Rebecca  (Parks) Caldwell

Rebecca (Parks) Caldwell (abt. 1707 - abt. 1806)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Rebecca Caldwell formerly Parks aka Walkup
Born about in Antrim, Ulster, Irelandmap
Sister of [half]
Wife of — married in Irelandmap
Wife of — married in Antrim, Ulster, Irelandmap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Mill Creek, Newberry, South Carolina, USAmap
Profile manager: Kim Richey private message [send private message]
Parks-137 created 9 Feb 2011 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 1,353 times.

Categories: American Immigration | Slave Owners in America.



No record of Rebecca Parks/Parque's date of birth can be found, but she was reported to have died 1807 in Newberry County, South Carolina at the remarkable age of 99, [1] which would place her date of birth in about 1807/08. She was the daughter of French Huguenot immigrant, Jacques Parque; and one source has her born in France, not Ireland. [2]

On Dec 10, 1727 Rebecca and William landed in New Castle, Delaware in company with William's parents and other colonists, settling in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Rebecca was married in Ireland at age 16 to John Walkup, aged 52, a match arranged by her father and the groom, and then widowed four months later. She married second in about 1724 in County Antrim, Ireland, to William Caldwell, the son of John Caldwell and Margaret Phillips. [3] But one researcher says they were married in Lunenberg Co., Virginia [4] (actually Brunswick Co., from which Lunenberg was formed in 1746), which would place the marriage in, or after 1739, and which could fit what we know of their eldest son John. More on this dilemma below.

Rebecca and William emigrated from Northern Ireland, landing in New Castle, Delaware on 10 Dec 1727 with the Caldwell family. They settled first in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in a community of Scots-Irish Presbyterians, and then removed in 1739 to Charlotte County, Virginia where they established the Cub Creek Settlement. [5] [6] [7]

Roy and some other researches claim that William and Rebecca's first child John was born in 1728, but William's will dated 09 Jan 1758 [8] clearly indicates that his eldest son John was not yet 21, which would place the date of John's birth in or after 1736, and this jives with John's DAR Ancestor record that shows his date of birth as 1740. [9] Rebecca names eight of their children and four of their grandchildren in her will dated 04 Oct 1799. [10]

Rebecca and William had joined his parents' settlement at Cub Creek, Virginia by 1742, when deeds prove that he owned land in the new settlement.

If we ignore unsourced dates, we come up with a list of William and Rebecca's known children, and their documented dates of birth and/or death:

  1. John, b. 1740, m. Elizabeth Huggins (or Elizabeth Gillman, or Margaret Davidson), d. Nov 1781[11]
  2. Margaret, b. ____, m. her cousin John Richie/Richey/Ritchie
  3. Sarah, b. ____, m. Dr. James Martin (his 1st wife)
  4. William, b. 10 Mar 1748, m. Elizabeth Williams, d. 10 Dec 1814 [12] [13]
  5. Martha, b. 1750, m. Patrick Calhoun (his 2nd wife), d. 15 May 1802 [14]
  6. Eleanor, b. ____, m. John Moore
  7. James, b. 08 Jul 1755, m. Elizabeth Forrest, d. 11 Jan 1813 [15] [16]
  8. Rebecca, b. ____, m. Josiah East
  9. Elizabeth, b. abt. 1757/58, m. Maj. Robert Gillam/Gilliam, Jr., d. 1850 at the age of 92 [17]
  10. David, b. aft. 1757, m1. Sarah Martin, m2. Nancy Carey, m3. ____ Forrest [18]
  • Notes on the children:
    • If John were born 1728 in Pennsylvania, he would have been almost 50 years old at the start of the Revolution, which seems too old to be leading a company of Rangers.
    • Roy and others show John's wife as Elizabeth "Gallman," but DAR shows her as Elizabeth "Huggins," which indicates that some researchers are confusing two different John Caldwells.
    • David is repeatedly referred to in references as the youngest son and was "too young to serve" in the Revolution.
    • Rebecca is often referred to in references as the "youngest daughter" but her mother's will lists her before Elizabeth.
    • The five daughters for which birth dates are unknown are listed in the order they are mentioned in their mother's will.

