I am trying to get my act together for the trip to Tennessee to track down the missing answers. I think I've read somewhere my gg grandfather was adopted so that's a dead-end although I plan to really check that out. When my mom did the trip in the 1980's, there wasn't as much documentation.
So I hit RootsWeb. I didn't realize that it was possible to search by name, by county. Imagine my surprise when I found these two tidbits.
Martha Priscilla Rhea
BIOGRAPHY: She was a twin and her twin brother was named Aquilla and they were Herb Doctors. The common talk or story was that one of Priscilla's brother's did not like her husband and had killed him and put him in the river.Her brother helped her raise her twins James and John Jr.
BIOGRAPHY: His occupation was a music
master. He died of unknown causes. He disappeared one day and never
was found. He probably was taken by Indians who were raiding in the
area at that time. As a young man he came and boarded at the Rhea
Station, which was south of Sneedville, Tn. and across the Clinch river.
It was the first home of the Rhea family. He met his wife
Priscilla Rhea at this Station.
I have a death date (not verified) for John McCollom. Now, it might be bogus and has to be added to the list of questions to answer. The note on RootsWeb does not identify the brother who didn't like John but it leads one to wonder if if might be John Elijah Rhea Jr. His son, John Carter Rhea, married Martha Jane Rhea, the daughter of the twin, James Northcross McCollom.
It took several days to unravel the relationship between Martha Jane Rhea and John Carter Rhea. They were second cousins. Now it gets even more sticky if indeed the brother disposed of Martha Priscilla Rhea's husband and not Indians as the other note suggests. However, the Indian story also holds some merit because Martha and John Elijah's mother was Indian.