The Back Rhodes of Our Genealogy

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Thanks to Torey for this data, (), if you have further information or are related to any listed on this page contact Torey, or my self Carl Rhodes at: .

  1. William Rhodes, born 1765, Fairfax County, VA, died 14 Feb 1828, Georgetown, Washington, DC

married in 1787 to Rosanna Clarke, b: 1769 in VA, d 22 Oct 1823

  1. Nancy Rhodes, b: abt 1787 in Alexandria, VA d 6 Sep 1860 in PA

  2. William, Jr. b: abt 1800

  3. Maria W. Rhodes, b: 1796 in Alexandria, VA, died aft 1870 in Washington, DC

  4. Rosanna L. b: abt 1806 in Georgetown, Washington DC, died in Indiana

(Sources for William:

Church Register 1801-1807, Archives of Trinity United Methodist Church, Alexandria, Virginia; "Old Families of Louisiana, p 163; various articles in

2. Nancy Rhodes, b: abt 1787 in Alexandria, VA, died 6 Sep 1860 in PA
married on 21 Apr 1804 to Rev. Joseph Rowan b: Dorchester Co., MD 19 Jan 1770 d. 31 May 1838
They had children but I've found nothing definite.

( Sources for Nancy:

source: Church Register 1801-1807, Archives of Trinity United Methodist Church, Alexandria, Virginia

2. William Jr. Nothing is known for certain about William, Jr. including whether or not he is actually William and Rosanna's son, but given the fact that he appears on the Trinity United Methodist Church rolls along with William, Rosanna and the other children and is referred to as William, junior, it is a reasonable conclusion.

I've also found a pension form for a William Rhodes, married to Sarah unknown, who d 1866 in Washington, DC .

(Source for William Jr. source: Church Register 1801-1807, Archives of Trinity United Methodist Church, Alexandria, Virginia)

William Rhodes, Jr., binds self for 4 years 5 months to William Ward to learn trade of merchandize 19 Nov 1814

source:, District of Columbia Indentures of Apprenticeship, 1801-1893 p. 71 (Lovettsville, Va.: Willow Bend Books, 1998).

3. Maria W. Rhodes b: 1796 in Alexandria, VA, died aft 1872 but bef 1891 in Washington, DC
married Gideon Davis b: 1789 Queen Anne's Co, MD d: 1833 Washington, DC
married Rezin Orme b: 1790 in Prince George's Co, MD d: bef 1870 Washington, DC
It is likely Maria had children but none appear to have survived to adulthood.

(Sources for Maria: Church Register 1801-1807, Archives of Trinity United Methodist Church, Alexandria, Virginia

4. Rosanna L. Rhodes b. 1806 in Georgetown, Washington, DC, d. unknown
Confusion over whom she married, although the date is known to be 7 Feb 1833 in Washington, DC
The marriage record says 'Jefferson Copely' but it is more likely Jefferson Cosby, either Jefferson J. Cosby or Thomas Jefferson Cosby. There is a Rosanna Rhodes married to Jefferson Cosby, living in Maryland through 1840, listed on the LDS site. Her sons follow the Rhodes naming pattern of first-born being William and second born son being John. She appear to have died before the 1850 census

Church Register 1801-1807, Archives of Trinity United Methodist Church, Alexandria, Virginia

Notes on William:

Lived in Alexandria, Fairfax County until at least 1810. A merchant and councilman through most of the 1800-1810 period. Got into financial trouble and needed to sell business. Then got into deeper financial trouble in the early 1820 regarding a secured bank loan. Moved to Georgetown area of DC.

source: "Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria" by Michael Miller, several references. Alexandria Gazette, Genealogy Bank

Notice: William Rhodes having some time since declined business, & intending to leave this city in a few days, is desirous to clsoe his late business; for settlement call on Mr J S & W Clarke, previous to the 14th.
Mon 7 Apr 1823, p. 331
source: National Intelligencer Newspaper Abstracts, 1821-1823 (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1999).

