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Welcome! This website was created on Oct 28 2006 and last updated on Feb 24 2021.

There are 466 names in this family tree. The earliest recorded event is the birth of Reveley, Thomas in 1697. The most recent event is the birth of Fairbairn, Oliver Joseph in 2007.The webmaster of this site is Sarah. Please click here if you have any comments or feedback.

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About Reveley..Rievley..Reavley..Revely
THOMAS REVELEY is the first ancestor known in America, and is the progenitor of almost all the  current lines in this country.  Each and every person contacted by Ralf Reveley was a direct  descendant of  Thomas Reveley.
Two of the sons of Joseph Reveley (Thomas' grandson) changed the spelling of their last names to Rievely and Reavely. 


There are old Reveley homesites in Northumberland, England, and a Reveley Hill Farm that can be  reached by walking several miles up through sheep pastures. The farm is located in the  foothills of the Cheviots, and is quite rocky. In June, the woods are full of wild  rhododendrons, you can see their lavender color from miles away. A small stream, identified as  Reaveley Burn on the map, flows into the Breamish, and behind the valley farm houses stands  Reaveley Wood. This area was visited several times by Betty Reveley Wendt, who described it for  Ralf.  (I visited England in 2004-2008, and have yet to make a definite connection to the  Northumberland Reveleys, but in the process have collected many others world-wide, and am  putting them in albums on http://reveley.tribalpages.com/

Ralf  Lawson Reveley passed away before he could connect Thomas to this locale by contacting  Reveleys in England, and working back through generations to reach his ancestors. He hoped to  learn not only of Thomas' forebearers, but also to trace the family to present generations in  England and America in as complete a manner as possible. I have been able to do that for him,  thanks to the internet, the help of  Ted Relph in Crosby Ravensworth; Samuel's descendants  Wendy Wilson, Paul Reveley and Graham Barnes; and three visits to England.

In 1855, Samuel's son Thomas Reveley of Kendal, Westmorland,  England, wrote to his nephew  Samuel John Reveley that "my great-grandfather was, I have heard my father say, resident in  Ireland, to which country I have some reasons for thinking his ancestors emigrated in the reign  of Charles I from Northumberland."

Three years later in 1858, across the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, another descendant,  great-grandson Dr. Robert Croughton, was at home in Missouri, and wrote a history of the family  in a ledger book. He stated that Thomas was born near Whitehaven in 1700.

The new knowledge of Ireland being Thomas' father's birthplace has yet to be researched. No  known records have survived before 1720 in Whitehaven, and there are a scarcity of records in  Ireland, so we have no record of Thomas or other Reveley children being born there at that  time.


The first actual documentation we have is the notice of Thomas' and Elizabeth's marriage:  "Marriages Ano Dos, 1732.Thomas Reveley, Gentleman & Elizabeth Nicholson, Spinster, both of the  Parish of Arlecdon (by my License) July the 3rd."  They were married by licence rather than  published banns, and the marriage took place outside their home parish of Arlecdon. This  suggests their marriage was disapproved of by one of the guardians or parents.  In 1717,  Elizabeth Nicholson's grandmother Jane wrote her will, leaving the family farm, Dykenook, to  young Elizabeth, with a guardian. Elizabeth's father was dead, and her grandmother was  obviously not fond of Elizabeth's mother. Jane died in 1722.  Elizabeth must have been under  age, and eloped with Thomas in 1732.   They made their home in Dykenook,Frizington, several  miles from Arlecdon.

There is evidence of eleven children - John, Jane, James, Mary, George,Elizabeth, William,  Sarah, Nancy, Francis, and Samuel.  Reveley, Revely,Bievely, Ravely, appeared in the parish  records, and Raveling in the newspaper, interchangeably. The births of the first two children,  John and Jane, were recorded at Arlecdon.

By 1753, the Reveleys lived at Catgill Hall, near  the iron foundry at Low Mill, in St. John  Beckermet Parish.  Francis' birth was recorded in 1753 in St. John Beckermet.

