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The Reavis's of Vance Co. (Old Granville Co), NC are decendents of the third son of Edward Reavis-1st generation (1680-1751), who came to America from England in 1695, that son being Samuel Reavis-2nd generation. Edward settled in Henrico Co., VA. and had eight sons, each representing a different branch of the Reavis family in America today.

Samuel Reavis-2, along with his wife Nancy Jones, four sons, six of his seven daughters, and 20 slaves, relocated from Northampton County, NC to the area currently known as Henderson, NC about 1787-1789. They became large landowners and have been recognized as the "founders of Henderson."

It is believed that the eldest Samuel built a house in the northern part of Henderson (on Rock Spring Street near Eaton-Johnston School). Lewis, William, and Thomas built in a community known as Chalk Level (just north of Henderson / near Northern Vance High), where there was a crossing of two stage coach lines. There was a "Reavis Tavern" located there. They later moved to Henderson, where in 1836 Lewis persuaded the Raleigh-Gaston Railroad to locate a train station (in front of his house) instead of Chalk Level, by giving ten acres of his land. Lewis operated a hotel in his large house, which also served as the first post office.

The other son, Samuel Jones Reavis, built what is known as the "Old Reavis House" about 1789/90, on a 300 acre tract located on Indian Creek (Satterwhite Point Rd / Flat Rock Community) one and 1/2 miles north of Chalk Level, along the stage coach line. This tract of land had been purchased by the eldest Samuel on 1/16/1789, but he died in October of that year. The estate papers of Samuel Jones Reavis indicate that he was worth $60,000 at the time of his death in 1854 (also had 34 slaves). The house is illustrated on a "Historical Map of Granville County" by J.E. Buck, dated 1931, with a notation, "Old Reavis House - Abt 1790." The house has always been in the Reavis Family, and is the only surviving house of the original Reavis's. A family cemetery beside the house has many residents that have lived in the house. James L. Reavis, who married Fay Howell (whose mother was a Reavis), were the most recent residents of the homeplace. One of their three sons, David Charles-8th, is the author of this site.

The 3rd generation sons/brothers (Lewis, Thomas, Samuel, and William Whitfield) that located in Vance County about 1787-89 are the ancestors from whom the Reavis's and many other families now located in Vance County descended. From this view, there are four different sets of Reavis's in the county. In addition, one of the daughters, Sarah Sally Jane Reavis married Turner Moss, their descendants marrying into the Brame and Hester families. There are over 100 different family names in Vance and surrounding counties that are descendents of the eldest Samuel Reavis.

Below you can view photos of the Reavis House built by the son Samuel, as well as photos of various Reavis family members who have lived there. Additionally, you can view a "Geneaology Report" containing the lineage of the Reavis descendents.

Information contained on this site has been assembled by the author from many sources, including the "Reavis Family Book" by Marie Reavis Hall, "Zeb's Black Baby" by S.T. Peace, "Historic Vance County" by John B. Watkins, "Vance Heritage Remembered" by Vance County Historical Society, estate papers of Samuel Reavis-2 and Samuel Jones Reavis-3, "Rootsweb Reavis Family Research Team," and personal research (including many documents located in the North Carolina State Achieves in Raleigh, and interviews with various family members).

Data on this site is for personal use only and may not be used for commercial gain, nor may it be reproduced for distribution or submission to any other entity. Information obtained is only as good as the source, and is therfore not warranted to be completely accurate. Suggested modifications may be made to the author via e-mai
Reavis Family of Vance (Old Granville) County, NC
Updated December 15, 2009


