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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Reeves Project (TRP) is a global genealogical collaboration for researchers into the Reeves family name and its many variants.
An innocent question posted on the Reeves-L mailing list on April Fools Day in 2010 was the genesis of The Reeves Project. Following some research by Barry Reeves, a group of volunteers came together within a few days to start working in private on what became The Reeves Project wiki. The wiki emerged from stealth mode at the beginning of August 2011, by which time the initial volunteers had generated some 3400 pages of information. That has grown to over 5600 pages by the end of 2013, with over 150 community members. Whilst our aspirations are global, our current membership is skewed to the USA.
We welcome all serious researchers of the Reeves name and its many variants from any location to join us and to contribute to TRP.

Variant names

Our name is typically pronounced as r-ee-v-s and may also be recorded as Reaves, Reavis, Rieves, Rives and Ryves. And is as the case with many names ending in 's', that letter is often absent in older records.
In England, the dialect burr which gets progressively more pronounced the further west one moves from Hampshire results in some intriguing deviants and from old records the script 'R' is often misinterpreted and indexed as a 'K'.

Name frequency

Reeves is found relatively frequently in Great Britain and other English speaking countries.
Name GB 1881
GB 1881
Rank Order
GB 1881
GB 1998
GB 1998
Rank Order
GB 1998
Reeves 12,263 346 453 16,840 325 452
Ryves 76 19,461 3 215 16,050 6

based on data from where FPM is Frequency per Million names within the population.

Looking globally and using data from which is more recent population data sample sourced differently, the Reeves surname occurs most frequently in Australia (again as frequency per million names).

Country Reeves FPM Reaves FPM Ryves FPM
Australia 415    
United Kingdom 396 1 4
United States 309 54  
New Zealand 262    
Canada 174 1  
Ireland 91   1


From the indexation of the England & Wales Census at one popular genealogy web sites, the name occurs as follows (count not frequency)

Name 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
Reeves 6,290 7,295 7,090 9,410 11,997 11,105 14,571 16,879
Reaves 337 405 423 409 275 898 527 154
Reives 30 11 28 30 24 38 13 25
Rieves 11 3 16 18 15 4 19 5
Ryves 19 18 22 46 67 38 80 139

Distribution of the name

By 1881 the Reeves name was well distributed across the south central area of England, with highest concentrations in London, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Wiltshire. There seems to be a second concentration around Staffordshire and Warwickshire.


Given the Reeves name occurs relatively frequently, we have not looked to collect modern era birth, marriage and death information which is readily available elsewhere. Rather we encourage the contribution of narratives for individual Reeves ancestors which we expect to include source citations and use our underlying wiki technology to link those individuals to their parents and offspring. We also encourage the contribution of transcripts of documents concerning Reeves individuals which may be similarly linked to individuals.
Within the project there are a few individuals working on specific data analysis activities, including, for example, the extract of references from the likes of US county deed and will books and also family group reconstruction in an ever increasing spiral from a village in southern Hampshire based on the 1851 census.
We have just announced a new micro site to host a collection of Virtual Reeves World War 1 Memorial pages and look forward to seeing that grow over the period 2014-2018 as we commemorate the centenary of the First World War.The vast majority of information held within The Reeves Project wiki is available to browse without an account with us. If your family line is not represented, please consider joining us and contributing what you know.


The Reeves DNA Project has existed since March 2004 and Barry Reeves has served as the DNA Project Coordinator since inception. The Reeves DNA Project and TRP are administered independently but work hand in hand since Barry is also one of the administrators of TRP.

The Reeves DNA Project has (by the end of 2013) recognised 16 distinct family groupings based on results from 109 individuals, with a further 30 results currently un-matched. All DNA Project participants are encouraged to join TRP as a way of sharing their lineage. The Reeves Project has a collection of wiki pages dedicated to each DNA Group.