Grandson Thomas also wrote in 1855 that the Reveleys were in the iron trade at Low Mill near  Egremont, Cumberland.  Thomas and his son John were forge men, and worked for  Charles Wood,  setting up the forges at Wood's iron mines. In 1753, a company of five gentlemen merchants took  a 26 year lease from the Earl of Egremont. Peter How and William Hicks were tobacco merchants,  seeking to diversify into iron making. They, together with Gabriel Griffiths, another  Whitehaven merchant, had partnered Charles Wood in building a forge at Whitehaven in 1750, and  needed a supply of ore. How, Hicks, and Griffiths were joined in the lease by Joseph Bowes, and  by William Brownrigg. Brownrigg was an eminent surgeon and was nationally known for his work on  colliery gases in the Whitehaven pits, but little is known of Bowes.

In 1755 the company had John Reveley, Thomas' son and an experienced forge man, set up Dalston  Forge at Buckabank, near Dalston.

The company stopped mining ore at Whitehaven during 1759, possibly due to their having had to  pay the Lord compensation of £200 for their overestimation of the "royalty ton" and thus not  paying enough per ton of ore raised. They paid the royalty rent only, until they quit in 1766,  having given six months notice in September 1765. The company had been badly affected in 1763  owing to the bankruptcy of How, who had borrowed heavily, from friends like the Lowther family,  to keep the operation going. It was a slump in the tobacco trade that eventually broke up the  partnership.

America offered opportunity, and the Reveleys emigrated in 1765.  When Thomas decided to  emigrate to America, his seven brothers tried to dissuade him.   However, their claims that  America would be inundated by the seas and storms did not keep him from taking his wife and six  of his children, and setting sail for the colonies. John and Barbara with their children Thomas and Joseph,  George and his wife and their children George and John, William, Sarah, Nancy,  Francis, and perhaps Samuel, made the voyage.


The Reveleys arrived in Virginia and settled near the town of Falmouth in Stafford County,  across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg, in Spotsylvania County. The family homestead  was called "Woodend".  The 144-1/4 acre plantation was originally owned by Enoch Ennis, then  James Threlkeld, then Edward Moor, who sold it to William Reveley.  Woodend was bounded by the west fork of Gravelly Run, down to the old  Banks Road,  the present Sanford Road, and the  present Greenbank Road. The burying ground near the house, comprising less than one quarter of  an acre, was left in perpetuity to the Reveleys. It has not been located, but the whole area  was destroyed during the Mud March of the Civil War.

William also owned Penfield and Newport in Spotsylvania County. He died in 1788, and bequeathed  his two small children, Thomas and Elizabeth, the Woodend and Penfield properties. William's  widow Ann chose Penfield for Thomas and sold Woodend to Elizabeth Hudson, with the  understanding that Elizabeth Reveley would receive the title when she came of full age.  To secure the property, Ann mortgaged Newport.  In 1803, Elizabeth Hudson conveyed Woodend in  Stafford County, Penfield in Spotsylvania County, and slaves to Ferguson and Gordon as security  on a loan. The loan was paid off, and the security was returned to Elizabeth and her son-in- law, Charles Croughton. By 1807, Elizabeth Reveley had come of age and married Montague Duerson. She and her aunt Elizabeth Hudson sold Woodend to George Banks, who agreed to pay  Elizabeth Hudson  forty dollars a year for life, and lease her the house and some adjoining  land.  This was not recorded until 1810. Elizabeth Hudson died in 1814.


Thomas was a "forge man" and, with his son John, became one of the managers of Hunter's Iron  Works at the falls of the Rappahannock River in Stafford County, Virginia.  The  forge was one  of the largest industrial complexes in the New World.  Originally owned by Augustine  Washington, the forge ran full tilt during the Revolution under the management of James Hunter  in order to furnish the American army and navy with such articles as pots, pans, camp kettles, anchors, and bayonets.

About 1785, as Thomas was fording the Rappahannock River, his horse stumbled and fell. Thomas  was drowned.  It is remarkable that a man in his later years leaves his homeland, crosses an  ocean, starts a new life in a faraway country, survives the Revolutionary War, and comes to an  end at the age of 85 by crossing a river on horseback and drowning accidentally!


Information regarding Thomas' wife and children varies; little is known of some, a great deal  of others, and conflicting information on several.

