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Rebecca (Parks) Caldwell (1707 - 1806)

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Rebecca Caldwell formerly Parks aka Walkup
Born in Antrim, Ulster, Irelandmap
Sister of
Wife of — married in Irelandmap
Wife of — married in Antrim, Ulster, Irelandmap
Died in Mill Creek, Newberry, South Carolina, USAmap
Profile manager: Kim Richey private message [send private message]
Parks-137 created 9 Feb 2011 | Last modified
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from Jouett Taylor Prisley family history and genealogy:

Rebecca (also spelled Rebecah and Rebecka) was daughter of French Huguenot immigrant, Jacques Parque. She was married in Ireland at age 16 to John Walkup, aged 52, a match arranged by her father and the groom. Four months later she was a childless, penniless widow, and shortly married William Caldwell.

On Dec 10, 1727 Rebecca and William landed in New Castle, DE in company with William's parents and other colonists, settling in Lancaster Co PA.


"Sources say..." is a dreaded term which means no one knows for sure, so after muddling through several lists of William and Rebecca's children, patching together dates and places of birth, weighing confidence in sources, and looking for independent confirmation, we ascertained that...

Rebecca's husband William was with the British and Colonial troops in the disastrous battle with French and Indians at Ft. Duquesne (Pittsburgh) on 9 July 1755.
Rebecca and William joined his parents' settlement at Cub Creek, Virginia, in 1742. Deeds prove that he owned land in the new settlement.
Her twins, James and Sarah, were born the day of that fateful battle. Few lists show twins, but her son James was fairly certainly born in 1755 and lived till 1813. Perhaps Sarah died young, never to be mentioned again.

Seven years between the births of the third and fourth children were a long gap in childbearing for Rebecca. Admittedly, the birth dates may be in error, or deaths in infancy may not have been noted. Rarely does an eleventh child show on lists, but we acknowledge a possible daughter Ann since some records show her marriage to William Lesley. Rebecca had ten documented children.[1] They were:

Margaret Richey, b. 1929
Rebecca East, b. 1738
John, b. 1740 (died before his mother)
David, b. 1741
Eleanor Moore, b. 1746
William, b. 1748
James & Sarah (twins), b. 1755 (Sarah prob. died young)
Elizabeth Gillam, b. 1757
Martha Calhoun, b. abt. 1759

Eight of the above 10 were mentioned in their mother's will. If, as some sources claim there were also an Ann, b. 1756,[2] or a Henry, and/or a Jennet, they must have either died before Rebecca wrote her will in 1799, or for reasons unknown been excluded from the will.

Rebecca was as staunch in patriotism and Presbyterianism as her husband; had sufficient education herself to teach all her children to read and write, and reared them to adulthood and marriage. She is described as quiet, decorous and introspective, small of stature with brown eyes, high forehead and cheekbones and a smiling countenance.

Reckoning the ages of Rebecca's children, at the time of William's death the sons would have ranged in ages from 13 to 33, and the daughters from three to 31. Rebecca herself would have been 54. That conforms well to recorded history from South Carolina. There is little doubt that her three older sons had already explored and worked in South Carolina, and that at least two of her daughters were already married. By 1770 her 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.

"Home" for Rebecca had by now been Ireland, Pennsylvania, and Charlotte County Virginia. 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.

She was able to establish a comfortable home with servants. She saw three sons, three sons-in-law and several grandsons go to service in the Revolution. Staunchly 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 servants was the home saved from fire once the Tories left.

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.

Rebecca lived to be 99 and was, by all accounts, a conspicuous force in family values of courage, education, religion and patriotism. Of passing interest is the fact that Rebecca was supposed to have taught her children to read and write, yet one cynic noted that she signed her will with "her mark". Perhaps only advanced age and failing vision made that necessary.

Imported Record

Name: Rebecca PARKS (aka Parques)
Reference: 46092
Birth: One source has her born in France, not Ireland. [3]
Husband: William Caldwell
Marriage Date: Abt 1724, Place: Antrim, Ulster, Ireland
Child: Rebecca Caldwell
Child: John Caldwell
Child: Margaret Caldwell
Child: Elizabeth Caldwell
Child: Jennet Caldwell
Child: Eleanor Caldwell
Child: David Caldwell
Child: Martha Caldwell
Child: William Thomas Caldwell
Child: James Caldwell
Child: Sarah Caldwell


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. Virginia Soldiers of 1776, by Louis A. Burgess, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1973.
  2. Rebecca Parks Walkup Caldwell, by Ann Roy, submitted to DAR in 1974
  3. Rebecca Parks Walkup Caldwell, by Ann Roy, submitted to DAR in 1974
  • Rebecca Parks Caldwell, by Ann Calhoun McMath Roy, DAR Magazine, November 1974, pp. 860-861
  • 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.
Source: #S57
Source S57
Abbreviation: Longhurst, Kathy Stewart at
Title: Longhurst, Kathy Stewart at'

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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:

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