No matter how many times the records are reviewed, the same names pop up. How is it my grandfather’s grandmother on his father’s side is Febra Northcross and his great grandmother on his mother’s side is Febra Northcross?
It took some time to diagram the relationship. It appears that although John Carter Rhea is the cousin of James Northcross McCollum, there is a twenty-year difference between them. That would make John Carter Rhea, a contemporary of Martha Jane Rhea. That makes him her cousin, once removed. It might have skipped my attention but the name Northcross turns up on both sides of the family tree. The life of Febra Northcross is a whole story all by itself.
This is a comment I posted on Ancestry.com on June 9, 2010.
“We grew up hearing a story about an Indian woman who left the Trail of Tears and became part of our family. Because stories are sometimes just stories, it was great to find that the story was passed on to a different branch of the family and that it might be true after all. “
This is the story that was posted.
From: "pferguso" Subject: [RHEA-L] RE: Febra story part 1 Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 20:21:13 -0400
“Here is part of an old letter I have: You know that little creek, Greasy Rock Creek, that flowed through Sneedville and emptied into the river, just across the river South from Greasy Rock was the first home of the Rhea family, that place was the crossing to and the north of the road up and down the Shenandoah Valley. The Clinch river head it (can't read word) the Bl??field country------Here where the Rheas settled, they had a River Station so called at that time. Kinfolks to our present day Motels. Here is where we can trace our Indian blood to. One of the family's sons was out hunting at the time the Government was moving the Indians out of Tenn and North Carolina to the so called "Indian Territory" at that time.
In watching the marching Indians near the crossing of Willow Creek- He saw an Indian girl (can't read word) behind some bushes, and let the other Indians pass on down river. This boy tried to make her to understand that he was her friend, but she was afraid to come out of her hiding place. He went to his home and told them of the affair. His mother went with him to see if she could do any good--she carried food and a blanket, left it near by and they returned home for the night. Next morning they returned to try again. Nothing worked. They had seen that the food they had left was gone, the blanket had been used--the boys mother didn't know what to do. So she began to sing and going back (can't read) to (can't read) their home. She would stop and beckoned toward the girl, at last she crawled out of her hiding place and followed them home.
They found she was just 16, could see that she was beautiful, they took care of her and taught her to speak their language to some extent. They learned that her grandfather raised her and that her parents were dead. Her grandfather lived near Clingman's Dome as you know that is now the Headquarters of the Cherokee Indians, but at the (can't read) of the Big (can't read) of the Indians to Indian territory it was wild mountain country. A few Indians hid out and didn't get sent to the territory--It was the law (can't read) who had married to the whites didn't have to go. This Rhea boy and this Indian girl fell in love and married. The boys name was John Rhea her name was Febra. Their children were Priscilla and Aquilla (twins) they were half Cherokee Indian.
This letter goes on but has no more Rhea genealogy. I am sending the whole letter to Don on this list and maybe he can make a copy to send to one other then they can make a copy and send on if anyone is interested. Letter written by Ida James in Texas to Ida Ferguson in KY both in their 80's and was written in the early 1960's.”
I had heard about this letter. I think my mother may have been contacted by the Don mentioned in the last paragraph. I am still cataloging her records so I may have it still to find. There is still a lot of correspondence to sort through.
When you find something that confirms what you might think is true is indeed a treat. There has been additional information posted on Febra’s family recently. It talks about Indian Chiefs but has not been verified. I am very cautious about what I post so until there is some sort of documentation to back it up, it is saved for later review.
In the meantime, back to the relationship between my great grandparents. It comes as a surprise that we have kissing cousins. I don’t know why it should because it was common. At least the relationship is finally clear.