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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Rhodes family come from? What is the English Rhodes family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rhodes family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rhodes family history?

The history of the Rhodes family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Lincolnshire at Rhodes, from whence their name is derived.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Rhodes, Rhoades, Rhode, Rhoads, Roades, Roads and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rhodes research. Another 235 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1591 and 1674 are included under the topic Early Rhodes History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 55 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rhodes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Rhodes name or one of its variants:

Rhodes Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Rhodes, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1643
  • Africa Rhodes, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Elizabeth Rhodes, who landed in Maryland in 1651-1652
  • John Rhodes, who landed in Maryland in 1651
  • Abraham Rhodes, who landed in Maryland in 1673

Rhodes Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John Rhodes settled in Maryland in 1774
  • William Rhodes, who arrived in New York in 1789

Rhodes Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Rhodes, aged 27, landed in New York in 1812
  • Joshua Rhodes, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Mary Rhodes, who arrived in New York in 1845
  • Jane Rhodes, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Ellen Rhodes, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • Colonel Francis William "Frank" Rhodes CB, DSO (1851-1905), British Army Colonel in Africa
  • Ida Rhodes (1900-1986), American mathematician and pioneer in the analysis of systems of programming
  • Cynthia Rhodes (b. 1956), American actress, singer and dancer
  • Richard Lee Rhodes (b. 1937), American journalist, historian, and author awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • Arthur Lee Rhodes Jr. (b. 1969), American former Major League Baseball left-handed relief pitcher who played from 1991 to 2011
  • Lance-Sergeant John Harold Rhodes VC, DCM & Bar (1891-1917), English recipient of the Victoria Cross and the Croix De Guerre
  • Nick Rhodes (b. 1962), English keyboardist and founding member of the rock band Duran Duran
  • Zandra Rhodes CBE, RDI (b. 1940), English fashion designer
  • Cecil John Rhodes PC DCL (1853-1902), English-born, South African businessman, mining magnate, and politician, founder of the diamond company De Beers
  • Wilfred Rhodes (1877-1973), English professional cricketer who played 58 Test matches for England between 1899 and 1930



  • Carry Me Back-: the History of the Roddens, Rawdens, Rodens, and Allied Families by Paul G. Rodden.
  • Rhodes-Barnett and Mitchusson-Ingram by Norma Rhodes Ladd.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Robor meum Deus
Motto Translation: Strength through God.


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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Rhodes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rhodes Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 6 October 2014 at 10:46.

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