John Rhodes, part 2

Continued from Part 1

I am not alone in our Rhoades research. I have made friends with other genealogy hobbyists and between us all, we have identified a possible relative of John who traveled with him through Ohio to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Joseph and his family are found near John’s family in Ohio and Indiana.  In Genealogy, this is known as clustering, families often traveled with other families and many times they were related. By researching one of your clusters you can possibly break through a brick wall. Unfortunately, Joseph is no easier to research due to the popularity of his name and he also married a Mary (unk).

1840 U.S. Census of Sugar Creek Twp., Wayne County, Ohio ( showing John and Joseph RHODES living next door to each other. The tick marks would be for Joseph, Mary, Henry (male under 5) and female under 5 (possibly Margaret); and for John, Mary, Elizabeth (female under 5).
1850 U.S. Federal Census for Sugar Creek Twp., Wayne County, Ohio ( showing John and Joseph RHODES living near each other.
1850 U.S. Federal Census for Aboite Twp., Allen County, Indiana ( showing John and Joseph ROADS living near each other.  NOTE: the family household members consist of exactly the same people in both locations (except for an anomally between Richard or Rebecca in John’s household which could be a clerical error.)

One ray of hope is that Joseph had a son named Henry and he left a Civil War pension record stating he was born in Smithton, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Our first tenuous connection between the two locations.

Young Henry lead me to believe that John and Joseph may have been the sons of Henry Rhoads and Catherine Arthurs.  This was a family who strongly associated with the German Lutheran Reformed Church, and associated with other German families in Bucks and Westmoreland Counties, Pennsylvania.  Most of their children remained in Westmoreland County, but their John and Joseph did not (keep your fingers crossed).

Then there is the new genealogy tool rising in popularity, DNA. I have had two living male descendants of John submit DNA tests; an autosomal (“catch-all”) and a Y-DNA (direct male to male descent). Both samples have DNA matches with people whose research leads them to other children and siblings of Henry Rhodes/Roth of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. But here’s the rub…none of them have published evidence of their connections!!! Why is this a problem, you ask? Because, the DNA only tells me there is a genetic relationship between my male relatives and the other people who have submitted DNA, but it is not proof that their genealogical research is accurate. I am very likely on the right track, I just need to find the paper trail and (as a bonus) a male descendant of Henry the younger.

I have begun to work the connection from the other direction by attempting to rule out other John Rhodes/Roth born in Pennsylvania around 1812 who could be the son of Henry and Catherine.  So far I have eliminated all but three (one being our John from Fort Wayne, Indiana).  An interesting result to this little exercise is that the Westmoreland “clan” was large and it had three John’s born between 1812 and 1817 who were born to brothers or cousins of Henry.  And one of them ended up in neighboring Whitley County, Indiana.  Many of our Rhoades cousins married in Fort Wayne and raised their families in Whitley County.  There are also connections to other Rhodes/Roth’s who moved from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to Stark County, Ohio.

Genealogical summary:

John Rhodes was born 29 July 1812 possibly in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania where a baptismal is recorded on 20 September 1812 at the Greensburg First Lutheran Church for John or Johannes Roth.  His parents may have been Henry Rhodes (Heinrich Roth) and Catherine Arthurs of Smithton, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania whose other children were also baptized in the Greensburg First Lutheran Church.

He married Mary Weigle/Wible before 1838 (birth of first child) in Pennsylvania.  They had eight or nine children in 18 years.

  1. Elizabeth was born 17 February 1838 in Pennsylvania.  She married Joseph Eloph in November 1864 either in Allen County or Whitley County, Indiana.  She died 17 January 1918 in Columbia City, Whitely County, Indiana at the age of 79.
  2. Daniel John was born 22 August 1840 in Stark County, Ohio.  Civil War veteran.
  3. Isreal was born March 1842 in Ohio. He married 1) Susannah Bennet, then 2) Jennie (Unk).  His horse-drawn buggy was struck by the Missouri Pacific mail train seriously injuring him.  He died from his injuries several days later on 3 September 1905 in Sedalia, Missouri at the age of 62. Civil War veteran.
  4. Katherine was born December 1845 in Stark County, Ohio. She married Brayton B. Johnson in 1864.  She died in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana.
  5. Richard was born in 1848 in Ohio (this person is only named in the 1850 IN census, due to the proximity of age to Rebecca this could be a clerical error and should have been Rebecca who was missing in that census record).
  6. Rebecca was born 17 February 1849 maybe in Ohio, but death record says Aboite Twp., Allen County, Indiana.  She married Silas Jackson on 11 February 1874 and divorced sometime after 1900.  She died on 26 June 1926 in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the age of 77 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Roanoke, Indiana.
  7. Isiah was born September 1852 in Indiana. He married Mary C. Hatfield 25 October 1888 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He died 28 November 1827 in Huntington, Indiana at the age of 75 and is buried at Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  8. Matilda M was born 28 February 1853 in Indiana. She married John W. McKinley.  She died on 2 February 1939 in Huntington, Indiana at the age of 85.
  9. Mary A was born May 1856 in Indiana. She married Josiah Sterling on 12 April 1876 in Allen County, Indiana.  She died in Hughesville, Pettis, Missouri.

John wrote his will on Daniel’s 19th birthday (22 August 1859) in anticipation of his death and died 4 September 1859 in Allen County, Indiana.  He had been ill for 28 days before succumbing to typhoid fever.  He was originally buried in Bullard Cemetery near Fort Wayne, Indiana but was re-interred in 1892 at Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Indiana (section U #131) presumably by Mary, who shares his headstone.  She died in 1894.

The Rhoads monument in section U, #131, Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Indiana. John’s inscriptions are on one side, Mary’s is on the opposite side.  All other family members are buried in other sections of the cemetery.
Photos taken by the author.
John RHOADS died Sept 4 1859 aged 47 Yrs 1 Mo & 13 Days
Mary W. wife of John RHOADS died July 19 1894 aged 78 Y 8 M 25 D