David Charles Reavis
4109 Pin Oak Road
Raleigh, NC 27604
A-United States

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Family Photos

  • The Reavis Family Cemetery (172 KB)
    Located about 50 yards from the Old Reavis House is the family cemetery. Buried there are mostly residents of the house over the years (at least five generations). The oldest tombstones are dated in the early 1800's. Buried there also is a Confederate Soldier. It is belived that some slaves may be buried there, which are marked with rocks only. There are approximately 50 graves there. The picture shown is a combination of two pictures taken from two different angles. The two tall tombstones are those of Thomas and Lucy Coghill, parents of Mary Coghill who married Lewis Pleasants Reavis (residents of the house during the Civil War). Their graves are in front to the Coghills', but only have rocks for markers.
  • Old Reavis Homeplace (49 KB)
    Built about 1789 on Indian Creek, on Satterwhite Point Rd, Henderson, likely by Samuel Jones Reavis (1776 - 1854). He married Martha Patsey Harris of Warren County. They had 11 children. Estate papers indicated property value of $60,000 and they owned 34 slaves.
  • Fay Howell Reavis (179 KB)
    Lizzie Fay Howell Reavis (known as Fay) (1916-1990), pictured in front of the Old Reavis Homeplace, was the daughter of Lizzie Reavis Howell (daughter of Hugh and Pattie Reavis). Fay married James Lewis Reavis (1915- ). Fay lived in the house with James from 1953 until her death (she died in the house) in 1990. They reared three sons there: James, Jr. (Jimmy), William Arthur (Billy), and David Charles (David). James stills lives there, and takes care of the Reavis Homeplace, including the family cemetery.
  • Reavis House Today (35 KB)
    Two story frame house with circular front steps of native stone has overall form of typical 18th century Georgian houses. Age revealed in wide, low home-made interior mortised doors set in wide three part frames with HL hinges, shop made nails and latches, entire 12"x9" trees used for under frame, 14" interior walls, enclosed stairway w/ extremely high rise, two-feet wide heart of pine floors and walls. Five fireplaces including one in cellar with built-in oven. Some simple Greek Revival interior character result of remodeling around 1825. Lost one chimney to Huricane Hazel.
  • Hugh & Pattie Reavis (113 KB)
    Residents of Old Reavis House during turn of the century. Picture taken in 1899 includes three of their children, Lizzie, Verona, and Lewis. Lorena had already married and moved out, and Nellie had not yet been born. (Nellie and husband George Nelson Spain were residents of the house from 1936 to 1947.) Hugh (1851-1921) was son of Samuel & Charity Reavis. Pattie (1863-1936) was daughter of Alexander Wortham & Lucy Reavis Wortham (former residents of Old Reavis House, from abt 1883). Residents prior to Alex & Lucy were her parents, Lewis Pleasant Reavis and Mary Coghill Reavis. Prior to them were Lewis' parents, Samuel Jones Reavis and Martha Patsey Harris Reavis.
  • Lizzie Williams Reavis Howell (100 KB)
    Lizzie (1888-1964), pictured prior to being married, was the the daughter of Hugh & Pattie Reavis. She married William Richard Howell (1873-1929). Their children were Charles, Alma, Lena, Lizzie Fay, & Sallie. Lizzie lived in the Old Reavis House as a child, and again during her latter years (living with her daughter Lizzie Fay and son-in-law James Reavis).
  • James L. Reavis - 7th Generation (22 KB)
    Pictured is James Lewis Reavis-7 (b.1915), son of Arthur Wilton Reavis-6 and Jessie Lou Aycock (Thomas C. Reavis-5, Lewis Pleasant Reavis-4, Samuel Jones Reavis-3, Samuel Reavis-2, Edward Reavis-1) Picture was taken in 1953, the year James and wife Fay moved into the Old Reavis House built by Samuel Jones Reavis. In the background is the stable which stood behind the house at that time. James is the current resident of the old Reavis House.
  • Historical Map of Old Granville County (50 KB)
    Shown is map created in 1931 by J.E. Buck. Map shows Old Granville County, from which were made Granville, Bute, Warren, Franklin, and Vance Counties. Vance county was formed from Granville, Warren, and Franklin in 1881. Map shows the Old Reavis House (Built by Samuel Reavis-3 on Satterwhite Point Road), Site of Old Reavis Tavern (at Chalk Level), Site of Reavis Race Track (Near Henderson Water Works), and Reavis House Old Post Office (Home of Lewis Reavis-3 near corner of Garnett and Young).

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