Died: yesterday, after a short illness, in his 63rd yr, Mr Wm Rhodes, a native of Fairfax Co, Va & for many years a resident of Alexandria, and latterly of Georgetown DC. Funeral from his late dwelling on Bridge Street, Georgetown, this morning. p. 176 Thu 14 Feb 1828

Mon, Mar 10 1828
Administrators' sale, order of Orphans Court of Washington County DC: personal estate of Wm Rhodes, deceased, will be sold at his late residence, in Foxall's Row, Bridge Street, on Mar 11: furniture, etc; also a negro woman & child, the woman has to serve until Sep 25, 1832 and the child, now about 6 months old, to serve until it arrives at the age of 25 yrs. Gideon Davis, administrator; Thomas C. Wright, auctioneer. P. 188

National Intelligencer Newspaper Abstracts, 1827-1829

William Rhodes coffin purchased 2/13 1828 from William King: mahogany
source: William King's Mortality Book, vol 1, JBD transcription

married to Rosanna Clarke, b: abt 1769, d: 10/22/1823 Daughter of Rosanna Clarke, d: 1784 in Alexandria. One sister, Anne Clarke, b: abt 1757, d 1802. (Turns out she was on the Trinity Church records as well.) married John O'Daniel abt 1775, two children: Mary O'Daniel b: 1776 who married Abel Blakeney, and James O'Daniel b 1778. Anne then married Absalom Wroe, b: 1755 d 1834 of Alexandria, four children: Samuel b: 1782, Richard b: 1784, Everett, b: 1786 and Elizabeth 'Betsey', b: 1788. Betsey married Amos Alexander, Jr.

Died: on Fri last, Mrs Rosanna Rhodes, aged 54 yrs, consort of Wm Rhodes of Alexandria, upwards of 40 yrs she ornamented the Christian character.
Wed 22 Oct 1823, p. 434source: National Intelligencer Newspaper Abstracts, 1821-1823 (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1999).

notes on Nancy Rhodes

married Rev. Joseph Rowan. Joseph was a major Methodist revival preacher in the northeast, as evidenced by the fact Joseph and Nancy were married by the top Methodist of his day, Rev. William Watters.

Notes on Rev. Rowan:
born Dorchester County MD 1/19/1770 to Anglican parents
age 17 converted to Methodist (August 1787) p264
Sept 1792 became itinerant on Montgomery Circuit, 1799
died 5/31/1838 in Washington City p265

source: Hedges, J.W. Crowned Victors: The Memoirs of Over Four Hundred Methodist Preachers. Methodist Episcopal Book Depository, Baltimore
Worked in Philadelphia and Baltimore Conferences.  Itinerant for 40 years.

source: "Memoir," Mins of Annl Confs of MEC, Vol II, 1829-39 (NY: Mason & Lane, 1840.)

notes on Maria W. Rhodes

married Gideon Davis b: 1789, Maryland d: 1833 Washington, DC on 23 Feb 1821. Married by sister Nancy's husband Rev. Joseph Rowan. Gideon Davis died in 1833 in the cholera epidemic raging through Washington at the time.

married Rezin Orme, b: 1790 d bef 1870

Married: on Feb 20, by Rev Mr Rowan, in Alexandria, Gideon Davis, of GT, to Miss Maria W. Rhodes, d/o Wm Rhodes of the former place. Fri 23 Feb 1821, p. 20., Source: National Intelligencer Newspaper Abstracts, 1821-1823 (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1998.)

Ladies with letters in the Wash City Post Office, 1 April 1816 included Maria W. Rhodes Thu 4 Apr 1816, p. 184; also on 1 Oct 1817, letter for Mrs M W D Davis p. 318 Tue 7 Oct 1817source:

National Intelligencer & Washington Advertiser Newspaper Abstracts, 1814-1817

(Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, Inc., 1997).

1860 and 1870 censuses place Maria in Washington, DC. A claim for damages in Civil War indicate Maria was alive in 1872. A piece of land was willed to her cousin Samuel Austin Wroe and action was taken to claim this land in 1891, so Maria must have died before this point.

on Gideon Davis and Rezin Orme:

Gideon's first wife was Anne Maria Emory, also of Queen Anne's County, Md.  She died in DC quite young, at the age of 22.  There was no mention of a child in the obituaries, so don't know whether she died in childbirth or of disease.  And then he married Maria. 

