I have just (accidentally!) come across your inquiry, and I am pleased to note that Belle McElyea was my mother!
I have a file in which there is a good deal of information about the McElyeas and related families in and around Mountain City; but unfortunately I am about 300 miles away from that file, and will not be able to access it before May. So for now I will have to rely on my memory:
When I was about fourteen years old I was told that I was an adopted child, having been adopted from the Holston Orphanage in Greeneville, TN. A few years later I contacted the orphanage and was told that I had been there along with my sister Ruth and my brother Ray. When my mother married Ed Rogers in 1923 she came to reclaim her children, but I had already been adopted, and she was never told who had adopted me or my whereabouts. She died in 1931.
I took no further action to find out about my family until 1956, at which time I was living in Europe. I sent inquiries to Mountain City, with the result that I established contact with my brother Ray and several relatives, notably a cousin named Nell Tester. Ray and I had a short correspondence which was tragically interrupted by his death in an automobile accident, after which I did not pursue the matter further.
Ray told me that Ruth was Ed Rogers' daughter, but that he and I were born out of wedlock. He was of the opinion that we were full brothers, and that our father was a man named Bascom Hammons, then in his eighties. who had moved out West (to Oregon,I believe). Ray went by the name of Hammons, and had a son by that name who upon his death was taken by relatives in Bristol. Ray said that he had lost touch with Ruth, but that she had married and moved to somewhere in Virginia.
As I said, I have a good deal of material in that file, but this will have to do for the time being!
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