For more than 70 years, family historians connecting to a RHODES line who’d settled in Fayette County, Illinois in the 1830’s have been working on a project to discover the origins of their patriarch Alexander Rhodes (abt 1785-1840).
Alexander Rhodes of Fayette County, Illinois had 6 well documented sons, and perhaps an eldest 7th. Descendants of these 6 sons have populated Fayette, Illinois and surrounding counties for generations, intermarrying with several prominent founding families: Halford, Hicks, Harris, Cole, Davis, Williams, Donaldson, Riley, Casey, etc.
A pre-origin in North and South Carolina and Tennessee is a commonality between most (but not all) of these families. It has been suggested for many decades that they knew one another before settling in Illinois. There is evidence of marriages originating in Tennessee with children having been born there, and then subsequent younger children being born in Illinois. In researching these lines, there were some interesting naming conventions passed down through the generations – McComas, Israel, Ephraim, Anderson, etc. Approximately 50 years ago, several researchers began to suspect that they originated from colonial families of Ann Arundel, Maryland and connected to the well documented MCCOMAS and STANDIFORD families.
We are utilizing many new sciences to inform our research. Most exciting among them is the emergent field of genetic genealogy. By utilizing various DNA tests, we are able to discover lines of relation that reside outside of Illinois and therefore make new breakthroughs towards understanding our pre 1830’s origins.
If your research intersects with the Illinois Rhodes of Maryland, we’d like to invite you to join us for discussion on Facebook though the group – Descendants of Rhodes from Colonial Maryland
Also visit our research website – Rhodes Family DNA