”.  Over the years, this name morphed into different spellings and pronunciations, such as Reeve and Reeves.  The term “shire rive” has come down to us today as the root source of “sheriff”.  So it’s a great kick to me that I work for the Sheriff’s Department of Tulare County, and that I got the  job long before I became aware of my name’s connection to such service.  I’m just glad the current service to the shire is much more in the realm of public service, rather than obedience to a nobleman or king!

So quite the family tree!  I’d really like to know more about some of them, and I hope further digging will turn up more information.  I’m also going to dig into other branches,  since I’m just as related to Roger Reeve as I am to my 17th great-grandmother on any other branch!  Maybe I’ll find some royalty, or some bandits, hiding in the branches somewhere!

If you want to see what I’ve turned up so far, you can view my family tree at  Click here . You’ll have to register on the site, but it’s free. You’ll be able to see what I’ve turned up so far, including other branches of my history.