Gideon Davis was a major figure in the Methodist Reform movement that resulted in a schism in 1830, and the creation of the Methodist Protestant denomination.  The Methodist Protestants were deeply influenced by the Andrew Jackson "rise of the common man" ideology.  Their bust up with the Methodist Episcopal Church was over church government -- the MPs thought the bishops and clergy had way too much power, which was inconsistent with American democracy.  Anyway, Gideon was simultaneously involved in a schism in their local Methodist congregation in Georgetown (neighborhood in DC), and Gideon and others left their church to found the Congress Street Methodist Protestant Church, a few blocks away.  Gideon lent the congregation a great deal of money to buy the land on which they built their church (which still stands, BTW and is now a Christian Science church).  When he died (probably in the 1832-33 cholera epidemic), Congress Street church owed him a lot of money -- and Maria was left pretty destitute.  Gideon's business affairs were a mess.  She married Rezin Orme, they moved to Springfield, Ohio, and they hired an attorney in DC to sue the church to collect Gideon's debt. 

They also sold a slave, Dorcas, that Gideon had inherited from his first wife -- but, according to the Methodist rules, Gideon was supposed to have manumitted the slave, but he never did, so Rezin sold her.  She killed 2 of her children rather than have them sold down south away from her.  Her trial for murder was quite sensational.  This seems to have been the episode that really radicalized John Quincy Adams on the subject of slavery and turned him into an abolitionist. "Memoirs of John Quincy Adams" gives details of this and there is currently a doctoral thesis being written on this episode

Source: Jane Donovan, University of West Virginia religious studies professor, and her book"Many Witnesses."

Comment from Jane Donovan via email:

Nancy Rhodes was Maria's sister.  I'm very certain of that.  And you see she married a Methodist pastor -- a guy who stayed with the Methodist Episcopal Church when the Meth Protestants split from it, so you can imagine that these Methodist issues were a source of great conflict within the Rhodes family -- perhaps it played some role in which family members Maria felt close to and which she did not.  Even though she was already married to Gideon, Maria was not one of the original members of Congress Street.  She did not withdraw her membership in the big moment when Gideon and the rest of the seceders did, although she did later join him at Congress Street -- but her lawyer, Samuel McKenney, who represented her and Rezin in their efforts to collect the debt owed to Gideon by the Congress Street Church was a leading figure in the Montgomery Street church.  Samuel was an outspoken advocate for the Methodist Episcopal Church and Gideon's chief accuser/tormentor in the events that led to the schism.

My speculation based on these findings

Based on the church records which show John Rhodes and William Rhodes both attending Trinity Methodist Church from the point records begin in 1802 until John withdraws (moves away) in 1804 :

Based on deed extracts in Alexandria/Fairfax County which show John Rhodes as a witness to Absalom Wroe's exchange of deed, indicating that it is likely John knew William's brother-in-law Absalom:

And based on the fact that John has sons named William Watters and John Wesley, indicating both a close link to the strong Methodist community and following an apparent naming pattern of first son William, second son John:
I speculate that John Rhodes, b: 1767 and William Rhodes, b: 1765 are brothers.

Based on deed extracts in Alexandria which show an exchange of land between John Rhodes and Ann Rhodes and again, from Ann Rhodes to John Rhodes:

Based on church rolls and the fact that Ann Rhodes withdraws at the same time as John Rhodes:

I speculate that Ann Rhodes is John Rhodes' wife.

Based on the presence of a deed in Alexandria for John Rhodes, executed in 1765,

I speculate this may be 'John, Sr.' William and John's father.
Based on geographical nearness and the naming pattern, also on DNA evidence which places Judy Olson's uncle, a descendant of John Rhodes, b: 1767, within 4 generations of William, the patriot I further speculate this 'John, Sr.' may be a brother to William Rhodes, the patriot,

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