[2] JOHN REVELEY is the most documented of all of the children. He was born in 1732, and  baptized at St. Michaels in Arlecdon. His married a woman named Barbara in Crosthwaite,  Keswick, Cumberland. They lived in Keswick, and then the Forge at Buckabank, where John was  involved in a new Iron Forge.  In America, John and his partner, John Ballendine, ran the  Westham Forge on the James River, north of Richmond. To provide pig iron for the forge, they  developed the Buckingham Furnace on Bear Garden Creek across the James River in Buckingham  County below New Canton.

At the end of Chapter 2, there are verbatim accounts from various Virginia papers that follow  their endeavors, from enthusiastic beginnings to sad demise. Included are letters to various  Virginia governors, advertisements in colonial Virginia newspapers, and Virginia Executive  papers. The forge at Westham, near Richmond, as well as John's home was burned by the troops of  British General Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War. The loss of the Forge, his home,  and most of his papers and possessions preyed deeply upon John. He never recovered from the  loss. The death of his partner, Ballendine, the problems with the Furnace, and ensuing legal  difficulties drove him to drink and periodic losses of his senses.  John and Barbara had four  children: Joseph, Thomas, Mary, and George. John and his family will be discussed in Chapter 2.

.....[3] JOSEPH REVELEY was born in 1764 in Crosthwaite.
 .....[3] THOMAS REVELEY is unresearched.
 .....[3] GEORGE REVELEY was born in 1776 in Virginia.
 .....[3] MARY REVELEY was born in Virginia.

[2]  JANE REVELEY was born May 3, 1735 and baptized at St. Michaels in Arlecdon. She married  Reynold Mitchel on May 7, 1754 at St Bees Abbey Church. They lived in Low Mill, Egremont, where  he had served his time with Thomas Reveley, Elizabeth's father. Reynold moved to Merthyr Tydfil  to work at Charles Woods' pit in Wales in 1766, and had been at a forge about three miles from Hereford. Unfortunately, Reynold was described as a hammerman of dubious reputation.  We have no information on what happened to Jane and her family. .....[3] WILLIAM MITCHEL was born August 26, 1759 in Low Mill.

[2] JAMES REVELEY was born circa 1736.
 .....[3] MARY REVELEY was christened May 25, 1760 in Whitehaven. .....[3] GEORGE REVELEY was born in 1762. He was a sea captain, and married Mary Warnick  on  October 21,1789  at  St Nicholas Church, Whitehaven. They had four children, Ann, Jane, Samuel,  and George.  Capt Reveley died in Liverpool in 1837.
 .....[3] RICHARD REVELEY was born circa 1763, and married Elizabeth Backhouse of Wigton in  1785. Richard was manager of Excise in Shap .
 .....[3] MARGARET REVELEY was christened in 1768 in Whitehaven. She married James Gregory on  August 11th, 1793 in St. Bees.

[2] MARY REVELEY was born between 1737 and 1742. She married William Purdy,a ships carpenter,  in St. Bee's on  April 20, 1765, witnessed by George & father Thomas. They did not go to  America, and nothing more is known about them.

[2] GEORGE REVELEY was born between 1737-1742 in Cumberland. He lived in Low Mill, Egremont,  and married Jane Jones in 1764.  When he came to America,George managed his brother John's  forge at Westham, Virginia, and acted as John's agent in later years to settle his business  affairs. George had three children, George, John, and Elizabeth. He died circa 1796, in Norfolk County, Virginia. We know more about George and his family, and they will be discussed in  Chapter 3.
 .....[3] GEORGE REVELEY was born circa 1762 in England. He married Martha Lakeland in 1782 in  Norfolk County, Virginia.
 .....[3] JOHN REVELEY was baptised in 1765 in Whitehaven, Holy Trinity Church. .....[3] ELIZABETH REVELEY, George's daughter, was born circa 1773 in America. She  married  Thomas Linnel in 1793, and Daniel Clements in 1802.

[2] ELIZABETH REVELEY was born in 1742 in Cumberland, England. She remained in England with her  husband, George Hudson, school teacher, when her family emigrated. They had two daughters  Elizabeth and Margaret.  After George died, Elizabeth and he daughters joined her family in  America. Her family will be discussed in Chapter  4.
 .....[3] ELIZABETH HUDSON was born in 1767.  She married Charles Croughton and settled in  Norfolk, Virginia. Elizabeth died after the birth of  their only child, Robert, in 1791. .....[3] MARY  MARGARET HUDSON was born in 1777. She married her sister's widower, Charles  Croughton, in 1799. They had two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary.  Mary Margaret died in 1804.

