The surname Reeves is of English origin. It is a patronymic from the surname Reeve. It was an occupational name for a steward or bailiff, the precise character of whose duties varied from place to place and at different periods. It is derived from the Middle English vocabulary word ‘reeve’, the Old English (ge)refa, the etymology of which is disputed. A bailiff denoted a person who served writs and summonses and ensured that court orders were carried out. Bailiff, in England and Scotland, and Bailly in France, were the chief magistrates of a barony or part of a county. In Old English times the title ‘stewart’ was used of an officer controlling the domestic affairs of a household; especially of a royal household. Quite naturally those that worked in the occupation came to acquire the name as a surname. It could also be a topographical name for someone who lived on the margin of a wood, from a misdivision of the Middle English phrase ‘atter eaves’, at the edge ( Old English ‘oet poere efese’ ). In this sense the name comes to mean ‘dweller at the border’ of a wood or hill. The name dates back to the thirteenth century wer… Coat of arms: Argent on a be…
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