Fahan Presbyterian Church

Jesus is Lord - Romans 10: 9

Notable Southern Families

Volume II compiled by Zella Armstrong contains details on the Rhea family line.

See pages 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 289 and 290. 

The Rhea family descends from the Campbell’s of Scotland. The Campbell family was of Norman and Celtic descent, and "of large possessions, and being allied to the royal family did much to secure the people of that country from relapsing into the barbarous independence of their ancestors". (Scott's History of Scotland).

From the lime of Archibald Campbell, Fourth -Earl of Argyll, who embraced Protestantism, the House of Argyll was the bulwark of Protestantism in Scotland.

Archibald Campbell, Ninth Earl of Argyll, in taking the test oath, under Charles the Second', added the phrase, "so 'far as consistent with the protestant faith," for this he was tried for treason and condemned' to be executed. The sentence was suspended by royal orders.

On the accession of James the Second, a Roman Catholic, Argyll took a leading part in fomenting the rebellion in favor of the protestant, Duke of Monmouth. When Monmouth sailed to England the Duke endeavored to raise an army but the Scotch were not ripe for rebellion and he succeeded' in levying only a small body of men, one of whom was his cousin Matthew Campbell

After two or three skirmishes most of these followers deserted the standard of the Earl of Argyll, but he, and the faithful few remaining, undertook to make their way into England to join the Duke of Monmouth, but were surrounded and taken prisoners. Argyll was executed, in June 1865, without trial, under the old sentence. His cousin, Matthew Campbell, was tried and condemned to life imprisonment, and was confined to the Isle of Man. From thence he escaped, fled into Ireland, and assumed the name of Reah, (variously spelled Reagh, Reahgh, Rea, Ray and finally established into Rhea) and by this act became the founder of the family of Rhea, in Ireland. (Some of the descendant in Nova Scotia use the spelling Reah).

After locating in Ireland, true to his Presbyterian blood, he took a prominent part in the siege of Londonderry.

John Rhea, in his memoirs of the Rhea family, says it is not known whether the wife of Matthew Campbell Rhea was married to him in Scotland, before his imprisonment, or whether he married a wife in Ireland, but he had three sons. The names of two are unknown, but a third Matthew (son) Rhea II, married a wife, whose name is unknown, and had four sons:

I           Samuel Rhea,

II          William Rhea,

III         Isaac Rhea.


By his second wife, Elizabeth McLain, he had five children:

V         Abraham Rhea, died without issue,

VI        James Rhea, died without issue,

VII       Margery Rhea,

VIII      Agnes Rhea,

IX        JOSEPH RHEA (grandson).

I           SAMUEL RHEA

I Samuel Rhea, born in Ireland, came early to America and settled at Port Pin, near New Castle, Delaware. Wife's name unknown. They had one son, name unknown, who married a wife, name unknown, and had a son and daughter, This son was a surgeon on one of the largest armed ships of the American Navy during the Revolutionary War. This ship sailed on a cruise and was no more heard of. The daughter married twice: First            ------O'Hara; Second. -----Frazier.   They lived near New Castle, Delaware. She had children by her second husband.


II William Rhea, horn in Ireland, came early to America and settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania.' He married a wife, name unknown, and had three children: (1) James Rhea: (2) Mary Rhea, who married John Brown and lived near Wilmington, Delaware; (3) Elizabeth Rhea, who married James Mc'Corkle, and lived in Washington, D. C. They had several daughters and two sons: (a) James McCorkle;  (b)  William McCorkle, who lived in Pennsylvania and was editor of a newspaper.


III           Isaac Rhea came early to America and lived in

Pennsylvania. He married a wife named --------  Peoples

and had a daughter, name unknown.