John and Sarah predeceased their mother and are the only ones not mentioned in her will of 1761. Roy and others show a daughter Ann who married William Lesley, [19] but there is no mention of her in early accounts of William & Rebecca Caldwell, nor is there much "room" for Rebecca to have birthed more than 10 children between 1740 and 1760, when Rebecca turned 53. Similarly, there is no record of a Henry or a Jennet/Jannet born to William Caldwell and Rebecca Parks.

Another mystery arises from William & Rebecca's grandchildren mentioned in Rebecca Caldwell's will:

  1. Sarah Martin, dau. of Sarah Caldwell & Dr. James Martin (his 1st wife)
  2. Rebecca Graves (a mystery - no dau. known to marry a Graves)
  3. Rebecca Moore, dau. of Eleanor Caldwell & John Moore
  4. Rebecca Caldwell, dau. of James, William, or David (John had no children)

Rebecca was said to have been as staunch in patriotism and Presbyterianism as her husband; had sufficient education herself to teach all her children to read and write (the fact that she signed her will with "her mark" was probably due to her advanced age and failing vision). She is described as quiet, decorous and introspective, small of stature with brown eyes, high forehead and cheekbones and a smiling countenance.

By 1770, Rebecca's eldest son John, established in surveying South Carolina, persuaded her to join those of her children settled there, bringing the last of the young ones from home. In South Carolina she settled on Mill Creek, 16 miles due west of the present town of Newberry in the old Ninety-Six District. The site, translated to present geography, is believed to be near the joining of Mill and Mudlick creeks, and the junction of Routes 56 and 65 in western Newberry County. [20]

A staunch Whig, Rebecca welcomed to her home once in 1782 James Creswell, a young soldier of "proclaimed passionate animosity toward the British" whom he had just evaded. Rebecca's eldest son, John, had been murdered by an erstwhile Tory neighbor, "Bloody Bill" Cunningham the year before. Alerted that the Tories were arriving on Cresswell's trail, Rebecca, aged 75, sent her daughter Elizabeth into hiding and ordered some of the young woman's clothing for Creswell. In long skirts and large bonnet, Creswell with Rebecca mounted the ladies' riding horses as Rebecca informed the Tories that they must be on their way at once to a critically ill neighbor. The enemy set about searching for Creswell and finding Elizabeth realized they'd been duped. In retaliation they destroyed most furnishings, drove off the stock, and only by fast action of the slaves was the home saved from fire once the Tories left. [21]

According to memoirs of William and Rebecca's granddaughter, Elizabeth Ann (Caldwell) Higgins, five daughters waited until after the Revolution to marry, and then there was a gala mass wedding at the "home place" as Sarah, Margaret, Eleanor, Elizabeth, and Rebecca were all married there on the same day. [22]

Rebecca is buried in the Caldwell family cemetery in Newberry County, SC. [23]


Not named in Rebecca's will, except to ask that they all be sold upon her death.


Transcribed by Jouett Taylor Prisley, 1994

In the name of God Amen I Rebecka Caldwell of Ninety Six District of Newberry County being weak in body but Sound in Memory Blessed be God for his Mercies, I do this day Make and Publish this my Last will and Testament and I do hereby Revoke and Make void all former Wills by me Made, I do Recommend My Soul to God that first gave it and My Body to be Decently buryed, and as touching Such Worldly goods where with it has pleased God bless Me with I despose there of as follows, first to Discharge all My Lawful Debts Second I give and bequeath to my Daughter Elenor Moore one Cow and Calf Item I give to My Daughter Rebecha East one yallow bay Mare and one cow and calf also all My house hold furniture Except three Beds and furniture to be Equally divided between My four Daughters to wit Marget Richey, Elenor Moore, Rebecha East and Elizabeth Gillam, also I give and Bequeath to My grand Daughter Sarah Martin fifteen pounds Sterling I give to My grand Daughter Rebecha Graves one bed and furniture I give to My grand Daughter Rebecca Moore one bed and furniture also to My grand Daughter Rebecha Caldwell one bed and furniture I give and Bequeath to My Son James Caldwell all that Plantation or Tract of Land Whereon I Now live to him and his Heirs forever as also to the S James all My Stock of Sheep and My part of a Waggon and it is My will and desire that all My Slaves together with all the remainder of My Property as before Mentioned Should be Sold and Eaqually Divided between My Eight Children (viz) Marget Richey, Martha Calhoun, Elenor Moore, Rebecha East, William Caldwell, James Caldwell, Elizabeth Gillam, and David Caldwell and it is My will and desire that Should any of My Children die before Me that the part of Such Child or Children, ... and I do Constitute and appoint My two sons William Caldwell and James Caldwell My Lawful Executors to this My Last will and Testament in witness whereof I have to this Presents Set My hand and Seal this 4th day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Nine and in the 23 year of the Independence of the United States of America.

