An American Family History

William Reece/Rees

  also spelled Reecee, Rees, Reese  
Guilford County, North Carolina was organized in 1771 from parts of Rowan and Orange Counties.

William Reece/Rees was born in December, 1736. He was the son of Thomas Reece/Rees and Margaret Bowen.

He married Charity Dillon in 1763. Charity was the daughter of Daniel Dillon. The mariage was performed "by an hireling teacher."

Moses Reece/Rees (1765),
Mary Reece/Rees (1767, married James Haworth, Jr.),
William Reece/Rees, Jr. (1769, married Susannah Jones),
Thomas Reece/Rees (1772, died as a baby),
James Reece/Rees (1774, married Jane Elmore),
Margaret Reece/Rees (1777, married Garrett Dillon)
Ann Reece/Rees (1780, married Berriah Frazier),
John Reece/Rees (1783, married Phoebe Dillon).

In 1764, his father gave him a parcel of land on Mill Creek in Frederick County, Virginia.

The family moved to Guilford County, North Carolina, where William was a farmer and operated a grist mill.

In 1772 William, Charity, and their son Moses, were granted certificate to New Garden Monthly Meeting in North Carolina.

Their home was near the court house, and the family could hear the battle of Guilford Court House.

In the fall of 1782, they moved to Green County, Tennessee

William died on September 6, 1822.

Charity died in 1827.  

A grist mill is a building where a miller grinds gain into flour.







from History of the Rees Family in America

William, the third son of Thomas and Margaret (Bowen) Rees, was born in Pennsylvania in December, 1736. But while a small child moved with his parents to Winchester, Virginia. Here in 1756, he met and married Charity Dillon....

William Rees moved his family to Guilford Court House, North Carolina, where he operated a farm and grist mill.

About the time of the advent of the Rees family into North Carolina, the chief military operations of the Revolutionary war had shifted to the South. Lord Cornwallis' regulars defeated General Nathaniel Green's army at Guilford Court House, March 15, 1781. The Rees' home stood almost in the shadow of the Court House, and the family could easily hear the firing of the guns as the tide of battles ebbed and flowed in and around the little village. William, though not connected with the military, served his country well by furnishing supplies to General Greene' Army.

In the fall of 1782, William removed his family to Green County, Tennessee, where he died September 6, 1822. The land he entered remained in the Rees family for more than two generations. It was here that the Reverend Joseph Madison Rees was born December 17, 1844, and it was here he continued to live until his father and mother - David and Nancy Rees - moved to Howard County, Indiana, in 1848.


from letter written by James Rees, 1 mo. 25th day 1888, Newberg, Oregon
to Abigail Rees, his cousin.

Father William Rees was born in Virginia; removed with his parents to North Carolina where they staid two years and were in hearing of the Guilford battle which took place March 15, 1781. Tradition says Peter Dillon's children heard the same battle and it is probable that Peter Dillon and grandfather settled at Newhope near the same time or about the year 1781.

William Rees, father b. 12-28-1769 died 5-8-1839
Susanna Jones Rees b. 3-19-1777 died 8-17-1837
Sister Charity b. 9-26-1796 died 11-4-1857
Sister Deborah b. 10-16-1798 died 9-6-1885
Brother John Rees b. 6-7-1801 died 11-29-1854
Jane b. 3-26-1804 died 5-1-1832
Sister Mary Bales b. 4-28-1808
James b. 6-24-1813
Sister Rachel b. 2-29-1816 
Brother William b. 4-16-1819

Sister Mary lives at Alba, Missouri, is blind and nearly deaf. Has pretty good health. Her husband unable to work and very poor.

William Dillon and family came out with our family from Tennessee fall of 1830. All are dead but brother John's widow, Susanna, Carthage, Mo.

William Dillon b. 5-15-1781 died 8-16-1831
Susannah Edmundson Dillon b. 12-18-1783 died 12-15-1846
Laban b. 8-1-1807 died unknown
James b. 10-6-1809 died 11-8-1857
Susanna b. 12-18-1811

(my first wife) Elizabeth b. 5-20-1814 died 2-12 1842
Solomon b. 8-31-1816 died 11-25-1873
(by wife) Jemima b. 4-4-1819 died 2-12-1886
Mary Mills b. 4-9-1822 died 1-26-1872
Garrett Dillon b. 7-9-1825 died 6-1-1846
William b. 1-16-1828 died 10-8-1867
Ruth Brown b. 12-18-1830 died 1-14-1852"

Thomas Rees married Margaret Bowen in Wales and emigrated to America with a small family. Their son William married Charity, daughter of William Dillon.

The said William Dillon was a son of Redheaded Luke Dillon who married Susanna Garret in Kilkenny, Ireland. He froze to death while intoxicated leaving two sons William and David.

Peter, son of Daniel, married Betty Haworth and raised a family at Newhope. Betty Haworth had three brothers, Richard married Ann, daughter of William Dillon. George married Susanna, daughter of William Dillon. James married father's sister, Mary, niece of the above. They had thirteen children that became heads of families.

Grandfather William Rees b. 12 - - 1736 died 9-6-1822
Grandmother Charity Rees b. 10-14-1743 died 9-20-1827
Uncle Moses b. 2-4-1764 died 1-29-1837
Aunt Mary Haworth b. 11-12-1767 died 1850
Father William Rees b. 12-23-1769 died 5-8-1839
Thomas died as a child b. 9-22-1772
Uncle James Rees b. 6-8-1774 died 1-3-1869
Aunt Margaret Dillon b. 4-7-1777 died abt. 1832
Aunt Ann Frazier b. 1-26-1780 died 5-1-1803
Uncle John ) b. 4-5-1783 died 12-3-1841
Aunt Phoebe) b. 3-23-1786 died 12-17-1841

Uncle John and Aunt Phoebe both died of fever while Peter was on his way home from the west. Peter wrote me "I arrived at home on the ? with the joyful expectation of meeting my father and mother. Alas I found neither father or mother there


from Portrait and Biographical Album of Vermilion and Edgar Counties, Volume 2

William Rees...Our subject was born in Greene County, East Tennessee, April 16, 1819, and is the son of William Rees, Jr., who was born near Richmond, Va., and who died many years ago.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was also William Rees, who removed with his family to Guilford County, N. C., about 1771, when his son William was but two years old and prior to the Revolutionary War. The family were at one time within three miles of the battle-ground of Guilford Cour-house and heard the report of cannon and musketry at that battle. The army, however, moved on, but for some time the cannonading could still be heard.

William Rees, Sr., the grandfather of our subject, was also a native of Virginia and the son of Thomas Rees who emigrated from Wales soon after his marriage and a short time before his son William was born.

The parents of Thomas Rees were of the Saxon race. Thomas was married in his native country to Miss Mary Bowen, and they immediately set sail for America. Upon their arrival they settled near Richmond, Va, and became the parents of four sons, William, Robert, Solomon and David.

William married Miss Charity Dillon, of Irish ancestry, and by her became the father of seven children, Moses, William, James. John, Mary, Margaret and a daughter whose name does not appear. Thomas Rees lived to be 105 years old.

The father of our subject was the second child of his parents and upon reaching manhood was married to Miss Susanna Jones, a native of Virginia, who was taken by her parents to Tennessee when but a child. There were seven other children in the family, three of whom are living-: Mary, Mrs. Bales; Rachel, who is unmarried, and our subject, who was the youngest born; the others, who all lived to mature years, were named respectively. Charity, Deborah, John, James and Jane...

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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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