IV        Matthew Rhea III lived and died in Kinnically,
near St. Johnston, Ireland. He had a son named William
Rhea II, who married Elizabeth Lockhart. William Rhea
was born and married in Ireland. After the birth of his
children he moved', with his family to America (1785; and
located in Washington County,  Virginia, where  he lived
until his death. He had children:- (1) Matthew Rhea IV, who married Margaret Breden, (sister of Frances. Elizabeth and Nancy Breden,   who married, respectively, Joseph, William and Samuel Rhea) and had children:  (a)   Elizabeth  Rhea;   (b)  William Rhea;  (c)   Margaret Rhea:   (d) Robert   Bruce   Rhea   (1814-1888)    (married,   twice:   First, Sarah Ann While, no issue; Second, Sarah Sells.  Children: Margaret Rebecca Rhea, (1870-) who married Robert Earheart Rhea (son of Joseph Rhea and Elizabeth Ann  (Earheart) Rhea).  Children under Robert Earheart Rhea:  John Matthew   Rhea,   (1878-)   who   married   Elizabelh    Payne Gresham, and had children:   Eleanor Elizabeth and John Matthew Rhea II; William Rankin Rhea, (1880-) who married Mary Zeta Slack, and had children: Robert Bruce and Julia Holston); (e)  Sallie Rhea; (1) Jane Rhea, (married Alexander Doggett. and  had  children:   Catherine,  James,
and William);   (2)  Jennie Rhea;    (3)   Joseph  Rhea;   (4) William Rhea;  (5) Sarah Rhea; (6)  Elizabeth Rhea;  (7) ROBERTA RHEA (1784 – 1841) (was born   in   Ireland   and came  to  America  with 'his   father   (1785)   and  located in Washington County, Virginia.   Later he moved to Sullivan County, Tennessee where he  lived  until  his  death). He married twice: First, Elizabeth Rhea (daughter of Rev. Joseph Rhea   and  Elizabeth (McIlwaine) Rhea';  Second, Jane Scott (daughter of John Scott, a colonel in the Revolutionary War).    By his first wife he had four children, given in full under Elizabeth Rhea.   By the second wife he had children:   (a)   Mary Rhea,  (1827-1882)   who married James J. Snapp, and had children: Robert L. Snapp; Mary J. Snapp; James B. Snapp; Sarah E. Snapp; Margaret V. Snapp, (1857) (who married Robert Snapp, and had children: Mary E. Snapp, who married Charles R. Bright, and had children: Virgnia and William; Myrtle Snapp: James Snapp; Mattie L. Snapp, who married Joseph Booher, and had children: Belle and Everett; Margarett Snapp;    Landon Snapp);    Loueja Snapp;    Laura Snapp; William   Snapp;    (b) Jane Rhea,   who   .married ------Smith; (c) Margaret Rhea, who married Audley Anderson (son of Edward B. Anderson and Eleanor (Rhea) Anderson).   Children under Edward B. Anderson.

Note: William F. Rhea, member of congress from 9th Virginia District, is a grandson of William Rhea and Elizabeth (Lockhart) Rhea.


VII    Margery Rhea married-------------- McCrabb, lived and died in Ireland. Names of children unknown excepting one son, John McCrabb, who married his cousin, Elizabeth Latta, and came to America (1783) and located in Wilmington, Delaware, After the birth of his Children he moved to the Holston Country, Tennessee, and located on a farm where he and his wife lived until their death. William, his eldest son (names of other children unknown) lived on the paternal farm.


VIII Agnes Rhea married William Latta, of Costilan, near St. Johnston, Ireland. She had children, names unknown excepting Elizabelh Latta and Joseph Latta. Joseph Latta came to America, married and lived near Brandywine. Pennsylvania.


IX Joseph Rhea", (1715-1777), son of Matthew Rhea II and his second wife, Elizabeth (McClain) Rhea, was born in Parish Laughlin, Ireland, died in Piney Creek, Maryland. He married (1752) Elizabeth Mcllwaine (1732-1793) (daughter of John Mcllwaine and Margaret (Scott) Mcllwaine. of Tifannan, near Londonderry, Ireland. A will executed in 1773 by her father, John Mcllwaine, shows I ha he possessed a large properly in money, lands and leases).   They had children :

I                 JOHN RHEA,

II              MATTHEW RHEA IV,

III           MARGARET RHEA,  

IV            WILLIAM RHEA,

V                JOSEPH RHEA,

VI           ELIZABETH RHEA (Great Grandson)



Joseph Rhea graduated at the University of Glasgow.

Scotland,   with  honor  and distinction,   in 1742;   was   a ' minister of the Presbyterian Church and had charge of a church at Fahan, Ireland, at the lime he resigned to go to America.

