REBECCA PARKS CALDWELL
(Great-grandmother of Sarah Elizabeth Caldwell M. Campbell)
by Ann Calhoun McMath Roy
Rockford Chapter (DAR), Rockford, Illinois
The Revolutionary War produced heroines of every description--‑
there were those whose names and deeds school children can immediately identify, those whose heroism is only known to history "buffs", and those whose sacrifice and deeds of valor are recognized only by their decendents.
Found in the latter category is the name of Rebecca Parks Caldwell---a woman of indomitable courage, daring, and boldness. It has often been written that a person's past holds the key to that person's future---so It was with Rebecca.
Rebecca Parks (Parque) was born in 1707 in County Antrim, Ireland, the daughter of a Huguenot refugee, Jacques Parque (James Parks). At the age of sixteen she was married to John Walkups--a marriage arranged by her father and the groom, a man thirty six years her senior. Four months after the wedding Rebecca was left a penniless widow and childless.
In 1724, Rebecca Parks married William Caldwell, the eldest son of John Caldwell, the patriarch of a fiercely independent Scotch-Irish family of staunch Presbyterian faith, whose ancestors were originally Huguenots, escaping from France and settling near Solway Firth in Scotland.
Rebecca's husband, William Caldwell, was an educated man, having been sent to Scotland at an early age to attend school. He was also a man with immense pride in his heritage; his children were reared with a knowledge of family tradition. William also possessed tremendous physical strength as well as charm and attractiveness. He was the antithesis of quiet, decorous, introspective Rebecca, but their marriage was one of strength and kindness, and it was to survive the most difficult of times in the New World.
On December 10, 1727, the Caldwell family, led by John and his wife, Margaret, and consisting among others, William and Rebecca, landed at
New Castle, Delaware, moving immediately to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where the family set up residence among other Scotch-Irish of Presbyterian allegiance. In 1728, a son, John was born to William and Rebecca, followed in 1730 by a daughter, Sarah, and in 1734 by a second daughter, Margaret. In 1739, John Caldwell having applied for and been granted