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Research Notes: William W. Caldwell

Old family ‘tale’ now considered highly suspect:  “Came from Scotland via Ireland.  Settled in Spartanburg District, SC?  (NO)  Family story says that he went back to Ireland after children were born to sell family estate.  Lost at sea on return trip to America.”  See notes on his son Shelton:  If William went to visit son in small pox quarantine, this would have been sometime after 1850?  So he must not have left for Ireland until after that?  Except that the 1840 GA Census shows Betsy as Head of Household. 

Query in “Family Puzzler” from Dorthie Waters Williams in Dallas, TX:  
Shipwreck occurred between 1837-1840.  Says that Betsy James married William Caldwell, who came from Ireland to GA with 5-6 brothers.  They were separated after arrival.  Says that in 1834 Betsy and William had 320A near Talking Rock Baptist Church (founded in 1834).  Note:  This shipwreck story came from Jean Armstrong who says “the aunts” (Allison’s granddaughters) always told this story.  Jackie Miller and I don’t believe it.  (This has since been disproved with Dorthie’s concensus!)

1820 Census of SC:  
*Elenor Caldwell lives in York and has a blacksmith shop
*Near old Sharud is “Wm Caldwell, a cabinetmaker”
Numbers are 000111000010201210001 (8)
 Note:  This Elenor Caldwell was wife of John Caldwell, born in Ireland, Rev War patriot.  Since William and Betsy named their first son John, this could have been his mother?  He could have been living with his widowed mother and Betsy in York during this census.

“Genealogy of James Caldwell & His Descendants – 1752-1968”
by Ray Von Caldwell, Rt 2, Newton, NC
Brothers James, William and Thomas came from Ireland to VA>NC, Lincoln County
Note:  John Caldwell born +/- 1814, s/o John Caldwell and Millie Bandy, married Margaret Ealton on December 23, 1835.  Had eleven toes.  Called ‘Eleven-Toed John’.  Six toes on one foot – like Allison Caldwell.  Check out this family manuscript for connections.

Collection of Christine Broome (1894-1976), professor at Wesleyan College, Macon, GA.  Found in boxes in Macon library.  Significant Caldwell information.  Appears that she was looking for the same James/William Caldwell.  Same families are listed and rejected in York, Chester, Newberry, etc.  Also had references to Allison family in SC.  Migration or states:  NC>SC>TN>VA>MS>MY>AL

From ‘Whites Among the Cherokees’, page 199
Jury list for May 1837 Term, Inferior Court, Murray County, GA:   Leander G. Caldwell
1840 Murray Co Census, “Cauldwell, p. 264”.  Of note is that William Caldwell’s descendants used the name Leander liberally.

Deed for District 12/2, landlot #169 sold to Sharud James by John Hutchinson, adr of the estate of Buckner McDaniel [deceased]; deed made on October 22, 1836, witnessed by William Caldwell and Daniel C. Smith, JP.  Recorded January 19, 1837.

Note: Old Irish Naming Pattern
1st son was named after the father’s father
2nd son was named after the mother’s father
3rd son was named after the father
4th son was named after the father’s eldest brother
1st daughter was named after the mother’s mother
2nd daughter was named after the father’s mother
3rd daughter was named after the mother
4th daughter was named after the mother’s eldest sister

 I extracted all of the GA soldiers listed in the book “Volunteer Soldiers in the Cherokee Wars” (published by Mountain Press) on a spreadsheet for sorting.  There are seven Caldwells.  I researched them and successfully eliminated all but William W. Caldwell.  By ‘eliminated’ I mean that I found these other men to be married, not the right age, or some other logical reason.

William is listed in Captain Charles Wright Bond’s Company – Lindsay’s Georgia Mounted Militia along with Theophelus Holcombe and several other men of the Gilmer County area.

There are other Caldwells on this list, but they are from Tennessee. 
Muster roll is online here:
This muster was in Franklin County, however, it does not mean that they were from that county — it means that is where the muster was on that date.  Many of these men are known to be from Gilmer and later Pickens County.  The Taylor boys are Theophelus’s cousins.

These men are on a muster roll dated February 2, 1838 (still in service).  In reading “Carrying Off the Cherokee” by John W. Latty, which is about Ezekial Buffington’s company, I find that many of these men mustered out of the state militia one day and into the Regular Army the same day or the next — for the trek to Oklahoma.  They mustered out at the removal forts (detainment facilities) where they had been collecting Cherokee, mostly.

My own research found William Caldwell, Theophelus Holcombe and some of these others in the ledger book of accompanying services paid off after the removal.  William Caldwell was listed as waggoner.  As I mentioned previously, that book is in the Cherokee Archives in Tahlequah.

The 1850 census of Gilmer County finds Theophelus down the road from Betsy — married and with a child born about 1839.  He had just enough time to get home from Oklahoma, get married and ‘hatch’.   Of course, William Caldwell did not return.  Or if he did — he’s not at home.  Also — Betsy has just gotten 240 acres in her own name by auction.  She would not be buying land in her own name, if she had a husband around.

Therefore, in my own mind, our William Caldwell is William W. Caldwell.  This is the only place that I have seen the middle initial.  The signature on a land transaction with Sherod James was just William Caldwell.  On the original GA Militia ‘sign up sheet’ in the Georgia Archives (a very thin piece of paper that we would call onion skin), he was just signed William Caldwell.

One more thing — the Salt Lists of 1862 and 1863.  Betsy is not listed as a “widow” on these lists.  Probably because she did not know if she was a widow or not.  She died in 1873 without ever having remarried, something quite unusual for women of her time who needed a means of support and help caring for the family.