Rev. Joseph Rhea with his wife   and children,.   John, Matthew, Margaret, William, Joseph. Elizabeth (Samuel and James were born later in America), sailed from Ireland and' landed in America at Philadelphia in 1769.

He commenced preaching in Piney Creek, Maryland, in 1772. In 1775 he went to the Holslon Country, Tennessee, to locate land, and there purchased about two thousand acres of land. In 1776 he joined as Chaplain, the troops under Col. Christian, and in this capacity campaigned into. Virginia and Tennessee.

There, is  much   in   Drapers  Mss.   (Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin), about Christian's Cherokee Company, The following is cited from an orderly book, once the property of Capt. Joseph Martin:

"Six Mile Camp, Oct 5, 1776. "Parole William Burge. General Orders:

"Mr. Ray will preach on the Augusta Line at one o'clock. and Mr. Cummins on the Fincastle Line. All others who choose to attend may do it.

"The church will be at the time to give warning. the men to attend with their arms by companies, and to observe as much decency and regularity as the ground will admit of."

In their capacity as chaplains, at this time. Rev. Rhea and Rev. Cummins were the first ministers to preach in the territory that is now Tennessee.

Rev. Joseph Rhea died in Piney Creek, Maryland in 1777. In the following year, 1778, his family moved by wagons to the land in Sullivan County, Tennessee which he had purchased and which is still in possession of his descendants.

Rev. Joseph Rhea became the founder of a large family.

By 1885:

Later Mary Alice and Helen Louise); (j) Alexander Dodson Rhea 11 (1885-), (married Annie L. Borsch. Children: Elizabeth and Alexander Dodson Rhea III;) (2) Sarah Elizabeth Rhea (1843-18035. who married Samuel Andrew Rodgers (see Donaldson Family), and -had children : (a) Alice Rodgers; (b) California Elizabeth Rodgers (I860-), (married' Joseph Marion Greer. One child; Rhea Rodgers Greer (1890-). who married Guy Lycon Hammitt; (c) Adaline Mahaha Rodgers, (married John Johnston Blair); (d) Samuel Rhea Rodgers; (e) Mary Belle Rodgers, Married Jasper Porter Stephenson); (f) Annie Eliza Rodgers, (married Ulrich Ita III. One child, Ulrich Ita IV); (g) Arthur Rodgers (1879-), (married Dean Stuart Penland. Children: Arthur Rodgers 11. James Penland, Samuel Andrew Rodgers II and Jasper Rhea Rodgers); (h) John Rhea Rodgers (1885-), (married George Steele Dewey. Children. Elizabeth Rhea. George Steele Dewey II, Mary Alice, Samuel Rodgers and Charles,

