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John Caldwell was among the early immigrants to America of the Caldwell family. They were very involved at the highest levels of church, civil and political leadership in the colonies and later in state governments.

John was born about 1680 in Ireland . According to a document found in the Logan County, KY library entitled Family History, Caldwell, his father's name was also  John Caldwell. The story goes that the elder John was one of five brothers of Ireland. The Ancestral File states that Joseph Caldwell was the father of John of this piece. Joseph and John Senior were brothers. Neither wife is known.  Anyone who lead to documenatation of the parents of John please CONTACT US .

John Caldwell married Margaret Phillips in Ireland. They were either from County Derry or County Antrim, the two northern counties of present day North Ireland. A web source gives the birthplace of their second son as Donegal. Donegal is the northern most part of present day Erie, just west of North Ireland.

John and Margaret had five children in Ireland. He was apparently a well to do gentleman in Ireland, for the Family History, Caldwell states that he sold his five estates in Ireland and sailed to America. Registry of Deeds in Northern Ireland has been in place since 1708, so there should be a way to search this statement. Department of Finance and Personnel, Govenment of UK

His wife, five children, his three married sisters, his wife's sister and all their families accompanied him. They landed at New Castle Delaware on December 10, 1727. This date is also in another document that can be found in the Logan County KY library simply titled Caldwell. There is no official documentation. We checked.

re The CALDWELL book by Imogene Terry (not listed in the Library of Congress Index, I don't know anything about it.)

"On 10 December 1727, landing at New Castle, DE, were the folling relatives.
   John CALDWELL, his wife Margaret, and five children:
 1.  William CALDWELL and his wife, Rebecca PARKS
 2.  Thomas CALDWELL and his wife, Mary Jane PARKS
 3.  David CALDWELL 
 4.  Margaret CALDWELL
 5.  John CALDWELL
 Catherine CALDWELL (John's sister) and her husband, Richard or John DUDGEON
 Elizabeth CALDWELL (John's sister) and her husband, Alexander RITCHIE
 George CALDWELL (John's brother) and his wife Jane PHILLIPS (Margaret's sister)
 Thomas DOUGHERTY (Margaret (Phillips) CALDWELL's brother in law."

Another book supporting the above George Caldwell  info is The Caldwell Book by Mrs. John Q. Anderson,  December, 1959, on page 25 it states "George Caldwell, b. 1689 m. Jane Phillips and came to America." 

 John Caldwell settled his family in Chestnut Level, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is found in Drumore Township in the southern portion of the county near the Susquehanna River. They lived there for a few years.

There was another Caldwell family in Chestnut Level, at the same time. It is very likely that they are connected but the connection has not yet been found.

The background to the move to Virginia is put forth in detail in a church history published in 1954. The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom, A study of the church and Her people 1732-1952 by Howard McKnight Wilson . Tinkling Springs Presbyterian Church is in Fishersville, Augusta County, VA

Very, very briefly, in the early 1700's Virginia was an Anglican state, it being the Established church by Law. All others were considered Dissenters. Permission for worship by Dissenters was granted but only after registration of the preacher, time and place of services. Meanwhile, the Scots who had migrated into Pennsylvania were not being warmly welcomed by the landowners of that colony. They learned that the land "over the mountain" in Virginia, was available as long as there was one christian man per 500 acres, armed and fit for battle. Governor Gooch saw this as the way to fortify his frontier.

John Caldwell was an elder in the Donegal Presbytery of Pennsylvania, representing the Chestnut Level Church. On April 11, 1738 The Donegal minutes report John Caldwell presented a petition for favor and encouragement of the settlers in the back parts of Virginia. This appeal was adopted by the Presbytery and presented to the VA Governor and council. The success of John Caldwell's appeal meant the beginning of established Presbyterian churches in Virginia. This seems to have unlocked the floodgates of migration from PA and Ireland into the mountains of Virginia.

Landon C. Bell is author of Cumberland Parish Lunenberg County, Virginia 1746 - 1816 Vestry Book 1746-1816. It is a complete listing of the Vestry Book with maps and genealogical notes. The author notes the vestries in colonial times were one of two important local institutions, the other being the County Courts. John Caldwell was elected to the first Vestry of Cumberland Parish. However, he "refused to take the oath of a vestryman and resigned.". He refused because he was a Presbyterian, not an Anglican. In fact he had arranged with Governor Gooch and the Council before moving to Virginia that he would move with the understanding that toleration would be extended him and his colony. The subject can be found more fully discussed in The Old Free State Vol. I, Chapter VIII.

John Caldwell is more fully written up on page 187 of Landon C. Bell's book. He was one of the first Justices of Lunenberg County. He was named in the Commission for organizing the county and attended it's first session. John Caldwell was a soldier in the French and Indian War. This and other genealogical material is noted in Bell's book as being found in The Old Free State, Vol. I, page 193 and Vol. II, pages 182-191.

