Our Back Rhodes Genealogy Pages


Thanks to Phillip Wayne Rhodes of the Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia for bringing us this data.  Check out their website at www.jmlibrary.org.

Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania (New York: Lewis Historical Publ Co., 1912), pp. 332-333.

 RHODES  This name, spelled by the emigrant both Roads and Roades, is found also as Rhodes and Rhoades.  Te founder of the Rhoads family of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania was John, who signed his will Roades.  He was born in county Darby, England, about 1639.  The family in that county is an ancient one and is said by Burke to have descended from Gerard de Rodes, of Horn Castle, county Lincoln, in the time of Henry II.  The settlement of Pennsylvania created wide interest among the Friends in Darby, and as a result many emigrated to the land of Penn.  Among these was John (2) Roades, son of John (1) Roades.  Two years later Adam, another son came to Pennsylvania.  Te coming of these boys influenced the father to dispose of his English estate and join them.  He came about 1696 and purchased land on High (now Market street), Philadelphia, where he is first found officially in 1698.  In 1700 he sold his Philadelphia property and moved to Darby, where he bought a farm and died in 1701.  His will, signed “John Roades,” made October 20, 1701, proved October of the following month, mentions sons Jacob, John, Adam, Joseph, and daughters Mary and ElizabethJoseph, the youngest son, received his Chester county farm.  The name is spelled in the body of the will “Roads.”  No wife is named, she no doubt having preceded him to the grave.  Her name was Elizabeth.  Their nine children, all born in England, are in order of birth:  Adam, Mary, John (2), Elizabeth, Jacob, Abraham, Sarah, Hannah and Joseph.  The four sons all married and founded families whose descendants are found in many counties in Pennsylvania.

 (I) The family in Connellsville was founded there by Henry Rhodes, of Germantown, Pennsylvania, a descendant of John Roades, the founder.  The coming to Fayette county of Henry Rhodes was in 1800, when his daughter Mary married Joseph Smith, who came to investigate a land purchase made by his father, John Smith, of Germantown.  The history of this purchase is interesting:  Colonel Hayes, a revolutionary officer, owned, at Barren Run, near Smithtown in Rostraver township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, a tract of about twenty-two hundred acres.  There he built a log house, the first in the locality. Later he sold his buildings to one Shields, who in turn sold the tract to one Backhouse.  The latter died before payment was made and Shields, being in need of money, advertised it for sale at Greensburg, the county seat; there being no bidders, he obtained authority from the court to offer it for sale in Philadelphia, where it was sold in 1798 to John Smith.  In 1800 John Smith sent his son Joseph out to investigate his purchase.  The latter, before starting on this long trip, married Mary Rhodes and together they came to Western Pennsylvania and founded the family later so numerous in and around Smithtown.  This brings the narrative to the coming of Henry Rhodes, then a resident of Germantown.  He accompanied his daughter and son-in-law on their western journey in 1800, no doubt taking his own family along, or bringing them soon after.  He lived in the old log house built by Colonel Hayes and later bought a farm, on part of which Smithtown now stands.  He had nine children: John, Michael, Peter, Henry, all of whom founded families, and five daughters, who married:  Joseph Smith, Peter Sowash, Jacob Fullmer, Solomon Hough, and Michael Warner.  Henry Rhodes, Jr., bought land along the river known as the “Heltervan tract,” part of which he sold to his brother John.

 (II) John, son of Henry Rhodes, purchased a part of the ”Heltervan tract” from his brother Henry, married, and there reared a family consisting of Betsey, Samuel, Abraham, Henry, John and Joseph.

 (III) Joseph, son of John Rhodes, a farmer of Westmoreland county, became a wealthy and leading man in his community.  He married and left issue, including Joseph.

 (IV) Joseph (2), son of Joseph (1) Rhodes (this name is also spelled in Westmoreland county, Rhoades) was born at Smithtown (now in South Huntington township, Westmoreland county).  He was a farmer and distiller; justice of the peace and a member of the Universalist church.  He served three years in the civil war in Company B, 77th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, receiving honorable discharge at Nashville, Tennessee, June 22, 1865.  He married Susanna Rowe, now deceased.  They had nine children, one being Henry.

 (V) Henry (2), son of Joseph (2) Rhodes, was born June 9 1866.  He was educated in the public schools, and began business life as manager of the store operated by the Youghiogheny River Coal Company.  He later formed a partnership with Irwin Smith, and until 1900 they operated a general store in Blythedale.  In that year they sold out to the Pittsburgh Coal Company, and Mr. Rhodes settled in Connellsville with his family.  He purchased the general store of J. C. Smutz and continued in business until 1910.  He then engaged in real estate and insurance, until April 1912, when he embarked in the grocery business.  He is an active Democrat and was school director of New Haven borough before consolidation.  He is prominent in the Masonic order, being a past master andholding the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; in religious faith a Methodist.  He married Mollie, daughter of John Branthoover, for many years foreman, later superintendent of a coal company in Indiana county, Pennsylvania.  His first wife died young leaving a daughter Mollie, aforementioned, born in Indiana county, December 28, 1867, who is still living, and like her husband, a devoted Methodist.  Children of Henry and Mollie Rhodes: Roy Otis, of whom further; Freda, Joseph, Gertrude, Marguerite.

 (VI) Roy Otis, eldest son of Henry (2) Rhodes, was born at Smithtown, Pennsylvania, April 20, 1887.  He was educated in the public school of Blythedale, and began business life as a clerk in his father's store, continuing until he was nineteen years of age.  He then spent two years at Valparaiso University (Indiana), after which he returned to the store.  He acquired a knowledge of stenography and for six months held a position at Dunbar as a stenographer. On May 5, 1911, he opened a gentlemen's furnishing store at No. 809 West Main street, Connellsville, where he is still located in successful business.  He is a Democrat and in November, 1911, was the candidate of his party for city auditor, failing of election by but two votes.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and one of the popular rising young business men of Connellsville.

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1900 U.S. Census Fayette Co., PA, T-623, Roll 1411, p. 68, Dwelling 72, Family 92:

Henry Rhodes, born June 1867, age 33, married 13 years, merchant dry goods, born Pennsylvania, parents born Pennsylvania; Mollie L. Rhodes, wife, born Dec 1872, age 28, four children, four living, born Pennsylvania, parents born Pennsylvania; Roy O. Rhodes, son, born April 1888, age 12, at school; Fredda L. Rhodes, daughter, born June 1894, age 6, at school; Joseph W. Rhodes, son, born April 1896, age 4.