4 Elizabelh M. Rhea (1807-1853). married (1831) Joseph Anderson, and had children: (1) Robert Anderson (1832-1895), who married Emily Hulff, and had children: (a) Elizabelh Anderson; (b) Adah Anderson; (c) Rhea Huff Anderson; (d) Emily Jane Anderson; (1871-). (married Oscar Everett Mahonev. Children: Robert Rhea (1894-). Martha Emily (1896-). and Oscar Everett Mahonev II (1899-); (2) Sarah G. Anderson; (3) Isabella J. Anderson; (4) Elizabelh M. Anderson (1840-1881). who married James Huff, and had children: (a) Elizabeth K. Huff" (1868-). (married Dr. Jump) ; (b) William E. Huff (1872-)., (married Lucv Gallaher. Children: James Gallaher (1898-) and Hugh McCroskey (1901-)); (c) James Anderson Huff (1875-), (married Mabel Wilson. Children: James Anderson Huff II, F. Elizabeth. Woods Wilson. Mabel Claire, Margaret Ann and Isabel Rhea); (d) Mamie Huff (1877-), married James C. Miller; (6) Samuel Anderson (1845-Huff); (5) John A. Anderson, (1842-1868), who married Isabella Holchkiss. and had one child: Lou-Addie, who married James C. Mller; (6) Samuel Anderson (1845-1900), who married Margaret Huff, and had children: (a) Emma Anderson (1868-), (married Samuel 0. Henly. Children: Margaret. Janie, Lena Reese, Marshall Franklin, Frances Adaline and Maude. Teressa); (b) Joseph Marshall Anderson; (8) Rachel A. Anderson (1848-1911), who married J. Ebb Crowder, and had children: (a) John A. Crowder (1869-), (married   Bettie Eldridge. One child: John Eldridge); Crowder); Elizabeth Jane Crowder (1871-), (married William H. Boggs. Children: Annis Irene (1891-) and Lloyd Watson (1897-)); (c) Addie Amelia Crowder; (d) Maggie Sue Crowder (1877-1901), ((married A. B. Smith. Children: Robert Reagan (1898-) and Raymond Crowder (1901-)); (e) Samuel Rhea Crowder (1879-), (married Dorothy Shaw. Children: Dorothy Helen, Winfield Rhea, Joe Anderson and Rachel Elizabeth); (f) Willie Annette Crowder (1882-), (married Charles Kirby. Children: Hugh Herbert, Paul Jennings, Clarence Birchfield and Oliver Jay); (g) Rachel Adah Crowder; (h) Nellie Hugh Crowder; (9) Amanda Anderson (1851-1907), who married John Taylor Lowery, and had children: (a) Mary Emma Lowery (1872-), (married Edgar Evans); (b) Hugh Fain Lowery (1874-), married Laura Bell Click); (c) Elizabelh Lowery (1876-); (d) Ella Lowery; (e) Maggie Lowery (1883-); (f) Rhea Evans Lowery (1889-); (g) Robert Lowery (1895-).

VII Samuel Rhea

VII Samuel Rhea (1769-1843), son of Rev. Joseph Rhea and Elizabeth (Mcllwaine) Rhea, was born and died in America. He married Nancy Breden (-1856), sister of Elizabeth and Frances Breden who married his brothers, William and Joseph Rhea. He had children:

 1 John Nancy Rhea [great great grandson]

2       Fannie B. Rhea,

3       Margaret Rhea,

4       Joseph S. Rhea,

5       Jane Rhea,

G    Ellen Rhea,

7    Elizabeth Rhea.

1 John Nancv Rhea (-1876). married Ruth M. Rockhold (-1872), (a sister of Mary Rockhold who married William Rhea), and had children:   (1) Elizabeth Crawford Rhea, who married   Samuel Patton Spurgeon, and had children: (a) Alice Ann Spurgeon, (married William Henry Fain. Children: Rachel, Thomas. Margaret E., Lilla Linn, Carrie Ruth who married S. T. Moser, and Samuel Patton Spurgeon) (b) Olivia James Spurgeon; (2) Samuel Wood Rhea (1841-) who married Sarah Irvin (daughter of Montgomery Irvin and Frances (Rhea) Irvin), and had children:   (a) John Irvin Rhea (1869), (married Retta Slagle. Children: Alpha Josephine, John Irvin Rhea II, Sarah Harriet; and Tom Rye); (b) Fannie Ruth Rhea (1870-). (married John J. Hicks. One child, Velma E.) ; (c) Myrabel Rhea (1872-),   (married   Daniel A. Witcher. Children: Mary Irvin, James Rhea and John Daniel); (d) Jeanie Dysart Rhea (1874-), (married James I. A. Hughes. Children: James Rhea, Samuel Dysart and Allen Campbell);  (e) Mary Margaret Rhea (1877-), (married Charles L. Cooper. Children: Perry Oarson, Sallie Lavine. Carl Lee and Arline); (f) Sarah Alice Rhea(1880-); (g) Elizabeth Breden Rhea (1883-). (married Henry A. Glover); (h) Flavia Converse Rhea   (1885-),   ('married J. Monroe Broyles. Children: Sallie Kate, Nannie Bess, Lillian Ruth and Irvin Lewis); (i) Samuel Wood Rhea II (1889-), (married twice: First, Minola Lindenwood; Second. Margaret Harr. Children by second wife: Glena Leota and Kenneth D.) (3) John M. Rhea, a minister of the Presbyterian Church, married Elizabeth Smith and had children: Carrie, May. Cora Lee. John W., William Plummer, Joseph C. Maggie. Pearl and John L.; (4) Harriet Rhea, who married Rev. L. M. Cartwright, and had children: Rhea, Laura, Joseph W.. Fannie. Robert. Lizzie and Bettie; (5) Mary Rhea who married W. R. Smith. and had children:   Mary (-1891) and Lydia; (6). Joseph Rhea (-1906), who married Addie Smith and had children: Elizabelh, John. Ezra and Mary; (7) Maggie Rhea (-1906). who married W. R. Hull, and had children: John H. and Minnie L.

