The Coat of Arms of Robert Reeves, a Major in Cromwell’s army, was the son of a respectable Sussex family. It is not positive that Robert was our direct ancestor but the Coat is purely Reeves.
The Reeves Coat of Arms is in the shape of a shield and has on it “Virtute et Fidelitate” — Latin for virtue and fidelity.
Origin of the Name
As early as the tenth century the occupation gave the surname to families. In 1465, Edward IV of England secured the enactment of a statute to the effect that either the town, the profession or the occupation could be chosen as a surname.
In very early times the King required big, strong men to guard the castle, the rivers and other strategic points. These men were called reve, hence the name. It is a Saxon word meaning officer or governor. A shirereve is now Sheriff. The name is written Reve, Reeve, Reave or Reeves.
In general, the Reeves’ men have run true to form in that they are big men even in the present generation.
The Colonial generations of this family were Quakers, which may account for the few Revolutionary War records.