27 December 2010
I have been doing family history for many of my friends for many years and recently I
started working on my friend's ancestry and I was able to trace his most paternal
ancestor to a Samuel Rea/Rhea who was born about 1725 possibly in Dromore Parish in County
Down, Northern Ireland. This Samuel married three times: First to Martha Grier Wallace,
then Eleanor Snodgrass and finally Rosana English.
This Samuel Rea/Rhea immigrated to the United States and died in Green Township,
Chamberburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania on 15 August 1811.
According to records I found, Samuel had brothers William, Isaac, and Matthew.
It looks like they They were all the children of Matthew Campbell Rhea and his second wife
Mary Lockhardt/Lochhart of Fahan, County Donegal. This Matthew was the son of Matthew
Campbell "The Rebel" Rhea of Skipness, Kintyre, Scotland and Janet Barten Baxter
(who married in Derry Cathedral, Templemore, Parish, Northern Ireland).
According to what I read, this Matthew was originally from Skipness, Argyll, Scotland and
took the oath of Prostestant faith and assisted the Earl of Argyll (Archibald Campbell) in
raising an army to aid the cause of the Duke of Monmouth in an uprising against King James
II. Subsequently, the Duke of Monmouth was captured and executed. The Duke of Argyll was
under royal parole and when he was captured, he was executed on 30 June 1685 without a
trial. His kinsman, this Matthew Campbell, was tried and condemned to life imprisonment in
Castle Pell on the Isle of Man. He either escaped the prison or never was imprisoned and
made his way across the straits to the shores of Northern Ireland, near Londonderry and
changed his name to "Reagh/Reah/Raugh" or red-haired in Gaelic. The name was
often written Rhea. Matthew participated in the Siege of Londonderry in 1689, in which the
town successfully withstood a siege by King James II. He is listed as a merchant and a
ship master and died in Londonderry.
According to Clan Campbell website sources, Matthew Campbell was the second son of Walter
Cambell, Laird of Skipness and his second wife, Jean Campbell.
Does anyone have proof of this. It seems pretty interesting that my friend's most
paternal side goes straight back to the Lairds of Skipness (which itself goes back to the
very first Campbells in Scotland).
Thanks for the assistance.