Sue, you've asked the questions we're all burning to answer! ...LOL...
Reece is my ancestor, and I've offered to pay for the Y-chromosome tests for my direct-line male cousins. (I have very few, as we seem to run to girls; no one has offered to do it yet, though.)
Our family line's oral tradition has held that Reece's parents were John Owens and Martha "Patsy" Fugate. (There was actually a John Owens around the area at the time, according to records.) We are also told that Reece's first wife (from Virginia) was a Virginia(Ginny/Jenny) Lea or Lee.
Some years ago, the court documents in Virginia came to light. Chris Owens has done quite a bit of research on the matter. If I remember correctly, her husband is the grandson of Reece's grandson, John Owens (son of V. Owens); and sent in a DNA sample. I think it's the only one for Reece's line, so far. (Scott probably knows a great deal more about that.)
Mona L. Owens Harrod originally strongly disliked the thought that William might be Reece's dad, but even she came 'round to thinking that there is some sort of connection to William after looking at the Va documents. (At least, that's what I've been told, as Cousin Mona passed away some years back. I did meet with Chris Owens, however, and she's the one who convinced Mona that there is some sort of connection; I think Mona also went to Virginia to look.)
I personally find it extremely interesting that the surname Lea/Lee shows up with both Francis "Frankey" Lea Whiteley, and with Reece's first wife Virginia "Ginny" Lea/Lee.
There is a strong visual resemblance between Harden Owens and Reece's son, Vinson/Vincent Owens in photos I've seen. I don't know that there has been any DNA connection made, however, as the Hap Group for my Owens cousin was a relatively rare one, if I am remembering correctly.
After they left Virginia ca 1810, the Owen/Owens men show up in Southeast Kentucky ca 1820. Reece had 2-3 children by then and had been widowed, too. Rhoda married a Mr Smith in Kentucky, and named one of her daughters "Frankey". Some of the Owen/Owens' stayed in Kentucky, some went further west, and some went back to Virginia, which is what I think Harden did.
Reece Owens is known today as one of the "Founding Fathers" of Knott County, Kentucky. Rhoda Owens Smith should also be considered one of the "Founding Mothers" of Southeast Kentucky.
One thought about why the Whiteley children may not have gone back to Frankey, is that their dad may have had them, instead, if he and their mother had divorced, and he was still alive. I think there is some sort of will for Frankey's dad, too...