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Ryan Reaves' discovered his Great Grandfather was one of the most feared lawmen in the Wild West

Is anybody truly surprised by this discovery?

Ryan Reaves is one of the NHL's most notorious enforcers, and it's no surprise that he recently discovered who his great-grandfather really was.

Two years ago, the New York Rangers winger took DNA tests and did some ancestry research.

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“My dad traced our family back to Bass Reeves,” said Reaves, who spells his last name differently because Reaves’ grandfather replaced one of the e’s with an a. “That’s pretty cool to learn where you come from.”

Reaves learned he came from a great-great-great-grandfather who is considered the first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. He killed 14 outlaws and brought more than 3,000 into custody, according to historian Art T. Burton, who wrote about Reeves in his book Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves.

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“Bass was the Michael Jordan of law enforcement,” Burton said. “He was the greatest frontier hero in U.S. history because of what he had to do. He walked through the valley of the shadow of death every day for 30 years and came out on top of the game.”

He played a dangerous game of survival, especially for Black folks at that time.

Reeves was born into slavery and gained his freedom when he escaped during the Civil War, fled to the Indian Territory (Arkansas and Oklahoma) and lived among the Native Americans. He was hired as a deputy because of his knowledge of the territory and ability to speak many of the tribal languages. He served in the Indian Territory for 32 years.

Reeves was considered a marksman, expert investigator and superior fighter in hand-to-hand combat.

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“He also had to navigate through the racism of that time,” Burton said. “He arrested Black people, Indians and white people. He even arrested white people for lynching Black people, which means Bass was the real deal.”

Reaves’ family is more than proud of the discovery and amused by the similarities in the lineage.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Reaves' would make his Great-Great-Great Grandfather proud.


1 Comment

every intersting and man i miss Ryan Reeves and Fluery and he is the star on Vegas Golden Knights...

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