(her mark)
Rebecka Caldwell

Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of

Robert Gillam (seal)
David Cureton (seal)
Elisabeth Gillam (seal)

Recorded in Will Book "G" page 102 & 103, Proved June 2 - 1806, Recorded May 2 - 1817, Samuel Lindsey ;Ordinary of Newberry District, Box 27, Pkg 56, Est. No. 622'


  1. The Caldwells of Mill Creek, Newberry. Newberry Observer, 27 Apr 1887
  2. Rebecca Parks Walkup Caldwell, by Ann Roy, submitted to DAR in 1974
  3. Rebecca Parks Caldwell, by Ann Calhoun McMath Roy. Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, Nov 1974, pp. 860-861, 921
  4. Descendants of Alexander Of Caldwell, Generation No. 7, by William O. Maddocks
  5. Rebecca Parks Caldwell, by Ann Calhoun McMath Roy. Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, Nov 1974, pp. 860-861, 921
  6. The Caldwells of Mill Creek, Newberry. Newberry Observer, 27 Apr 1887
  7. Letter from John Roger to Elias B. Caldwell, reprinted in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 19, pp 92-94
  8. Recorded in Will Book 1, page 329, Lunenburg County, Virginia Circuit Court
  9. DAR Ancestor Record #A018231 for Capt. John Caldwell
  10. Recorded in Newberry County, Ninety Six District Will Book G, pp. 102-103
  11. DAR Ancestor Record #A018231 for Capt. John Caldwell
  12. DAR Ancestor Record #A018269 for Lt. William Caldwell
  13. Find A Grave Memorial# 27304371, Maintained by: Michael Bell, Originally Created by: Donna Brummett, Record added: Jun 03, 2008
  14. Find A Grave Memorial# 78255151, Created by: Wayne Sears, Record added: Oct 12, 2011
  15. DAR Ancestor Record #A018218 for Capt. James Caldwell
  16. Find A Grave Memorial# 45659974, Maintained by: Michael Bell, Originally Created by: Donna Brummett, Record added: Dec 20, 2009
  17. The Caldwells of Mill Creek, Newberry. Newberry Observer, 27 Apr 1887
  18. ibid.
  19. Rebecca Parks Walkup Caldwell, by Ann Roy, submitted to DAR in 1974
  20. Jouett (Taylor) Prisley notes from a 1995 trip to Newberry Co., SC
  21. Virginia Soldiers of 1776, by Louis A. Burgess, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1973
  22. History of my Grand Parents & There (sic) Families by Elizabeth Ann Caldwell Higgins, unpublished, sent in a letter to her son (assumed to be Dr. Alfred W. Higgins of Hale County, Alabama), dated Aug. 1887
  23. Find A Grave Memorial# 81942633, Created by: Milisia A. E. Weldon, Record added: Dec 14, 2011

See also:

Profile history:

  • WikiTree profile UNKNOWN-111619 created through the import of 3214733.ged on Sep 17, 2011 by Kim Richey. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Kim and others.
  • WikiTree profile Walkup-14 created through the import of richey Family Tree.ged on Aug 2, 2011 by Ty Richey. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Ty and others.
  • Longhurst, Kathy Stewart at

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

Sponsored by MyHeritage

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Rebecca by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Rebecca:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.

Images: 1
Daughters of the American Revolution Col. 142:1918
Daughters of the American Revolution Col. 142:1918


On 2 Jan 2017 at 18:04 GMT Fred Prisley wrote:

I've done some major rewriting of this profile based on additional research into William & Rebecca's children. There's lots of confusion surrounding them, which is understandable given that a large group immigrated together shared the same names across multiple families. If you find any errors or omissions, please let me know. Thank you!

Rebecca is 14 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 24 degrees from Robynne Lozier, 12 degrees from Pocahontas Rolfe and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

P  >  Parks  |  C  >  Caldwell  >  Rebecca (Parks) Caldwell