 John Caldwell moved to Virginia bringing his large extended family with him. They formed a settlement on Cub Creek known as Caldwell Settlement. There a Presbyterian Church was established. Cub Creek is claimed to be the oldest Presbyterian Congregation in Virginia. It is in present day Charlotte County. A plaque marks the location of the church. Footes Sketches of Virginia 2nd Series, page 50 gives 1738 as the date of the settlement at Cub Creek.

The children of John and Margaret Caldwell were:

1. William Caldwell born about 1706 wed Rebecca Parks. He was a major in the Revolution and was wounded at the Battle of the Brandywine.
2. Thomas Caldwell born about 1707 wed Jane Parks. He was a vet of French & Indian Wars
3. David Caldwell born July 7, 1708 wed Mary Dudgeon. Also a vet of the French & Indian Wars.
4. John Caldwell born 1715 is noted with some confusion.
1st version says born 1715, or 1723 or March 29, 1712 - died 1795 in Maury Ct TN. 
2nd version says born 1692 died 1786 in Prince Edward Ct Va. He wed Elizabeth and had 6 children.
3rd version says he left Virginia for South Carolina.
4th version says he wed Jane Kennedy and had 8 children
5. Margaret Caldwell born 1720 wed 1) William Rogers, 2) John Mitchell
6. Robert Caldwell born 1731 wed Mary Logan
. Rev. James H. Caldwell born 4/17, 1734 wed Hanna Ogdon. He was an early graduate of Princeton University.

Sources for the children are:
1. Caldwell states that William, Thomas, David and Margaret and one unnamed other were born in Ireland. Robert and James were born in America. It also gave the military history and wife of William. Caldwell notes David's wife is Mary but does not give the last name. It also contains the details plus much more on Margaret, Robert and James. Caldwell states that James was born in Virginia, which gives credence to the assertion that the family moved there as early as 1734. It doesn't mention John at all.

2 .Family History, Caldwell lists all the children above. The only birth dates given are for the 3 youngest.

3. History of Kentucky 1884 by Butley & Perrin. This early book includes a biographical sketch of the Caldwell family. All seven of the above children are - in the order given.

John Caldwell died October 20, 1750. He is buried at Cub Creek. His wife, Margaret, and three sons: William, Thomas and David are all buried next to John. Possibly his son-in-law William Rogers is also buried there. Margaret Rogers husband William died just 2 weeks before her father died. The History of Kentucky 1884 says that John " was buried by the side of his wife". That implies that Margaret predeceased him.

Under Lunenburg Ct VA Order Book 2, 1748-1752, on page 89, the Will of John Caldwell, dec was presented by David Caldwell, exe, probate granted.  However, I do not have the will.

Nadine Nabors posted on RootsWeb the following In the Lunenburg county Va Deeds 1746 1752, page 306 April 2, 1751 
This is on land given by Wm Cadwell to John Caldwell (even though this was in Lunenburg Co it is now in Charlotte Co  very close to Halifax Co Va. land given for a Cemetery as fas As I can tell by going backwards in land deeds a 1 acrer on the N side of Stanton River on Cubb Creek. looking at map the Stanton river almost makes a circle. (this may be a lost Cemtery)
        "from Wm Caldwell of L. to John Caldwell, william Caldwell, Israel Pirkins, Richard Dudgeon, James Wackup,
        David   Logan, William Rogers, John McNeese Thomas Dougherty, John Midleton, Alexander McConnel,
        James Rutherford, James Caldwell, George Moore, George Harwood, David Caldwell, William Dudgeon,
        Francis Grymes, Isaac Jones, George McDavid, William Weakly, Thomas Rogers, James Logan, Richard
        Adams, James Barton, William Nichols, Isaac Vernon, Henry Parrillo, Henry Caldwell, John McDavid, John
        Caldwell, Thomas Caldwell,
of the other part, for 1 shilling, grants 1 acre of land, including the graveyard that now stands
        on the land of said Caldwell for a possession of a burying place, the aforesaid parties and their heirs forever together with 
        timber for paling in the said burying ground.   signed   william caldwell.  wit none.  recorded Oct 2 1751"
Is this the deed that created the Cub Creek Cemetery where John was already buried?

John Caldwell and each of his children left a legacy to the history of the churches and governments in the colony and new republic of America.



If you know the answer please CONTACT US.

1. Where in Ireland was he born?

2. Who was his mother?

3. Where were the Irish estates?

4. What is the correct history of John, son of John and Margaret?

5. What are the birth dates of all his children?

6. When did Margaret, his wife die?

7.  Get a copy of John's will.


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Maier_Associates: Copyright 2017

Doc: gscal050

Date created : 10/19/2004
Date edited 7/14/2017