Once widowed, Alice Colden Wadsworth apparently supported herself by keeping boarders in New York City. Her daughter, Susan, lived with her, as did Susan's husband, the Rev. E. Goodrich Smith. Much of Alice's energy was focused on distant parts, for her two sons, William and John, had moved to Michigan in 1834. John had married Maria Theresa Chedsey right before moving to Raisinville, in Monroe County, where they named their home "Theresa Place." John and Maria's first child was named after her grandmother Wadsworth, who was heartbroken when the girl died when she was about seven years old. A son, Joseph, also died young, but their son John at least made it safely through his childhood, and they had another child by 1844, possible also named Joseph.
Maria's family, which included her father Major J. Chedsey, mother, and a sister named Helen, lived in Durham, Connecticut. John also had family there, and a Col. James Wadsworth had been one of the first settlers of the town, in the early eighteenth century. One of Maria's brothers, Nathan Augustus Chedsey, attended Wesleyan for three years and then spent 1844-1846 in Marshall, Michigan as Principal of the Union School. He graduated from Yale with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1848, and practiced law in New York City until his death in 1895. Another brother, Charles, was at least briefly involved in the book business.