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Loyalist Directory: William Caldwell

(For a short explanation of each row, click on the row title ex. "surname")

Surname : Caldwell
Given name : William
Rank : Capt
Where Resettled : Amherstburg, Malden Township, Essex County, Upper Canada
Status as Loyalist : Proven
Proof of Loyalty : UEL List
Notes (Expunged, Suspended, Reinstated) : (1.) Title: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
Author: University of Montreal & Laval University
Publication: click here
Media: Electronic
(2.) Title: Genealogy of the French Families of the Detroit River Region (1701-1911)
Author: Denissen, Christian
Publication: Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, Detroit, Revised edition, 1987
Note: Revised Edition edited by Robert L. Pilon & Stephen F. Keller. Denissen anglicized the names; I have standardized names per Jetté wherever possible
Note: Good - Relied on Tanguay for Quebec data- names, dates & relationships should be verified with Jetté or PRDH.
Note: Detroit Public Library, Windsor Ontario Public Library
Media: Book
(3.) Abbrev: The Mackinac Register of Baptisms and Internments 1695-1821
Title: The Mackinac Register of Baptisms and Internments 1695-1821
Date: 0047
Regiment : Butler's Rangers
Enlistment Date : c.1775
Date & Place of Birth : c.1750 in County Fermanagh (Northern Ireland)
Settled before war : Pennsylvania
Date & Place of Death : 20 Feb. 1822 in Amherstburg, Upper Canada
Place of Burial : Buried on 23 Feb 1822 in St. John The Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery
Wife Name : (1) Indian woman
(2) Suzanne Baby, daughter of Jacques Baby dit Dupéron
Children : Indian Wife
1.Billy Caldwell

Suzanne Baby
1. William Caldwell
2. Jacques (James) Caldwell
3. Thomas Caldwell
4. Suzanne Caldwell
5. Francois-Xavier Caldwell
6. Rebecca Caldwell
7. Jean-Baptiste (John) Caldwell
8. Therese Felicite Caldwell
9. Antoine Caldwell
10. Elizabeth Caldwell
Biography : William Caldwell @ Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

A timeline of events in the life of William Calwell has been provided by Marvin Recker.
Proven Descendants : London & Western Ontario 1979.03.13;
Marvin Recker of London & Western Ontario Branch on May 24, 1998.
Military Info : William Caldwell came to North America in 1773. He served as an officer in the campaign of 1774 waged by the governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, against the Indians of the Pennsylvania and Virginia frontier. With the outbreak of the American revolution, Caldwell f ought in Dunmore’s forces again, taking part in the storming of Norfolk, Virginia, early in 1776. Defeated, Dunmore had to withdraw his troops by sea to New York.

When Caldwell recovered from his wounds, he went to Fort Niagara (near Youngstown, N.Y.) and was appointed captain in Butler’s Rangers. In the rangers’ campaigns Caldwell was “a very active Partisan,” according to the fort’s commandant. He led, rather than ordered, his troops into battle and he demonstrated a ruthlessness that the Americans would remember. When the victory of George Rogers Clark at Vincennes (Ind.) in 1778 threatened the Detroit River frontier, Caldwell and some 50 select rangers were sent from Niagara, and thus his long association with the Detroit area began. In succeeding years he alternated between Detroit and Niagara, parrying each anticipated American thrust and on occasion driving deep into enemy territory. In 1782 he commanded the British forces in two of the most notorious victories of the war. In June his troops and their Indian allies defeated William Crawford’s advancing columns on the upper Sandusky River (Ohio), and Crawford suffered horribly at the hands of his Indian captors. Then Caldwell led a force into Kentucky and in August dealt a devastating blow to the Americans at the battle of Blue Licks. At this point in the war, action shifted to the diplomatic front, and it was just as well for Caldwell because he and his rangers returned to Detroit hardly capable of taking the field again.
Loyalist Genealogy :  
Family History :  
Family Genealogy : Further information is available on Billy Caldwell and Francis Xavier Caldwell
Sources : Capt. William Caldwell was a strong loyalist and became one of the most outstanding military leaders in the British service on the western frontier. He led the Indians at the defeat of Colonel Crawford and the Blue Licks in 1782. Here the British forces defeated the Americans, including the famous Daniel Boone. He later settled at Detroit and engaged in trade with Matthew Elliot. He and associates founded the town of Amherstburg, known as the New Settlement. Caldwell married Suzanne, and they were the parents of five sons and three daughters. Although William's wife and children were of the Catholic faith, he was of the Anglican faith. He donated property to the Anglican Church along with a grant of 100 guineas toward the building fund. His only request was that there be a pew marked and retained for his use in the church. It was said that he had promised his wife Suzanne, that whatever he gave to the Anglican Church he would also give to the Catholic Church. There is still some debate over whether or not he ever gave the Catholic Church land, as this present day, the Catholic church is not located on Caldwell's land, but his home had been used for services. Caldwell and some of his boys served in the War of 1812 also. Caldwell also had a son by a Pottawatomi mother, who was called Billy Caldwell, recognized as a chief of the Pottawatomi, and was prominent in the War of 1812 and the early history of Chicago. For his family, William protected his right of ownership to Lot 3, Malden twp (just outside of Amherstburg, Ontario), William divided his property equally among his children in his will. At the time of his death, William owned his property in Malden Twp and one Lot in Harwich Twp, he was not a Land Speculator but a Gentleman Farmer.
Anglican until just before his death, then became Catholic to be buried in the Catholic Cemetery next to his wife, after she were to pass over.

Historical Plaque in honour of William Caldwell can be seen here.

Information submitted by Kimberly Hurst UE.

Time-line provided by Marvin Recker.
Reserved :