3    Margaret Rhea, married Wendell Strum,    and had children:   (1) Nancy Strum, who married Fulton Hall; (2) Fannie Strum, who married------------ Cartwright;   (3)  Kate Strum, who married Samuel Hall.

4    Joseph S. Rhea, D. D. S., married Saraphina S. Williams, and had children: (1) Nannie A. Rhea; (2) Archie W. Rhea. M. D., who married Mary Smith, and had children: (a) Lucia Rhea, (married Charles Minis. Children: Myrtle. Madge. Carl, Myra, Mary, Edward and Drew); (b) Archie W. Rhea II. (married Mary Smith) ; (3) Rhoda J. Rhea, who married Capt. John Pierce, and had children: Nola, John. Ethel. Rhea, Henrv and Rhoda; (4) Samuel W. Rhea, D. D. S.. (1850-), who married Ella D. Carter and had children : Joseph Carter. James Wendell and Janie.

5 Jane Rhea, married John F. Preston (son of Rev. Rhea Preston), and had children: (1) Nannie Preston (-1906), who married John C. Summers, and 'had children: John Fairman P. who married Mary Elder, and had children: Von Mollke and Mary Elder; Lewis Alivia; Robert J.; Jennie Pinkney who married George T Mitchell; Nannie A , Fannie Rhea; Sunshine Andrew; Von Moltke and John Carlisle; (2) Robert J. Preston. M. D., (-1906) who married Martha Sheffey, and had children: Eleanor Fairman and Robert J. Preston II; (3) Sarah Ellen Preston, who married David Flournoy Bailey, and had children: Jane Rhea Julia Flournoy, Nannie Louise, Martha Preston, Robert P. and Daniel Ella; (4) James Brainerd Preston, who married Hattie B. Tinsley, and had one child, Seaton Tinsley; (5) Samuel R. Preston, who married Ida Sulphen, and had children: John Fairman. Samuel Rhea. Mary Florence James Brainerd, Robert James and Ida Sulphen;'(6) Jennie Fairman Preston who married Thomas James Newman.

6       Ellen Rhea, married Washington Montgomery, and had one child, Nannie who married       Jones.

7       Elizabeth Rhea (-1876), married Thomas Crawford, and had children: John R. Crawford, M. D., who married Mary Bachman; Seraphine Crawford, who married Rev William Crawford; Joseph R. 'Crawford, who married Cornelia Rogan; Samuel H. Crawford, who married Fannie Bachman; Nannie Crawford, who married James Darr.


VIII James Rhea (1774-1885), son of Rev. Joseph Rhea and Elizabeth (Mcllwaine) Rhea, married (1815) Elizabeth Snapp, (1833-1857), who married Rev. Alexander Blair, (2)

1       Margaret Rhea,

2       John Quintas Rhea,

3       James Rhea II,

4       Elizabeth Rhea.

5       Frances Rhea,

6       Samuel Rhea.

8   Theoderic Bland Rhea.

1 Margaret Rhea (1815-1898), married (1832) John Pemberton Snapp, and had children: (1) Elizabeth Rhea Snapp, (1833 - 857), who married Rev. Alexander Blair. (2) Florence Diana Snapp (1835-1908), who married Paul Williams, and had children: Frederick Williams: Rebecca V. Williams who married -------- McNight; Elsie Williams: Florence Williams who  married --------- Peak; Elizabelh Williams;   (3) Vivolune M. Snapp  (1839-), who married twice:   First, Rev. Alexander Adams. Blair; Second, --------- Brazelton. She had a daughter who married B. A. Williams ; (4)   Cynthia Lodoville Snapp (1844-1917)………………….