My Rhodes relations come from Yorkshire England. They seem to have large families, use mostly common names (Thank God for the occasional Craven and Armitage!!!) and worked at any jobs they could find. Some came to the U.S. some to Canada, then the U.S., some went to Australia.....
They also seemed to have lost track of each other, until the death of a relative with property in England spurred letters back and forth across the Atlantic. These formed the beginnings of my search for the elusive relatives, and I have placed the transcribed letters on a separate page within this blog (see tabs at top ). It would help if "Rhodes" in Yorkshire wasn't so much like Smith or Jones here in the USA!
In the 1871 England census alone, there are 11,956 Rhodes indexed in Bradford, West riding, Yorkshire .... That doesn't count Manningham, Shipley or Otley, all places listed in various letters and records....
The letters were written (we think, but they are all addressed "Dear cousin") to Elizabeth Sparks married to John Edwards . Elizabeth's mother was Sarah Rhodes, the first of the surname found in my pedigree.
generations to the Rhodes surname
2. My Robert Edwards Fairchild
3. My grandmother Jennie 'Jane' Gertrude Edwards
4. My great grandfather Lemuel Edwards
5. My great great grandmother Elizabeth Sparks
6. my great great great grandmother Sarah Rhodes
Sarah Rhodes was born about 1807 in Yorkshire England. On 29 Aug 1835, in St. Peter's Parish Church, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, at the age of 28 she married John Gill Sparks, a cordwainer [Originally term used for one who worked with Cordovan (a special leather from Spain) but later term used for shoemaker]. They had two daughters born in Bradford, Yorkshire: Elizabeth ( 8 Apr 1837) and Ruth (12 Feb 1839). They then left for the Americas, leaving Liverpool, England on the ship "Napolean" arriving in New York on the 28 October 1839.
Year: 1839; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 040; Line: 34; List Number: 814.
The family is not found in records again until in Gosfield, Essex, Ontario Canada in the 1861 Canadian census. Sarah is found with her daughter Elizabeth's family in 1870 in Warren, Macomb Co., MI, and in 1871 she is back in Gosfield, Essex, Ontario Canada, living with her daughter Ruth's family. She is listed there as a widow, and the 1870 US census didn't ask marital status, so John Sparks must have died prior to 1870/71. No further record of Sarah has been found.
Gen 7. John Rhodes, father of Sarah was born in Yorkshire, and was married to Mary Jowitt, Unfortunately, that's where the trail ends at this point.
Based on the letters I have transcribed, John and Mary Jowitt Rhodes had a large family:
Josh or Joshua died about 1878
Ruth -- apparently married to a Chadwick probably in the US
John -- father to Walter and Sam was alive in 1885, but had had a stroke, and was dead four years by 1891
Jane ? either wife of one of the sons or a daughter, unsure in letters
she had a son Oliver who was also dead
William who had gone to Australia
One of the letters was written by a Charles Butterworth, and the asumption is that his wife was a Rhodes. I searched on Ancestry, and came up with a tree with Theophilus Butterworth married to a Margaret Rhodes that could be the right one. They live in Yorkshire, and according to the marriage certificate, his wife's father is Joshua Rhodes which also fits well.
I contacted the member, and pointed her to the letter.... She assures me that this is her great grandfather, and that the address is correct for him that year.... and they had no idea that they had American relatives!!! maybe I should have saved this for Surprise Sunday!!!! Now I have another branch project to tackle!!!