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Interwoven South Dedham Families

Eliphalet Rhoads (1755-1833)

Mercy Holland Rhoads (1758-1836)



This is a story of relationships in a small village.


Eliphalet Rhoads married Mercy Holland on June 24, 1780 in Dedham, Massachusetts.

They and their family remained in South Dedham for generations. Among their children was a daughter, Anna Rhoads (1789-1868) and a son, Lewis Rhoads (1784-1872).


Anna Rhoads married John Smith (1784-1864) on March 31, 1807. Among their children was Lyman Smith (1808-1883), who married Melinda E. Guild (1810-1845) on January 13, 1830. Lyman and Melinda were the parents of Anna Smith. A window in the Universalist Church (today’s United Church) was dedicated to Lyman and Melinda Guild Smith.


Meanwhile, Lewis Rhoads married Hannah Ellis (1784-1854) on December 20, 1807. They were the parents of Hannah Rhoads (1808-1863), who married Joseph Day (1807-1876). Hannah and Joseph were the parents of Lewis Day. A second window in the United Church is dedicated to Joseph and Hannah Rhoads Day.


On November 24, 1856, Anna Smith and Lewis Day were married. Thus, if you are keeping track, Lewis Day and Anna Smith Day shared one pair of great-grandparents: Eliphalet Rhoads and Mercy Holland Rhoads.



Lewis and Anna Smith Day were a very well-known and respected couple in South Dedham, later Norwood. They had one child, Fred Holland Day (1864-1933). The Days commissioned the Chapel of St. Gabriel the Archangel which stands in Highland Cemetery. In 1903, the chapel was consecrated and officially dedicated to the memory of Lewis and Anna’s parents, Joseph and Hannah Rhoads Day, and Lyman and Melinda Guild Smith, with the words, “They were among those who comprised the small family of the early town of South Dedham, who were interested in its prosperity and its moral welfare. Here they lived and labored and died and we have entered into their labors.”


Only Eliphalet and Mercy Holland Rhoads are buried in Old Parish Cemetery. Lewis and Anna Day are interred in St. Gabriel’s Chapel. The rest of the family, although originally interred at Old Parish, were moved from Old Parish and re-interred in Highland Cemetery. (The only exception is Fred Day who was cremated.)


Note: the name is spelled Roads on the gravestone. Census, birth, marriage, and death records of the family used various spellings of the name including: Rhoads, Rhodes, Roads and Rhoades. The most common spelling of the name (Rhoads) was used in the text above.




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