William Reeves was born circa 1740 probably in the area of present day Durham County, North Carolina between the Neuse River and Ellerbe Creek. This area of North Carolina was part of Orange County then Johnston County and passed into Wake County when it was created in 1771. From early Johnston County deed records, his father is known to be William Reeves, Sr. (c1720-c1765) as evidenced by a deed in Johnston County Deed Book D-1, page 63 of 10 October 1763.

Prior to the formation of Wake County, he is listed along with his father in Orange County Court Minutes and various deeds. In August of 1760, as William Reaves, Jr. he registered his cattle brand in Orange County. He appears countless times in the minutes of the Wake County Court from the county's inception in 1771 through 1803. The Wake County Court records establish his continued residence there. From the 1770s, he serves on juries, is overseer of the road from Munns Store to the county line, is assessor and tax gatherer in Captain Woodson Daniel's district and from 1787 to 1803 is a Magistrate Justice of the Wake County Court.

In 1784, William Reves is listed on Capt. Daniel's District, Wake County tax list as follows: William Reves - 1512 acres, 6 slaves, 7 horses, 25 cattle.

On the 22nd of February in 1845 in Wake County, Milley Gooch gave her statement in an application for a Revolutionary War widow's pension that she was married to Rowland Gooch in Wake County in 1789 by William Reeves, Esqr.

A descendant of his son George Reeves has been placed in Group #6 in the Reeves DNA Project and is a genetic match to participants who descend from Jesse Reeves of Ashe County, North Carolina, son of Lt. George Reeves of Grayson County, Virginia.

The only information at present regarding the wife of William Reeves is the given name Anne (c1740-c1798) or Annie. The Wake County Court Minutes of September 1791 refer to William Reeves and Any his wife (Wake County Court Minutes 1787 to 1792 by Weynette Parks Hawn, pg 554-175). Anne Reeves died sometime after September of 1791 for in the Hillsborough, Wake County Census of 1800, William Reeves and two slaves are the only members of the household.

His last appearance in the Wake County Court minutes is in May of 1803 after which he and William Reeves, Jr. with his wife and five children follow the youngest sons, George and Jeremiah to Madison County, Kentucky. He is listed in the 1810 and 1820 census of Madison County and on 5 Nov 1821, letters of administration are granted to his son, George Reeves and John Hawkins on the Estate of William Reeves deceased.

He left no will, but on October 23, 1822, his six surviving children along with the attorney-in-fact for the heirs of deceased daughter Sarah Reeves Geer conveyed to the youngest, Jeremiah, his land on Otter and Muddy Creeks in Madison County, Kentucky.