Elizabeth Poteet (1790-?)

Elizabeth Poteet (1790-?), purportedly born in Tennessee, is thought to have moved with her husband Alexander Rhodes (1790-1840) to Fayette County, Illinois sometime after 1830 based on the Henderson County, Tennessee Federal Census commonly attributed to them.

There are no extant records for

  • Parentage
  • Birthdate
  • Spouse, Marriage date
  • Death date
  • Burial location


Unknown. Theories coming.



Spelling of Last Name

Informed by the atDNA study, surnames associated with Elizabeth could either have been spelled Poteete, Poteet, or Poteat. Cousin matches associated to the atDNA study participants suspected to descend from the possible ancestors of Elizabeth do not suggest the spellings Petette, Petit, or other derivatives.

For uniformity and simplicity, the author of these pages will refer to the wife of Alexander Rhodes (1790) as Elizabeth Poteet. Although, it should be recognized that her last name was thought to have been spelled Petette, etc. by family historians from Fayette County from the 1930s forward. This spelling may have originated from the personal biography of JF Davis, wherein he spells her last name “Petette”. Family historians searching for possible relations to Elizabeth in the Fayette County area may have also looked to census and land records wherein there is an early settling Pettet/Petis family [source]. However, no atDNA cousin matches yet tie those descended from Elizabeth Poteet to any other family in Fayette County with a surname suggestive of Pettet/Petis/etc.

Spouse, Marriage

Alexander Rhodes (1790-1840). No official records are yet known.

The sons of Elizabeth 

Six acknowledged sons, one proposed (Hodgson Alexander Jr. Theory). No known daughters.

  • Alexander Rhodes, Jr. (1806-?) m. Lucinda Harris- proposed and speculative, analysis coming
  • Anderson Rhodes (1808-1880) m. Susannah Harris (RC010)
  • John Bennet Rhodes (1808-1880) m. Jane (RC006)
  • Thomas Rhodes (1813-1897) m. Penina Tancil (RC001, RC002, RC012)
  • McComas Rhodes (1814-1878) m. Sarah Jane Cole/Sally Ann Harris (RC003, RC004, RC005, RC011)
  • James Ewing Rhodes (1817-1897) m. Mary Ann Polly Hicks (RC007, RC008)
  • Elliot Wilburn Rhodes (1822-1893) m. Martha Jane Hicks (RC009)

Death Date and Burial Location

It’s assumed that she passed in Fayette County, Illinois. However, there aren’t any records commonly attributed to her after the Fayette County, Illinois 1840 Federal Census. No known burial location, although local lore suggests she and/or her husband may be buried on property once belonging to either Alexander Rhodes or his sons. These properties are located to the east of the Halford Cemetery in Fayette County, Illinois.


The majority of the Rhodes cousins involved in the Rhodes atDNA Study are descended from Alexander Rhodes (1790) and Elizabeth Poteet (1790). A few others represent Rhodes lines from outside of Fayette County, Illinois.

In the study are persons descended from all six acknowledged sons, with testers descended from McComas Rhodes (1814-1878) m. Sarah Jane Cole (1828-1900) leading in representation with 7 kits.

All testers claiming descent from Alexander Rhodes m. Elizabeth Poteet in the Rhodes atDNA Study show significant segment matching with other Alexander Rhodes/Elizabeth Poteet proved descendants, with segment lengths corresponding with the expected ancestral couple.

Poteete/Poteet/Poteat DNA

Future research revolves around isolating Poteet cousins from our study participant’s match lists to help isolate the region of Tennessee and beyond that Elizabeth’s family originated from. We have some promising leads. We’re seeking persons with the Poteet surname to join our study.

An individual of interest is a man named Elvis Simeon Poteete (1810-1878) b. Tennessee and his family group. Several participants in the Rhodes atDNA Study have many cousin matches to his lines. A running hypothesis is that he may be a sibling, nephew, or cousin of Elizabeth Poteet (1790).