[2]WILLIAM REVELEY was born in May 1743. He did not become a forge man as his father and  brothers did. He married the widow Anne Towles Carter and became a well-to-do farmer. They had  two children, Elizabeth and Thomas. William will be discussed in Chapter 5 . .....[3] ELIZABETH "BETSY" REVELEY was born in 1784 and married Montague Duerson. She moved to  Missouri with her brother's family.
 .....[3] THOMAS REVELEY was born in 1786. He married Elizabeth Stubberfield and they had three  children.  After Thomas died in 1821, his wife married his cousin Robert Croughton, sold  Pinfield, and moved to Missouri.

[2] SARAH REVELEY, Thomas' daughter, was born in Cumberland, England circa 1750. She married  twice and had no children. After the death of her first husband, Israel Robinson, a farmer of  Culpepper County, Virginia, Sarah married Richard Irwin. Richard was the brother of William  Irwin, Nancy's husband. After Richard's death, Sarah remained a widow for many years before her death in 1819. She was buried in the family cemetery at Woodend.

[2] NANCY REVELEY, Thomas' daughter, was also born in Cumberland England circa 1750. Like  Sarah, Nancy married twice but had no children. Her first husband was Adam Newall, a merchant  of Falmouth, Virginia. After his death she married William Irwin. Nancy died about 1807 at  Woodend, the family home.

[2] FRANCIS REVELEY, was christened on August 26th, 1753 at St. John Beckermet, Cumberland. He  never married. Francis served as a Captain during the Revolutionary War, enlisting at the War's  commencement and fighting throughout the War. Francis was wounded in the chest in an  altercation in Maryland, and for some reason the bullet was never removed. He died some ten years later when the bullet worked its way down and fell upon his lungs. We have more  information on Francis, who will be discussed in Chapter 6.

[2] SAMUEL REVELEY was born in 1757. He may have come to America with the family in 1765, but  returned to England to attend school. The American Revolution interrupted young Samuel's plans  to reunite with his family in America, and he settled in Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland, where  he became the Vicar of St. Lawrence Church. He married Ruth Williamson in 1786. They had five  children - Thomas,  Elizabeth,  George, Francis, and Ruth. We now have a great deal of  information on Samuel, and his family will be discussed in Chapter  7. .....[3] THOMAS REVELEY was born in 1787, and was a Solicitor in Kendal. In 1851, he presented  the Societies of Antiquitaries in London with a silver Fibula Vestiaria, and a silver Torque or  collar that were found together by a workman in the parish of Crosby Ravensworth in 1847, at  Orton Scar. Thomas Reveley was unmarried, and died March 18, 1861. .....[3] ELIZABETH REVELEY was born about 1790, never married, and died June 18, 1861. .....[3] GEORGE WILLIAMSON REVELEY was born in 1791. He joined the Army in 1811, and his  letters home while serving on a convict ship to Australia are fascinating. George married  Charlotte Allonby in 1832 and settled in Orton, Westmorland. He died in 1865. .....[3] FRANCIS REVELEY was born in 1795. He attended Cambridge and was a private tutor.   Francis married Mary Roots, and they had four children - George Francis, Samuel John, Ruth, and  Elizabeth.  Mary died in 1836, and Francis died in 1868.
 .....[3] RUTH REVELEY was born about 1796, was never married, and died April 22, 1885.
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Getting Around
There are several ways to browse the family tree. The Tree View graphically shows the relationship of selected person to their kin. The Family View shows the person you have selected in the center, with his/her photo on the left and notes on the right. Above are the father and mother and below are the children. The Ancestor Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph above and children below. On the right are the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The Descendant Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph and parents below. On the right are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Do you know who your second cousins are? Try the Kinship Relationships Tool. Your site can generate various Reports for each name in your family tree. You can select a name from the list on the top-right menu bar.

In addition to the charts and reports you have Photo Albums, the Events list and the Relationships tool. Family photographs are organized in the Photo Index. Each Album's photographs are accompanied by a caption. To enlarge a photograph just click on it. Keep up with the family birthdays and anniversaries in the Events list. Birthdays and Anniversaries of living persons are listed by month. Want to know how you are related to anybody ? Check out the Relationships tool.

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