Untangling Caldwell Roots
Updated on July 30, 2015
Last year I posted about my tangled Ruble roots. I was particularly interested in my great-grandmother—Margie Caldwell Ruble—and her father Alexander Gibson Caldwell. My Great-Aunt Leona had written down the children of Alexander and his wife Marcellus Surber Caldwell:
- Amma B. Caldwell: born Dec. 17, 1850
- Wm. C. Caldwell: born May 9, 1852
- John B. Caldwell: born Aug. 15, 1854
- Tilman E. Caldwell: born Nov. 11, 1856
- Maggie L. Caldwell: born May 9, 1859
- Alexander J. Caldwell: born June 10, 1862
- Montra A. Caldwell: born Feb. 25, 1866
- Margie O. Caldwell: born Feb. 25, 1866
- Lorence O. W. Caldwell: born May 5, 1869.
Margie had been the one to marry George William Ruble, though I've found a few sources online that say "Margaret." I figure that Maggie, not Margie, was likely Margaret. I dug up a lot of info about Margie's mother online but almost nothing about her father.
After joining Ancestry.com, I was able to dig a bit deeper. For instance, I found the 1880 census for Craig County, where twins Margie and Montra were 14. Since Maggie—who would have been 21—and Anna—who would have been 30—aren't listed, it's possible that they were married.
I also learned a bit more about my g-g-grndfather. Alexander G. Caldwell, born April 1, 1822 (though some sources say 1820), was married twice—the first time to Matilda (whose maiden name was
When the 1850 census was taken for District 8 of Botetourt County, on July 23, 1850, the 30-year-old Alexander and his daughters Jane (1843) and Caroline V. (1846) were living with his
|Martha Caldwell Craft|
But where was Alexander's baby daughter, Amma (or Amy or Ammy), born in 1850 after Matilda had died and only 4 and a half months old after Alexander married Marcellus? It's a mystery. Given the date of the census, I'm guessing that "Amma" was actually born
By the 1860 census, when Alexander and his family were living at "the Valley of Craig's Creek" in Craig County, Marcellus is 25 and the girl is listed as 10-year-old "Ammy." I've even found a source or two online that gives Ammy's birthdate as 1851 and lists her as Marcellus's child. Alexander's family in 1860:
The Civil War interrupted Alexander's family life. He served as a private in company B (the "Craig Rifles") in the 28th Virginia Infantry which became part of the Fifth Brigade, Army of the Potomac. He missed some of the action, though. From various pay reports, he was present on Sept/Oct 1862 but was "absent, sick at hospital" for November and December 1862 and "absent," sick on furlough during January and February 1863. His pay reports indicate he was back with his unit from May through Aug 1863, but he was AWOL during Nov/Dec 1863. Was he at Gettysburg with Pickett's Division in July of 1863 where many of the 28th fell?
At some point, he was sent to White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier, no doubt to recuperate. In 1864, he was issued new clothes.
By the 1870 census, he was doing farm work, and his family had increased again. Alexander J. had been born shortly after his father had gone to war; twins Montra and Margie were born 9 months after the war ended, and Lorence was born in 1869.
He didn’t get his confederate stone until 1932 when his son Alexander Jackson Caldwell applied for it.